Our Via Francigena Base Camp: Pisa

After more planes and trains (and a PisaMover) we left Lincoln and began our Italian adventure. The Via Francigena is now so close that my legs have begun to ache in anticipation!

PISA
Despite the stern warning from our guidebook, we visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the morning, without purchasing advanced tickets. Although crowds were already forming, we were able to easily get tickets to climb the 297 steps, and had almost no delay.  The steep climb, as well as the 18 euro admission fee per person, may have been a deterrent for some who preferred to view the tower without the climb. Still, it would be hard to avoid all admission fees (it cost 80 cents just to use the washroom)! Was the climb worth it? For me – absolutely! You can see some of the views in the photos below, including my tacky tourist pic of helping to straighten the tower (as Richard cringed in the background).

 

Accommodations: (Pictured in top two photos) Aduepassidaltreno Affittaccamere
Via Benedetto Croce 13
Pisa, Tuscany, 56125
+343491218
Cost: 38 euros per night, double room. 52 euros for a triple.  Highlights: Friendly staff, clean, light breakfast included, free luggage storage. Lowlights: Some traffic  noise at night.

Next Stop: Lucca. Two more sleeps until the trail!

 

 

 

59 Replies to “Our Via Francigena Base Camp: Pisa”

  1. glad you were able to climb without a big wait. the beds look a bit frumpy – and not that sturdy – were they okay?
    and enjoyed your photos of the tower in Pisa – so cool

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  2. It has been so long since I was in Pisa, I don’t remember if there were crazy crowds or not. I don’t know if it’s still this way but I was amazed and impressed that there were absolutely no barriers between where we could stand and a quite significant drop to the ground. Glad to see that you are having fun being a tourist… sometimes you just need to go with it 😎

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  3. We were last in Pisa over 20 years ago. I remember snapping *that* photo and heading for the back streets for red wine and pizza. Looking forward to your next instalment.

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  4. Hi Donna, Hopefully your quads will not be too tired from the 297 steps. Often, going down can be harder on the knees. You have prepared well for all of your hiking. Nice that you are having more time with your son. Great, fun photos! I have started an Il Camino board on Pinterest and plan on pinning your posts:)

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      1. Thanks, Suzanne. I have always been intrigued about the pilgrimage and the different routes pilgrims take. I sent another note to your blog site regarding New Zealand areas I now recognize 🙂 Erica

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  5. Oh Donna, I’m so excited for you and can feel it through your photos. I’ve never been to Pisa but think the straightening up of the tower is a mandatory photo to get, not tacky at all! Walk well )

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  6. You’re off to a great start Donna – glad the tower didn’t fall over while you were in it! Loved all the tourist-y pics and I’m looking forward to following along in your wake – without the aching legs!

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    1. Hi, Leanne – Funny, I never think of that kind of disaster happening when I am traveling to other places (even those places with looser safety standards). But being conscious of potential hazards when I’m in heavy car traffic, that’s a whole different story! 🙂

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  7. Hi Donna – great to see you there … it was crowded decades ago – but so glad you were able to climb the leaning tower … it’s a wonderfully exhilarating experience. You’re going to have so much fun …. lots to see, to experience and meet fellow travellers or pilgrims. You are certainly making the most of your travels … the photos are lovely to see – cheers and enjoy … Hilary

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  8. Math this in no way my strong suit, but if my fingers serve me right, you start the hike tomorrow!! Congratulations, buena suerte, enjoy, be safe! I look forward to your photographs, descriptions and trekking along with you from my couch.

    We did a teensy baby hike on Sunday and I told PC about you and your plans. We carried a canvas backpack with our picnic lunch and water. I asked him how heavy it was – approximately 10 pounds. Then I thought of the weight you are carrying on your hike. So proud of YOU! We couldn’t lighten our pack – eat and drink our lunch – fast enough!

    Enjoy every precious, inspirational moment.

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  9. I really enjoy hearing about this trip “live from the field”. I almost feel as if I am walking alongside you and feeling the goosebumps as you get closer to the Francigena. My legs are aching too, ha ha. And I’m glad you took time for some frivolity – a schmaltzy touristy photo at the Leaning Pisa lends a good laugh and we could all use some of that – silliness and laughs. Good for you. Enjoy and looking forward to more installments live from the field 🙂

    Susan Grace

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    1. Hi, Susan – Thank you for your kind comment. It reminded me of one of the reasons that I wanted to blog ‘live’ from the trail. Yesterday, I almost threw in the towel. But today, I may have discovered the secret: Hang out in bars! (They seem to have great WiFI)!

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  10. We were in Italy for 3 weeks in 2007, but our tour didn’t include Pisa. We were sad about that. We would have LOVED to climb the tour, we climbed every tower in every town that we visited. Well, maybe not every tower in every small medieval town, but in most of them! The views are always worth the climb. And I remember giving an older lady a Euro every time I wanted to use a bathroom just about anywhere. I love Italy, would go back in a heartbeat…dream of living there. But then doesn’t everyone?

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  11. Hi Donna,
    I’ve been awol for a few days and am just now catching up with your adventures…I think the “fix the tower” pic is adorable!
    Off to read the next installment. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Like Janis, it’s been a very long time since I visited Pisa and the tower was closed to the public at the time. It would be a few more years before it was stabilized and safe for tourists again.

    One thing that really fascinates me about these ancient structures are the worn stone steps. In my mind I imagine all the people who have walked those stairs before me to have created those grooves in the stone.

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  13. Hi once again
    We are enjoying and following all of your blogs and can hardly wait
    To have you both home as you both are truly missed even
    Though we wish you both every happiness in all of your adventures
    Enjoy each moment
    With our love
    Mom and David

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