Todd DeFeo

Why Pisa needs to be on your list of places to visit in Italy

River Arno in Pisa, Italy A view of the River Arno in Pisa, Italy, on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

PISA, Italy — Many people head to Pisa on their Italian vacation. But, the stop is often no more than a quick swoop in for the cursory photo holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

That is a real shame. There are other reasons to visit the city.

Here are a few reasons to make sure Pisa is on the itinerary of your next Italian getaway.

1. Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) is gorgeous

The Pisa Duomo as seen on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

The Pisa Duomo as seen on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

Yes, most people pay attention to the Tower and nothing else, but that is a mistake. Look around. Drink in the town square.

2. The city is really pretty

Pisa, Italy, as seen from atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

Pisa, Italy, as seen from atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

If you want to get really crazy and wild, take a walking tour of the city. The view of the River Arno cutting through town is one of the top vistas in Tuscany, IMHO.

3. The Duomo is stunning

The Pisa Duomo as seen on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

The Pisa Duomo as seen on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

Most people who gaze upon the Leaning Tower probably realize it stands next to a massive cathedral, but many tourists probably never step inside to see the beautiful interior. That is a real shame. Architect Buscheto began work on the cathedral in 1063 or 1064, and it was completed in about 1110.

4. The baptistry is equally impressive

The baptistry in Pisa, Italy, as seen on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

The baptistry in Pisa, Italy, as seen on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

Built between 1152 and 1363, it is the largest baptistry in Italy. Just be sure to be inside when someone is conducting an acoustic check. That is as impressive as the architecture.

5. The tower is actually impressive

The Leaning Tower of Pisa as seen on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa as seen on May 1, 2016. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

Put the lean aside for a moment. This tower is quite pretty. But, if it was a perfectly straight tower, would it ever have been this famous? Probably not. That is, perhaps, the real shame.

6. The view from the top is amazing

Duomo di Pisa

A view of the Duomo di Pisa from atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa. (Photo by Ruth DeFeo)

From the minute one steps foot inside the ground floor of the tower, it is quite apparent the tower is in fact leaning. While the climb up the stairs is itself an adventure, the view makes it all worthwhile.

About Todd DeFeo
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.