Monthly Archives: September 2013

Three days in Pisa – parks and shopping – day 2

09:00 – Parco di Migliarino

After a typical Italian breakfast of a strong coffee and your choice of pastry accompaniment, head out of the city for the morning to get a wider sense of what the province of Pisa can offer.

Massaciuccoli Lake, Tuscany_pracucciParco di Migliarino, or Ente Parco Regionale di Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli, if you want to use its full, rather long-winded name, is a 230km2 coastal park running along the Mediterranean Sea. Barely five kilometres from the centre of Pisa, it’s a pleasant surprise to find such a huge green space and an untouched coastline by the sea so close to the city. Take your pick of which area of the park to explore and the method by which you do so, since there are many organised tours available by foot, horse-back, bike and boat.

The points of interest in the park are stunning in their variety, including the picturesque Massaciuccoli Lake, the Buche di Nerone – ruins of a Roman villa and spa, and various trails to take in the flora and fauna on the San Rossore Estate and the Tombolo Estate.

14:00 – Golf Club Tirrenia

A morning spent in the Parco di Migliarino is bound to whet the appetite as well as the imagination. Stay in the area for a little longer and head over to the Golf Club Tirrenia – it’s on the edge of the park and still benefits from the Mediterranean breeze and the natural, unkempt beauty of the area. Lunch in the golf club’s restaurant is a peaceful occasion and the Tuscan cuisine is top notch, as is the wine list for those who enjoy a lunchtime glass of wine.

16:00 – shopping

Shopping in Pisa_@rgsYou can’t visit Italy without doing a spot of shopping. If it’s more than souvenirs you’re after, (of which there are many around the Piazza del Duomo) check out Borgo Stretto, the most famous shopping street in Pisa lined with classy and high-end stores. Check out Hightech Malibu’ or Dei Massimo for their ranges of designer clothes.

As well as shopping, Borgo Stretto is also astronomer Galileo Galilei’s birthplace – look out for the plaque marking the spot above Caffè Settimelli. If you get hungry while on Borgo Stretto, make a pit stop at Pasticceria Salza, the oldest cake shop in Pisa and one of the most revered.

Corso Italia is another popular shopping option. Try Pica’ Srl for some of the best designer shoes in the city, Produmerie Douglas for designer perfumes and make-up and Elena Miro’s boutique for the designer’s latest collections. The Coin Department Store sells a good range of items at reasonable prices, while Librerie Feltrinelli is a great stop for books, gadgets and some of Pisa’s more original souvenirs.

While these main streets offer a shopper’s paradise, wander along some of the side streets in this area too, as this is where the Pisans like to do their shopping.

19:00 – dinner and drinks

salmon carpaccio_88369327Once you’re all shopped out, treat yourself to dinner at one of the best restaurants in town – Ristorante La Clessidra. Decorated in traditional Tuscan style, the seasonally changing menu under the helm of Giuseppe D’Angelo includes the likes of fish terrines and carpaccios, branzino pastas and prosciutto gnocchi.

After dinner, your evening out is only just beginning. Leningrad Café in the San Martino part of town is one of the most popular night-time destinations in Pisa. Open Wednesday to Sunday, the underground bar is a lively spot for a glass or two of local wine or beer. More often than not, the Leningrad Café also offers up another form of entertainment, which could be a play, a cabaret show or DJs playing a variety of music genres.