Who hasn’t heard of it? The leaning Tower of Pisa is widely known and calls for creative photo sessions. But as important as this edifice may be: Pisa has more to offer. Discover a charming Tuscan town…
From baptistery to cemetery
The touristic heart of Pisa is located at the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles). The pristine white Tower of Pisa tickles the imagination. Construction began in the year 1137 and lasted no less than 235 years. The foundation of this bell tower consists of a number of underground piles, which already started to sink during the construction and in this way created a tilt of 10%.
Although the Tower is the most famous, it is not the most important building at the square. The Tower stood at the service of the medieval Duomo (Cathedral), dedicated to Mary. The coffered ceiling, the pulpit, the impressive doors and the beautiful frescos are dazzling.
Il Battistero, the largest baptistery in the world, is located opposite the Duomo. In addition to the octagonal baptismal font, the pulpit is a striking phenomenon. The detailed sculpture is by the hand of Giovanni Pisano, also known as the ‘first modern sculptor’.
The fourth and last miracle at the square is the Camposanto, a walled cemetery in Gothic style. It was heavily damaged during the Second World War, but was restored to old splendour and is praised by many as ‘the most beautiful cemetery in the world’.
Less touristic, equally beautiful
Those who visit Pisa do well to explore the rest of the city. It is less touristic but equally beautiful. The Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knights’ Square) has buildings in the Renaissance style, whereas in the Orto Botanico (Botanical Gardens) the local flora is central. The American artist Keith Haring has left an enormous mural at the Via Zandoni. Simple figures in bright colours call for peace and harmony in the world.
You will quickly get that feeling when you sit down at a sunny terrace after a day full of culture. Here you will taste real Italian cuisine, with a wide range of antipasti, pastas and pizzas. You can complete your meal with a Tuscan wine such as Chianti, Montepulciano or Brunello di Montalcino.