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Visiting Pisa: the Tower, and much more…

Visiting Pisa in 1 day: the best suggestions

A stay in Siena can be an excellent opportunity to visit Pisa. In fact the two cities are 120 km away from each other, and the trip can be conveniently done also by train; there are several trains throughout the day and arrive at their destination in two hours. The splendid Pisa is located in the north-eastern part of Tuscany, a few kilometers from the Tyrrhenian Sea, it lies gently along the two banks of the Arno River. Founded by the Etruscans, the city has had its moment of splendor in the eleventh century, when Pisa has become one of the four Italian Maritime Republics. It began to impose its political and economic predominance in various areas of the Mediterranean basin and with time it started competing with another Maritime Republic, Genoa. In 1284 the fleets of the two cities fought each other in the battle of Meloria; Pisa was defeated and began to decay. Its decline has been even more pronounced after1406, when the town was annexed to the Florentine Republic.

Pisa – things to see

The visit of Pisa has to start from Piazza dei Miracoli, which has always enchanted visitors of all ages. It’s a lush green grass field, with majestic white marble structures: the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Monumental Cemetery and the famous Leaning Tower. The history of these buildings, all in the Pisan Romanesque style, is narrated in two museums that are located in the square: the Museum of Sinopie and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. To art lovers, Pisa offers many other interesting museums and churches, such as the National Museum of San Matteo exhibiting the works of the major Tuscan artists of the XII-XVII century: Simone Martini, Beato Angelico, Masaccio, Donatello, Andrea della Robbia, Domenico Ghirlandaio and many others. Also not to be missed, the church of Santa Maria della Spina, a gothic jewel built in 1230 to preserve what is considered a thorn from the crown of Christ. The building impresses with its location along the Arno river and almost level with the water. If you love alternative routes, head to the Botanical Gardens; devised in 1543-44, it is the oldest university botanical garden in the world. In 3 hectares of land, it is home to hundreds of different plant species from all continents.

Pisa – things to do

The most popular event in the city is the “Regata delle antiche Repubbliche marinare” which takes place every four years between the end of May and the beginning of July. 4 crews challenge each other in memory of the ancient rivalry between Pisa, Genoa, Venice and Amalfi. The riverside streets are the protagonists of city life not only on this occasion, but every day; In fact, after sunset they are animated by the lively promenade and the romantic lights of the restaurants and pubs that surround them. Those who can remain in the city even in the evening should bask in this atmosphere, in summer made even more enjoyable by the traffic restriction. The specialties of local restaurants are all based on river and sea fish. Of course, the desserts are an exception, for example the famous torta co’ bischeri: a round tart stuffed with a paste made of rice, chocolate, raisins and pine nuts. Those who instead visit Pisa during Easter should try the schiacciata di Pasqua, to be enjoyed with a glass of vin santo.