Where to park in Pisa

f you decide to leave for Pisa by car, you will need some information on where to park your car. Pisa is a fairly large city, so expect to be able to remain bottled in traffic (especially during peak times) and, since the old town is surrounded by ancient medieval walls, the advice is not to enter by car ( to avoid areas with limited traffic and unpleasant situations that could be fined) but to leave it out and take two steps to walk downtown or take public transport. Parking – paid or free, no shortage in Pisa and are located in various points of the city, let’s take a closer look.

Free parking spaces

The first of the free parking areas is, of course, outside the walls, but within walking distance of both the city center and Piazza dei Miracoli. It is a parking lot located in the stadium area – in via Pietrasantina to be precise – with public transport service to the center and Piazza dei Miracoli open every day from 8.30 to 17.30 from 15 March to 14 October, and from 9 to 17 remaining months. But, rather, do you know what an exchanger parking is?
These are car parks usually (but some are also for campers or buses) completely free, which also provide a public transport service – buses, but sometimes also public bicycles – to the city center, since they are almost always in the areas peripherals. Also public transport is often free, but not in the case of this parking, where however a return ticket for the shuttle costs only … 1 euro!
There is a shuttle every 10/15 minutes to the center or, alternatively, you can opt for the bus line (to be precise, LAM red line) to Piazza dei Miracoli. Here it is also possible to park at tourist buses and campers, for which services such as water supply, public WC, bar and restaurant are provided. Campers and buses, however, must pay a daily fee of around 15 euros for campers and 40/60 euros for buses, depending on their length.

Parchegio Park and Ride

From the stadium parts, however, there are several free parking areas, just be sure to check that there are no specific road signs (street cleaning, time limitations or time disc).

Another parking is located in via Paparelli, also located outside the walls and completely free. You can park all week except Wednesday and Saturday, when the weekly market is held in the square.

From the parking lot you can easily reach both the center and Piazza dei Miracoli (about 1 km) on foot, but if you do not want to walk, you can take the E line of the shuttles or the bus to the central station of Pisa.

The parking capacity is 750 seats. The parking lot has water supply and public toilets, but the buses can not stop there. The third free parking is located in via Pratale, north of the city, also in the stadium area. This is also well served by public transport, so you have the choice between a pleasant walk or the convenience of the bus.


Paid parking spaces

The guarded parking in via Cammeo is just behind Piazza dei Miracoli. The day rate is 2 euros per hour (from 6.30 to 23.30) and the night rate is 1 euro per hour. Stop not allowed for campers.

Another parking is located in Via Vecchia Barbaricina, close to the previous one, and costs 1.50 euros per hour. There is another one, located on the other side of the city near the central station of Pisa (in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele) which was recently inaugurated; the cost is 2 euros per hour.


Parcheggio ZTL

PisaMover exchanger parking

From March 2017, there is a new opportunity to park in Pisa. Between the airport and Pisa Centrale station, along the stretch of the PisaMover shuttle there are now two new parking lots.

For those arriving in Pisa and then I have to go downtown (also in Piazza dei Miracoli), the car parks are located along the Aurelia from Via di Goletta near the exit of the highway FI-PI-LI. The cost of parking includes both 18 hours of parking and the cost of the ticket on the PisaMover shuttle round trip.

Sundays and holidays are cheaper, but the cost is definitely convenient. On the official website you will find a map and other information on subscriptions.

Paid parking along the road

There are many paid parking lots along the road (identifiable by the unmistakable blue stripes), the cost of which varies depending on the area (residents are reserved, of course, special rates). First of all, Pisa is divided into 3 areas: Pisa city, the Pisan coast and Marina di Vecchiano.

Pisa city is, in turn, divided into 7 areas and the cost of parking varies from 0.6 to 2 euros per hour. Parking on the coast, however, is free from September 15th to June 1st. During the remaining months, parking is subject to charges, especially during holidays and days before public holidays. The cost is 0.50 euros per hour and 4 euros for the whole day; Monthly and seasonal season tickets are also available.

Finally, Marina di Vecchiano: parking here costs 1.80 euros per hour, while the daily rate is 10 euros (not very cheap !!), with the exception of vehicles for the disabled or transporting disabled (which must show the appropriate authorization on the dashboard), vehicles for public rescue and surveillance, for which the stop is free. Parking along the road is usually paid in cash – with coins – at the relevant machines that issue the receipt to be shown on the dashboard.

Even the car parks in the structure or in the areas used are equipped with self-service machines, where you usually pay before leaving in cash, or with credit cards or prepaid (not always). The prepaid cards can be found at tobacconists or other affiliated shops that exhibit the related coupon.


Parchegio Pisamo

That said, I remind you that the parking lots along the road are usually charged only from 8 am to 8 pm, so if you are planning a night visit to the famous city of the Leaning Tower, maybe for a romantic dinner in one of its many famous typical restaurants, you will not have to pay any parking!

For more information on parking in Pisa and its province, take a look at www.pisamo.it; while, for a detailed map showing the dislocation of the car parks, visit http://www.pisamo.it/interno.php?id=7&lang=it

Good fun 🙂





Field of Miracles

Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa is considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO for almost 25 years. It is not in the center of the city as you might think, but it is situated north-west of the walls, almost outside the village; probably at the time when the project was realized there was not another space as big as it could be used. Since the time of the Etruscans Piazza dei Miracoli is considered an important religious center: the three complexes that compose it symbolize the main stages of the life of every man: the Baptistery the birth, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta the life and the Camposanto alludes clearly to death.

And the Tower of Pisa? We have not forgotten, you must know that the so-called and famous Leaning Tower is part of the Cathedral and actually represents the bell tower.

The square is surrounded by a beautiful green lawn where tourists and university students allow themselves moments of relaxation within a historic setting of rare beauty. The name Piazza dei Miracoli was attributed to him only after the war when Gabriele D’Annunzio in his work “Maybe yes, maybe not” 1910 quotes it: “The Ardea spun in the sky of Christ, on the lawn of the Miracles.”

The work for its construction began in the eleventh century and after several changes ended only in the nineteenth century, when the architect Alessandro Gherardesca gives the square its current appearance.


A bit of history

The square begins to take shape in 1064 when the fulcrum of the complex is realized: the Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. It represents the maximum expression of Pisan Romanesque influenced at the same time by different stylistic elements. At that time Pisa was a Maritime Republic (XI-XV), the sailors were traveling in the Arab world, being impressed by its beauty.

A few years later the expansion of the walls began (the church was initially not included) and the construction of the Baptistery (1152): it was placed in front of the Cathedral with a diameter equal to the façade of the latter. About 20 years later, work will also begin on the Campanile or the “Tower of Pisa” and in 1277 on those for the Campo Santo. Before the Florentine siege in the fifteenth century, we entered the square through the Porta del Leone, then closed by the Florentines who realized in its place Porta Santa Maria, current access route.
During the Medici-Loreto domination buildings were built around the 4 monuments, then demolished at the end of the nineteenth century thanks to the intervention of the architect Alessandro la Gherardesca who resized the square to give it the structure today.

The latest changes were implemented during the Fascist era: the monument Lupa di Roma was added on the lawn north of the bell tower and 17 cypresses east of the square in memory of the militants who died in the war.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

Emblem of the Pisan Romanesque style, designed by architect Buscheto in 1604, shows through its splendor the influence of different styles and cultures: Byzantine but above all Islamic components testify to the wealth and importance achieved by the Maritime Republic of Pisa at the time; the Pisan sailors during their travels in the Middle East and North Africa could admire beauties characteristic of different worlds impossible to ignore.

Pay attention to the columns inside the Duomo, they will certainly remind you of those typical of mosques!

Despite the fire of 1595 inside the Cathedral have been preserved works including:

– Apsidal mosaic with St. John the Evangelist (1302) by Cimabue – simply beautiful!

– The Pulpit (pictured here) or Pergamo masterpiece by Giovanni Pisano (1302-1310)

– Reliefs made by Gianbologna students

– Works by Beccafumi and Andrea del Sarto in the presbytery area.

The Baptistery

The works for the construction of the Baptistery, the largest in Italy, began in 1152 under the directives of the architect Diotislavi, the structure positioned in front of the Cathedral, was completely revisited by Nicola Pisano with his son Giovanni around the middle of the thirteenth century; the two modified it in Gothic style and added a loggia and a hemispherical dome.

At the center of the Baptistery is the Baptismal Font by Guido Bigarelli from Arogno, initially illuminated by a light coming from an opening on the ceiling, now covered by the Dome.

The Pulpit by Nicola Pisano (1255-1260) tells scenes of the Life of Christ on the 5 panels, while the columns represent the Virtues. We can clearly perceive a classical style in the work, not by chance Nicola Pisano is defined as a precursor of the Renaissance.

The Pisa’s tower

The beginning of the works for the Tower of Pisa dates back to 1173, its slope, a reason in part of its world fame, is due to the underlying territory not perpendicular and subject to continuous subsidence, the main cause of the interruptions of work during the different eras.

In 1275 the tower was enlarged with another 3 floors, while the bell cell was added in about 1350. 55 meters high, has a gradient of 5 ° to the south, to get up to the bell tower must climb 294 steps. The various floors have galleries and arches except the last where there are 7 bells. The tower was closed to the public from 1990 to 2001, due to stability problems.

The Camposanto

Campo Santo is an ancient monumental cemetery located north of Piazza dei Miracoli. Started in 1277 by the architect Giovanni di Simone, it has a rectangular structure with a cloister in gothic arches. As tradition tells us, the structure was built around a large amount of the Holy Land from the place where Jesus was crucified.

In the lawn in the center of the cloister there are many sarcophagi and tombs of Roman origin, used for the burial of men prestigious, while in the floor of the corridor we find tombs of Pisan nobles. Here you can admire many works of art such as: the Pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, the Lamp by Galileo Galilei, frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli, by Buonamico Buffalmacco with the famous “The Triumph of Death”, the Tabernacle by Della Robbia and more ..

The city offers as many splendid monuments, churches and museums to visit, but believe me Piazza dei Miracoli alone represents a reason to go to Pisa. The beauties preserved in the square are numerous, you will need an indoor day to discover them all, what are you waiting for?


Pise: la ville de la tour penchée

It is no coincidence that, in the distant 19th century, the name of Piazza dei Miracoli was chosen for this square of white splendor. Gabriele D’Annunzio, famous Italian writer and lover of the cult of aesthetics, succeeded in summarizing in this expression all the admiration and amazement that, for centuries now, raises this place.

Piazza dei Miracoli a Pisa

A leaning tower in the middle of a miraculous square

Piazza dei Miracoli, which owes its name to the expression coined by D’Annunzio, is notoriously known for the famous Leaning Tower, named for its characteristic inclination that makes it unique all over the world. In fact, the square also houses other monuments that are worthy of attention: the Cathedral, whose tower is the bell tower, the Baptistery and the Camposanto, of which the splendid whiteness – which stands out against the green of the lawn – is the common denominator. Coming from the station of San Rossore – the nearest and convenient to visit Piazza dei MIracoli, from which it is only 10 minutes walk – you reach the city walls that delimits the historic center of the city of Pisa and, crossing the minute entrance, what we find ourselves in front of it is one of those Stendhal syndrome shows: situated at the edge of a much wider view, with the road running along the right side, the square looks immovable and majestic, literally leaving you speechless. The sight of who crosses it from via Santa Maria – after passing through the historic center of Pisa and the famous lungarni – is certainly not less effective: just before the end, the road opens up almost unexpectedly on this miraculous square , whose sight can not leave indifferent even those who are now accustomed to it.


Lungarno pisano

The renovation works

What immediately attracts attention is without a doubt the leaning tower. More than 50 meters high, it owes its characteristic slope to a yielding of the ground already found at the time of construction, between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

The typical inclination, increased over the years, had reached such a level – 4.50 meters – that in 1990 it was decided to close it to the public for the concrete risk of collapse; therefore, the renovation and consolidation of the bell tower was begun, aimed at reducing its inclination and reinforcing its base which, according to experts, should guarantee its safety for at least three centuries. In 2001, therefore, the tower was reopened to the public, which can climb up to the top and look out from one of the many loggias that characterize it.

Today, however, the undisputed protagonist of the square appears even more vigorous and resplendent in the eyes of visitors … I studied in Pisa and, following the usual road that led me from the station to the Faculty of Languages ​​in Via Santa Maria, I was almost used to at the sight of this beauty, although it has never been able to pass you by mere indifference. After the university, I was – alas – quite a bit of time without returning and, when a few years ago I happened, with great pleasure, to get back to the square, I was almost … dazzled! In fact, once the reconsolidation works were completed in 2001, the restoration of both internal and external marble material began, to clean it up for centuries of smog, rain, sun and … prying eyes!

Nine long years the restoration of the seven architectural orders and of the belfry that make up the bell tower lasted, works that were performed at night to allow tourists to visit the tower during the usual opening hours.


Particolare della Torre di Pisa


Detail of the Tower of Pisa

Campana della torre di Pisa

Climbing the tower can be a sporting activity, if you think that 293 steps separate you from the top! The characteristic loggias with arches and columns, surmounted by the belfry, are in fact crossed inside by a spiral staircase that, obviously, is not equipped with a lift!

If you can help, know that from the top of the tower Galileo Galilei conducted his experiments on the gravity of the bodies, throwing them to see if the speed of fall could be related to the weight of the bodies. There is also a plaque in memory of the famous Pisan scientist and his experiments.


And if it were not the only leaning tower of Pisa?

And, since we are on the subject of pearls of knowledge, I also say that the Leaning Tower is not the only leaning tower of Pisa !! There are even two others competing with it, even if it is not really a game on equal terms! You must know that the nature of the city’s land – mostly sandy and clayey – causes frequent (to say!) Inclination, although not as visible as that of the tower.

Going along Via Santa Maria to the end, you will find the Church of San Nicola near the Lungarni, with the adjacent bell tower with a slight inclination of a few degrees. Going towards the Lungarno to the east of Pisa, on Viale delle Piagge there is the Church of San Michele degli Scalzi, whose bell tower is inclined by about 5 degrees.

However, looking out from one of the windows of the Tower of Pisa is an indescribable emotion, both for the view that offers on the roofs of the old maritime republic, and for the feelings that follow one another in a whirlwind of thoughts and jolts … especially who suffers at least a little dizziness!


Pisa in tutto il suo splendore

Opening hours and tickets

The tower is open all year round, with different times depending on the season (from April to September it is open until 20/21 with special night openings until 10 pm).

You can book guided and group tours – up to a maximum of 40 people. Children under the age of 8 can not enter for security reasons, while those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

There are no price changes according to age. By purchasing the tickets online you will have direct access to the tower, avoiding long queues. Online tickets can be purchased from 20 days up to 1 day before the date of the visit.


Credits: Discovery Tuscany