Situated in the province of Tuscany, Pisa, Italy has a long history of being a notable part of Italian culture and a major tourist attraction. From its Gothic bell tower, to its lush greenery, the city of Pisa has something unique to offer all who visit. From its early days as a major naval and mercantile power, to its more recent cultural status as the home of a world-famous leaning tower, Pisa, Italy is a city with a history as eclectic and storied as its architecture.
The earliest human remains found in Pisa date back to the 8th century BC and its port played a major role in the Etruscan’s maritime activity. The Romans called the port Agella and founded it in the 3rd century BC. With their arrival, Pisa flourished both commercially and militarily, boasting naval and trade connections throughout the Mediterranean. As the city developed, its citizens established a university, a library and its now renowned bell tower.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is perhaps the most iconic and well-known landmark in the city. It’s a must for tourists to visit this freestanding bell tower which dates back to the 12th century. This bell tower is a symbol of Pisa and its foundation reaches the seafloor. Originally, the tower was meant to stand upright, but when construction began, the soft clay beneath the foundations gave away, thus causing the tower to lean 5.5 degrees off-axis and to this day, it remains the city’s most iconic site.
Aside from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, there is also the Piazza del Duomo or the Cathedral Square located in the hub of the city. This large plaza is made up of several buildings, including the magnificent Florence Cathedral with its intricate marble details and incredible works of art. It is one of the most stunning sites in Pisa and casts a spellbinding backdrop to the city that must be seen to be believed.
The city of Pisa is also home to several other beautiful sites, including the grand Royal Palace, the lush botanical garden with its centuries-old magnolia and oleander trees, and the University of Pisa, one of the oldest in the world. There is also a picturesque walled city called Villanova, which offers an enchanting maze of cobbled streets and alluring architectural styles.
Pisa, Italy has been a treasure trove of culture and history for centuries, and today it continues to garner praise from all walks of life. With its fascinating past, exquisite architecture and sightseeing opportunities, the city of Pisa offers something that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Trivia about Pisa
1. The immense leaning bell tower of Pisa stands at 177 feet, tall and is the third tallest building in Pisa after the Palazzo del Comune and the Battistero.
2. The University of Pisa and the Scuola Normale Superiore are two of the oldest universities in Europe and have been teaching students since the 12th century.
3. The Campo Santo cemetery which is a monumental cemetery and contains beautiful tombs and monuments dating back over the course of several centuries.
4. The Arno River, which passes through Pisa, was the site of a major battle during the Second World War.
5. The city of Pisa is home to one of the most famous bridges in the world, the Ponte di Mezzo which is over 200 years old.