FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Korean Air

Explore Pisa, Italy, Beyond the Leaning Tower

by Barbara Rogers

Mar 14, 2024

© Bogdan Lazar | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

If your family is planning to travel in central Italy, you’ll probably have Pisa on your itinerary. One of the world’s most famous travel icons is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, La Torre Pendente.

 

The tower wasn’t intended to become famous for its failure to stand up straight, but its tilt toward the north began before the third level was completed. The tower sat unfinished for a century before construction resumed, with slightly longer walls on the north to help balance the weight. But it still leaned by more than 5 degrees when the marble bell chamber was added in the late 1500s. In the 1990s, extensive restoration stabilized the tower, and today you can climb the 294 steps up the slanting spiral staircase to the top platform.

 

There’s more to this ancient port city than its tilting tower, though, and Pisa is worth more than a quick stop and climb.

 

The tower is the bell tower for the Duomo, Pisa’s cathedral, which stands next to it. One of the most magnificent of Italy’s many landmark churches, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is a treasure house of art, where you can see works of the finest medieval artists and craftsmen.

 

The artistic highlights in the cathedral are the Cimabue mosaic above the main altar, the bronze doors and the beautiful carved pulpit by Giovanni Pisano. A second carved pulpit by Pisano is in the Baptistery, the third building in this complex known as Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles). On the same ticket, you can browse through the adjacent Cathedral Museum to see breathtaking gold and silver works and, from its second floor, get the best close-up view of the tower.

 

From the Campo dei Miracoli, follow Via Maffi to reach Borgo Stretto, where you’ll find restaurants and shops. Arcades line the narrow street, a popular place for Pisans to stroll and shop. Stop to see the collection of Italian art at Palazzo Blu, easy to spot for its blue façade.

 

More surprising is a newer work of art, one of Europe’s largest public murals, created by Keith Haring in 1989. One of Haring’s last works, Murale Tuttomondo is a colorful and animated message of humans and animals sharing the natural world in harmony.

 

If you’re using Pisa as a base for touring Lucca and the Tuscan hill towns, you might want to also take a break at one of the wide sand beaches that line the coast south of Pisa.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Multigenerational
Mar 28, 2024

Unforgettable Family Adventures Await at These 4 Multigenerational Destinations

The best type of family travel is when the whole family gets involved. For your next family trip, consider these multigenerational destinations and resorts.

Interior Upgrades Begin Rolling Out Across United Fleet

United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.

North America
Mar 26, 2024

Don’t Miss Grande Lakes Orlando’s Modern Willy Wonka Golden Ticket Experience

If you hear the phrase “golden ticket,” you’re apt to think of Willy Wonka and the popular films to have come from the franchise. But did you know Grande Lakes Orlando takes the golden ticket concept one step further? This spring, the popular resort pays homage to the classic film and recent movie Wonka with a one-of-a-kind Golden Ticket Experience.

Kids
Mar 21, 2024

Kids Can Now Adopt Plants at Grand Velas Los Cabos

Grand Velas Los Cabos recently launched a new Adopt-a-Plant program that allows kids to adopt and care for a plant of their choosing during their stay at the resort. The resort believes a love and appreciation for nature is more important than ever, and the hands-on activity will teach valuable lessons about responsibility and stewardship — perfect for family travelers!

United Airlines Celebrates its First Class of United Aviate Graduates

As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.

Cruising
Mar 19, 2024

Set Sail with City Cruises New York’s Spring Programming

City Cruises New York invites family travelers aboard this spring with seasonal offerings for Easter and Mother’s Day. Cruising along the East and Hudson Rivers, City Cruises hosts special brunches and dinners for the spring holidays.