No driving and parking around Piazza dei Miracoli.
The first thing I remember was, that according to the navi the leaning tower was ahead of us, at about walking distance. So we started looking for a place to park the car. The street was so narrow that only one car could pass with cars parked at both sides. We found a empty place , parked the car and I went asking if it’s ok to leave the car there and where can we get a parking ticket. The local guy explained that to park in that area ,you need a resident permit. So we boarded again and trusted the navi to lead us to the nearest parking lot that was in front of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria church. Upon arrival, we found out all the places were already taken, but there were some black guys , selling souvenirs and necklaces that made us a sign to wait. After which, one came to us and explained that some of the cars are about to leave soon, as their parking tickets are expiring. We waited about 10-15 minutes , and indeed the owners of one of the cars showed up and drove away.
Note : Almost a year after we came back from Pisa , we received a letter from the authorities of Pisa with a fine that was over 100 Euros. Apparently we have driven in an area that was forbidden for non residents. The trick is , we didn’t saw any shield saying this. If there was one, it was for sure written in small letters and in Italian.
On the way to Piazza dei Miracoli we passed a crossroad with a sign :
and the Ruins of the Thermal complex, known as Therms of Neron , Pisa.
The Piazza dei Miracoli is surrounded by fortified walls from two sides and has several gates from where you can enter. Once close to the leaning tower , here’s what you will see : people taking their turn to have their photos taken supporting the leaning tower.
The sites on the ground of Piazza dei Miracoli have an entrance fee. You need to buy the tickets at the Museo del Opera del Duomo. For example to climb the tower you need to pay 15 Euros and wait hours for your turn as there could be no more than 30 visitors every half an hour. Children under 8 years of age are not allowed.
I wanted to visit the Cemetery , but the whole idea of waiting for tickets made me change my mind. And having to go to another place to buy them seem like too much of a waste of time. We were already walking around for some hours and having a small kid with us .
The market at the left side of the square and outside of the walls sells all imaginable versions of the leaning tower – T shirts , statuettes, bottles , coffee mugs… you name it – it’s there.
Of course delicious Italian ice wasn’t missing…
If you are the organized tourist type, you can join one of the guided city tours in german –Stadtführung Pisa
All photos taken in september 2010.
official page >La Piazza del Duomo di Pisa