Pisa overview
for cruise visitors
to the Port of Livorno in 2023

Panoramic photo of the Piazza del Miracoli in Pisa, a top highlioght for cruise travelers to the port of Livorno

Essential guide to Pisa for cruise passengers to Livorno in 2023: how to explore Pisa on a cruise and on your own, top things to do and see - landmarks, museums, and religious sites, sightseeing, shopping and dining.

Updated: May 20, 2023

Pisa is one of the top destinations for cruise travelers calling at the port of Livorno, in Tuscany. The city lies along the river Arno, a mere 6 miles (10km) from the Mediterranean coast and just 17 miles (25km) from Livorno, and around 30 minutes away by train, bus or taxi.


  1. Overview
  2. How to explore Pisa on a cruise
  3. Top things to do
  4. Explore Pisa on Your Own
  5. Landmarks and Museums
  6. Religious Sites
  7. Sightseeing
  8. Shops and shopping streets in Pisa
  9. Lunch and quick bites in Pisa
  10. Good to Know: Tourist Info, Language and Currency


Leaning-Tower Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Leaning-Tower in Pisa

Photo © IQCruising.com

Legend has it that Pisa was founded be the Greek Pelopes and other missing Greek soldiers who came to Italy following the battle of Troy. Another theory is that the original settlers were Etruscans or Ligurians, but there is no definitive proof of either theory. When thinking of Pisa most people associate the city with the Tower of Pisa and its famous lean.

The Piazza dei Miracoli, where the tower leans, is as famous as the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Cemetery. The city is known as the place where modern sculpture began and you can see some of those works in Pisa today.

Piazza del Miracoli Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Piazza del Miracoli in Pisa

Photo © IQCruising.com

Pisa attracted romantic poets with its beauty, traditions of tolerance and temperate climate - both Byron and Shelly called Pisa home. The artistic side lends itself to being very environmentally sound and the people of Pisa treasure their natural landmarks like the Orto Botanico or the Environmental Park of San Rossore.

Pisa’s beauty will win over anyone’s heart. Make sure you leave plenty of time to explore the city and enjoy the historic building and their surroundings. The people of Pisa love to play host and will make your travels fun and exciting.

How to explore Pisa on a cruise to Livorno

When on a cruise to Livorno, there are 5 main ways to explore and visit the highlights of Pisa:

  1. On a shore excursion
  2. Tranfer by bus
  3. By taxi
  4. By public bus
  5. By rail

A shore excursion is, naturally, the way cruise lines advise and promote to explore Pisa. Unfortunately, most cruise lines offer a shore excursion of Pisa icluding Florence or Lucca.

If all you want to see is the famous Leaning Tower, and the Cathedral, this type of tour will be ok. But there is much more to Pisa than these attractions. The good news is that it is very simple and unexpensive to travel from the cruise port in Livorno to Pisa - click here to learn how.

Top things to do and see in Pisa on a cruise to Livorno

The cruise traveler visiting Pisa on a shore excursion organized by the cruise line will not spend more than a couple of hours in the historical city. Inevitably, you will only have time see a few attractions on Piazza dei Miracoli, the huge square where the Leaning Tower is located.

Here are the top sites cruise travelers must see in the Piazza dei Miracoli:

  • Leaning Tower
  • Cathedral
  • Baptistery
  • Cemetery aka Camposanto
  • Museum of Sinopias

For a selection of all the must see sites and highlights of Pisa, read the reviews of Pisa's highlights.

How to explore Pisa on your own

Cruise traveleres wishing to explore the major sites and attractions of Pisa with more time, specially if you wish to climb the leaning tower, must travel to Pisa on your own.

Pisa Railway Station

Pisa Railway Station

Photo © IQCruising.com

With direct trains from Livorno to Pisa, traveling on your own by Railway or by Bus (also with direct public service) it is very easy to explore Pisa on your own. Learn how to travel to Pisa from Livorno cruise port.

Landmarks and Museums

With more time in your hands, you will also be able to explore other attractions of Pisa such as two fabulous museums (the Museum of Sinopias and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) and the Piazza dei Cavalieri with three beautiful landmarks. Here are the top historical landarmks to visit in Pisa on a cruise to Livorno:

  • Palazzo dei Cavalieri (The Knights Palace)
  • Palazzo dell’Orologio (Clock Palace)
  • Torre Guelfa (Guelph Tower)
  • Chiesa di San Stefano dei Cavalieri (Church of Saint Stephen
  • Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden)
  • Palazzo Blu (Blue Palace)
Piazza dei Cavalieri Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Piazza dei Cavalieri in Pisa

Photo © IQCruising.com

If art is on your must see list, the National Museum of San Matteo and Keith Haring's Tuttomondo, a mural painted by the famous american artist, deserve a visit. But there are also other museums to visit such as:

  • Museum of Sinopias
  • Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Musuem)
  • St Mathew's National Museum
  • Museum of the Ancient Ships
  • Keith Haring's Tuttomondo

Religious Sites

Besides the 3 religious sites on Piazza dei Miracoli (Cathedral, Baptistery and Cemetery), cruise travelers exploring Pisa on their own will also have the opportunity to visit off the beaten track religious sites.

These sites are never included on the shore excursions organize by the cruise lines. Here is a list of major religious sites to visit in Pisa:

  • Chiesa di San Stefano dei Cavalieri (Church of Saint Stephen)
  • Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina (Church of Saint Mary)
  • Chiesa di Santa Caterina (Saint Catherine's Church)
  • Chiesa di Santa Caterina (Saint Catherine's Church)
  • Chiesa di San Paolo (Saint Paul's Church)
  • San Sepolcro (Saint Sepulcher's Church)
  • Sinagoga (Synagogue)
  • Jewish Cemetery
Synagogue in Pisa

Synagogue in Pisa

Photo © IQCruising.com

To read the reviews of the top 8 religious sites in Pisa for cruisers to the port of Livorno click here. Here is a list of major religious sites to visit in Pisa:


Obviously, if the cruise traveler is on a shore excursions organized by the cruise line, the sights that you will see are set and you will have to stick with these. By contrast, whilst exploring Pisa on your own, the cruise traveler should contemplate a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour.

Photo of Sightseeing Bus in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Sightseeing Bus

Photo © IQCruising.com

The main stop is located next to the Piazza del Miracoli, right in front of the Museum of the Cathedral, and will take you all around Pisa highlighting the mot interesting sites.

Shops and shopping streets in Pisa

Pisa is far from being a particular interesting shopping town. In fact, unless the cruise traveler is exploring the city on your own, and walking to or from the train (or bus) station, it is unlikely that you will pass by any of the main shopping streets - Via Oberan and Via Italia.

Via Oberan in Pisa

Via Oberan in Pisa

Photo © IQCruising.com

Around the Piazza dei Miracoli, the visitor will only find endlessly lined stalls with typical souvenirs - basically, Leaning Towers and more Leaning Tower of all sizes, colors and materials. For a selection of the best Shops, check our shopping article to learn how to explore the shopping streets in Pisa.

Considering that the shore excursions organized by cruise lines do not spend more than a couple of hours in Pisa, the cruise traveler will not really have much more than 30 to 45 minutes of free time to peruse shops or stop by a cafe to enjoy a quick bite.

Lunch and quick bites in Pisa

However, if exploring the town on your own, do not miss lunch al fresco in very nice restaurants away from the typical touristic areas.

Photo of Lunching Al Fresco, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Lunch al fresco in Pisa

Photo © IQCruising.com

Close to the Piazza dei Cavalieri you will find one of the best restaurants in Pisa (Osteria dei Cavallieri) and not far, on Via Obredan, the cruise traveler will stumble upon very nice places to enjoy traditional Tuscan recipes. But there are many more, here is a list of our four favorite restaurants in Pisa:

  • Osteria dei Cavallieri
  • Osteria La Grotta
  • Osteria La Mescita
  • Antica Trattoria da Bruno

Cruise Insider's tip: look out for side streets as you may come across hidden tables like the ones of La Grotta, one of the Editor's favorites.
To read the reviews of the Editor's favorite restaurants in Pisa click here.

Good to know

Tourist Information Offices

There are two tourist info offices conveninetly located for cruise travelers visiting Pisa on their onw. If you travel by train (or bus) form Livorno to Pisa, there is a Tourist Office very close by. There is also another tourist office close to the Leaning Tower.

Photo of Pisa Tourist Information Office

Photo © IQCruising.com

Railway Station Area
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 16
Opening Hours: every day from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm

Leaning Tower - Piazza del Duomo
Opening Hours: every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm
Be aware that both offices close on 25 December. However, on December 24 and 26; and on January 1 and 6 both will be open from 09.30am to 3.30pm.


Pisa has been such a popular tourist attraction for sucha a long time that most local speak English very well.


The Euro is the legal tender in Italy and all major credit cards are widely accepeted. You find ATMs all over Pisa but only a few exchnage offices.

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