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Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

STL, MO
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Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

Hello. We will be in Florence for 2.5 days in May, between Rome and Venice (our first trip to Italy). We plan 1 day to take a bike ride into the Tuscan countryside, winery etc. and then of course we will need to see David, the Uffuzi etc. Debating whether to take a bus/train/car to Pisa for 1/2 of one of these days, to see the leaning tower. I have read a lot of opinions that say they wouldn't do it "again," but that's different from saying not to do it the first time, just to say you've been there. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks

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Venice
Venice
City of Venice, Italy
Winchester...
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1. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

I had been to Florence a number of times before I bothered to go to Pisa, on a trip with my mother (her first trip to Italy) and our 6-year-old son. I think it's a good thing to take a first grader to see, especially with his grandmother.

MA
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2. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

2.5 days is hardly time to have a glance at Florence--there is so much to see. It is one of the great cities of the world. And you already have a very busy trip. Leave Pisa for another time would be my suggestion.

New York City
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3. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

If you are into engineering or architecture, very worth it.

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4. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

You don't "need to see" anything whilst on vacation. Just pick what strikes your fancy. If museums are not your cup of tea, there is no real reason to go there. 2.5 days are not enough for Florence, especially if one is spent in the countryside - but if nothing interests you there, just use it as a convenient base for a couple of days and go to Pisa if that's what you want to see.

washington, dc
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5. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

Personally, I wouldn't think of it.

The trip from Florence to Pisa takes over an hour whether you do it by train, bus, or rental car. It is a relatively boring trip through the semi-industrialized Arno River Valley. There really is not much to see on the trip.

So there are about three hours you will have spent seeing the same not-very-interesting sights twice.

If you really mean to "invest" only half a day on this, that means you dash to the Field of Miracles, take a quick glance at the Tower, and then dash back to Florence.

Two and a half days to see Florence - like two and a half days to see Paris, or London or Rome is simply nowhere near enough to even begin to scratch the surface.

As for engineering and architecture, you could spend years studying the engineering and architecture in Florence without getting anywhere near the bottom of the subject. To think that a half-day trip to Pisa would add anything at all significant is a bit of a stretch.

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Paris
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Ile-de-France, France
Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

I wouldn't have missed Pisa for the world. The tower was one of those things that captured my imagination as a girl, and I'd dreamed of visiting it one day.

When I finally saw it two years ago, I stood in the Campo, tears running down my face. It's beautiful, but more than that, it was something I'd wanted to do all my life.

Now..would I do it again? Yes, but it wouldn't be top-priority.

To understand the tower, and gain some appreciation for its history, read "Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa" -- a short, but very interesting read. I only wish I'd found the book BEFORE we'd visited!

(You should also read "Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture" -- it's the story of how the Duomo was conceived and built, as well as information about Filippo Brunelleschi, who designed and oversaw the building of it. Another great read.)

New York City
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7. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

For those interested, the stabilization of the Tower foundation is considered one of the worlds great engineering achievements.

architectureweek.com/2001/0711/news_1-1.html

hillmanwonders.com/leaning_tower_pisa/leanin…

greatbuildings.com/buildings/Leaning_Tower_o…

north carolina
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8. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

If it is, in fact, stable.

I would not give up the time away from Florence.

Winchester...
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9. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

Whatever turns you on.

Cetona
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10. Re: Is it worth 1/2 a day away from Florence to see Pisa?

Spend half day in Pisa.