Essential Pisa

Tour Creator

Oliver is a Cambridge-based writer and archaeologist. Completing a BA in Archaeology, he continued to postgraduate research specialising in Early Iron Age architecture. He has excavated in Greece and led…Read More Bio »



Remote Tour Included



Most famous for the iconic leaning tower, Pisa has so much more to offer than just its teetering cathedral belltower. The brilliant cathedral itself is a shining example of Italian Gothic architecture, alongside the marvelous baptistery, the largest ever built in Italy. And that is before we consider the once glittering frescoes of the Camposanto and the countless other elegant churches and palaces dotted across this fine city. Starting at the leaning tower, on our tour, we will discover all of the above, slowly making our way to the River Arno, the lifeblood of this once powerful Medieval Maritime Republic.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Expert-created Tour

Written by a Cambridge-based archaeologist, whose postgraduate (MRes) research has been devoted to Early Iron Age architecture

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Baptistery, The Borgo Stretto

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home


Essential Pisa

  1. The Leaning Tower of Pisa - There is no better place to start than at Pisa’s iconic leaning tower, as we discover how the quirk of its tilt came about, which has led to this otherwise elegant tower becoming a world-famous sight.
  2. The Camposanto Monumentale - The frescoes of the Camposanto were once so extensive that Ruskin described this remarkable cemetery as one of the three most precious buildings in Italy.
  3. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary - Whilst the cathedral’s leaning campanile receives the most attention, the Cathedral itself is a marvel of medieval architecture.
  4. The Baptistery - This is the largest baptistery in Italy and one of the most beautiful, with sculptures by the brilliant father and son team of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano.
  5. Museo delle Sinopie - This dedicated space for the remarkable sketches uncovered from the Camposanto is without doubt, the best museum in the city.
  6. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo - Showcasing some of the best sculpture and art mentioned on the tour thus far, this newly refurbished museum is well worth a visit.
  7. Palazzo Oralogio - Undoubtedly the most fascinating building in the town centre, not least for the popular tale of Count Ugolino and his gruesome demise.
  8. Piazza dei Cavalleri - The finest square in the centre of town, we will explore the other elegant palaces and frontages that were added by Cosimo I de’ Medici, after Florence defeated Pisa in 1509.
  9. The Borgo Stretto and the Piazza delle Vettovaglie - The vibrant area of the Borgo Stretto, or, ‘narrow village’, holds within it a fascinating array of tiny churches and medieval palaces.
  10. Chiesa di San Michele in Borgo - The small church of San Michele in Borgo is well worth visiting, if not as perhaps the finest example of the typical Pisan Gothic architecture we encountered at the Field of Miracles earlier in the tour.
  11. Ponte di Mezzo - Our final stop, the charming ‘middle bridge’ offers the best views of the River Arno and it’s elegantly sweeping houses and palaces that line the banks.

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