We arrived in Pisa after our flight from Paris at about 11.30pm so we hailed a cab at the airport and went to our hotel for the night. We decided to spend a night in Pisa because we thought it would be too difficult to catch a train at 1am and walk from Florence Santa Maria Novella Station at 2.30am to our apartment. So we booked a room at a hotel near Pisa Centrale. When we arrived at the hotel the concierge said he did not have a reservation for us and he was fully booked for the night. (Grrrrr) I was not happy and my computer would not load up quickly enough for me to show him the email I got saying we had a reservation. Anyway the concierge called another hotel nearby and got us the same deal with breakfast (apparently we were saving 30euros). So with 2 cranky and tired children we gathered up our luggage and walked (yes, walked) from the hotel at least 250m down the road, turn left at the piazza and look for the sign saying Minerva Hotel. The least the concierge could’ve done at that time of night (now midnight) was pay for a taxi to take us. I know 250m doesn’t sound like it far but at that time of night with 2 children and 3 suitcases and a backpack it is not fun. (GRRR).
Anyway the new hotel was very nice and spacious and we had a lovely breakfast when we woke. We walked to the train Station and bought tickets through the self service machine. It costs around 6euro each for adults and 3 euros each for children 4-11years old. So if you are staying in Florence and you want to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa (without paying 100euros each for a tour) you can visit Pisa in a day by train to Pisa Centrale and use the Red line bus to get to the Leaning Tower (this way will cost less than 100euros for the family). There are trains going to and from Pisa Centrale to Florence all the time.
After a 1 - 1.30 hour train ride we were back ‘home’ in our apartment in Florence. And happy to be back in familiar surroundings and the comfort of home. Although very sad to be out of Paris.
We spent a few days relaxing at home in Florence before packing our swimmers and bags for the Cinque Terre.