Hiring a car in Pisa

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Hiring a car in Pisa

Leaning towards this wonderful Tuscan city? Pick up your hire car at Pisa airport and you're ready to explore.

60-second guide to Pisa

in its own head

"Forget Florence, Pisa is the best Renaissance city in Tuscany! They may have the statue of David and some fancy buildings - but do they lean at a jaunty angle? We think not."

but more realistically

You may bump into the odd tourist, ok hundreds of them, but Pisa is no museum. It's a lively student city with plenty of markets and pedestrianised streets to explore.

the vibe

So you've taken your 83rd picture of the tower? Now move away from the camera, find a nice square, have a drink and take in the cultured bohemian atmosphere.

the natives

In term-time Pisa is full of students, but don't worry, drinking 18 pints and stealing a road sign isn't as popular as it is among their British counterparts.

the weather

Spring and autumn are when the rain falls in Pisa. If you don't like the high summer heat and tourist overload, the dry winter months aren't a bad time to visit.

the local speciality

Seafood is big in these parts. Ciechi alla Pisana is a local dish of baby eels, garlic and tomatoes. If eels aren't your thing try a bean-based dish instead.

the celebrity

The father of modern science Galileo was born in Pisa and went to its university. He argued that earth orbits the sun, and got arrested for it.

did you know?

If you think modern day builders are a bit slack, they've got nothing on their medieval brothers. It took around two centuries, starting in 1173, to build the Tower of Pisa.

they say

"In Pisa you will discover art, history and culture but also natural environments such as Migliarino Park, San Rossore, and Monte Pisano." - Tuscan Tourist Board

5 to see in town...

1. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Never has a piece of shoddy construction been so celebrated. It just goes to show good builders have always been hard to come by. Still, they did a fine job on everything above the foundations.

where to park?

The closest free parking is on via Rindi - though you might have trouble finding a spot if there's a football match on at the nearby Arena Garibaldi.

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2. Duomo di Pisa

There's more quality artwork in the Duomo than at a Rolf Harris exhibition. So don't let its leaning bell tower steal all the limelight, impressive though it is.

where to park?

The Duomo is right next to the Leaning Tower, and if via Rindi is full there is a large parking lot on via Pietrasantina where you can park for free.

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3: Piazza dei Cavalieri

Unlike in England, Italy's squares aren't where underage drinkers hang out, scaring old ladies. Check out this one to discover the real essence of the Italian piazza.

where to park?

A good central option is the Parcheggio di Piazza dei Miracoli, accessed from via Cammeo, which costs €1.50 an hour.

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4: Baptistery

Singing isn't everyone's cup of tea, but even if your voice is as tuneful as a fork being fed through a shredder you'll sound ace with the acoustics in this place.

where to park?

The Baptistery is also on Piazza Duomo with the Leaning Tower. Further away - 10 minutes walking or a few stops by shuttle bus - another free option is the large parking on via Paparelli (except Wednesdays and Saturdays).

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5: Keith Haring's Mural

You'd think in a city flush with artwork by such masters as Donatello, a painting by some guy call Keith wouldn't be worth looking at. You'd be wrong.

where to park?

Another centrally located sight, there's limited street parking available on via Piave, via Rosmini and Via Bianchi. You can pay and display for €0.50 per hour, or buy a daily scratch card from newsagents and tobacconists for €2.50.

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and 4 to drive to...

1: Monte Argentario

Attached to Italy by three sandbars, Monte Argentario is one giant storm away from floating off into the Mediterranean. Better visit it while you can.

how to get there?

Head south on the SS1, which leads virtually all the way to Monte Argentario, about 125 miles from Pisa.

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2: Florence

A tanker-sized pot of yoghurt couldn't match Florence for culture. It boasts works from Michelangelo's David to Botticelli's The Birth of Venus.

how to get there?

Take the SS1 north of Pisa to join the A11 going eastwards. It goes all the way to Florence, about an hour and 20 minutes away.

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3: Lucca

Lucca is famous for its walls. They're not like the brick walls on your average semi-detached either, these are from the Renaissance and encircle the entire city.

how to get there?

Lucca is just 14 miles north of central Pisa, along the SS12.

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4: Cinque Terre

What makes a perfect coastal village? Dramatic rocks, pretty houses and rustic men dragging - rather than wearing - fishnets. For some fine examples head north to the Cinque Terre National Park.

how to get there?

Head north out of Pisa on the A12/E80 before heading for signs for La Spezia, then Cinque Terre itself.

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