After Cinque Terre, we hopped on a train to Florence that passed right by Pisa. Of course we had to hop off to check out the Leaning Tower! Not wanting to lug our heavy backpacks with us, we used the left luggage office at Pisa Centrale train station (4 Euros per bag for up to 12 hours, along with a photocopy of our passport). From Pisa Centrale, its about a 20 minute leisurely walk over to Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) where the leaning tower is located. Wandering around the entire complex is free, and it doesn’t take long to marvel at the Leaning Tower, Duomo or Baptistry. We lucked out at the Duomo (medieval cathedral) because we didn’t have tickets to visit but were waved straight through. The cathedral is actually free to enter but you should get a ticket first. The Baptistry also requires a ticket (not free) but since the lines were ridiculously long, we just checked it out from the outside. And apparently, climbing the Leaning Tower now requires either a long wait for a combo ticket (not an option…lines were way too long) or pre-booking online so you can jump to the front of the queue (apparently to get around the strict visiting schedule). Since this was a spontaneous stop, no tower for us! However, we were quite happy that we took a slight detour to come here. Well worth the effort!
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