Pisa is worth a visit because it is the city of discovery, of the famous University, because it contains priceless treasures that make it one of the cities most important and famous in Italy.
It offers visitors a unique view of Piazza dei Miracoli ( Unesco World Heritage Site since 1987) and is also the gateway of Tuscany.
In fact, thanks to the international airport “G. Galilei” and the excellent road rail, Pisa is the ideal base for exploring the whole region and the nearby cities of Florence, Siena, Lucca, Livorno, Pistoia. When a foreigner thinks of Italy, often the Tower of Pisa is one of the first things that come to mind, a unique symbol, but Pisa is not only that: it has a beautiful old town with narrow streets and spacious squares, Renaissance palaces, medieval tower houses, churches in Romanesque and Gothic, the beautiful Lungarno, and offers unique views of where to shop (as in the ancient village of lodges Strait) or buy fresh fruits and vegetables (the characteristic Piazza delle Vettovaglie). Anyone willing to walk through its streets and browse the mansions transformed into universities, find a reference to the history of scientific research since 1343, the foundation of his university years, has marked the life of the city.
Campo dei Miracoli UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Leaning Tower belongs to a set of four impressive buildings located on the “Field of Miracles” (Square of Miracles), Unesco World Heritage site: the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta of the eleventh or twelfth century, the Campanile (the Leaning Tower, which was actually a bell tower) of 1173, the Baptistery, with its 18 meters in diameter, the twelfth-fourteenth century and the cemetery (Cemetery).
The Cathedral is the largest example of Romanesque architecture. A monumental work, which houses priceless works of artists such as Ghirlandaio, Beccafumi, Andrea del Sarto, Cimabue, Giovanni Pisano, Giambologna. In your visit to the city will cross Piazza dei Cavalieri, the second most important square in Pisa after the Miracles Square, so named because it was the seat of the ancient Order of the Sacred Military Order of Santo Stefano, a papal order of chivalry founded. In the square facing the most important buildings and churches of Pisa, the Grand Duchy, first of all precisely the Palace of the Knights with its majestic facade, site of the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, the Town Clock, where he was starved to death, along two sons and two nephews, the Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, accused of treason to his city, which devoted 90 verses of Dante’s Inferno Canto XXXIII, condemning him for eternity anthropophagy, ie to cannibalism, eating ‘s eternity of the head of his enemy, the bishop Ruggeri.
Continuing, strolling along Via Santa Maria towards the banks of the River Arno, is the beautiful Gothic church of “Santa Maria della Spina.” Considered a masterpiece of Gothic art in Italy. The name comes from has a thorn from the crown of Christ, who led a local merchant in Pisa on his return from the Holy Land. The church, which now lies on the river bank Gambacorta, was at the time of its construction in 1230, on the right bank of the Arno. In the nineteenth century was dismantled and moved to avoid it to be damaged by frequent flooding of the river, fate in the next century but fell in many other ancient buildings. Five bridges span the Arno and the charm of Lungarni have written many artists including Byron, Shelley, Montesquieu, Leopardi, Carducci, D’Annunzio and Foscolo. The Arno River are particularly romantic at night, thanks to the lights of wrought iron street lamps and buildings that stretch their shadows in the river.
The second Leaning Tower of Pisa
In Pisa, not everyone knows, there is another leaning tower, famous and less important than that of Piazza dei Miracoli, but that might tickle your curiosity. It ‘s the steeple of the Church of San Michele degli Scalzi of the thirteenth century, it is a structure with cross plan, a gable roof and a facade with three inputs. It is flanked to the south by a brick bell tower built on a stone base, characterized precisely by its steep slope.
Brief history of Pisa
The city has its origins in Liguria, in the fourth century. a. C. was an Etruscan settlement, then became a Roman colony in 179. C. and then a Roman town (89 a. C.). The Romans transformed Pisa in an important port city and naval. The advantages of the presence of the port went on in the Middle Ages, in particular the First Crusade. Later, as other port cities of the Mediterranean, the city experienced a significant decline, mainly because of the conflict with Genoa, which ended with the defeat in the Battle of Pisa Meloria (1284). The city then passed under the dominion of the Visconti of Milan (early fifteenth century) and then finish under the power of Florence. Henceforth her destinies are intertwined with those of the Tuscan capital. Despite the loss of political independence, Pisa has always maintained the character of remarkable cultural center, both in the past, currently, with the University and the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore. Pisa is the birthplace of some famous names of Italian scientific tradition, among which we mention the great Galileo Galilei, the mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci (one of the famous Fibonacci sequence) and the physical Pacinotti Antonio. Pisa is still a center of excellence in research thanks to the National Research Council CNR.
The beautiful surroundings of Pisa
Near Pisa are the baths of San Giuliano, in building 700 of the Grand Dukes of Lorraine in San Giuliano Terme just a few kilometers from the historic center of Pisa, and even for lovers of the spa waters of Terme Casciana , health center and spa for almost 1000 years. Also the wonderful Certosa di Calci, the Natural History Museum and the walled medieval town of Vicopisano, at the foot of the mountains that divide Pisa from Lucca. To visit the city of Volterra (pictured right), where the Etruscans and Romans have left significant traces still visible in the Etruscan Museum and the Roman theater. Beautiful are the art museum and the Museum of Volterra alabaster, displaying unique pieces, still an inspiration for centuries by workshops that continue the tradition of the artistic working of alabaster. Renowned medieval village of San Miniato, where in November is celebrated with a traditional trade show and many food stalls, the prized local product, the white truffle. Also interesting is the Museum of the foundation Piaggio, Pontedera, named after Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, which exposes the many models Piaggio company and has an extensive archive.