From Rome to Pisa: 5 Best Ways to Get There

Written by Diana Bocco
Updated May 26, 2022
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The historical city of Pisa sits on both sides of the River Arno, not far from the Renaissance city of Florence and surrounded by the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Pisa is close enough to Rome that it can be explored as a day trip, albeit a long one.

The drive between Rome and Pisa is about 350 kilometers and takes approximately four hours. Tours, trains, buses, or planes are also convenient ways to make the journey.

Learn all the options and details in advance with our list of the best ways to get from Rome to Pisa.

1. From Rome to Pisa by Tour

The leaning tower of Pisa
The leaning tower of Pisa

For a perfect mix of comfort and convenience, you might want to consider the 12-hour Small-Group Tour: Florence and Pisa Day Trip from Rome, which will allow you to discover not only the best of Pisa but also part of Florence and the countryside along the way.

After being picked up at your hotel in an air-conditioned minivan, you'll head down to Pisa to explore the medieval Pisa Cathedral, the Piazza del Duomo (surrounded by historical buildings), and the famous freestanding bell tower known as the Tower of Pisa.

After spending some time walking around and taking pictures, you'll continue your trip towards Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance.

Along the way, you'll get to enjoy picturesque views of the Tuscan countryside, before you arrive in beautiful Florence to visit the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore; the 82-meter-tall Giotto's bell tower; and Galleria dell'Accademia, home to the famous Michelangelo's sculpture David. You'll also stop by the medieval bridge Ponte Vecchio and walk the square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.

At the end of the day, the driver will bring you back to your hotel.

2. From Rome to Pisa by Train

High-speed train in Italy
High-speed train in Italy

Italy has a series of high-speed trains that connect different destinations, including the route between Rome and Pisa. Driving the 354 kilometers between the two cities would mean a four-hour drive, but the high-speed train covers the same route in just over two hours. Local trains also travel this route but take over three hours to reach Pisa.

The AV Frecciarossa high-speed trains offer more comfort, with air-conditioned cars, a café car, power outlets, and free drinks and newspapers for those traveling in first class.

The other option is to take a Regionale Veloce (RV) train, which offers semi-fast train services - some of these trains are nice and modern with air-conditioning, while others are older, and you'll have to open the windows to get some air in summer. As expected, the AV Frecciarossa trains are more expensive.

On this route, you can also take a privately owned Italo train line, the most expensive of the options and also the fanciest, which gets you to Pisa in one hour and 45 minutes.

Of the over 70 trains that travel from Rome to Pisa every day, some are direct, and others require a change midway in Florence. The first trains leave Rome at just before 7am and the last ones around 8pm. There are fewer trains on weekends and holidays, so plan accordingly.

All trains arrive at the Pisa Centrale station, just over two kilometers away from the main Pisa attractions and the city center. An easy ride on city bus number 1 gets you right to where the action is.

3. From Rome to Pisa by Bus

Ponte di Mezzo bridge in Pisa
Ponte di Mezzo bridge in Pisa

If money is an issue, buses will get you to Pisa for very little, though it will take longer to get there - five to six hours, depending on whether you have to change buses in Florence or not. Buy your ticket at least one week in advance for bigger discounts.

There are about four buses that connect Rome to Pisa every day (less on weekends), all of them departing from Bus Station Roma Tiburtina. Keep in mind that there are no departing buses in the late afternoon - the first bus leaves from the station at 2:10am and the last one just before 2pm.

A number of long-distance buses cover the route, with Eurolines and Flixbus taking the lead. These are comfortable buses, with free Wi-Fi, entertainment, and hot drinks on board. Buses stop at different places in Pisa, with the most popular arrival point being the Parcheggio Pietrasantina (Pietrasantina car park).

4. From Rome to Pisa by Plane

Aerial view of Pisa
Aerial view of Pisa

Up until 2021, local airline Alitalia was the only one that offered direct flights between Rome and Pisa. After the airline went out of business, your only flight choices between the cities include at least one stop, usually at Catania—Fontanarossa Airport in Sicily.

This makes flying longer and more inconvenient than taking the high-speed train. Depending on the time of day and connection, the total travel time could be anywhere from three and a half hours to over seven hours.

Flying now makes sense only in certain circumstances: for example, if you're arriving in Rome from another international location and want to head straight to Pisa. Or if you pick a flight with a long layover in Sicily – 10-hour layovers aren't that rare – and use the time to explore some of the top places to visit. The city of Catania sits at the base of the active volcano, Mount Etna, and is a great place to discover and photograph for a few hours.

There aren't daily flights on this route, but budget airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air depart from Rome's Fiumicino International Airport several times a week.

From Pisa's only airport, you can get to the city by bus or train. Buses take 10 to 15 minutes to reach the city center, depending on traffic, while the train reaches Pisa Centrale – the city's central train station – in just five minutes. Both trains and buses run every 30 minutes but only until the early evening. After that, you'll have to take a taxi; you'll find many parked just outside the arrival area.

5. From Rome to Pisa by Car

Late afternoon in Pisa, Italy
Late afternoon in Pisa, Italy

There are two main routes to travel between Rome and Pisa: the faster A1 or the quieter E80. In normal traffic conditions, both actually take about four hours to cover around 350 kilometers, but you're less likely to get stuck in traffic on the E80.

The E80 coastal highway offers some peeks of the ocean here and there, but you'll have to stop along the way to truly appreciate the views. There are plenty of places to do this, though, as the route crosses the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

The drive is straightforward, and you're unlikely to need a GPS unless you start taking detours off the highway; in that case, it might be useful to get one from the car rental agency, as Tuscany's town streets and countryside roads can be confusing. You will, however, need either cash or a debit/credit card to pay for tolls along the way (there's no vignette system in Italy).

The beautiful town of Grosetto, famous for its historical center and small but pretty beaches, is about halfway between Rome and Pisa. It's big enough to offer some nice restaurants, a few shopping options, and plenty of beautiful spaces to stretch your legs and relax for a bit.