By Jade Johnston
This week on Boots n All the indie travel prompt was “Travel in Italy.” Despite all the places I have been in Italy, one stands out as my easy favourite.
But why Pisa? Most people don’t even spend more than a few hours in this small town, instead opting to stay in near by Florence. However, I would argue that for the indie traveller, there is a lot to be discovered by spending a few days in Pisa.
Pisa is a university town, which means there are plenty of opportunities to meet local people through couch surfing and other social websites. In fact, while I was in Pisa, I had one of my most positive couch surfing experiences to date. I stayed in a flat with a couple other university students on the outskirts of Pisa. On my first night in Pisa I was invited along to a party full of students where the sangria was being served in 5 gallon pails…. in pails! They introduced me to their friends, and we are still in touch today.
If you are not keen on couch surfing, then you are in luck. Accommodation in Pisa is very affordable. With hostels stating as low as $10 USD per night, how can you go wrong? Also, due to it mostly being visited by day trippers from Florence, you can expect to find more availability here than in other near by towns. Also, Pisa is a very small town, so no matter where you chose to spend the night, you will not be too far from the centre of town.
Yeah… you know what I’m talking about here. None other than the leaning tower of Pisa. The tower’s shallow foundations, faulty design, and situation on unstable ground all contributed to it’s almost immediate sinking. But the tower isn’t the only thing that’s leaning… the cathedral and other buildings on the grounds are also on a slight lean. Now, if you are a fan of stereotypical tourist photos, then you have come to the right place. At any given moment there will be a dozen tourists all pulling the same “holding up the tower” pose at different locations.
Escape the Crowds
If you want a little piece and quiet in Pisa, all you have to do is move away from the leaning tower by a few hundred metres. Suddenly you will be back in a sleepy little Italian town and can enjoy getting lost and wandering the cobbled streets. An even better leaning tower experience is at night, when all the day trippers have gone back to Florence. I sat with my new friends in the square, gelato in hand, as we chatted and gazed at this iconic building – without another soul to be seen anywhere near us.
Despite how touristy the leaning tower is, I found that it still managed to take my breath away. I immediately fell in love with the tower, despite other famous towers not quite holding my interest. (I’m looking at you, Paris)
This post is part of the Indie Travel blogging challenge – topic - travels in Italy