3 reasons to visit Pisa that are not the leaning tower

pisa hidden treasures

Are you looking for an incentive destination that your employees will love? Then Pisa is probably already on your list. But are you also looking for an incentive destination that will allow you to book unique and unusual experiences? Then you might not know that the answer is, amazingly, still Pisa. The Tuscan city has much more to offer than just its famous leaning tower and the square in which it is located. We have been creating incentive travel packages for over a decade and we know what corporate managers expect when booking a trip abroad. We also know what the employees expect, and the two do not necessarily coincide. We find Pisa to be the perfect solution. Here’s a short selection of our favourite activities and excursions, that will show you corners of Pisa you never knew existed and help your employees make amazing memories.

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1. The ancient walls of Pisa

One of the most amazing excursions in Pisa – and one that wasn’t open to the public until 2018 – is the tour of its ancient walls. The city walls had to be restored, which took several years, and are now officially open for business. The north segment of the walls was the first to be built, in the XII century, and it took almost two centuries for the whole project to be completed. Nowadays, there are approximately seven kilometres of walls left, with an average height of ten metres and three towers, and walking on the ramparts will give you a completely different perspective on the city and its famous landmarks. Try to imagine how the city might have looked, when its expansion was so drastically limited by a set of high walls, with the countryside stretching beyond them and a large part of what nowadays constitutes the living, breathing organism of this city lost in the distance, in the form of a galaxy of scattered villages.

pisa ancient walls

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2. The Guelph Tower

The part of Pisa known as the “old city” occupies the area that served as the city’s shipyard since the late Middle-Ages, before being converted into part of the defensive complex. The Guelph Tower was built at the end of this architectural evolution, in the early XV Century, after Pisa passed under Florentine rule. Almost entirely destroyed during WWII, the tower was entirely rebuilt in 1956. What you can see today is a perfect reproduction of the ancient building, since the original designs were preserved and used for the reconstruction. This tower is a testament to a turbulent past when this region – which nowadays appears of the epitome of peaceful living – was torn by warring factions. It is no coincidence, after all, that the very feud that caused the Guelph Tower to be built gave us literary masterpieces such as Dante’s Divine Comedy.

3. The Museum of Ancient Ships

This is another attraction that you might not have visited if you travelled to Pisa in the past. The Museum of Ancient Ships opened in 2017 on the Medici Arsenal, by the river, on the Lungarno Ranieri Simonelli. If you are looking for a unique excursion to work into your schedule, this might be the perfect fit. Only accessible by appointment, the Museum of Ancient Ships will offer you a guided tour with a local archaeologist, that will take you through the precious findings kept there. There are over 30 ships and boats (some of them intact) dating back to different ages in the Roman Empire, and over 8000 artifacts connected with them.

pisa ancient ships

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She is a part-time digital nomad. She would go full-time, if only she could stay away from Berlin for long enough without pining for a Pretzel. She was born in Italy and she enjoys life as an expat, but visits home often enough and can still remember how to bake a perfect lasagna. She is passionate about writing, marketing, languages and the systematic demolition of cultural stereotypes.

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