Despite popular tourist opinion, there is a lot more to see and experience in Pisa beyond its leaning tower. Pisa is a university town through and through. The University of Pisa has about 60,000 students in a city of only 100,000 inhabitants. When we walked through the town at night there were students congregated in several of the plazas, and they were all talking, having fun, and of course eating gelato. In addition, Pisa is home to the Scuola Normale Superiore, a highly selective university that can boast many accomplished alumni. It is the best in all of Italy, and probably one of the best in all of Europe. The college feel so prevalent around the town made us feel very welcome as we walked around with gelato in hand.
For our short stay in Pisa, the three of us enjoyed our accommodations at Michele Guest House on Via Amerigo Vespucci 103. Michele was very welcoming, full of information, and always high energy. He shared some of his photographs with us, including some hidden photos that he had mounted on tiles and placed throughout the bread and breakfast. Although he was a bit of character, his friendliness and valuable recommendations of where to eat and what to see while in Pisa made this the perfect spot to spend our one night.