Day Trip to Pisa and Cinque Terre from Florence

A day trip to Pisa and Cinque Terre from Florence. Attractions and towns visited including, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa Cathedral, Pisa Baptistery, Pisa Cemetery, Arno River in Pisa, Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, Riomaggiore

Florence to Pisa to Cinque Terre

It’s possible to take a Pisa and Cinque Terre day trip from Florence.  A Florence Pisa Cinque Terre Itinerary includes;

  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Cathedral of Pisa
  • Baptistery of Pisa
  • Cemetery of Pisa
  • Arno River in Pisa
  • Monterosso
  • Vernazza
  • Manarola
  • Riomaggiore

I bought my ticket online with Italy on a Budget Tours.  You can also buy your ticket from their office in Florence.

What to do in Pisa for a Day – The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually the Bell Tower of Pisa Cathedral.  It’s famous around the world as it leans, however it was not designed to lean.  Due to the soft ground of Pisa the heavy Bell Tower began to visibly lean.  Pisa is actually Greek for ‘marshy land’.  At the end of the 20th century it was in danger of falling over.  There wasn’t any money available to stop it from leaning further.  Fortunately it became a UNESCO site.  UNESCO came up with the money required to stop it from collapsing completely.  It is now secure and you can climb the stairs to the top.  As you walk towards the the tower you’ll see many tourists posing.  They are making their Instagram photos so it looks like they are supporting the tower.

You may remember the Superman III movie from 1983.  Superman (Christopher Reeve) pushes the tower so it is straight again.

Pisa Cathedral

Pisa Cathedral

The official name of Pisa Cathedral in Italian is ‘Duomo di Pisa’.  Pisa cathedral was completed in 1092 after 30 years of construction.  The Bell Tower took over 200 years to complete.  All monuments are located outside the city walls of Pisa.  They were built here to show the rest of the world the power of Pisa.  Pisa had no fear of being attacked.

Pisa Baptistery

Pisa Baptistery

The baptistery is over 54 meters tall making it the tallest in Italy.  Its architectural style is Romanesque in the lower half.  The upper half is of Gothic style.  Like the nearby leaning tower, the baptistery is also leaning.  As it’s a chunkier building you cannot see the lean.

Pisa Cemetery

Pisa Baptistery, cemetery and cathedral Italy

The square in which the bell tower, cathedral, baptistery and cemetery are located is known as the Square of miracles (Piazza dei Miracoli).  In the northern section is the cemetery.  Camposanto Monumentale is the official name for the cemetery.  You’re probably in Pisa to see the leaning tower.  Seeing the tower guarantees you’ll see the baptistery and cathedral.  In addition you must go see the less visited cemetery (above center).

Arno River

Arno River, Pisa, Italy

Whilst you’re in Pisa it’s worth taking a walk around the city.  The Arno river passes through Florence before Pisa.  It’s calmer as it passes through Pisa.  As a result you can take some perfect reflection shots over the river.  Pisa is lined with colorful houses so you’re guaranteed to make popular Instagram photos.


Monterosso, Cinque Terre

The oldest and largest village in Cinque Terre is Monterosso.  In addition it’s the Cinque Terre village with the best beach.  As well as the beach it has the colorful houses Cinque Terre is famous for.  I did not visit Monterosso as part of the tour.  However, I was still able to photograph it from Vernazza.


The streets of Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

There are plenty of the colorful houses you came to Cinque Terre to see in Vernazza.  For me it offered the most picturesque street of colorful houses in the region.  The bay offers a beautiful reflection photo of the colorful houses.  Alongside these houses is St. Margaret of Antioch church.  You’ll also find a couple of small beaches in Vernazza.


Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

The village famous for colorful houses packed on a cliff edge is Manarola.  As part of the tour you’ll be shown the best viewpoint.  Have you seen pictures on Instagram from Cinque Terre?  It’s likely they were taken from this viewpoint.  I was there in winter and the sun was a little low.  This resulted in a lot of shade over the colorful houses.  If you visit around summer time you’ll get a stronger colorful house image than mine (above).


Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy

Like its neighbor Manarola, Riomaggiore also has a famous Instagram location.  In Riomaggiore you’ll see tourists paddling in the rocky beach.  They are actually searching for the best angle to photograph the colorful houses.  As a result of there being so many colorful houses in Riomaggiore, you’re guaranteed that perfect Instagram shot.

Enjoy your day trip to Pisa and Cinque Terre from Florence

This Pisa and Cinque Terre day trip is guaranteed to brighten up your Instagram feed!

You can buy your ticket online with Italy on a Budget Tours.  Alternatively buy your ticket from their office in Florence.  For the latest tour information check out their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds.

What to see in Florence.

2018-08-23T18:19:45+00:00January 5th, 2018|Italy, Western Europe|14 Comments


  1. Graham January 6, 2018 at 9:24 am - Reply

    This company looks perfect for getting to Pisa and Cinque Terre from Florence and back in a day. It seems Pisa is more than just the tower! I must check out the cemetery as well. Looking forward to my visit!

    • James Smith January 6, 2018 at 9:30 am - Reply

      Hi Graham. Yes, they do all the ‘working out how to travel between places’ which means all you have to do is enjoy the attractions!

  2. Jo January 7, 2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

    I want to visit Pisa to see the tower – and I remember Superman straightening it! The guy selling towers wasn’t happy! I didn’t know about the other points of interest in Pisa. It looks an excellent day trip – Cinque Terre is a bonus!

    • James Smith January 7, 2018 at 8:57 am - Reply

      It was a very worthwhile day trip from Florence 🙂

  3. Jojo January 7, 2018 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    I’m on a mission to see all UNESCO sites in the world. This means 3 in a day, Pisa, Cinque Terre and Florence. What a day trip!

  4. Katy January 9, 2018 at 8:45 am - Reply

    I’ve seen the picture from Manarola so many times on Instagram James. I didn’t know the name of the town or how to get there. I’ll be able to get my own IG picture there now! Thanks!

    • James Smith January 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm - Reply

      Enjoy Manarola and all of Cinque Terre. Good Instagram shots are guaranteed!

  5. David January 9, 2018 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I like the idea of going on a tour – it sure saves time in planning and thinking. And stress of course of working out the train timetables. There’re just small villages so I guess a day is enough.

  6. Marc January 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    It’s Manarola I want to visit, you’ve photographed it wonderfully as well. I’m going to try stay there so I can photograph it in different lights. Bonus that all the Cinque Terre area are UNESCO sites!

    • James Smith January 12, 2018 at 10:11 am - Reply

      I hope you have good weather for photographing these colourful buildings! Enjoy.

  7. Brooke Herron January 14, 2018 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I have taken the day trip from Florence to Pisa and from Lucca to Cinque Terre- I do love how there is so much great stuff clustered around these areas that you can get to by train 🙂 I remember not loving much about Pisa except the tower and a couple cafes near there-and I did Cinque Terre off season (thankfully!) but there were still a considerable number of people (though not crowded by any means-early April is a good time!). What a lovely trip!

    • James Smith January 14, 2018 at 6:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Brooke. I agree, there’s not much in Pisa other than the tower area. The Arno river gives a nice reflection photo but not much more! I did Cinque Terre in November and it was very quiet, April must be a good time to visit as well. I’d hate to visit when it’s crowded.

  8. Adam January 14, 2018 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    I think I’d stay in Monterosso – for the beach! Thanks for taking the time to photograph it. The other classic Cinque Terre pictures you’ve shared are cool too!

    • James Smith January 14, 2018 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      Enjoy your visit to Cinque Terre Adam!

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