Nice, no? If you wanted, you could see millions of pictures of the leaning tower and its religious supporting structures on the internet. Half of them would feature the classic view with people holding up the tower. (Cute. Why didn’t I think of that?) But this was the view from the spacious balcony of my hotel room—with a tiny bit of telephoto action behind it. The picture was taken in the early morning after a day of rain, so there’s plenty of haze to mystify the surroundings.
If you look at a map, you’ll see that the Piazza dei Miracoli, the rectangular green from which this ill-designed eye-candy springs, is in the far northwest corner of Pisa, about as far away from the train station as you could put it. There’s not much else beyond it you’d want to see, mostly it’s just fields that don’t contain miracles. So putting a hotel out there a short ways away is pure genius. Putting a place you vacation at on Via Caduti Del Lavoro is another stroke of pure genius. It reminds you that you can die while doing work. So quit working and get to that hotel and get out the camera and start shooting (but don’t lean over the railing on your balcony too much.
The hotel is a spa/business hotel, my favorite kind. I no longer need the tourist crutches of worm-eaten beamed ceilings and toilet seats that don’t stand up on their own to remind me I’m in Italy. I want free internet, a desk upon which to work, and a shower with a hand shower that spews hot water in abundance. The hotel, called Abitalia Tower Plaza went one better, it had dual showers, glassed in so you could watch your sweet honey lather up (or whomever you’re sharing your room with).
And the restaurant had good food, too. Local food, well-prepared, with excellent wines. You don’t often get that kinda thing in business hotels.
There are even expensive signs in brushed stainless steel to guide you to the gigantic blue tub of water outside that Italians call the Piscina. Problem was, the signs read “poll.” Planning, and double-checking, is everything.
But overall, a very nice hotel, not so far from Pisa Airport. And guess what? They let us leave our car in their parking lot while we spent a week in Sardinia. Free.
You can’t beat that.
Find out more or book it: Abitalia Tower Plaza
Or if you decide to just make a run for the Piazza dei Miracoli from the train station because you’ve planned one of those 14 country in ten day vacations, see our video: Getting from Pisa Train Station to the Leaning Tower in a Hurry
Maybe they should have a street dedicated to the vacation fallen, the Via Caduto de Vacanza.