The small Italian city of Pisa is famous all over the world for its leaning tower. Almost all organized tours in Italy include a visit to this unusual attraction, which has been in danger of finally falling for centuries and is only held up thanks to constant work to strengthen it. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in Piazza dei Miracoli ("square of miracles"). There are several more architectural masterpieces here. The ensemble of the square is included in the UNESCO list.
There are other equally interesting and picturesque places in Pisa. Popular is the urban quarter of Borgo Stretto, which is an example of medieval buildings typical of Western Europe in the 13th-14th centuries. A must-visit point in Pisa should be its wonderful museums, where you can admire the work of sculptors and artists who worked during the Middle Ages and the New Age.
What to see and where to go in Pisa?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
- Leaning tower of pisa
- Pisa cathedral
- Baptistery of Saint John
- Cemetery of Campo Santo
- Borgo Stretto quarter
- Knights Square
- Caravan Palace
- Sinopia Museum
- Opera del Duomo Museum
- National Museum of San Matteo
- Museum of Palazzo Blue
- Church of Santa Maria della Spina
- Church of São Paulo Ripa d'Arno
- Basilica of San Piero Grado
- Citadel with Guelph tower
- Ponte di Mezzo bridge
- Arno river
- Botanical Garden of Pisa
- Scotto's garden
- Migliarino Natural Park, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli
leaning tower of pisa
The most famous landmark of Pisa, known throughout the world due to a mistake made during construction. The building is part of the architectural complex of the Pisa Cathedral and is its bell tower. The tower was built during the XII-XIV centuries according to the project of B. Pisano. Almost immediately, the building began to deviate from the vertical axis, which is why work was constantly suspended. The defect could not be corrected, but the inexorable fall of the tower was stopped by fixing the roll at the level of 3.54 °.
Cathedral of the city of Pisa, located in Piazza del Duomo. The architectural complex includes the cathedral building itself, the bell tower (the famous leaning tower) and the baptistery. The ensemble was erected in the period of the XI-XIII centuries. in the "Pisan" Romanesque style, which combined elements of the Lombard, Byzantine and Islamic manners of construction. In the decoration of the facade and interior, white and black marble were used in large quantities.
Baptistery of Saint John
A magnificent Gothic building of the 12th-14th centuries, built according to the design of the architect Diotisalvi. The Baptistery is considered the largest in Italy. The building reaches a height of 55 meters, the diameter of the ring of walls is 34 meters. According to the original project, the building was planned to be built in the Romanesque style, but the duration of construction work of almost 200 years made it possible to add more elegant features of the Gothic style to the appearance.
Cemetery of Campo Santo
Necropolis of the XIII century, located in the northern part of Piazza dei Miracoli. It was assumed that a church was to be built on the site of the cemetery, but in the course of the work the project was changed. Campo Santo is a rather unusual place, since the burials are located in a stone wall under the vaults of an arched gallery that surrounds the courtyard. There are three chapels in the cemetery. Until the 18th century, representatives of the upper strata of Pisa were buried in this necropolis.
Borgo Stretto quarter
Historic urban area located in the center of Pisa. From an architectural point of view, it is a classic "stone bag" with narrow streets, houses, which are characterized by blank medieval walls, and small picturesque squares. Nowadays, numerous street restaurants with excellent Italian cuisine, souvenir shops, coffee shops and counters with various delicacies have concentrated on the territory of Borgo Stretto.
For many centuries, the square has been an important public place where decrees of the authorities were announced, victories were celebrated and the political situation was discussed. The piazza was built during the Early Middle Ages on the site of a former Roman forum. It is surrounded by palazzos and administrative buildings built mainly in the 16th-17th centuries. In 1406, the independence of Pisa was declared in the Square of the Knights.
A 16th-century building that previously served as the home of the knights who belonged to the Tuscan order of St. Stephen. The building was erected according to the project of the architect D. Vasari. Today, a higher educational institution is located on the territory of the palace. A visit to the palazzo is possible only during the absence of lectures. The facade of the building is painted using the sgraffito technique, it depicts the signs of the zodiac and symbolic figures surrounded by floral ornaments.
The museum displays fragments of frescoes (more precisely, sketches for frescoes) that previously adorned the walls of Campo Santo. After World War II, during restoration work, these images were discovered under the top layers of plaster. In addition to fresco blanks, the museum displays a model of the Campo Santo cemetery from previous eras and an installation dedicated to the problem of fortifying the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Opera del Duomo Museum
The museum's collection consists of works of art that previously adorned the walls of the Pisa Cathedral and the Baptistery of Saint John. The exhibition is housed in a 12th-century building that was previously used as a seminary and academy of fine arts. The museum contains valuable sculptures created by T. Di Camaino and D. Pisano in the 13th century, bronze doors made in the 12th century, as well as frescoes, paintings, clothes and other exhibits belonging to the 17th-18th centuries.
National Museum of San Matteo
The exposition is located in the monastery of the same name. It is dedicated to the cultural history of the Middle Ages and contains priceless works of art created by Tuscan masters in the 12th-17th centuries. Works by D. Pisano, B. Berlinghieri, B. Buffalmacco, S. Aretino and other sculptors are exhibited in San Matteo. Donatello's famous bust of San Lussorio is also kept here. In the museum you can look at medieval manuscripts dating from the 12th-14th centuries.
Museum of Palazzo Blue
Palazzo Blue is an art museum located in a historic 14th-century mansion, which previously changed hands frequently and belonged to various families. Until 2001, representatives of the noble Julie family lived in the building, then it was transferred to the jurisdiction of cultural authorities. After the reconstruction, the exposition was placed in the palazzo, consisting of the works of D. Battista, J.-B. Desmarais, D. Bezzuoli, F. Bellonzi and other artists.
Church of Santa Maria della Spina
Temple of the XIX century, built in the Gothic style on the site of the old church of the XIII century. The church façade is distinguished by rich decor and an abundance of fine details. The interior space, compared to the exterior, looks quite modest. The most important relic of Santa Maria della Spina is the tabernacle, in which, according to the Christian belief, once in the XIV century a thorn from the crown of thorns of Jesus was kept.
Church of São Paulo Ripa d'Arno
Temple of Romanesque architecture, the first mention of which dates back to the 10th century. Previously, he played a rather important role in the religious life of Pisa, so the church was given the unofficial name "Duomo Vecchio", which means "old cathedral". Inside the temple there are several ancient relics: a Roman sarcophagus of the 2nd century, a crucifix created in the 13th century, as well as frescoes of the 13th-14th centuries, painted by B. Buffalmaco.
Basilica of San Piero Grado
Temple of the IX (X) century, erected on the site of an early Christian chapel. Even earlier, Roman residential quarters were located here. At this very place in 44 A.D., the Apostle Peter celebrated his first Mass. The church is located in the town of San Pietro a Grado, which belongs to the Pisan commune. The painting of the inner walls of the basilica belongs to the XIV century and later periods. The temple is a valuable monument of Romanesque architecture.
Citadel with Guelph tower
The construction of the XIII century, erected on the embankment of the Arno River. Previously, the citadel with an adjacent tower was part of the city's defensive fortifications. At the beginning of the 15th century, the military garrison of Pisa was located here. For many centuries, the citadel performed a protective function. During World War II, the building was badly damaged by bombing. In 1956, it was restored, trying to give the original appearance.
Ponte di Mezzo bridge
A small central bridge across the Arno River, located near Santa Maria della Spina. All tourists who travel from Pisa Central Station to Piazza del Duomo, where the Leaning Tower of Pisa is located, pass through it. The bridge offers magnificent views of the river, embankments and old houses. The building itself is made in a rather modest manner without any architectural excesses.
The waterway of Tuscany, which originates in the Apennines and flows into the Ligurian Sea. The river flows through Florence and Pisa. The length of the Arno is 248 km. It flows through the picturesque plains, hills, vineyards, cypress groves and fields that make up the pastoral landscapes of this part of Italy. Periodically, the river overflows its banks as a result of floods. The largest natural disaster was recorded in 1966.
Botanical Garden of Pisa
The garden was founded in the 16th century by the botanist L. Ghini at the expense of the Tuscan ruler, Duke Cosimo I. It is considered one of the oldest botanical gardens not only in Italy, but throughout the world. In 1595, a building was erected here, which housed the plant research institute. The plant diversity of the garden brings together about 550 species collected from different parts of Europe and the world. The arboretum is managed by the University of Pisa.
The garden is located on the south bank of the Arno in the Citadel Nuova fortress, which was founded in the 15th century. The landscape park was laid out in the 19th century according to the project of D. Kaluri. The Scotto Garden hosts various social events such as concerts, theatrical productions, museum exhibitions and film screenings. The park is planted with picturesque Mediterranean vegetation. It is an ideal place for relaxing walks.
Migliarino Natural Park, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli
Regional park of the province of Tuscany, created in 1979. Several ecosystems are located on the territory of the reserve: swamps, sand dunes, a lake, a coastal zone. The park is home to a wide variety of birds. Within the reserve are the towns of Torre del Lago and Massaciuccoli (composer D. Puccini lived here for a long time). The administration is located in a 19th century villa, which is also a local landmark.