Epic Day Trips from Pisa to Tuscany Region


Pisa is one of the top destinations in Italy and has a very big international Airport. But, what else can you see near Pisa without spending much time on the road?

Pisa is within the Tuscany region. Tuscany is always very popular for summer destinations. By all means, it is one of the most beautiful areas in Italy because of many hilltop towns such as San Gimignano, cypress-lined trees, wineries, and arts. There is not only enough sunshine throughout a year, but also beautiful sandy beaches along the Italian coast. Therefore, there are many things to do in the region. In fact, some places are even less known.

The following day trips from Pisa to Tuscany region can be your reference. I managed to see nine places during my 9-day summer trip to Tuscany. There are all within 90 minutes of traveling time from Pisa. And, some have trains and buses connections. Therefore, I will share those day trips from Pisa with you and you can use for your planning to the region.

Related post: Tuscany, a 9-Day Itinerary for the Summer Visiting

Day trips from Pisa

Here is the list of my suggested day trips from Pisa. Each of these destinations has its unique features.

  • Lucca features music festival and Comics & Games event.
  • Pietrasanta is a place for contemporary arts.
  • Carrara has a rich marble history, marble culture, and many marble products.
  • Monteriggioni has well-protected medieval walls and is famous for its medieval festivals.
  • Siena is the heart of Tuscany with unique medieval brick buildings.
  • Castellina in Chianti has local products such as wines and offers wine tasting tours,
  • Volterra is the city of alabaster dated back to its Etruscan era.
  • Serravalle Pistoiese is an underrated pretty town between Lucca and Florence
  • San Gimignano is a medieval walled town with 14 monumental towers.
  • Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance with many art galleries and museums.

Lucca

Lucca is one of the charming cities in Tuscany. Located on a plain at the foot of the Apuan Alp, the city is very easy to reach either by cars or by trains from Pisa and Florence. It doesn’t attract so many tourists like the other cities, for example, Florence does. But, it has many interesting facts that the other cities do not have. The music festival, churches, the street on the city wall, local food events etc. are the major attractions. It is also the birthplace of the famous Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini.

  • Music festival
  • Streets and squares
  • The Clock Tower and the Guinigi Tower
  • Cycling on the medieval walls
  • Casa di Puccini, the birthplace of Puccini
  • Numerous Churches such as Church “San Cristoforo”
  • The Comics & Games event

Related post: Lucca, a City Encircling by Well-preserved Renaissance Walls

Pietrasanta

Pietrasanta lies a few kilometres away from Forte dei Marmi, the Ligurian beach area. It was founded in 1255 by Guiscardo da Pietrasanta, the leader of Lucca, and was the ancient capital of the Medici headquarters in Versilia. In fact, Pietrasanta is a destination for art enthusiasts, both classic and contemporary.

  • The Cathedral of San Martino
  • The Bell Tower with a helical staircase inside
  • Sant’Agostino with marble features
  • Baptistery of Pietrasanta
  • Palazzo Moroni
  • Streets of art galleries and boutiques
  • Bozzetti Museum, an interesting museum dedicated to marble sculpture
  • Church of St. Abate or Mercy
  • Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate, a church frequent by the locals
  • Sketches Museum Pierluigi Gherardi

Related post: Pietrasanta, an Italian Town of Classic and Contemporary Arts

Carrara

Carrara is a city famous for its world finest white or blue-grey marble. The pristine stone has been extracted from the quarries since Roman times. Carrara is entirely built of marble, houses, palaces, churches, street types of furniture, portals, windows, and staircases. The most interesting thing to do is to drive the marble route and experience the scenes in “007 Quantum of Solace”. By joining the Carrara Marble Tour you will have a great view of the Apuan Alps and discover the history of the production and manufacturing of the white flawless marble. I have a post about the marble route.

  • Strolled the streets of Carrara was just how colorful the town
  • run into something made of marble, benches, statues, sculptures, pavement, fountains – and of course the main cathedral.
  • I Salotti (Palazzo del Medico) ‘Tailoring meets Tea & Art”, Piazza Alberica 5, Carrara.
  • Driving along the marble route
  • Marble Duomo Cathedral, 12th century, Piazza Duomo, 54033 Carrara, Italy
  • Palazzo Cybo-Malaspina, Via Roma, 1, Carrara, Italy (panoramic views of the city and landscape can be seen here)
  • Museo del Marmolocalita S.Francesco | via canal del Rio, 54033 Carrara, Italy
  • People watching in Piazza Alberica
  • Tasting the local specialty Lard
  • Visiting Colonnata, a town for marble diggers

Related post: Carrara’s Marble Route, Where “007 Quantum of Solace” Most Memorable Scenes Shot

Monteriggioni

Nestled in the province of Siena, Monteriggioni represents one of the most important walled castles in the territory. It has an incredibly well-preserved structure. Its circular layout of the walls was built simply following the sketch of the ground’s curves. It’s the typical fortified village that started its life as a castle since the beginning of 1200.

  • Church of Santa Maria Assunta
  • Monteriggioni in Arme
  • Walk along the intact walls
  • Monteriggioni Medieval festival

Related post: Monteriggioni, a Medieval Walled Town on a natural Hillock

Siena

Siena is located in the heart of Tuscany. Its unique medieval brick buildings make the city distinguished among other Tuscany cities. The Gothic town hall, the shell-shaped central square Piazza del Campo, Torre del Mangia, and many other buildings are very impressive. Enclosed by the city walls and gates, these buildings form a medieval old town centre.,

  • Capella della Madonna del Rosario
  • Palazzo del Capitano
  • Siena Duomo Complex
  • Siena Baptistery of San Giovanni
  • Museo dell’Opera
  • Piazza del Campo
  • Fonte Gaia, the engineering miracle of Siena
  • Torre del Mangia
  • Walk the city walls and stroll around the back street behind the squares
  • Palio, the Horse Race in Siena

Related post: Siena, A Visit to the Heart of Tuscany

Castellina in Chianti

Castellina in Chianti is one of the most important ancient towns between Florence and Siena. It is in the heart of Chianti vineyards.  Between the valleys of the Arbia, Pesa and Elsa rivers,  this small town is considered the capital of Chianti.

  • Via delle Volte
  • Church of San Salvatore
  • Taste a glass of wine at enoteca (wine bar)
  • The fortress of Castellina in Chianti
  • Museo Archeologico di Chianti Senese

Related post: Castellina in Chianti, A hidden Gem in the Chianti Region

Volterra

Volterra is a charming medieval hilltop town situated in the province of Pisa. It is also not far from Florence, Siena and the coast as well. Being the city of alabaster, it houses an Alabaster Museum, the eco-museum of Albaster, which is a charming place displaying over 300 works of art in alabaster stone. Apart from that, It is well known for its Etruscan origins as well.

  • Visit Piazza dei Priori
  • Chiesa di San Lino, its rich paintings on the ceiling
  • Visit the Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta) and Baptistery
  • The Guarnacci Etruscan Museum
  • The Etruscan Walls and Gates
  • Roam around the Etruscan Acropolis
  • Medicean Fortress and Porta a Selci
  • Admire the Roman Amphitheater and its Archaeological Area
  • The Pinacoteca – Art Gallery
  • Discovering Alabaster stone and its Ecomuseum
  • Participate in the main food events in Volterra, the showcases of local produce such as cheese, white truffles, olive oil, and chocolate.

Serravalle Pistoiese

Serravalle Pistoiese is located next to the major road which links Lucca and Florence. Therefore, its is a nice day trip destination from both cities as well as from  Pisa. You can also combine the visit with Lucca. It is a small comune and many of you might have never heard of it. However, it has many interesting monuments, some churches, towers, and the medieval castle Rocca Nuova. Actually, it is a very good location to explore the surrounding.

  • Pieve di Santo Stefano
  • San Michele Arcangelo’s church
  • The Rocca Nuova fortress
  • an Informative tourist office

Related post: Serravalle Pistoiese, a Beautiful Tuscany Hilltop Village Between Lucca and Florence

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a charming walled hilltop town. It is about halfway between Florence and Siena. San Gimignano is famous for its fascinating medieval architecture and towers that rise above all the other buildings. These towers offer an impressive view of the city from the surrounding valley.

  • Movie sets in San Gimignano
  • Two main squares, Piazza Duomo, the triangular Piazza della Cisterna
  • The Museum of Sacred Art
  • The Museo della Tortura di San Gimignano, a torture museum displaying grim medieval instruments of torture
  • Museo del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a museum with exhibits on the town’s signature white wine
  • Ornithological Museum, an ornithological collection of great historical and naturalistic interest which dates back to the second half of 19C AD
  • 14 Tower, the monuments of San Gimignano
  • Local products, from typical local food, from cheese, hams, desert, spices to kitchen tools made from olive trees or clay pots

Florence

Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany. It was a centre of medieval European trade and finance, and one of the wealthiest cities of that era. Being the birthplace of the Renaissance and the most populous city in Tuscany, Florence has certainly a lot to see and to do. Flea and street markets, numerous art galleries and museums, historical walking areas, shopping places, food, and drinks are all sites and attractions.

  • Uffizi Galleries
  • Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Duomo – Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
  • Piazza del Duomo
  • Museum Accademia Gallery
  • Museums Basilica di Santa Croce
  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • Cupola del Brunelleschi
  • Campanile di Giotto
  • Ponte Vecchi
  • Battistero di San Giovanni
  • Museo Nazionale del Bargell

Where to stay in Pisa

B&B Ariston Pisa Tower

The hotel is located just 250 m from Piazza dei Miracoli, the stunning Leaning Tower, Cathedral, and Baptistery of Pisa. Many restaurants are also within a short distance. All rooms are super clean and spacious. Guests rated it 9.8, a rate closed to 10! You can find this hotel following platforms:

B&B Ariston Pisa Tower
B&B Ariston Pisa Tower

B&B Guerrazzi

The hotel has a great breakfast buffet with Italian options. It has lovely rooms in boutique style. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is only about 1.7 km away. And, the train station is 600 metres away and the Pisa International Airport is just 1.2 km distance. The hotel is a great place for travellers who have short in time. You can find this hotel following platforms:

B&B Guerrazzi
Patio of B&B Guerrazzi
B&B Guerrazzi
Room of B&B Guerrazzi

12 Comments

  1. I would love to visit Florence and Luca. They seem like such amazing destinations. I think I would need to visit longer than a day though

  2. My husband and I were actually just in Tuscany not too long ago. We saw Florence and a couple of other small towns. We definitely want to go back someday. It’s just too charming!!

  3. Tuscany is one of my favourite regions in Italy. I have been to a couple of these places but clearly need to head back for more. I would definitely love to visit Siena.

  4. I’ve always loved the appeal of Italy. I have always wanted to see Pisa. It’s a wonderful piece of architecture, and I’ve always been interested in the lean!

  5. This is wonderful! I have visited Rome twice, and Venice but never ventured out to these areas. Chianti must be wonderful, specially because I am a huge pan of the wine.

    1. Hi Jen,

      You should not miss the wine tasting tour. It was pity for us to miss out this activity. But we tried several during our dinners. We would like to go back and stay in the area for a couple days.

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