I’m not even sure where to start with this post. The food in Italy was just so good. SO GOOD.
We ate pizza and garlic bread and spaghetti and gelato every day, and I do not regret a single thing. Other than I didn’t try even more gelato flavours!
So here’s the lowdown on the restaurants and cafes Jade and I tried during our weekend in Pisa!
We landed in Pisa and headed straight to Allegroitalia Tower Plaza to freshen up, before heading into the town in search for pizza-pasta-cheesy goodness.
We found Antica Trattoria tucked in a side street opposite the Leaning Tower of Pisa with outdoor seating, so after a quick look at the menu, we settled down to try our first Italian pizza. For just €8 each, we had a freshly baked pizza and a cold fizzy drink to tuck in to. We certainly couldn’t argue for that price, and we had a super clear view of the tower!
Jade ordered the Margarita, a fluffy dough base with a crunchy top, spread with tomato and sprinkled with cheese.
I ordered the Marinara, a light crispy pizza dough with a tomato, garlic and oregano sauce. It was deliciously crunchy and super garlicky.
The photos don’t really do the pizzas any justice. In fact, they look almost radioactive in the photos. But it was a great sized pizza that’s big enough for a bigger lunch or lightbite for dinner. And for €8 for a pizza and fizzy drink, you can’t really complain!
We walked around the corner and found La Torre, a little gelato shop tucked into the touristy shops and cafes. Considering we were just by the tower, we were expecting to pay a lot of money for the gelato but surprisingly it was pretty cheap,with two scoops for €2.50 and 3 scoops for €3.50!
Jade ordered mint and cream gelato and I had tiramisu, cookies n’ cream and chocolate. The tiramisu flavour was INCREDIBLE. I still think about it now! Chunky bits of soaked cake and chocolate chips whipped into super sickly chocolate ice cream. Mmmmmm.
Feeling rather full, we walked back to the hotel and sat out on the balcony and watched the sun set, before turning in for the night for a full day of exploring Florence the next day!
Having read a few Tripadvisor reviews on the best pizzerias in Florence, Gusto Pizza was popping up every other time, so we headed there after a morning of walking and exploring Florence.
The pizzeria is said to be a popular jaunt with locals and students nearby, and I can totally see why. The little restaurant makes their own fresh dough in the mornings and they have their very own pizza oven to cook the pizzas. Within a matter of minutes, our pizzas were prepared and baked, ready to eat!
Jade and I both ordered the Calabrese pizza (tomato, spicy salami, basil and mozzarella) in a heart shape, which cost €8, and a fizzy drink each for €2.50. There are seats indoors for those that fancy watching the pizzas being made and enjoying the company of others, or there’s some seating just outside to bask in the sun. We decided to walk out a little to find a sunny spot to enjoy our pizza.
This was hands down my favourite pizza from the whole trip. And quite possibly the best pizza I’ve had, ever!
The dough was deliciously crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the toppings worked so well together. The soft torn mozzarella, spicy salami and chilli oil made for a delicious flavoursome combination. We could have definitely gotten away with sharing a pizza though, they’re really filling!
We walked for a little while and found a gelato shop just off the square. It’s worth having a little hunt around for gelato shops, as the first shop we found charged €10 for 3 scoops, and there was no way I was parting with that much! We walked a few doors down and found Pizzeria Birreria, selling homemade gelato for €5!
Jade ordered nutella and cream gelato. The nutella gelato tasted incredible, it was real nutella spread folded into chocolate gelato and my gosh, it was so chocolatey, rich and smooth – but it was a right treat.
I ordered tiramisu, coffee and chocolate gelato. The coffee was deliciously rich and creamy with a lovely strong taste of coffee, and the chocolate gelato was thick and creamy. I loved the tiramisu gelato in Pisa, so I just had to try it in Florence!
I love the way they presented their home made gelato as well; the coffee flavour had a little cup on top with coffee beans sprinkled on top, and the mango gelato had large chunks of mango on the top!
We walked around Florence some more, (hiking up almost 2,000 steps to the top of the viewpoint) and plodded back to the station. I popped in to Pandora as well and bought the cutest Italian charm to add to my travel bracelet!
We headed home on the train from Florence to Pisa, and walked for around 20 minutes until we crossed a bridge and were back in the heart of Pisa.
We stayed down the same strip when it came to looking for places to eat in the evening, as the Leaning Tower made for a beautiful, picturesque backdrop in the hazy afternoon sunshine.
We found L’Europea, a pretty little restaurant with cosy outdoor seating with blankets and heaters. The waiters were so friendly and were helpful at recommending dishes we should try.
Jade ordered a Hawaiian pizza with a coke. The pizza looked so fresh and flavoursome – we could even smell the pineapple rings, so we knew it was fresh pineapple as opposed to a tin of pineapple.
I ordered the ham & mushroom carbonara and a fanta. The pasta was a little on the cold side but again tasted really fresh. The pasta was delicate and soft, and the creamy sauce made the dish really mourish. It came with a little side of fresh Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top, which gave it a lovely cheesy kick!
We couldn’t find any restaurant in Pisa that did garlic bread, so we requested it here and they kindly made it for us. The garlic bread was warm ciabatta drizzled in garlic oil and served on a wooden board with optional fresh garlic to add on top of the bread. It was mouth wateringly crunchy and garlicky, the best I’ve had in a long time.
The bill came to €34 for the both of us, which is a great price considering a) the fantastic views and b) we were in a super touristy spot.
We headed back to the hotel to chill for the evening. We’d managed to rack up over 26,000 steps in the day, so a chilled early-ish night was needed!
We got up early and headed into Pisa for a day of exploring, which I’ll divulge into in the 72 hours in Pisa post!
We headed into town early Sunday morning to book tickets for the tower and hire out bikes to ride around the city. We booked tickets and headed to a Ristoro Pecorino, a little quaint cafe, to relax as the sun was rising. Jade and I both ordered a warm lemon croissant and I ordered a cappuccino, something that a previous waiter said we had to try whilst we were in Italy!
I’m not the biggest coffee fan but I’ll drink it if it’s there. I was pleasantly surprised with the coffee, it had a lovely thick froffy top and the coffee was silky with a slight bitter after taste. It set me up well for a day of exploring and walking around!
The bill came to €7 for the two of us, which again is ridiculously cheap considering we were in a touristy area. It set us up well for a day of walking, cycling and exploring for our final day in Pisa!
McDonald’s in Pisa
I’m not even sorry to admit this but, we had McDonald’s for lunch in Pisa. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. McDonald’s? In Italy? Are you mad?!?!
Perhaps, but McDonald’s abroad is just so much tastier and they have exciting things on the menu! Including a chicken nugget bucket (just like KFC) various limited edition burgers and even a separate coffee section where they sold cakes and macaroons!
After much deliberation, we ordered cheesy chips and chicken nuggets to share, and a coconut milkshake each.
The cheesy chips were good, but not great. It’s essentially a tray of standard chips, with cheesy sauce poured on the top. I wish I had ordered the chilli cheese topping for a little extra kick!
The coconut milkshake however was another story. Thick and creamy, and so coco-nutty, this milkshake was a winner in my eyes. Fingers crossed it makes its way over to the UK ASAP!
It was super hot on Sunday, so we decided to head back to La Torre and try out some different flavoured home made sorbet.
Jade ordered the lemon and mint gelato and I ordered mango and lemon gelato; both tasted really refreshing, and cooled us down in the afternoon sun.
We headed back to the hotel to freshen up and chill out, before getting ready to head back into town for dinner.
Pizzeria Trattoria – La Buca
We headed to La Buca for dinner, a cute little restaurant tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main square. After a little peruse of the menu, we decided we would order a main each and then share some garlic bread.
Jade ordered a margarita pizza with a coke. Jade said this pizza was one of her favourites from the trip to Italy; crunchy, not too doughy and just the right amount of cheese and tomato topping!
I ordered the pomodora pasta with a lemonade. The pasta was soft, with a delicious tomato and herb sauce and finely chopped tomatoes and onions. I sprinkled lots of Parmesan cheese on top too which gave a lovely cheesy after taste.
Again, garlic bread wasn’t on the menu but they kindly made it for us. This was probably my favourite garlic bread out of the two we had. Served on fresh, warm ciabatta bread, drizzled with garlic oil and crushed garlic cloves on top, it was the most garlicky bread I’d ever had but it was so delicious.
The bill came to €26 for the both of us, which was another reasonable bill considering we were located right in a touristy hot spot.
As it was our last night, we headed back to L’Europea for a couple of drinks to round off the weekend. Italys’ speciality drinks are Aperol Spritzer and Lemonchello, so we made sure we tried them before we left! The Lemonchello shot was seriously strong – think lemon meringue but x100000 stronger. It was pleasantly sweet though, which I loved! The Aperol Spritzer wasn’t my favourite but I’m glad I tried it.
The drink is made from Aperol, an Italian apéritif made of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and cinchona among other ingredients, and prosecco and a splash of soda. It has a fairly strong after taste but it’s one of those drinks that I can say yep, I visited Italy and totally tried that! The bill came to €22 for the two of us, and we even had some free ready salted crisps to munch along with the drinks!
Over all, Jade and I ate really well in Italy and we visited some great restaurants, cafes and gelato shops. The food and drink In Pisa really is quite cheap and you can comfortably order starters, dinner and drinks for two people for no more than €30.
I can’t wait to post about what we got up to in Pisa and Florence, and I’m missing the pizza, spaghetti and ice cream life very much!