After not being able to fly to Italy last year with my passport stolen a week before, I was soooo excited about this trip! I’ve wanted to go to Italy for quite some time, but somehow I’ve visited almost every other European country except this one…
Luckily I (once again) scored some cheap tickets from Ryanair and it was off to Italy! Pisa, Florence and Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera, to be exact!
The weirdest thing in Pisa happened when we were looking for our hostel. We reserved at a place called “Backpackers Pisa” and when we got to the address, it turned out to be a completely different hostel called “Brandi’s House” with no other hostel in sight. The place had no receptionist desk, but rather the owner who kind of popped in and out. He also didn’t have a computer or anything to look up our info, but rather asked if we had our reservation printout (we did), and charged us the amount stated on the printout, as well as writing “Backpackers” above the name of the hostel stated on his receipt slip…as if to reassure us that we did stay at the right hostel.
Even now that we’re back from Italy we’re still not sure if we ever stayed at the right hostel. I guess that will remain an unsolved mystery!
Because Pisa was only an hour by bus to Florence and about an hour by train to Cinque Terre, we ended up staying in Pisa every night, and visited the other places as day trips. To be honest, I found Pisa to be a bit run-down looking…some parts of the city could’ve easily been somewhere in Eastern Europe. But then again, I also found Pisa charming in other ways, like the small streets, the friendliness of the people, and how at night, everyone seems to stand outside on the streets and drink, rather than going into a bar or club. I don’t think I even saw any clubs!
While the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a big tourist attraction, there weren’t many tourists in the other parts of the city, which made walking through Pisa a pretty authentic Italian experience.
The tower (as the locals call it) actually wasn’t right in the city centre as most people would expect but instead on the other side of the city. In the train station, we even overheard some Americans complaining that they had to leave Pisa and never found the tower!
While it’s on the other side of the city, it is still walkable. In fact the whole city is so walkable, that we walked from the airport to the city centre in about 20 mins! (You just have to beware of sprinklers).
Once we had found the tower of course we had to take some touristy photos of it… (I’ll let you guys decide which one you like best)
And of course we had to eat as much Italian food as we could having arrived in Italy!
Randomly we also discovered this Indian snack called aloo chop and we couldn’t stop eating that (but no photos will be posted of that since it’s not very fitting in this post about Italy).
Have you guys been to Pisa? What did you like best about the city?