When to fly
Pisa has a warm Mediterranean climate, with mostly pleasant temperatures throughout the year. The cheapest flights can be found outside the busy summer months of June, July, August.
The summer months are typically the warmest and driest months, with temperatures in the 20s. This is the busiest period for Pisa, when tourists flock to the city to enjoy the warm sunshine and of course visit the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa. If you’re not a fan of big crowds then this is probably the time to avoid. Visiting in June can allow you to experience the magnificent spectacle of the Luminara di San Ranieri. This event sees around 70,000 wax candles illuminate many of Pisa’s most well-known and historic buildings and structures across the city. Also taking place in June is one of Pisa’s largest traditional events, the Gioco del Ponte. Teams of people, from both the north and south banks of the Arno River, re-enact a medieval contest, complete with costumes from the era.
December through to February is the coolest time of year, with average high temperatures of around 11-12 degrees Celsius and average low temperatures of around 2-3 degrees. There is also more rainfall during these months. This is Pisa’s low season, therefore you may be able to find better hotel rates and cheap flights. However, the popular Christmas and New Year periods can see prices rise.
If you’re looking for better flight and accommodation deals than in the summer but don’t want to compromise too much with the weather then perhaps the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons. These are March through May and September through November. The weather is often still warm and prices are lower. If you plan on booking in these months you should take note that these are the periods with the most rainfall throughout the year, so make sure you pack accordingly.
Once one of Italy’s most powerful and prosperous maritime republics, Pisa boasts breathtaking medieval architecture and is surrounded by some of the nation’s most beautiful countryside. Book a flight and visit this charming and historic city in the Tuscany region which is the birthplace of Galileo Galilei, sometimes called the “father of modern science”, as well as pioneering Middle Ages mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci, and hosts one of the world’s most notable landmarks, the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The famous tower is only one of many marvels available in Pisa. Indeed, the entirety of the city’s Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. The city also has more than 20 historic churches, numerous palaces, and other sites of interest spread across its central area. The largest building in the square is the beautiful Romanesque-style cathedral containing Byzantine mosaics and the Pisa Griffin. The Piazza del Duomo is also home to one of the most beautiful walled cemeteries in the world, the Campo Santo.
Modern Pisa is a bustling university city, home to the University of Pisa, founded in the 14th century, and has a student population of more than 50,000. Much of the city’s nightlife caters for and is supported by the students, who congregate in the bars and clubs of the riverside Lungarno area or the streets surrounding Piazza Garibaldi.
When eating out, avoid places near the tower and instead head to more central areas like the Piazza delle Vettovaglie or Via San Martino, where food is more reasonably priced and of higher quality. Make sure you try some biscotti; delicious biscuits that are sold all over the city.
Getting around Pisa
Pisa is fairly small, and most attractions are close enough to walk to. The local bus service, Compagnia Pisana Trasporti (CPT), runs between the airport, central station and other popular locations.
Getting from the airport to the city
Pisa International Airport (PSA) is also known as Pisa-San Giusto Airport and is located in the San Giusto district, just about half a mile (1 km) south of Pisa’s city centre.
Pisa insider information
- The Cathedral of Pisa is located near the Leaning Tower in the Cathedral Square, which is also known as the Piazza del Duomo. Construction of the cathedral began in 1064 and it is a pre-eminent example of Pisan Romanesque architecture.
- The famed Leaning Tower in Piazza del Duomo isn't Pisa's only historic building at a slant: the bell towers of San Nicola Church and the Church of San Michele of Scalzi do not stand entirely upright either. Pisa's most famous slanted tower leans due to its insufficient foundation as well as the weakness of subsoil beneath, and the San Michele tower owes its tilt to subsidence, whereas the base of San Nicola's octagonal bell tower is actually located under the modern day streets.
- The Luminara of San Ranieri festival, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, should not be missed if visiting in June. Every year on the evening of June 16 (San Ranieri’s Eve), riverside buildings are decorated with candles, whose glowing reflections flicker pleasantly on the surface of the Arno. The evening concludes with a midnight firework display over the citadel and nearby bridge.
- Pisa’s Botanical Gardens, belonging to the University of Pisa, is said to be one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. It was established in 1543 by Luca Ghini, and is open to the public Monday through Saturday. There is a small admission fee.
- Pisa’s Romanesque Baptistery, dedicated to St John the Baptist, dates back to the 12th century and is the largest baptistery in Italy, with a circumference of a 341 feet (104 m). The baptistery is known for its perfect acoustics. Arrive early in the day (to avoid crowds) and test it out for yourself.