Issue 46 / Fly To Pisa Italy And Eat Pizza The Right Way

Fly To Pisa Italy And Eat Pizza The Right Way

Apr 20, 2016

Pizza lover? Well, it only makes sense to taste the cuisine the authentic way — in Pisa Italy!

"I'm flying out to Pisa, just to get some pizza," Jay-Z boasts in "Talk That Talk," a hit song with Rihanna. Jay-Z’s suggestion seems logical — if given the opportunity, why wouldn’t someone fly to Pisa just to eat some pizza?

Living in London, the short flight to Pisa, a town located in Tuscany Italy, is a feasible option to satisfy cravings for authentic, Italian pizza. With a population of around 90,000 people, one may assume that locals would be all of Italian decent but don’t be surprised if your pizza is presented to you with a smile by a South Asian server. The reality is, there is a large South Asian population in Italy; Sri Lankans are actually one of the biggest ethnic populations residing in the country.

With heavy immigration taking place throughout the 1990s, most South Asians work in dairy farms or agriculture sectors. The increase in immigration and long-term residency happened when the Italian government was facing a shortage of workers and offered amnesty to illegal migrants. When visiting Pisa, you will discover South Asians own a few of the small convenience shops in the area. The sheer delight they feel when encountering South Asian customers is contagious. Don’t be surprised if popping into a shop to pick up a diet coke results in an animated conversation with the shop employee (in Punjabi) about where you’re visiting from and their own journey being Indian and living in Italy. Not only will they take the time to choose what they feel are just the right products for you (even if it’s just a simple bottled drink), you may even get a small discount for reminding them of home. One note of caution is to be mindful of your timeframe — the friendliness is contagious but with the beautiful sights to see in the area, it’s important to get your products and keep moving.


The warmth Indian-Italians welcome you with is undeniable. Hand selected bottle by a South Asian shop owner. Some people know you without knowing you.
Photo Credit: Rachna Sethi

With your drink in hand, strolling through the streets of Pisa makes for a perfectly charming afternoon. Most popularly known for the Leaning Tower (Torre Pendente), visiting Pisa is a sensory experience full of sights, sounds and flavours. Whether it be one of the city’s monuments or independent art sold on the streets, Pisa's certainly worth a short visit and can easily be done as a day trip.

        MiracleSquarePisaRachna Sethi

Soak up the surrondings. Enjoy a picnic with a view in the Square of Miracles.
Photo Credit: Rachna Sethi

The first suggested stop in Pisa (even before the pizza) is the Square of Miracles (Piazza dei Miracoli). The monuments and architectural beauty make it easy to understand why it’s named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the square, tourists flock to take pictures with the astonishing Leaning Tower that took 199 years to build. Certainly worth climbing the stairs to see the view, an area highlight is the casual nature in which the surrounding grassy area is filled with people, enjoying picnic lunches and soaking in the spectacular view. Packed pizza boxes and a variety of other options are available within a 5 to 10 minute walking distances and eating in the beauty of the square is an experience not to miss.


Skip the trains. The small city is best explored by foot.
Photo Credit: Rachna Sethi

Hard to determine a favourite amongst all the beautiful monuments found in the square, a visit inside the Cathedral of Pisa (Duomo di Pisa), located right by the Leaning Tower, is voted the #3 must-see attraction on Trip Advisor. With its first stone laid in 1093, sadly many of the historical artwork was destroyed in a fire in 1595 but with hard-work, elements were restored and the beautiful marble façade design keep it eye-catching and pristine looking. The Leaning Tower was actually made to be the bell tower for the church but due to its architecture, it’s become the more popular piece of architecture. Give yourself enough time to mindfully stroll throughou all the beautiful places and make sure you have lots of picture storage space to capture the detailed artwork. At every turn there’s another carved sculpture, pillar or stunning piece of artwork décor.

A Leaning Tower selfie is a must.
Photo Credit: Rachna Sethi

If you stay long enough to get tired of the pizza and pasta (if that’s even possible) or if you are craving some curry, it's possible to find South Asian food in Pisa. Ask the friendly shop owners for suggestions or check out the Top 5 Indian Restaurants as rated on Trip Advisor. Though the restaurants may not be ideal if you’re looking for a quiet place to eat and read, the enthusiasm of the staff on making chit chat about your nationality and sharing their experiences living in Italy is a warm, welcoming experience, similar to going to an uncle’s house for a cup of chai.

Main Image Photo Credit:

Rachna Sethi


Rachna (@thesassyspiritual) is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfuln...


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