pisa 770x162

Pisa, the miracle beauty

The leaning tower, the cathedral, the baptistery, the monumental cemetery. Four amazing buildings in a spectacular scenery, the Cathedral Square, better known as the Miracles Field; it is the triumph of the Romanesque and Pisa architectural style. A stave of artistic landmarks that is listed in the Unesco World Heritage Sites while the river Arno keeps flowing within the town and the sea is only ten kilometres far from there.

 Pisa is a treasure chest that also hosts the Centre of studies dedicated to Galileo Galilei, the Domus Galilaeana dedicated to the greatest scientist who taught in the university of the town where Enrico Fermi studied too. How can you discover Pisa? There are three main routes: the first one gets around the district of Santa Maria that includes the oldest part of the city where the main medieval monuments are set that is the Cathedral Square and the Knights Square that hosts a number of buildings by Giorgio Vasari. The second routes crosses the district of San Francesco, once called Foriporta since it was build outside the first line of the ancient walls. It is bordered on the North-side by the walls surrounding the Roman Baths and Porta San Zeno and on the South by the Medicean river banks. The third route gets through the Southern districts of the town, on the other side of the river Arno on the left bench. In this part of the town you can visit the districts of San Martino and Sant’Antonio, the church of Santa Maria della Spina and the church of San Paolo in Ripa d’Arno, one of the most beautiful temples of the town. It would be great if you could follow all these routes but if you don’t have plenty of time at your disposal the best destination is with no doubt the Miracles Field that was surrounded by the walls in 1155 and was finally completed in the second half of the XIIth century, although the present layout is the result of the crashing down of a number of less important buildings in the second half of the XIXth century. The tower is one of the main symbols of Italy: it was the cathedral’s tower-bell in 1173 but a failure of the soil starting from the third circular spiral caused the stopping of works. The tower’s leaning has been increasing by around 2 metres and 60 centimetres in the last centuries! The Cathedral is featured by an harmonious balance of architecture and sculpture; it was started in 1604 and it has three gates and the external walls are rich in single-light and two-light windows, mosaics and rose windows while the interiors went through many changes throughout the centuries. 

The building of the Baptistery took around 200 years: it was designed by Diotisalvi in 1152 and was finished in the late XVth century by Cellino di Nese and Mastro Zibellino from Bologna, it features a pyramidal dome with eight equal sides. The monumental cemetery stays in the background of the Miracles Field: built in 1277 by Giovanni di Simone, it was finished in the second half of the XVth century and enriched with a chapel called Dal Pozzo dominated by a dome dating back to the XVIth century. On the other side of the square there is the New Hospital called “della Misericordia” dating back to 1275 that hosts the Museum of Sinopie (preliminary drawings) of the frescoes that decorate the Cemetery. If you wish to know Pisa even better you can also visit the National Museum of San Matteo that contains a number of masterpieces from the town, The Abbey of San Zeno and the Church of San Pietro in Vinculis – still in the Romanesque- Pisa architectural style, the Nerone’s Baths, the Arcade of Banchi that used to host the wool and silk markets and the Domus Mazziniana, the house where Giuseppe Mazzini lived for a period of his life.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

Web content manager
All Rights Reserved

Perhaps you can be interested in...:

▶ destination Italy
▶ Italy of art cities
▶ italian dream
▶ Italy of regions
▶ studying italian