A historic city, fascinating with its maritime past and the magnificence of Piazza dei Miracoli, one of the best-known and loved squares in the world.
Situated near the sea and the cities of Livorno and Lucca, Pisa is a must-see for the tourist who is looking for the best that Tuscany can offer.
As well as being one of the historic Maritime Republics (along with Venice, Genoa and Amalfi) that traded in Europe and the Orient, Pisa enjoyed privileges and embellishments derived from the closeness to and influence of important Florentine families such as the Medici.
Pisa hosted the first university in Europe, with teachers such as Galileo Galilei, to mention but one.
The city is full of interest for the visitor in terms of both architecture and its artistic history.
Piazza dei Miracoli is an amazing open space with a complex of historic buildings entirely made from white marble.
A green lawn upon which are placed the magnificent cathedral and the world-famous Tower of Pisa, known as the “Leaning Tower”.
The size of the place, the beauty of the buildings and the particular feature of the tower make this place an essential stop for lovers of art history and antique architecture.
Pisa also has other very important buildings that recall ancient glories: churches, historic dwellings and squares.
The University of Pisa
The university complex is in itself an immeasurably valuable monument, and still with world-famous teachers.
The “Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa”, founded by Napoleon, and centrally located in the splendid Piazza dei Cavalieri, is one of Italy’s most prestigious schools, internationally known for its severe selection.
Piazza dei Cavalieri takes its name from being at one time the meeting place for orders of chivalry, among which was the Military Order of St. Stephen, instituted in order to counter the savage raids of the Turks.
The symbol of the City of Pisa, the white cross on a red ground, recalls the cross of the Knights of the Order of Malta.
Pisan naval power was largely responsible for the defeat of the Turkish fleets that periodically threatened Italy and Europe.
Scattered along the streets and in the churches are numerous traces of that restless period, with its continual naval battles in western and eastern waters.
Entire pieces of enemy ships are exhibited as war trophies in numerous local churches, in testimony of the many incursions repelled.
The curious estrangement of Pisa from the sea is due to the progressive silting-up of the harbor of Pisa, that set it back a number of kilometers. From that moment, the old port was lost and gave way to the rise of the city of Livorno.
Pisa hotels and luxury services
Today, Pisa is a quiet historical city with students from all over the world and tourists bound for Piazza dei Miracoli, but this center that was one of the most important places in Tuscan history is definitely worth a stay.
As well as numerous 4-star hotels and top-quality restaurants, Pisa boasts an international airport, Galileo Galilei, used by scheduled airlines and private jets.
Moreover, thanks to its nearness to Viareggio and its ancient naval tradition, Pisa builds luxury yachts that boost the image of Italian Style.
From Pisa, it is easy to reach Lucca, Viareggio, Livorno and Forte Dei Marmi. Florence and Siena are at least one hour by road.
Pisa Tourist Office
Via Pietro Nenni, 24 - 56125 Pisa
Tel. +39 050 92 9777
Fax: + 39 050 92 9764