in the middle
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Pisa is a world-famous city thanks to its wonky landmark, the mind-boggling Leaning Tower of Pisa. As a university city, Pisa is also home to a bulging student population and plenty of bars and restaurants. More than a 'one hit wonder', this Tuscan city is a great place to visit to immerse yourself in Italian culture and history.
Pisa is a travel destination that can be enjoyed year-round, so avoid the hordes of tourists and visit in spring rather than summer. The city is also often a stopover to other nearby destinations in the Tuscan region. By visiting in spring, you can make the most of the mild weather and lack of queues as you explore the art galleries of Florence (a visit to Michelangelo's David is a must), the classic beauty of Lucca and the famous vineyards of the Il Chianti region.
A flight to Pisa is two to three hours long for a traveller from the UK. You'll arrive in Galileo Galilei Airport, which is Tuscany's largest airport. The airport is just over half a mile from the centre of town, so travelling onwards to Pisa takes no time at all.
If you book car hire from Pisa Airport then you will be able to take advantage of the ample parking in and around the town, with many of the fringe car parks regularly serviced by shuttle buses that will whisk you in to see the sights. A combination of car and bus is the best way to get around, although taxis are also on hand if you do not mind spending a little more.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the city's most popular tourist attraction but you will also enjoy the Piazza dei Miracoli, which benefits from an abundance of greenery that will strike some as surprising in a place that is so dedicated to ornate masonry. When the weight of history gets too much there are plenty of bars and restaurants to help you relax.
The region is also home to monthly antique markets; Lucca, Arezzo and Florence each have an antique market located in their main piazza. This is a great way to enjoy a low-key morning and perhaps pick up a unique souvenir! Tuscany is also a great place to experience Easter. Even if you are not religious, you may find acting as a spectator to the ceremonies and later celebrations an enjoyable and interesting experience. The 'Burst of the Carriage' involves a carriage containing fireworks being lit and exploded! The nearby village of Grassina participates in a re-enactment of passages from the Bible on Good Friday; villagers dress up in olden garb to look the part.