Normally, this is one of the favorite day trips from Florence, but if you can’t afford too much time in Tuscany, a Rome to Pisa day trip is also doable. The secret for a great day out is to plan in advance and carefully, and here we give you all the tips you need to do that.
Of course, it’s impossible to see everything in Pisa in one day, but if you can’t really stay longer, there’s not much you can do other than make the most of your time. Our top tips for a smooth and enjoyable day trip from Rome to Pisa are to plan properly the transport and design your itinerary in advance so you know where are the long lines and where it’s better to purchase a skip-the-line entrance.
A day trip to Pisa from Florence is probably easier because they are in the same region and Florence is much closer than Rome, so the train ride is much shorter and cheaper. This allows you also to visit more places, but also if you are having a day trip from Rome, you will have enough time to see at least the major sites Pisa is famous for.
Make sure you read our article on the best places to visit near Rome.
Day Trip From Rome To Pisa – Planning The Perfect Day Out
How to get to Pisa from Rome
This is the most convenient and easiest way to reach Pisa from Rome. There are a few options with Trenitalia, the state-run railway company in Italy, with either one or two trains. I suggest you book the journey that only takes one train so you don’t have to go through the hassle of changing trains in another station, especially if you have heavy luggage.
The train from Rome to Pisa is either the high-speed Freccia train (Frecciabianca or Frecciarossa), which takes around 3 hours, the Intercity, also 3 hours, or the local Regionale Veloce which is slightly cheaper and takes around 4 hours.
Prices go from 27/30 euros to up to 50 euro, but it depends a lot on when you book: the earlier, the cheaper.
Check out Omio for timetables, prices, and to book.
If you have rented a car in Italy, you can drive from Rome to Pisa, obviously paying attention to the ZTL (Limited Traffic Zones) in both cities.
By car, it takes around 4 hours and you need to take the A1 highway with tolls. If you are looking for a car rental in Rome or Fiumicino airport, check Discover Cars for prices, models, and to book.
How to get from Pisa Centrale to Piazza Duomo and Leaning Tower
If you are arriving by train, walking from Pisa Centrale to Campo dei Miracoli, where are the Duomo and the Leaning Tower, takes some 25 minutes.
The main gate of Pisa Centrale train station opens on a fairly wide street called Viale Antonio Gramsci. Walk to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, then to the left side of the piazza towards the short road called Largo Padri Della Costituzione.
From the nearby Via Francesco Crispi, you will see a long straight road towards the Solferino bridge “Ponte Solferino” along the Arno river that you need to cross to get to Via Roma and finally Piazza del Duomo.
If you don’t wish to walk from Pisa Centrale, you can take a short taxi ride from the station or a bus and get off at Piazza Manin stop.
What to do on a day trip from Rome to Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most famous attraction in Piazza Duomo and the symbol of the city. Located next to Pisa Cathedral (Duomo di Pisa) within Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), the famous Torre di Pisa was used as the cathedral’s bell tower.
Its leaning structure is what makes it famous and you will see tourists posing for the most scenographic pictures so don’t miss your own! You can decide to climb the tower or just snap a picture from the square, which will be faster. If you want to climb, booking an online ticket will speed things up.
Campo dei Miracoli complex
Once you are done with the Leaning Tower, don’t leave Campo dei Miracoli as it’s a whole huge complex with plenty of sites to visit. So whether you climbed the tower or not, I highly recommend not to miss the other landmarks such as the beautiful Romanique-Gothic Duomo di Pisa, St. John’s Baptistery, and 13th-century Campo Santo monumental cemetery.
Booking in advance the tower climb and visiting the city not on the weekend will allow you to see everything in Campo dei Miracoli complex in a couple of hours.
Piazza dei Cavalieri
Less than 10 minutes’ walk from Piazza Duomo
With a short walk from Campo dei Miracoli, you can reach Piazza dei Cavalieri. This was the political heart of the city in the Middle Ages and is surrounded by historical buildings such as Palazzo della Canonica, Palazzo del Consiglio dei Dodici and Palazzo dell’Orologio, and churches like San Rocco and Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri.
5-minute walk from Piazza dei Cavalieri
Borgo Stretto is a narrow medieval road lined with shops, workshops, and arcades that give the area a yesteryear atmosphere.
Starting from Piazza Garibaldi, it ends in Via Oberdan and it can make for a lovely addition to your Rome to Pisa day trip itinerary. Head here in the afternoon to go window shopping or relaxing in one of the local bars for a tea or coffee.
2-minute walk from Borgo Stretto
Since you have made it to Borgo Stretto, there is no reason not to carry on to reach Borgo Largo, the Italian for “large road”, which is Via Oberdan and the continuation of the “narrow road”.
This is also a medieval road lined up with historic buildings like 14th-century Palazzo Scorzi Tober and its picturesque arcades, as well as bars and restaurants.
10-minute walk from Borgo Largo
Pisa is famous for its boulevards along the Arno river known as Lungarni. If you still have some time left in your day trip from Rome to Pisa before your train leaves, take a walk along the river and enjoy the skyline of the historical buildings and churches.
Lungarno Mediceo is probably the most famous and since it’s also easy to reach on foot from Borgo Largo, I suggest you make your way here where you can view San Matteo church and the palace of De Medici family.
How to get around Pisa
All the landmarks mentioned in this Pisa itinerary are close to each other and easy to reach on foot. If you want to further save time, you can rely on the local public transport to reach Piazza Duomo from Pisa Centrale train station when you arrive in the morning and take a bus also in the evening to go back to the station for your Rome-bound train.
The local transport is managed by CPT and it’s pretty efficient so you won’t need to wait for long or take a taxi.
Where to eat
You will be pretty tight on time, so I suggest you don’t take a long lunch. After visiting the landmarks in Piazza dei Miracoli and Piazza dei Cavalieri, it might be a good idea to stop for a quick meal in one of the cafes in Borgo Stretto or Borgo Largo.
Some of the favorites? Lo Sfizio (Borgo Stretto 54) for a nice sandwich or Vini e Panini cafe (Borgo Largo, Via Guglielmo Oberdan 16) for a casual meal.
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