After many visits to Italy we finally decided it was time to take a day trip to Pisa. I think we have intentionally avoided it because of the crowds and it just seemed so touristy. Well, yesterday was our day to bite the bullet and see what millions before us (including my dad during WWII) have seen.
One of the reasons we decided to go is because Pisa is a simple 30 minute trip by either train or bus from Lucca, which means you can go for just a few hours if you want. After seeing the tower and the craziness around the Piazza dei Miracoli (area where the tower, baptistry and cathedral are located) we took off for the other side of the Arno River to check out the rest of the centro.
We were pleasantly surprised by Pisa’s downtown area. I have to say that walking up and down the main street we didn’t hear anyone speaking anything but Italian. I have a feeling that most of the day trippers never leave the area around the tower.
One of our objectives in visiting Pisa was to seek out the restaurant owned by the brother of friends of ours from San Diego. The Bucci brothers who own Pappalecco, a gelateria and cafe in Little Italy San Diego, hail from Pisa. Their brother Giovanni stayed behind and opened Il Bistrot, a small restaurant located on a quiet square a quick walk from Pisa’s main street. The restaurant was charming and our simple and flavorful lunch was the perfect ending to our morning in Pisa.
Thank you Giovanni for feeding us and taking the time to come out of the kitchen to chat with two strangers from California.