Pisa, home of the Leaning Tower, is a top tourist destination in Tuscany. The historical centre is small enough to explore in one day and perfect for a change of scene from Florence. Many low cost companies fly to the Pisa airport, making it a central transport hub. Bare in mind that the airport is about a fifteen minute drive from the centre.
But how do you get from Pisa to Florence? The two cities are 85 kilometres apart and easily reachable one from the other. This article covers the different transport options that connect the two cities: train, car and private transfer.
From Florence to Pisa by Train
There are two types of trains that connect Florence to Pisa: the regionale (slower) and regionale veloce (faster). They both cost €8.60 one way. The slow train takes up to 1.30 hour while the fast one takes about 1.00 hour. At busier times they pass every 10 to 12 minutes. Their frequency can go down to two in an hour at slower times. Consider that Italian trains often run late and can sometimes be unexpectedly cancelled. The latest train leaves Florence station at 12.40 am and the earliest leaves at 4.30 am.
If you want to go to the Pisa airport, you have to take the train to the Pisa central station and then switch to a people mover (basically a cable car on rails) that will take you to the airport. There is a people mover every 5 to 8 minutes at €2.70 one way. Service runs from 4.30 am to 1.30 am.
The main benefit of taking the train is the lack of traffic. During the high season, the highway can be extremely congested with people going to the seaside. On the other hand, trains can be irregular and you could end up stranded in Pisa if you miss the lass train out! The station is about a half an hour walk from the famous Piazza dei Miracoli.
Florence to Pisa by Car
If you don’t want to worry about timetables, drive to Pisa. There are two possible options: the A11 highway and the FI-PI-LI Superstrada (basically the expressway that connects Florence to Pisa and then Livorno). There is no great difference in travel time between the FI-PI-LI and A11 and both ways have tolls.
If you take the A11, make sure to exit at Lucca Est and then follow directions to Pisa.
Taking the car to Pisa allows for greater mobility and flexibility. Beware of ZTLs though! The historical centre of all Italian cities have strict regulations on traffic. Cameras track movements in those areas reserved to residents or pedestrians. You could be caught on film more than once and receive a hefty fine. Another disadvantage, is finding a place to park.
Taxi service from Florence to Pisa
A taxi service from Florence to Pisa, though more expensive, is the easiest option. Get picked up at your hotel without having to battle the traffic restrictions of both Florence and Pisa. Forget about having to find your way through rush hour traffic and locating a parking spot. Ask your driver for advice on the best places to visit on your way there and get dropped off directly in the centre of town, at your hotel or at the airport.