Travel: 10 things to see in Pisa

Have you ever been in Pisa and seen Leaning tower? I’ve made a phototour (is legal word to say it? 🙂 ) in Pisa and I’ve chosen the best spots you should see in this ancient city! Guess which is number 1 to visit in Pisa? 😉

 

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Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Italy. Long time ago Pisa was important Roman port and rich commercial center. Moreover, it was one of the four Maritime Republics (the other three were Genoa, Venice and Amalfi), which fought each other for control of the Mediterranean Sea. Now Pisa is a very lively and beautiful city with an ancient history which has much to offer to the curious tourist.

Facts:

Population: 88,332

Located at the Tyrrhenian Sea, is on the right bank of Arno river

Some notable people: Andrea Bocelli, Galileo Galilei, Andrea Pisano.

Famous worldwide for: Leaning tower

 

And now let’s take a walk with me 😉

10. Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden)

The botanical garden of the University of Pisa is Europe’s oldest university botanical garden. The calm place to relax during the classes 🙂

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Myrtles inside the garden

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Sophie Sophrosyne9. Piazza delle Vettovaglie (square of supplies)

The medieval heart of Pisa untill now and it hosts many nice shops and restaurants and the vegetable market. Here’s so colorful and lively, especially at night. The buildings are amazing examples of Middle Ages architecture. Take a look up!

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8. Corso Italia

Corso Italia is a street full of shops and it leads from train station to the ponte di Mezzo. So if you are looking for where purchase some good italian shoes – take a walk in corso Italia! 🙂

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7. Ponte di Mezzo (middle bridge)

The most important bridge over Arno in Pisa and it is in the middle of Pisa’s downtown. Do you want to give an appointment in Pisa? Let’s meet on ponte di mezzo!

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Ponte di Mezzo, Palazzo dell’Orologio and Torre dell’Orologio

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A view from the bridge.

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Piazza Garibaldi and a statue of Garibaldi- it is a good meeting point too!

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Torre dell’Orologio – you will never lose in time!

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6. Church of Santa Maria della Spina

It is small white marble church alongside the Arno and is attributed to Lupo di Francesco (1230), is excellent Gothic building. The name Santa Maria of  the Thorn comes from the relic that was once kept in the church, one of the thorns from Christ’s Crown, but now is preserved in the Church of Santa Chiara, inside the Pisa’s University Hospital. The statue of the Holy Virgin with the baby on the highest spire is by Nicola Pisano, although this is only a copy. The original has been moved to the national Museum of San Matteo.

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5. Piazza dei Cavalieri

This square was the political center as an old Roman Forum in medieval Pisa and heart of the political power during the Pisan Republic. After the middle of 16th century the square became the headquarters of the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen. The square was renovated in the 16th century by the Medici family after the Order of the Knights of Saint Stephen was created. Cosimo I of the Medici family wanted this square to be wonderful and as a symbol of strength and power. The statue in the middle (built in 1596) represents him and it is located on the Fontana del Gobbo. The beautiful building behind the statue is called Palazzo della Carovana. It was built by Vasari in 1562 and it’s home for the Scuola Normale Superiore created by Napoleon.  Now it is a center of education and is the main house of the Scuola Normale di Pisa, a higher learning institution part of the University. This square was also known as “Piazza delle 7 Vie” (“Square of the 7 streets”) because of the many streets conflating to this square. On the right-hand side of Palazzo della Carovana there is the beautiful church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri. In the church there are several flags conquered during fights with pirates.

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Palazzo della Carovana and a statue of Cosimo I

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4. Piazza dei Miracoli and Battistero (field of Miracles and Baptistery)

The Field of Miracles is the most popular attraction in Pisa and one of the most famous places in the world. The Monumental Cemetery, the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Leaning Tower are the four big things to see. The square is surrounded by city walls (built in  1155) and you can enter to the square through gates Porta Nuova. In this square there are also the Museums of Le Sinopie (showing the sinopias from the Camposanto, the Monumental Cemetery) and museum of the Opera del Duomo (exhibiting among others the original sculptures of Nicola Pisano and Giovanni Pisano and the treasures of the Cathedral). In spring piazza becomes beautiful and more crowded place than in winter then it feels like in a desert. But if you will be here on spring or autumn, be sure to have lunch on the green grass with many students which are laying on the lawn or sitting on the stairs of the Duomo and talking, eating, singing, laughing or reading before their next lesson. So now is the right time to visit Pisa! 😉

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Battistero, Duomo and Torre di Pisa in distance

Construction of Baptistry started in 1152 for a purpose to replace an older baptistry and it was completed in 1363. When you will enter inside – do not miss the beautiful pulpit by Nicola Pisano. It is hexagonal and some scholars believe that this shape was influenced by the mysterious architectural style chosen by Frederick II for his castles in Apulia (for example,  Castel Del Monte).

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3. Camposanto (Monumental Cemetery)

Also known as Camposanto Monumentale (monumental cemetery) or Camposanto Vecchio (old cemetery) is a historical edifice at the northern edge of the piazza dei Miracoli. It seems little bit a simple monument among the others but it was planned to look simple outside and great inside 🙂

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The entrance of Camposanto

2. Duomo Santa Maria Assunta (The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Assumption)

It is the oldest building in piazza dei Miracoli. It was founded in 1063 on the remains of the old Etruscan and Roman temples. The main doors of Duomo are made by Giambologna.  Some of the figures on the doors are particularly polished because people have been touching them for centuries in search for good luck, health and fertility.

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The facade

1. Leaning tower a.k.a. torre di Pisa (Tower of Pisa)

This bell tower was built between 1173 and the end of the 14th century. It took so long to build it  because it started to lean as soon as the third floor was completed and the works were blocked. A century later the works started again. In fact, if you look closely at the tower, it is not a straight tower leaning, it is slightly bent, in the attempt to straighten it up and prevent its fall. Tower was built by three architects – Bonanno Pisano, Giovanni di Simone and Giovanni Pisano.

Note: There are 296 steps leading to the top of the tower.

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Square in front of tower of Pisa

 

When you will see all these mainsights and you will be still hungry for more art  to see more of Pisa – go, take a walk in the streets of Pisa, get lost in them, enter in one bar to take an espresso, if you want to eat – enter one restaurant and order a pizza, don’t forget to taste ice creams and buy some goodies in some artisan’s shops and get back home with a happy smile! :))) Check the best places in Pisa on www.tripadvisor.com.

I hope this article will be useful for you and (maybe?) will inspire you to visit Pisa and take a look at these miracles in field of Miracles by your own eyes! 🙂 I really hope so!

Emilija

Would you like to follow me and don’t miss the posts and you have a facebook? Let’s keep on touch here on my facebook’s page 😉

Sources, who helped me to write this article: wikipedia, wikipedia and a good site which represents Pisa www.behindthetower.com

 

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9 thoughts on “Travel: 10 things to see in Pisa

  1. Pingback: On a sunny sunny summer day | Words & Pics

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