Are you dreaming of spending the miserable winter months in romantic and vibrant Italy? It’s the ideal time to see everything that this beautiful country has to offer, without the crowds. And whether you rent a holiday home or mobile home with low ground rent, there’s so much to see you may want to move in all year round.
Another advantage of off-season Italy is the opportunity to really explore some of its iconic places. Take Pisa – there’s so much more to this beautiful town and area than just the tower. So whether you visit in winter or at any other time of year, here are the unmissable attractions that aren’t the fairytale leaning tower!
Explore the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta
In fact, the famous leaning tower is really the bell tower of the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This visually stunning basilica is built from the local white marble and has a fairytale facade with unmissable bronze doors. The Porta di San Ranieri is embellished with scenes from the life of Christ and is just unmissable.
Standing a little further away is the baptistry with its distinctive red-tiled onion dome which stands on a series of pillars and columns. Inside, the acoustics are extraordinary and the font with its portraits of the saints is a must see.
Enjoy the world-class museums
You might be considering the off season in Spain or Portugal but Pisa is incredibly easy to get to and lies at the heart of the incredible region of Tuscany. Packed with cultural treasures, the Cathedral Museum and the National Museum are both world class. You’ll instantly recognise the bust of Julius Caesar as the most common depiction of the Roman emperor.
The National Museum may not quite beat the Louvre in Paris, France but it has some exquisite illuminated manuscripts dating back to the 12th century. And both museums have astounding views over the town and the leaning tower.
See the real Pisa
At night Pisa is all about the many beautiful palazzos and the riverside walk to the south of town. Grab a gelato and join the crowds taking in sights like the old arsenal at the Torre Guelfa and the Piazza dei Cavalieri, home to Italy’s top university.
You won’t want to miss the best restaurants, either. Seafood is often the dish of the day thanks to Pisa’s coastal roots. That means spanking fresh seafood like oysters and crustaceans. For something more earthy, this region also boasts some wonderful game dishes.
Caravans flock here in the summer and no wonder – the banks of the Arno river become one big outdoor party with microbrewery beers, cocktails and a fabulous aperitivo buffet, while DJs spin banging tunes and bars stay open until 3am. Not your scene? Then opt for a trip to the walled town of Lucca or the majesty of Florence. Or escape to the coast at Viareggio to enjoy some of Italy’s very best beaches.
Head to Italy
Don’t follow the crowds to Portugal and France. Head for Italy in any season and there’s so much to explore, especially when you look beyond the tourist attractions to the real Italy. There’s so much more to Pisa than the leaning tower and any time is the best time to enjoy it!