I love Italy and when the opportunity came along for me to get away again there was no question for me where I wanted to spend my 50th birthday celebrations with 3 of my amazing friends. We booked a 5 day trip to Pisa through booking.com which cost around €100 euros each for our hotel. We paid only £50 return on our flights through Ryanair which departed from Liverpool John Lennon airport. We even booked a park and stay as it was cheaper than getting a taxi to and from the airport. The parking facility was 5 mins away from the airport and they even provided a shuttle bus to the airport door.
Flight times were perfect as we landed in Pisa international airport before 10am and even though it was February the weather was warm enough to wear a light jacket. At the airport there is a train station, however because there was four of us it was cheaper for us to get a taxi to the hotel which only cost €20. Be aware though that taxi drivers in Italy seems to charge if someone sits upfront and we found out that they do tend to drive the long way around just to clock up a few. The public transport there is very accessible and not much time waiting around and very reasonable in price.
Now if you are looking for the best pizza you have ever eaten then you have got to visit Le Scuderie Pisa this is honestly a gem! The staff, the food and the atmosphere were outstanding. This is where the locals go to eat.
You have so much to see in Pisa, the tower, Dumo is an obvious choice to visit but you must take a trip by bus to the harbour! The white stones that cover the shore line is definitely something to see. We took the train each day of our stay and visited Lucca which is a walled city which sits on the Serchio river in Italy’s Tuscany region. Lucca is known for the well-preserved Renaissance walls encircling its historic city centre and its small winding cobblestone streets. Casa di Puccini, (the house of Puccini) where the great opera composer was born, is now a house museum. We sat in a small square listening to 2 young Italian buskers (music students) who kept us entertained by singing our requests of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones! Along came another student who happened to be passing through with her cello and joined in with the celebrations.
We stoped off for lunch in one of the small backstreet cafes on our way back to the train station, the cafe owner opened up early just to accommodate us and seemed really pleased that we was enjoying his homemade food and wine! The night ended with homemade limoncello which was to die for.
On our stay we travelled by train to nearby Florence which is well worth a visit and only 40 mins on the train at around €12 return. Italy comes alive after 9pm and Pisa was no exception! There is a bar/ nightclub we visited in the square of Garabaldi which was great fun. Just be aware that taxis seem to finish very early so it’s virtually impossible to get one after 1pm! However if you plan your stay you are usually within walking distance of your accommodation.