I am coming to the conclusion that campsites often provide the best budget accommodation when travelling with a toddler. A campsite will often have a swimming pool, playground and space to run around. Most campsites have some type of cabin available so that you don’t have to lug camping stuff around. And they are considerably more reasonably priced than a hotel with similar facilities. Certainly camping in Pisa with a toddler provided the best combination of price and facilities.
Camping in Pisa with a Toddler: Torre Pendente Camping Village
I thought that Torre Pendente Camping Village worked well as a place to stay with a toddler. It is close to Pisa S. Rossore station if you are travelling by train. Although make sure you have registered that before you get off at the central station. Then realise you are in the wrong place and have to wait for the next train… It is also less than a kilometre from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Although note that it is not a very attractive walk as you have to go through a large underpass along the main road.
The campsite has rooms, large mobile homes and a camping area. We went for one of the rooms which had an outdoor kitchen an terrace, fridge, couple of beds, bathroom – everything you might need. The site had an outdoor pool, little playground, shop and restaurant, making it a stress free place to keep a toddler fed and entertained. Daisy particularly liked gathering all the gravel from the paths onto our terrace. Note a couple of oddities though – the restaurant has no high chairs and you have to wear swim hats in the pool. The latter a nice way of making a couple of extra Euros out of everyone in the shop!
Pisa itself is a plesant place to walk around. I found the wide pedestrianised streets easier with a buggy than the crowds of Florence. The area around the tower itself is busy, but the crowds soon disperse. There isn’t a great deal to do with toddlers other than walk around though (you cannot climb the tower until you are 8 years old). If you are walking around before travelling on, the left luggage office at the far end of the train station is useful (5 Euros per item in summer 2017).
Pisa is also close to the coast. We caught the bus to Marina di Pisa which only takes 20 minutes. We just hopped on bus number 10 at the main bus station in Pisa. It is not the best beach for a toddler as it consists of large white stones. There are a few small patches of sand near the water though so you can have a little paddle. And an ice cream…