Four:
Camping is the way to meet the real travellers and get up to date tips.  Meeting new people in a hotel or B&B will likely not happen. People are more inclined to master up a chat with dirty faced bikers than trying to chat you up in a hotel. The same goes for us. It is easier to walk over to a man or woman sitting under their campervan awning and struck up a conversation than knocking on your neighbour’s door in a hotel.

The best travel advice,  routes,  places to see and stay was through fellow travellers in campsites who were interested in our bikes and shared their knowledge. It’s a good feeling to share your experiences with other travellers.

The city of Pisa is a short hop from Florence, Bologna and Tuscany. The small towns along the back roads in the region take you back in time.  It is unbelievable that buildings can be this well looked after for such a long time.

Way off the beaten track restaurants with warm hearted people.
Way off the beaten track – restaurants with warm hearted people.

It’s beautifully relaxing riding the narrow back roads to Pisa.  People go their way as if time stood still. It’s 10ish in the morning while people spend time in small bars drinking Vino Novello chatting the time away. Some restaurants only offer set menus and it is impossible to order separate dishes.

It makes sense as it’s small family owned restaurants and easier to make a set menu (menu fisso) than having a list of options. For us it is a problem as it’s impossible to eat all that food and still have to ride.

Small town streets.
Small town streets.

The back road restaurants are where the passion for eating and lovely owners chat to us as if we are long lost family members coming home for a meal.  We got offered desserts for free and were kissed and hugged as if we were close family. We could only spend a day in Pisa.

The same old town narrow streets with the small bars and street markets are all over. It is busy, really busy! We were lucky that it was out of season and cold. It was relatively easy going with no crowds. The Campo dei Miracoli or, in English,  the Field of Miracles is home to the buildings that have made Pisa famous. The four most notable Pisan buildings are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral (Duomo) of Pisa, the Baptistery, and the burial grounds of the Campo Santo.

 The four most notable Pisan buildings are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral (Duomo) of Pisa and the Baptistery.
The four most notable Pisan buildings are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral (Duomo) of Pisa and the Baptistery.
It is only when there that you realise how much the tower is leaning. The other buildings are also in some state of sinking.
It is only when there, that you realise how much the tower is leaning. The other buildings are also in some state of sinking.
Hail to the tower. All taking the same picture.
Hail to the tower. All taking the same picture.

Worthwhile spending a day there and wait till evening until the hordes of tourists have left.

Pisa at night.
Pisa at night.

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