City of Pisa
Piazza dei Miracoli
Just a short walk around the ancient Medieval walls among the sound and colours of the multi-ethnic open- air market, then a beckoning arch, just one more step and lo and behold ….the miracle unfolds before our eyes. For just a second we stand transfixed and dumbfounded as the breathtaking splendour of the most famous square in the world appears before our eyes.
With a sweeping glance we can take in four of the most incredible marble landmarks that man has ever conceived in the course of history.
The Baptistery, the Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Leaning Tower and the Monumental Cemetery have stood stately in the dazzling splendour of their marbles for over a thousand years as symbols of Christianity and the glory of the ancient city of Pisa.
Meeting with the guide and visit to:
-The Cathedral, was built in 1063 by Buschetto, one of the most important Italian architects. Inside its imposing structure are a series of paintings and sculptures both in marble and bronze. Stands out the ample mosaic of the 13th century attributed to Cimabue as well as the coeval and monumental pulpit in marble by Giovanni Pisano
-The Baptistery, designed by the architect Diotisalvi in 1153, at the height of Pisa’s involvement in the crusades, felt the Islamic influences. In the following centuries it was extended by important architects until it reached its present form
-The Leaning Tower, one of the wonders of the world, has been a challenge to the laws of gravity for over a thousand years. Due to its inclination it was chosen by the well known physicist from Pisa, Galileo Galilei, as the ideal place to test the laws of gravity
-The Monumental Cemetery, almost paradoxically and thanks to the imposing frescoes and funeral monuments, it depicts “the life” and events in Pisa from its Etruscan-Roman origins to the 20th century
There is an admission fee to all the above monuments
City of Pisa
Visiting the most representative squares and monuments in the city, the visitor will learn more about the historical and artistic development of Pisa.
Meeting with the guide and visit to:
-Piazza dei Miracoli, with the Leaning Tower, Cathedral, Baptistery and Monumental Cemetery(admission fee), this square is the highest expression of the Romanesque style in Pisa and symbol of the maritime power Pisa had in the medieval period
-Piazza dei Cavalieri, walking along one of the most ancient city streets we come to the square which was in the Middle Ages the political and commercial centre of Pisa and later symbol of the Medicean dominion. Enclosed around the square is the splendid Palace of “La Scuola Normale Superiore”, the tower of Conte Ugolino in memory of Dante and the church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri (admission fee)
-Borgo Stretto, a very characteristic medieval street lined with enticing shops and elegant cafés is the hub of city life. Walking under its arcades we reach the church of S. Michele, characteristic for its splendid façade
-Lungarni, walking along the banks of the river Arno we can admire, besides the many noble buildings and ancient house-towers (case-torri) the little gothic church of Santa Maria della Spina, the bridges and Cittadella with its Guelphic tower and the Medicean arsenal which armed the ships of the order of Cavalieri di Santo Stefano
Palaces and Museums
It is possible to change or extend the city tour including a visit to some of the most prestigious museums
-Museo di San Matteo
One of the most important Italian museums of Medieval art. It is a testimony of the political prestige, the economical and cultural wealth of the Maritime Republic of Pisa. This National museum houses works by the most important artists: artists, painters, sculptors, miniaturists,and goldsmiths who worked during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, like Donatello and Masaccio. It is particularly interesting for the exceptional number of painted crosses, polyptyc works and gold- works (admission fee)
-Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
This museum is representative of the principal school of sculpture in Pisa. It houses a series of sculptures originating from prestigious buildings in Piazza dei Miracoli, of interest are works by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. It also houses an Egyptian collection donated by Ippolito Rossellini, who took part in an Egyptian expedition to Champolion. There are also Etruscan and Roman finds,historical evidence of the earliest settlements on the territory of Pisa
-Museo delle Sinopie
It was founded in 1985 and houses the “sinopie” salvaged from the monumental cemetery.
These “sinopie, ” which are preliminary drawings the artists sketched before they frescoed a wall, are representative of the important murals which completely decorated the monumental cemetery between the 14th and 17th centuries. Unfortunately most of these precious frescoes were irreparably damaged during the last world war (admission fee)
-Museo di Palazzo Reale
Built by the Medici family in the 16th century it later became the favourite residence of The Lorena and Savoia families. Today it houses some of the finest furnishings belonging to the most important private collections in Pisa, amongst them are paintings by Rosso Fiorentino, Raffaello and Guido Reni (admission fee)