Pisa, Italy 2018 ~ Train from Rome to Pisa, Italian Tripe, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tuscan seafood dinner

 Leaning Tower of Pisa selfie

Finally seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person!

Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.  Day 5:

Today, we vacated and checked out of the Vaticumum 67 bed and breakfast.  We went to the La Pasticceria Siciliana bakery for the last time to redeem our final breakfast.

This time, I got a caffe latte (fourth one in a row) and a fresh cannoli!!  It was my first cannoli in Italy and I was inspired to get this Italian pastry for breakfast after I saw a man order it for breakfast yesterday.  I especially wanted to try it because the shell was freshly filled with pastry cream on the spot upon ordering.  I was so excited to try it!

 Cannoli for breakfast at La Pasticceria Siciliana

Cannoli for breakfast at La Pasticceria Siciliana

The fresh cannoli lived up to its hype!!  I chose an almond one and there were little bits and pieces of ground almond on the cannoli cream.  The cream was sooo soft and creamy while cool and cold.  This coldness made the usually heavy treat taste so refreshing and light!  I also really liked the shell of the cannoli as it was crispy but not hard or chewy.  It was a perfect cannoli.

The pastry that Ken got (both of ours had to be supplemented with a €1 for the difference in cost from the free voucher) was an almond treat as well but much smaller in size.  It was chewy and tasted good but a bit too sweet for my taste.

We picked up some fruit and water for our four-hour train ride to Pisa.  We bought €1.50 tickets from the Cipro subway to Tremini station.  From Tremini station, we followed the signs to board the train.  We were there very early and thus waited for 45 minutes for the platform number for our train to show up on the screen.  Our train was scheduled for a 10:12 a.m. departure.

Tremini station train schedule

Waiting for the platform number to show up for our 10:12 a.m. train to Pisa

Upon seeing the platform number show up, we walked to platform 25.  I found that the staff there weren’t very helpful to guide us or to answer our questions.  We didn’t have assigned seating and wanted to inquire about it.  The male staff barely acknowledged us, so we simply guessed that there wasn’t any assigned seating and boarded the train before it was too late.

Tremini station

Trains at the Tremini station

 Train ride from Rome to Pisa

All aboard!

Once we did get on the train, we saw there were no numbers on the seats and thus no assigned seating was a confirmed thing for us.

The four-hour train ride actually passed by quickly.  I slept for half of it.  The seats were quite comfortable and wide.  We had air conditioning in our train cabin (apparently not every cabin had air conditioning, so we were lucky that the one we chose to sat in had it).  There were washrooms available too (clean ones).  There was no food trolley service available and you had to pay attention to your stop to get off as there were quite a lot of them and the announcements were softly heard on the speakers.

Hotel La Pace

Our one-night stay at Hotel La Pace

We arrived at the Pisa Centrale station at 2:15 p.m. on schedule.  Our hotel for our one-night day in Pisa was just two minutes walking from the station.  It was super convenient!

Upon checking into Hotel La Pace seamlessly, we were in search of lunch.

Unfortunately while there were a lot of good restaurants which were in the area, they were closed at 3 p.m.  Google Maps then showed me a good restaurant 10 minutes away from us and also on the way to the Leaning Tower (which was where we were going to after lunch).  Unfortunately, when we got there, the recommended restaurant was closed!  They must have not updated their business hours to reflect the change on Google Maps.

streets of Pisa

Walking through the streets of Pisa to find lunch

 streets of Pisa

Another sunny and hot day for walking

Tuscan lunch at Numeroundici

Tuscan lunch at Numeroundici

Anyway, we looked two doors down and found Numeroundici, a cafeteria-type restaurant, and walked in to eat since we didn’t want to pursue any others at that point.  We were in for a pleasant surprise because this turned out to be one of the best meals so far on this trip.

We ordered two mains and two sides and two drinks as well as bread.  We finally were able to try Italian tripe too!

Read all about this amazing Tuscan lunch at Numeroundici here.

Next up, we had a quick stop to the closest pharmacy to get after-bite and insect repellent because the mosquitoes were painfully eating me alive.

 streets of Pisa

These winding streets ❤

We also stopped into the Galileo Art Cafe (Via Garofani, 6, 56125 Pisa PI, Italy) for an Americano (and to use their speedy Wi-Fi).  After sitting there for a spell, I couldn’t grasp the concept of how they had anything affiliated with the Galileo scientist.  It was a very spacious and modern cafe though.

 Coffee at Galileo Art Cafe

Coffee break at Galileo Art Cafe

Anyway, we crossed the bridge across Arno River to casually browse for the Leaning Tower of Pisa (Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy).  We didn’t need to follow any maps for this one since the area was small and we had all the time in the world to sightsee Pisa.  The Ponte di Mezzo bridge was gorgeous.

Ponte di Mezzo bridge

Approaching the Ponte di Mezzo bridge

Arno River

The Ponte di Mezzo bridge crosses the Arno River

Ponte di Mezzo bridge

Ponte di Mezzo bridge

Ponte di Mezzo bridge

It was so sunny

Once on the other side, we encountered many restaurants and shops.  The restaurant patios were again of a different style here than Rome (and reminded me of the sidewalk patios in Montreal).  I stopped into a number of gelato shops to shop their flavours.  I noticed that flor di latte (sweetened cream, no flavourings, no egg yolks) was one I hadn’t noticed yet on our trip so far in Italy and made a mental note to try it before leaving Pisa.

 Patios and restaurants in Pisa

Patios and restaurants

 Garbage bins in Pisa

I neglected to get a photo of the huge rubbish bins in Rome. Thus, I had to snap one in Pisa

Soon, we did serendipitously encounter the famous slanted tower.  Yay!  It was a bit surreal at first to see it with my own eyes.  My first reaction was that it really was slanted in an abnormal way.  It was so beautiful and surreal to see it in person.

 Leaning Tower of Pisa first glimpse

The first look of the tower!

 Leaning Tower of Pisa backlit

Backlit

 Leaning Tower of Pisa ground

Slanted

tourist photos with the Leaning Tower

Typical photos with the tower

We did as the other tourists did and tried to “push” the tower or trick the camera into different angles to come out with a fun photo.  There were so many possibilities and you can get a good photo no matter how far or close you stand.  The photographer just has to know how to maneuver and adjust the angles to make the photograph look like you’re doing it perfectly.  It’s not an easy skill but one that takes practice and is achievable.

We saw nearly everyone trying to do this. XD

Leaning Tower of Pisa selfie

Our unique shot

Pisa Cathedral and the Leaning Tower

Pisa Cathedral and the Leaning Tower

Pisa Cathedral Square sunset

Sunset

 streets of Pisa

Heading back to the other side of the city as the light diminished

Gelateria Orso Bianco

Gelato selection from Gelateria Orso Bianco

After this, we got my much-wanted flor di latte gelato from Gelateria Orso Bianco (Via Francesco Crispi, 51, 56125 Pisa PI, Italy), a random gelato shop.  We got a small cup of flor di latte and stracciatella (vanilla and chocolate) gelato.

The flor di latte was so creamy and milky.  It was great.  I shouldn’t have chosen the second flavour that had a vanilla base since it became tough to differentiate the flavours.

Flor di latte and stracciatella (vanilla and chocolate) gelato

Flor di latte and stracciatella (vanilla and chocolate) gelato

After this, we were in search for dinner.  It took a while since we were purposely avoiding “tourist trap” restaurants and wanted authentic local dining experiences.

Ponte di Mezzo bridge at night

Ponte di Mezzo bridge at night

By chance, while trying to find a restaurant, we stumbled upon this famous mural.  It’s called Tuttomondo (Allworld – The Pisa’s Mural ) by Keith Haring that is dedicated to universal peace.

Tuttomondo mural by Keith Haring

Tuttomondo mural by Keith Haring

Ristorante Lo Schiaccianoci dinner

Wine and seafood at Ristorante Lo Schiaccianoci

We finally ended up at Ristorante Lo Schiaccianoci, a mom and pop restaurant serving Tuscan cuisine and seafood.  We were in for a treat.  We didn’t have to wait for a table when walking in at 9:30 p.m. on a Friday evening.

Read about our seafood dinner at Lo Schiaccianoci here.

I’m so glad that we got two authentic Italian experiences out of our very short visit to Pisa!  Who would have known that we’d stumble on such quality eats?  I feel super fortunate so far. 🙂

Tomorrow, we depart Pisa and head to Florence!

– – –

Read about what we did on all the days of our Eurotrip!

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About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and a really silly person if you get to know me well enough. =)
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