Pisa is only about 1 hour by car from Bagni di Lucca. It is also reachable by bus and train.
Pisa is of course famous for the leaning tower. The campanile (bell tower) of the Duomo began to lean shortly after it was built in 1173 and has survived several attempts to straighten it. It has now been secured and it is possible to once again climb the tower.
Everybody knows that the tower leans, but what may come as a surprise is that it is beautiful. The Piazza dei Miracoli is one of the prettiest squares in all of Italy and the buildings there are spectacular.
It is possible to visit the Duomo, the Baptistry, the tower and the Camposanto (walled cemetery). Head straight for the ticket office where it is possible to buy a ticket for one or all of the buildings.
The Duomo was begun in 1064. It was designed by Buscheto in the Romanesque style with Byzantine influence. The magnificent bronze doors were made in the workshop of Giambologna.
The shiny bits have been lovingly rubbed by visitors.
The round Romanesque Baptistry is the largest in Italy. It was begun in the 12th century.
The interior is quite stark except for the mosaic floor.
The Camposanto was all but destroyed in WWII, but has been beautifully restored.
There are photos of the destruction, making the restored frescoes seem even more amazing.
It is worth the €15 to climb the tower. You can actually feel the lean as you climb the narrow marble stairs. Be sure to go all the way to the top, as our friends did.
Take the time to look at the beautiful detail on the tower.
The Piazza dei Miracoli is popular with tourists with good reason. Go early and book your time to climb the tower at the ticket office. Only 35 people at a time are allowed to climb because the steps are narrow. It is actually very well organised and climbing the tower is fun, don’t miss it.
Take the Lazzi bus from Bagni di Lucca and change in Lucca for Pisa. Ask the driver to let you off at the tower. Take note of the stop. The bus stop back to Lucca is on the opposite side of the road near the entrance to the Piazza dei Miracoli.
For the train, either take the bus or the train to the station in Lucca and catch the train to Pisa. There will be a walk from the station to the tower, but it is not too far.