Travel tips for Tuscany and Rome in Italy
This blog will guide you through some of the top attractions and sights in Pisa, Florence and Rome and offer you some travel inspiration, ideas and tips for these three lovely Italian cities.
Facts about Pisa
Pisa has 88.000 inhabitants and is the capital of the Tuscany Region. The city is crossed by the Arno River, which flows into the Mediterranean. Pisa’s main and in my opinion the town’s only attraction is Piazza del Miracoli also called Piazza del Duomo . Here is the city’s main cultural, religious and tourist center, which also is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site offers four main buildings campanile, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Duomo, Baptistery and Campo Santo Cemetery. You can buy combined tickets for the sites.
Things to see in Pisa Italy
I can definitely recommend Piazza del Duomo. Pisa is a very nice old town, however, Pisa does not have that much to offer. I would recommend a one-day stop in Pisa. In Pisa you must be ready for a lot of tourists.
Piazza del Duomo is really impressive and is a must see.
Very few attractions, a lot of tourists.
In my opinion, if you are in the region, Piazza del Duomo is a must see, but you must also be ready for a lot of tourists. The whole place was for me a great experience – consisting of one beautiful building after another. The sight of the large majestic marble buildings, the sprawling green lawns and the deep-blue Italian sky was for me a picturesque experience. I would especially point out the cathedral as a real positive surprise. It is really impressed. If, for a short while to ignore the crowds of tourists, I can definitely recommend Piazza del Duomo.
I spent a single day in Pisa, which turned out to be more than adequate. The town is a nice old town, where many students characterize the street scape, but besides Piazza del Duomo , the town has in my opinion nothing to offer. I would recommend Pisa as a one-day stop before heading example continuing east to the capital of Tuscany, Florence, which has much more to offer.
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Trains between Pisa and Florence
We took the train from Pisa to Florence. Mostly, the Italian train system is very good and can be recommended. However, as in Denmark cancellations or delays often occurs, so please take that into your calculations. Remember to validate your ticket on the platform – that is very important. I was almost about to get a very high fine because I did not know that you have to do that. Fortunately, the inspector was very nice and instead of giving me a fine we talked about how beautiful the Italian landscape is and how tasteful Italian food is – Italian people likes to hear that. Traveling by train is indeed a very good way to see the beautiful Tuscan countryside. There are very good train services to Florence.
Things to see in Florence
My conclusion is that Florence is clearly worth a visit. The town has a lot to offer culturally, historically and architecturally. You do not have to be very historical or architectural interested to think that Florence is a great city. In Florence, there is something for everyone. You can easily use 2 – 3 days in Florence, but then you should also be able to tolerate the large amount of tourists. 7
Beautiful architecture, many cultural and historic sites, good shopping facilities
Very high concentration of tourist, prices are relatively high.
Facts about Florence
Most importantly, Florence is known for its art and architecture. Over the years, a large proportion of the world’s most renowned artists have been living in Florence. The town is very pretty and everywhere you see well-preserved buildings. The entire historic center is for that reason also a World Heritage Site (UNESCO). Therefore, you can easily spend long time just walking around the town center feeling the atmosphere and see the buildings and facades. Taken the size of the town into account, tourism in Florence very comprehensive and you must therefore be ready for many tourists in the streets and at the major sites. For compensation, there is an abundance of hotels and accommodation in and around Florence.
Further, Florence is a popular trading center. In town, many of the world’s biggest designer brands are represented and there is rich opportunity to get a proper shopping sprees. Therefore, Florence has something for everyone. In my opinion, it is the city’s strength that it embraces culturally broad and caters to all kinds of tourists. I would recommend that you to enjoy a good cup of coffee or espresso at a sidewalk cafe, enjoying the atmosphere and hopefully the good Italian weather. My advice is that the best local restaurants and bars are found in the smaller streets away from the main avenues and tourist attractions. In addition, there are many festivals and cultural events in Florence during the year – so please check the event calendar before arrival.
Top attractions in Florence
The most famous landmark of Florence is undoubtedly Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore which is Florence’s main cathedral. It is a Gothic cathedral with an impressive bell tower. This church has a huge dome, which can be spotted from the entire city. Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is the city’s big draw, and you have to expect long queues to get there. We waited about fifteen minutes. It is possible to come up in the 85 meter high bell tower. From here there are fabulous views over Florence. In my opinion, the church in Florence is much less impressive compared to the one in Pisa. For me the greatest experience in Florence was the historic center in general. The extent of the architectural buildings are so impressive.
Other famous attractions in Florence include Ponte Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo. The former is the famous bridge crossing Arno. It is the only surviving bridge from the Middle Ages that crosses the river. It is notable because it is home to shops, dating back to the 1200 century. The sight of the houses and shops that go to the edge of the bridge is quite quaint and unique. Piazzale Michelangelo is a popular square with a beautiful view of Florence and it is a major tourist attraction. There is a lovely walk up to the platform. Florence’s first Renaissance church, San Lorenzo, is certainly also worth a visit. Here you can turn on a light to the Danish scientist Niels Stensen (Steno) who are buried here.
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Interesting facts about Rome
We took the train to Rome – the capital of Italy – which was the final destination on our round trip in Italy. In Rome we spent 4 days. Generally, there are very good train connections to Rome. The city has 2.7 million inhabitants with about 5 millions throughout the metropolis. Globally, Rome is a major tourist destination with many tourists. We also saw a sea of tourists even though we were only there during spring. Rome’s many tourists are attracted especially by the many historical monuments and relics. The number of attractions in Rome is overwhelming and should be prioritized as desired – it’s hard to make time for it all especially taken queues and waiting time into consideration.
Things to see in Rome
Entire Rome is a mighty antique museum clearly influenced by Baroque and Renaissance aspects. During World War II the many well-preserved buildings in Rome are largely only slightly affected and only few injuries occurred. For that reason, the historic part of Rome is very well-preserved and designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most impressive thing about Rome is that the concentration of sights are so overwhelming that you can constantly see some things – like on a traditional museum. I think that is unique to Rome, and I have never experienced such a density of attractions in my life. Moreover, the entire historic center is characterized by large imperial buildings where often obelisks are seen. These sights are very cozy and authentic, and hence for this reason lures many locals and tourists.
Additionally, one of the largest fountains in the world is located in Rome – it is called the Trevi Fountain. This fountain is a classic example of great Baroque art. It is one of Rome’s main attractions and there is always a sea of tourists around the fountain – you have to be very much aware of pickpockets here. An important point to remember is that the money people are throwing into the water, do not go to the Catholic Church, but go to pure charity.