How are Pisa & Porcupines Connected?

I know - really cheesy . . .

I know – really cheesy . . .

Pisa is about a lot more than the iconic Leaning Tower, but that’s why we came. It is a beautiful city on the Arno, very similar in appearance to its neighboring Florence. Every Piazza and building seems to be steeped in Renaissance history. Portions of the original town walls are still in place and many of the streets are lined with the famous “umbrella” pines for which the area is known.
Once again, we took the train. We had some difficulty finding a cab to take us to the station, there were crowds of people in the area. We ended up sprinting to jump on the train, without validating our tickets (a huge no-no). The train was packed and there were no seats, so for the first time since college, I stood between cars. Fortunately, it’s only about 15 minutes from Livorno to Pisa. And, the travel gods were watching over us since the conductor never got to us to punch our tickets, so we escaped the consequences of not validating our tickets (which is supposedly a hefty fine).
It seemed like half the people in Italy must be visiting Pisa today (a Tuesday in October?), taxis were scarce. We had the option of the public bus, but decided to take the local Hop-on (15 euros), 10 minutes to the Tower, and pick it up an hour later for the remaining 50-minute tour back to the train station. It worked out well and gave us a nice bit of history along the way.
Oh, about those porcupines, it seems they were hunted and eaten as part of the local Tuscan diet; I’m glad that delicacy never caught on.
Some Tips:
Train fare to and from Livorno is 5 euros each way and trains run every hour (towards Pisa at 12 after the hour; returning to Livorno at 28 after the hour). From the Pisa train station take public LAM Rossa (approx. 2 euros), to get you to the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) where the Duomo and Leaning Tower are located.
The Hop-on bus leaves every hour on the hour from the train station. It also goes to the nearby airport. Be flexible – the headsets are a bit problematic, and the route/schedule is just slightly off, but it was worthwhile.

Along the Arno in Pisa.

Along the Arno in Pisa.

About KFBuchsbaum

A lover of words, learning something new every day, exploring new places, and meeting people from different cultures is what feeds my spirit. One significant thing I learned from my years in market research is that time away from an experience dilutes the memories.  You lose the highs and lows and end up with middle-of-the-road impressions.  The reason I started to blog, was to capture experiences real-time, in the moment.  I hope my moments help you relive some of your own great adventures or maybe plan some new.

Posted on October 8, 2014, in Cruising, Europe, Italy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. We’ve stayed in St Paul de Vence as well. Gorgeous town…See you soon. Kate


  2. Glad to see you are enjoying beautiful weather and the shot are beautiful Sun trying to come out here! xXOOO, Bette


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