Everyone’s heard about Pisa thanks to its Leaning Bell Tower, but did you know Pisa has over 20 historic churches, medieval palaces and amazing bridges over the Arno river? If not, it’s time for you to book your flight to Pisa Airport and discover the city thoroughly. Well, it is also a place with undeniable academic history and incredible vibrant nightlife, so you will surely be well amused. This, once Etruscan, city is also the capital of the Province of Pisa, situated in Tuscany, which you must explore, best with a car hire in Pisa – it’s position is perfect for daily road trips. The incredible historical richness radiates an intense energy that assures Pisa stays on the map of the most important cities in the world and makes it a perfect vacation destination.
Basic info and car hire in Pisa
- Location: Tuscany, western Italy
- Population: 90,000
- Official language: Italian
- Currency: Euro
- Weather: Mediterranean
- Public holidays in Italy: For public holidays in Italy click here »
- Internet coverage: You have free Wi-Fi access in Pisa if you register here, there will be some Wi-Fi coverage in local cafés and restaurants, though there still many places where you will not have Internet access.
- Car hire in Pisa: You can easily pick up your car hire at Pisa Airport or in city centre – whatever suits your plan and accommodation type best! You will find car hire agencies in the Terminal area at the Pisa Airport – Keddy, Sicily by Car and Avis offices are on spot, whereas Sixt and other agencies will offer a shuttle bus service. In the city centre, we recommend Happy Rent Italy, Europcar and Keddy agencies.
Driving in Pisa
Even though the traffic can be a bit busy during peak hours, the city should not cause major troubles to any driver – the road network is well connected and in good condition. Check here for helpful details about the traffic rules, suggestions and contacts for your trip in Pisa. What we do recommend is to be an extremely cautious driver, using signalization when changing direction, and to always have a map or a GPS by your side.
- Age limit: 21 or 20, but remember, that any driver under 25, pays an additional young driver fee.
- International Driving Permit: The IDP is a necessity for any driver having his or hers driving license in non-Latin alphabet or for drivers of any nationality outside the EU (be sure to check with your car hire provider before the rental).
- Additional papers: ID (passport), voucher, valid credit card with sufficient funds.
- Additional requirements: A warning triangle and a reflective vest.
- Children in the car: All children that are under 12 years old must be seated in a baby or child seat of appropriate size, you can choose the right one upon your pick up, but best is to book them in advance.
- Driving side of the road: Right.
- Lights: The car hire must have the light on during the night, but for safety reasons we recommend them even during daytime.
- General speed limits: Drive 50 km/h or 31 mph on the urban roads, 70 or 90 km/h (44-56 mph) on the Strada extraurbana secondaria, on the highway the limit is from 130 -150 km/h (80 – 93 mph), see here for more details.
- Parking suggestions: There are free and payable parking solutions for your car hire in Pisa, check this amazing website with best suggestions for you. Its city centre is considered as limited traffic zone, so park outside city walls and you'll be all right.
What to see in Pisa
Our favourite spots
Tower of Pisa
Tower of Pisa - this incredible monument from medieval Europe is the only way to start your exploration of Pisa. It’s 60m tall and is the most famous part of the cathedral complex called Campo dei Miracoli. Do make sure you book your tickets in advance or else you will not be able to visit it!
Park your car for free at Parcheggio Via Pietrasantina and you’ll be 10-minute walk away from the Tower.
Visit this large square that was once a political centre and take a look at the surrounding buildings which are simply charming. Nowadays, they are mainly used for educational purposes, and Scuola Normale di Pisa is located there.
Find a metered parking space close to the city centre, or much better use the bus or taxi.
Orto Botanico di Pisa
The Botanical Garden will give you a different kind of beauty in Pisa. It’s the first botanical garden in Europe, moved three times to its present location and was always an important social checkpoint for the local people. Even today, one of its function is the Botanical school.
Find a parking spot in the parking house close to Prato della Valle.
Regardless of your religious orientation, this church should be on your bucket list. Built somewhere in 12th century, and decorated with incredible paintings, works of numerous great painters, statues and other decorations, it radiates beauty and the ethereal.
Park your car at Parcheggio Santa Caterina.
Hotels in Pisa
Hotel Pisa Tower
San Ranieri Hotel
Drive your rental car around Pisa
Tuscany truly offers a mysterious and interesting landscapes and history and the only way to explore it is with your car hire in Pisa. There are many fascinating locations you will find, but we recommend visiting the wonderful Siena town, known for its amazing monuments, or drive off to a wonderful medieval village of Boccaccio, called Certaldo. History, culinary pleasures and wonderful nature of Tuscany is waiting for you.
Major events and festivals in Pisa
The festivity takes place the night before Pisa’s patron saint’s day, when hundreds of candles and torches illuminate the river and its banks, and the sky gets lit up by the amazing fireworks.
Another festivity taking place is Gioco del Ponte, a medieval combat happening on the bridge Ponte di Mezzo. Make sure you’re in town the last Sunday in June and be a part of this one-of-a kind event.