When I came back from Nepal I wanted to escape from the ‘sunshine’ England. I did not plan any journey that soon but I made the decision in the heat of the moment. The tickets to Italy have been bought.
I have landed in Pisa in the afternoon. I got to the railway station by PisaMover bus for 1.3 euro. My hostel Station Closest is located 10 minutes from the bus stop. It was a district of one-family houses. The price was 7 pounds per night plus visitors’ tax about 2 euros. Two big dormitories, two big rooms for two people and only two bathrooms for 30 beds. There was no kitchen, no any dining room or even the kettle to make a tea. I admit that I did not expect such a low standard.
The next thing that surprised me was very low level of English of the hostel’s owner. I know that not everyone should know English but I think if you own such an international business it would be nice at least know some basics words/phrases. That time I was happy that there is also body language :D.
Now to the point. I left all my belongings and luggage and about 4 p.m I went sightseeing. The path from the hostel to the city centre leads along the railway station and it is very simple and lasts about 15-20 minutes. I have chosen the direction to the Campo dei Miracoli (The Leaning Tower, Baptistery and the Cathedral). On account of the late time I just walked around the square leaving the rest of my plans for tomorrow.
The Leaning Tower
In the morning I have seen the crowds next to the tower but it did not ruin my mood. At the cash desk I bought 7 euro entry ticket to the Baptistery and the Campostanto Cemetery – the less mobbed place. You can enter the Cathedral using the same ticket as the one bought to enter the Baptistery.
I was not tempted to explore the exteriors of the Leaning Tower. The cost was about 22.15 euros for 30 minutes, what is more you had to stand in a long queue and it was not a good option for me. If you would like to save some time it is possible to buy the ticket online.
I have spent 4 hours for walking, taking pictures and resting. I was not rushing myself. I think if I would also went to see the Leaning Tower it would be one hour longer.
Except the ‘Piazza dei Miracoli’ there is no much to be seen (my personal feeling). I have seen Piazza dei Cavalieri, I walked along the narrow streets that were very pretty but have not impressed me.
I need to admit that I have not prepared myself in a good way to this trip. This is why I was reading some more information in the Internet about what can be yet seen in the neighborhood. I decided to go to Florence by train as the station was not far away :).
The trains to Florence departure 3 times per hour. The ticket costs 8 euro, the approximate time of the journey is 1 h 15 min, the target station Firenze Santa Maria Novella.
The city is very beautiful with many monuments. The sightseeing was very pleasant. The Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Campanile, The Baptistery, The Basilica of Saint Maria Novella, The Basilica of San Lorenzo, The Basilica Santa Croce, Pittit Palace, The Ponte Vacchio bridge.
All of the mentioned places are worth to be seen. I would add some more places to this list: the Fortezza Da Basso, the Piazzale Michaelangiolo, the Pallazo Vecchio or Gardino di Boboli. One day is definitely not enough. Longer staying is advisable but due to the lack of time I was not able to do this. I would advise you to take comfortable shoes and improve your condition before the trip. The sightseeing is nice but walking all day can give you a hard time. The way back to Pisa was completed with no issues and as fast as it was to the first way.
In the evening the Internet suggested me to visit Lucci and Viareggio.
The ticket to Lucci was 3.40 euro, the time of the journey 30 minutes. The place is very calm and there is no many tourists. The old town is surrounded by the fortifications, preserved in a good condition. The walk along the path 4km length on the fortifications’ walls it’s simply a pleasure :).
The streets in the city centre are quite narrow, the town houses are high and that caused some difficulties to find the some points on the map. I was not also able to find some of them in the terrain as they were not visible.
I was walking around the centre and I have also tried the local deliciousness from the supermarket and I came back to the station the same way that I come here – on the fortifications’ walls. When I wanted to come down I decided to ask for some help to confirm where exactly I was. The passer-by did not know English and I do not know Italian but the same way as I did in the hostel somehow he helped me. Sometimes your hands may hurt because of ‘talking’ :).
At the station I got the train to Viareggio. The cost 3.40 euro, the time 20-27 minutes. The destination was the sea. I was following the crowd. I was totally uninformed and I did not know that you need to pay to enter the beach. Next to the port there is a little free of charge piece of land. It was so small and I did not have any desire looking for it. I was doing the same things as Italian teenagers and I went to some resort. There were separated terrain with sunbeds and umbrellas.
At 1 o clock p.m. most of the place was already taken. Luckily I was able to but one place for 15 euros. Despite that I was alone I had to pay for an umbrella of two people. I was not happy but being here and not using the sunshine weather was just stupid. After few hours I was so happy that I had this big umbrella and some shadow. In other case it could finish the same as it was in Nepal. It was very nice laying on the sandy beach after the ‘difficulties’ of the trip. I was swimming in the sea and I was as red as tomato. Everything what is nice in our lives ends fast too. The time to come back has come. The back ticket to Pisa was 3.40 euro, the time of the travel 20-26 minutes.
At the hostel it was not anything more than preparing myself to the flight back. It is good that I was not coming back to England yet :).