Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Honeymoon Diaries | Pisa


I'll tell you what folks, getting married and going on honeymoon, if nothing else, gives you heaps of blog content. I didn't plan any content at all before hand because I didn't want to feel any pressure, I just wanted to enjoy it and taking that step back made me realise that instead of trying to think outside of the box and create some sort of spin on it, what I really want to do is just document it so I have something to look back on. If you're at all interested in how we chose our honeymoon destination, I wrote a post about it here, but we ended up doing a mini tour of Italy (Pisa, Florence and Venice) so I thought I'd simply break it up place by place, tell you where we ate, stayed and what we did. So first up...Pisa!

We flew out to Pisa on the Monday after getting married on the Saturday and apart from the fact that it all feels a little rushed to get things sorted after the wedding as well as pack, I'd highly recommend getting away straight away because it prevents there being such a wedding downer. Nick's best man and his partner kindly bought us tickets to the airport lounge as a wedding gift so we had a right treat to start the honeymoon off. Pisa is a very easy destination; there is a 'people mover' a.k.a. a tram that takes about 5 minutes from the airport to the train station and bam you're there.

Where we stayed | We only stayed one night in Pisa so booked the NH Pisa because it was right next to the train station and offered free luggage storage. It was also a bloomin' lovely hotel, v. fancy and with the biggest bed (you know those ones where you can spread out without even touching each other? Heaven). We paid €10 extra to have breakfast in bed in the morning, which was very much worth it and then stored our bags to pick up later while we went off to explore. Despite the hotel being close to the train station, it was also only a 20 minute easily navigatable walk to all the main sights so I would definitely recommend it if you find yourself in Pisa (that's an odd expression isn't it, but wouldn't it actually be a dream if you did just wake up and find yourself somewhere on holiday?!).


What we did | We didn't arrive in Pisa until about 7pm so after a 15 minute crash-on-the-bed-to-recharge in our hotel we headed out to find somewhere to eat (which I'll come onto in a moment) and a general wander around. Our wander took us down the main pedestrian street (literally called The Walking Street I believe) and along the river, which was v. picturesque. We then treated ourselves to a wander round the back streets because Nick was convinced there was a Lidl on the map (spoiler: there wasn't) before heading back to the hotel with drinks and snacks from a corner shop instead.

The next morning after breakfast we headed off early to the Piazza del Duomo because we hadn't pre-booked tickets for anything so wanted to beat the queues. Everywhere we went in Italy I read scare stories about having to pre-book really far in advance, but honestly we found that as long as we were there for opening time, it was always fine and in Pisa we didn't have to queue at all really. We bought tickets that would get us into four buildings, including a booking to go up the tower in 15 minutes time (pre-book schmee-book).





The Leaning Tower of Pisa | Honestly, the tower was a bit smaller than I was expecting, but it was still pretty impressive and yes, it really is leaning very noticeably. Going up it is a bit disorientating because you can really feel the lean while you climb, but once you're at the top it's not as obvious and you get some pretty lovely views over Pisa (although one thing that annoyed me about Italy was how high all the mesh fences at the top of towers were; how do they expect me to get a nice photo of the view?!). A couple of things to note: the marble steps in the tower are kinda slippy, so maybe wear more sensible footwear than I did so you don't fear for your life and also they don't let you take bags up the tower so you need to store them in (free) lockers near the gift shop.

Pisa Cathedral | Located right next to the tower is the Duomo, which is free to enter although you do still need a ticket. I bloomin' love old churches; I find them so calming particularly abroad when it's so hot and bright outside and they act as an oasis of cool shade. The Duomo was absolutely huge and inside was filled with Italian artwork. Definitely worth a visit seeing as it's free!

Pisa Baptistry | This is the very pretty round building that you'll have seen in photos of the square and it's gorgeous inside too. You can climb upstairs and walk all the way round the inside, which is very picturesque.

Camposanto Monumentale | I don't think this building gets very much publicity, yet it was my favourite out of all four. Now bear with me while I'm not very good at describing buildings, but it's one of those that's like an oblong of corridors with a big garden in the middle (maybe just look at the pictures). We sat a while and watched restoration workers in here chipping and painting a big fresco on the wall, which was super interesting and then we just wandered round marvelling at the light and shadows thrown by the huge open windows down the corridors.

City walls | Once we'd finished in the square we decided to walk the city walls because it was only €3 each and went all the way from the square to end near the Scotto garden. The walk was quite interesting because it showed so much of Pisa that you don't see commercially and the garden at the end was a lovely setting to sit and enjoy the breakfast leftovers I'd stashed in my bag (stingy? Us?).







Where we ate | For our first night in Italy we wanted pizza because, well, obviously so we hopped onto Trip Advisor and came across Gusto Al 129. It's a casual place that does have a few tables, but they were completely full when we went so we got takeaway instead and ate it by the river (which actually worked out a much more scenic option). We were there on a Monday night and it was SO busy, both with tourists and locals, and I'm not at all surprised because it was the best pizza we've both ever had and I'm sad that takeaway pizza like that doesn't exist in England. There were loads of veggie and vegan options too so it's pizza for everyone!

And that was our time in Pisa done! If you're the type of person who likes to be out doing and seeing things pretty much all the time like we are, then you can definitely do Pisa in just one day. I'm sure you could easily spend longer there if you're looking to shop, drink and chill out, but for us a full day was definitely enough. In my next honeymoon post I'll be covering Florence, where we spent three days so that one may be much longer...

Have you ever been to Pisa?

Amy x


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15 comments

  1. Okay this definitely made me want to go to Pisa so I can only imagine what the next posts will do! xx

    www.natalieleanne.com

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    1. Yasssss book a holiday to Italy girl xx

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  2. HA HA! Love that photo of everyone posing with the Tower!

    I think I may have told you before you went but I visited Pisa a few years ago and really didn't rate it much (other than the Tower which I did love climbing!) - having read this I now realise there was probably far more there than I realised, I just didn't do my research!

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    1. Yes I remember you saying, I mean it's definitely a do it all in one day place, but definitely worth a visit as a tour of Italy I reckon :) xx

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  3. Beautiful pictures, you definitely made the most of your time! I've been twice and just loved it!
    Have a lovely weekend :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

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    1. Thank you! I'd definitely go again! Hope you have a lovely weekend too xx

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  4. Such beautiful photos! Looks like you had such a fab time.

    Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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    1. Thanks Gemma! Yes we had such a good time thank you xx

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  5. Your Instagram lately has been every so dreamy Amy, I've been looking forward to you blogging about your honeymoon! Pisa looks utterly beautiful through your lens and Camposanto Monumentale would definitely be at the top of my to-see list as well :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

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    1. Aw thanks girl. Yes that building would have been right up your street for sure! xx

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  6. Oh wow, what beautiful photos! While I've seen many photos of the tower I've never been anywhere near there or to Pisa at all! it's wonderful you had such a nice time there :) Lovely start to your honeymoon!

    Hope that you are having a great weekend :) It's really cold here and the boys are unwell again so it is a quiet one weekend for us.

    Away From The Blue Blog

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    1. Aw sorry to hear they're unwell, hope they get better soon and have a good start to the new week! xx

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  7. A mini tour of Italy sounds like the perfect honeymoon! Pisa looks especially nice, can't wait to read the rest.

    Shann Eileen | www.shanneileen.com

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    1. It was so nice! My Florence one will be up next week! xx

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  8. It is no secret that when young people vacation with their friends, alcohol consumption is high and partying is the primary past-time.  dubai desert safari deals

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