A mere week ago we announced that we had plane and train tickets to spend spring break in Milan and Florence. We had spent several hours comparing flights and hostels before settling on this city combination over other options like Rome or Rome/Florence.
During a late night, early morning epiphany while browsing through the delightful travel blogs that grace the internet I realized that we were going Italy and we weren't going to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa! How this fact managed to escape me for so long is unknown because it is definitely one of the iconic Italian destinations.
I immediately needed to see if this problem could be rectified without completely trashing the planning we'd done so far as those plane and train tickets would be a pain in the rear to try and change without paying out some fees.
Thankfully, Google Maps taught me that Pisa is quite close to Florence and the Italian Train Service reservation system sells the train tickets from Florence to Pisa for a mere $17 for both of us. For a price that low, how can we NOT go to Pisa for an afternoon?
The distance between Florence and Pisa is only about 85 km, which is only about 50 miles.
The train ride to Pisa is about 90 minutes each way, which is short enough to enjoy the Italian countryside without feeling like we've been traveling for hours on end.
My next concern was that getting to the tower, which is actually the bell tower for the Pisa Cathedral, from the train station would be too long to walk. Taxis in Italy are apparently expensive so we won't be relying on them as a way to get around. Thankfully, it's only a 10 minute walk from the train station, which is absolutely perfect.
The cathedral and the baptistery have small entry fees but that won't make much of a dent in our travel budget.
We still need to decide if we want to take a guided tour that lets you climb up to the seventh floor or if the 17 Euro ($22) price tag for each ticket might make this an expensive disappointment like when we went to the top of the Cairo Tower in Egypt.
If we decide to go, we'll probably heed the advice of Why Go Italy and buy our tickets in advance online, so that we don't have to waste time standing in line for tickets. Apparently the lines can be atrocious during the summer season, but since we're going in early April I have no idea what the crowds will be like.
Moral of the story, travel plans are never set is stone and having the flexibility to change them can mean great rewards when you add another awesome destination.
Anyone have an opinion on climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Is this something we can't miss?
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