June 12, 2009


Filed under: — @ 12:38 am

For many travelers, Pisa is a two-hour (at best) stop over en route from one Italian city to another. This is mainly because all most people want to do is take one of those crazy pictures of themselves “holding up” the famous leaning tower, and then move on to other things. But much of the bad rap Pisa gets is precisely because people only spend two hours there. Stay the night in one of the cheap hotels in Pisa and you will see an entirely different side of the city.

As you might expect, lodging that is very close to the leaning tower is going to cost you a bit more than some of the cheap hotels in Pisa which are located a bit further from the main square. Still, if you are in the city center you will be able to walk to the main sights with no trouble – and you will have a bit quieter Pisa experience as well because your hotel will not always be surrounded by day-trippers. You may also want to steer clear of hotels near the university, as that may contribute to noise levels as well.

Obviously, the main attraction in Pisa is the cathedral’s world-famous off-kilter bell tower, but this city warrants more than a short stopover if you have the time to spend in places other than Florence and Rome. The cathedral right next to the tower is beautiful both inside and out, and the baptistery is said to be the largest in Christendom. There are other notable churches in Pisa, in addition to nice museums and the city’s important university. Plus, you will catch a bit of the unexpected when you see Keith Haring’s last mural on a convent wall.

Some of the cheap hotels in Pisa you should check out for your trip are Hotel Francesco (in the city center, down the street from the leaning tower, double glazed windows for sound proofing, all rooms en-suite, free internet access, private terrace with views of tower, on-site restaurant, airport transfer available), Airone Pisa Park Hotel (2km from city center, countryside setting between Pisa and Lucca, outdoor swimming pool, all rooms en suite, free WiFi and internet access, free parking, breakfast available for a fee), Hotel Leonardo (500 meters from leaning tower, free continental breakfast, family-run hotel), Relais dell’Ussero (in the historic city center, B&B located in the 15th century Palazzo Agostini & above the famous Caffe dell’Ussero, free breakfast is served in the Caffe, laundry services available), and Hotel Athena Pisa (in the historic city center, 300 meters from leaning tower, walking distance from most sights, 15 rooms, all rooms en-suite, breakfast available for a fee, website in Italian only).

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