A proof of the economic wealth and power of Pisa during the Middle Ages is represented by its beautiful monuments, which can be admired still today in this town of Tuscany.
The Piazza del Duomo also known as “Miracle Square”, is the most important artistic and tourist center in Pisa. It was declared part of the UNESCO heritage in 1987. In this square we can admire many masterpieces of romanesque architecture, such as the cathedral, the baptistery, the cemetery, the bell tower.
The Baptistery devoted to
S. John Baptist stands
out in front of the west
facade of the cathedral. The building was started
in the mid XII century;
in the interior, quite simple
, with no decorations,
is endowed with
It's the largest baptistery
in Italy: its circumference is
The Cathedral, built in marble between 1063 and 1118, has a bronze portal in bas-relief by Bonanno Pisano and the pulpit by Giovanni Pisano. On the gate door of the Cathedral we can find a carved bronze lizard on front of the baptistery.
According to legend, it brings good luck to touch the lizard 100 days before the CSE exam.
The Campo Santo (the monumental cemetery) is in the north side of the square. It's shaped like a cloister with graves. The ground it contains is a relic coming from mount Golgotha in the Holy Land. It was carried to Pisa by ships after the IV Crusade.
The Campo Santo, contained a
huge collection of Roman Sarcophagi,
but now there are only 84
left together with a collection
and Etruscan sculptures and urns.
The walls were once covered in Frescoes, but on 27 July 1944 a bomb damaged most of the sculptures and sarcophagi, spoiling all the frescoes too. Today the visible frescoes are the three scenes of the “Trionfo della morte” (1336) by Buonamico Buffalmacco, preserved in a room on the back side of Campo Santo.
The Bell Tower of
Santa Maria known as
the “Leaning Tower”
or “Tower of Pisa”,
to the XII century.
It's 56 metres tall
and acquired its leaning shape
10 years after the beginning
of its construction.
Today it's one of the
monuments in the world.
Cavalieri Square, is a beautiful Renaissance square, designed by Vasari in 1500 seat of the “Scuola Normale Superiore”, the most renowned university in Europe; Saint Stephan's church (Santo Stefano); Cosimo's statue; the palace of “Consiglio dei dodici” and the Clock Tower.
The Clock Tower (Torre dell'Oroglogio) is famous worldwide as “The Tower of Hunger”. Dante Alighieri in his XXXIII canto of the Inferno told the story of count Ugolino who ate his children during his captivity, because he was starving to death.
The San Rocco's church was erected in 1028, over an early medieval church on the initiative of some Pisan families, who wanted to thank S. Rocco for the end of a great plague.
Lungarno Mediceo, the avenue along the river Arno, where you can admire many historic monuments and museum.
S. Maria della Spina, the name of this church comes from the thorn in Christ's crown, brought from the Holy Land by a merchant in 1323. It was built in 1230 by Gaulandi family. It's an outstanding example of Gothic art.