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City of Pisa


Pisa has been known worldwide for its Leaning Tower (the cathedral’s bell tower).

In this little city you can find more than 20 churches of historical interest, several famous historical buildings and various bridges across the Arno river. The famous “Normale University of Pisa” is housed among its midleagean walls since the 12th century.
Although the Leaning Tower represents the Icon of the city, it’s just one of four main works of art and architecture in the Square of Miracles : The Duomo (the Cathedral), the Baptistry and the Camposanto Monumentale (the monumental cemetery).

Other interesting sights include:

    * Knights' Square (Piazza dei Cavalieri), where the Palazzo della Carovana, with its impressive façade designed by Giorgio Vasari may be seen.
    * In the same place is the church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, also by Vasari. It had originally a single nave; two more were added in the 17th century. It houses a bust by Donatello, and paintings by Vasari, Jacopo Ligozzi, Alessandro Fei, and Jacopo Chimenti da Empoli. It also contains spoils from the many naval battles between the Cavalieri (Knights of St. Stephan) and the Turks between the 16–18th century, including the Turkish battle pennant hoisted from Ali Pacha's flagship at the 1571 Battle of Lepanto.
    * Also close to the square is the small church of St. Sixtus. It was formally consecrated in 1133, but previously used as a seat of the most important notarial deeds of the town , also hosting the Council of Elders. It is today one of the best preserved early Romanesque buildings in town.
    * The church of St. Francis, designed by Giovanni di Simone, built after 1276. In 1343 new chapels were added and the church was elevated. It has a single nave and a notable belfry, as well as a 15th‑century cloister. It houses works by Jacopo da Empoli, Taddeo Gaddi and Santi di Tito. In the Gherardesca Chapel are buried Ugolino della Gherardesca and his sons.
    * Church of San Frediano, built by 1061, has a basilica interior with three aisles, with a crucifix from the 12th century. Sixteenth century paintings were added during a restoration, including works by Ventura Salimbeni, Domenico Passignano, Aurelio Lomi, and Rutilio Manetti.
    * Church of San Nicola, built by 1097, was enlarged between 1297 and 1313 by the Augustinians, perhaps by the design of Giovanni Pisano. The octagonal belfry is from the second half of the 13th century. The paintings include the Madonna with Child by Francesco Traini (14th century) and St. Nicholas Saving Pisa from the Plague (15th century). Noteworthy are also the wood sculptures by Giovanni and Nino Pisano, and the Annunciation by Francesco di Valdambrino.
    * The small church of Santa Maria della Spina, attributed to Lupo di Francesco (1230), is another excellent Gothic building.
    * The church of San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno, founded around 952 and enlarged in the mid-12th century along lines similar to those of the Cathedral. It is annexed to the Romanesque Chapel of St. Agatha, with an unusual pyramidal cusp or peak.
    * The Borgo Stretto, a neighborhood where one can stroll beneath medieval arcades and the Lungarno, the avenues along the river Arno. It includes the Gothic-Romanesque church of San Michele in Borgo (990). Remarkably, there are at least two other leaning towers in the city, one at the southern end of central Via Santa Maria, the other halfway through the Piagge riverside promenade.
    * The Medici Palace, once a possession of the Appiano family, who ruled Pisa in 1392–1398. In 1400 the Medici acquired it, and Lorenzo de' Medici sojourned here.
    * The Orto botanico di Pisa is Europe's oldest university botanical garden.
    * The Palazzo Reale ("Royal Palace"), once of the Caetani patrician family. Here Galileo Galilei showed to Grand Duke of Tuscany the planets he had discovered with his telescope. The edifice was erected in 1559 by Baccio Bandinelli for Cosimo I de Medici, and was later enlarged including other palaces.
    * Palazzo Gambacorti, a Gothic building of the 14th century, is now the town hall. The interior shows frescoes boasting Pisa's sea victories.
    * Palazzo Agostini, a Gothic building also known as Palazzo dell'Ussero, with its 15th century façade and remains of the ancient city walls dating back to before 1155. The name of the building comes from the coffee rooms of Caffè dell’Ussero, historic meeting place founded on 1 September 1775.
    * The mural Tuttomondo, the last public work of Keith Haring, on the rear wall of the convent of the Church of Sant'Antonio, painted in June 1989.

Pisa boasts several museums:

    * Museo dell'Opera del Duomo: exhibiting among others the original sculptures of Nicola Pisano and Giovanni Pisano and the treasures of the cathedral.
    * Museo delle Sinopie: showing the sinopias from the camposanto, the monumental cemetery. These are red ocher underdrawings for frescoes, made with reddish, greenish or brownish earth colour with water.
    * Museo Nazionale di S. Matteo: exhibiting sculptures and painting from 12th century–15th century, among them the masterworks of Giovanni and Andrea Pisano, the Master of San Martino, Simone Martini, Nino Pisano and Masaccio.
    * Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale: exhibiting the belongings of the families that lived in the palace: paintings, statues, armors, etc.
    * Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti per il Calcolo: exhibiting a collection of instruments used in science, between whose a pneumatic machine of Van Musschenbroek and a compass probably belonged to Galileo Galilei.
    * Museo di storia naturale e del territorio dell'Università di Pisa, located in the Certosa di Calci, outside the city. It houses one of the largest cetacean skeletons collection in Europe.

Pisa hosts the University of Pisa, especially renowned in the fields of Physics, Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science, the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna and the Scuola Normale Superiore, the Italian academic élite institutions, mostly for research and the education of graduate students.

Construction of a new leaning tower of glass and steel 57 meters tall, containing offices and apartments was scheduled to start in summer 2004 and take 4 years. It was designed by Dante Oscar Benini and raised criticism.


    * Baptistry
    * San Francesco
    * San Frediano
    * San Michele in Borgo
    * San Nicola
    * San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno
    * San Paolo all'Orto
    * San Pietro a Grado
    * San Pietro in Vinculis
    * San Sisto
    * San Zeno
    * Santa Caterina
    * Santa Cristina
    * Santa Maria della Spina
    * Santo Sepolcro

Palaces, towers and villas

    * Palazzo del Collegio Puteano
    * Palazzo della Carovana
    * Palazzo delle Vedove
    * Torre dei Gualandi
    * Villa di Corliano

Notable people associated with Pisa

For people born in Pisa, see People from the Province of Pisa; among notable non-natives long resident in the city:

    * Enrico Fermi and Carlo Rubbia, physicists & Nobel prize winners;
    * Galileo Galilei, physicist;
    * Antonio Pacinotti, physicist, inventor of the dynamo;
    * Andrea Pisano, sculptor;
    * Bruno Pontecorvo, physicist;
    * Leonardo Fibonacci, mathematician;
    * Giosuè Carducci, poet & Nobel prize winner;
    * Antonio Tabucchi, writer;
    * Orazio Gentileschi, painter;
    * Leo Ortolani, comic writer;
    * Afro Poli, baritone;
    * Gillo Pontecorvo, filmmaker;
    * Marcello Rossi, baritone;
    * Titta Ruffo, baritone;
    * Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Giovanni Gronchi, politicians, former Presidents of the Republic of Italy;
    * Giuliano Amato, politician, former Premier and Minister of Interior Affairs;
    * Giovanni Gentile, philosopher & politician;
    * Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, noble (see also Dante Alighieri);
    * Rustichello da Pisa, writer;


Pisa Airport Galileo Galilei.
The city centre can be reached in 10 minutes by bus — the line L.A.M. Rossa (Red Line) connects the airport with the main railway station and the Miracols’ Square. Otherwise there’s a train transfer connecting the main stain station within in 5 minutes.

Local bus service CPT. Intercity buses depart from the main bus station situated in Saint Antonio’s square. There are also several privately run bus services connecting Pisa Airport to Florence, Siena and other cities in Tuscany.

The city is served by three railway stations: Pisa Central Station, Pisa Airport and Pisa San Rossore.

Pisa Central Station is located along the Tyrrhenic railway line. It very well connected with several other important Italian cities such as Rome, Genoa, Turin, Naples, Livorno, Grosseto and Florence.

Pisa San Rossore links the city with Lucca (25 minutes) and Pistoia and is at 1 stop from Pisa Centrale. It is a secondary station located nearby the Leaning Tower zone.

Pisa Airport (Galileo Galilei International Airport) connects the airport to the central railway station, as well as the city of Florence.

Pisa has two exits on the A-11 highway from Genova to Livorno: Pisa Nord and Pisa Centro-airport.

Pisa Centro leads visitors to the city centre.

Abitalia Tower Plaza - Via Caduti del Lavoro, 46 - 56121 Pisa - Tel. +39 050 7846444 - Fax +39 050 7846445 - Email:
P.IVA 01767200502

Gds Codes: Amadeus: HAPSAABI - Sabre: 87123 - Galileo: 34597 - Worldspan: ABI
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