- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Travel to Pisa
Pisa is one of those cities that every traveler who sets foot in Italy must see at one point or another. The city’s famous leaning tower is one of the most recognized symbols of Italy, so it makes sense that it’s so high on most visitors’ to-do lists.
The only trouble is that for most people, Pisa is little more than a two-hour lunch break en route from one city to another, where you dump your bags at the train station and head straight for the tower, climb to the top, take your photos, and leave (I know – I’ve done this). Consequently, the area right around the tower can be incredibly crowded, and the shops and cafes that line the beautiful piazza are usually really overpriced. But if you dig beneath the surface a bit, you’ll find that Pisa is actually a pretty average – and pretty nice – Italian town.
In addition to the enormous and pretty piazza that surrounds the leaning tower and adjacent cathedral, Pisa is also known for its university. Having a large student population gives the city a vibrant quality, and means that if you’re anywhere near the university you’ll be surrounded by activity whether you run into big crowds of students or not.
Plus, students need affordable accommodation and food options, so once again – get away from the tourist crowds around the leaning tower and you stand a much better chance of finding some downright bargains in the dining and sleeping departments.