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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Pisa, the Legend of Italy

Sunday, 25 January 2009

pisa italyPisa, which is situated in western Tuscany, is well-known for its «Leaning Tower» which is the symbol of Italy. Pisa began its life as a small settlement around 3,000 years ago; it is famous with its splendid and widely-known university and the legendary scientist Galileo Galilei. The historic center of Pisa is on the north bank of the River Arno between Genoa and Rome, surrounded by 12th-century walls.

Piazza dei Miracoli or «Square of Miracles» is recognized as one of the centers of medieval art that attract tourists from all over the world. It dominated by four no less famous edifices as the Duomo (the Cathedral), the Baptistry, the Leaning Tower and the Monumental Cemetery. That is why it is known as «Square of Miracles». The vivid Lungarni quays are represented by succession of splendid noble buildings and alleys leading to that famous «Piazza del Miracoli». And the tourists will spend a magnificent time while sightseeing Pisa's unique places of interest.

Splendour architecture in Pisa

Pisa has its four splendid pieces of architecture, namely the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Leaning Tower and the Monumental churchyard. Each one of the above provokes interest of any who just passes by.

The Baptistery is a religious building that was constructed between the 12th -13th centuries. It is the second building out of four of the Piazza dei Miracoli. There is a different style mix when constructing the building. The lower parts of the building are made in Romanesque style, while the upper parts - in the Gothic. It is built in marble which is plentiful in Italy, by the great sculpture Nicola Pisano between the years 1255-1260. The Baptistery is eight-angle shaped building with the portal facing the façade is flanked by two classical columns and in white and green marble reminding the shape of the Holy Sepulcher.

The heart of the Piaza dei Miracoli is the Cathedral, a typical Romanesque five-naved building dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries. The Cathedral exterior is quite simple due to grey marble and white stone. The interior is in black, with a gilded ceiling and three naves divided by granite columns. The elaborately carved pulpit, which also survived the fire, was made by Giovanni Pisano which is one the works of genius of medieval sculpture.

Inside the other magnificent building of the Square of Miracles you will find ancient sculptures, sepulchral monuments and works of art gathered from the inner courtyard. This building became famous with the great and rich galleries of paintings and sculpture. The Churchyard, on the other hand, is a rectangular complex, home to tombs and pieces of art, such as The Triumph of Death.

Tower of Pisa

The Tower of Pisa is the bell tower of the cathedral in Pisa city. They started construction of the tower in 1173 that lasted for two hundred years; and what is interesting the architect of such a famous and magnificent tower is unknown. Surely, there architect did not plan an inclining tower as earlier they thought so. It started inclining during its construction due to a poorly laid foundation which got pressed under heavy marble plates though in vertical position it would have the same fame and magnificence.  

Preliminary under the architect this structure was designed to be a campanile for the cathedral. The final construction works ended in the late 14th century. The dimensions of the tower were quiet impressive, it was estimated as 14500 metric tons as heavy, and 55.86 m high from the ground on the inclining side and 56.70 m on the highest side. There steps to the tower include 294 in number. You can see the tower inclining at an angle of 5.5 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is 4.5 meters from where it would stand if the tower were perfectly vertical as it should be.

The pedestal of the Round Tower is represents by arcs held by six loggia fasteners. This is the complete picture of the chamber. The government closed the tower to public 1990; bells were removed to relieve some weight, cables were cinched around the third level. Apartments and houses in the path of the tower were asked to be emptied for safety reasons. Eleven years after it was re-opened when restorative works were made to the foundation and the soil in 2001 and was announced stable for at least another 300 years. Afterwards, the tower's incline had been reduced to 40 cm and the building was considered to comply with all safety standards. Though, visitors are welcome to the tower from time to time only.

Pisan Churches and Museums

The small church of Santa Maria della Spina is a splendid example of Pisan Gothic. It was built on the river Arno close to Ponte Novo bridge, destroyed during the 15th century and never rebuilt. The church was named Santa Maria de Pontenovo being the neighboring place to the important bridge and later on changed for Santa Maria della Spina when it preserved the reliquary of a thorn of the Saviour's crown. Nowadays the reliquary is in the church of Santa Chiara.

Another remarkable Church of San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno is situated at the border of Pisa's historic center by the Arno River. It was constructed in the ninth century and extended in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Romanesque style.

San Michele in Borgo is a church built between in the late 10th to the early 11th centuries from the Romanesque to Gothic style of architecture.  The façade is from the 14th with upper part of typical Pisan Gothic loggias. Windows of pink color and a chapel date back to the 14th century. The church houses ancient and valuable paintings and frescoes.

San Zeno Abbey houses updated art works and concerts. It is seen with a naked eye that it experiences the mix of various styles and trends in architecture.

The Sinopie Museum houses various interesting and attractive collections of art work as well as Sinopie sketches and frescoes. The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo displays arabesques and Corinthian capitals and the roman affect of Rome and Islam on Pisan architecture. Museo Nazionale di San Matteo is famous with the exhibition of work pieces and artistic works of Florentine from the 12th to the 17th centuries.

Shopping in Pisa

When you are in Pisa do not lose your chance to go and shop for leather goods, shoes and wooden furniture. Do shopping at the Piazzo delle Vettovaglie, concentration of daily goods market. Visit the street with arcades, called Borgo Stretto, with modest workshops, often made up of only one room.

Another distinguished and remarkable shopping place is the Corso Italia across the Mezzo Bridge. Antiques Market in Pisa offers plenty of furniture to tourists. There is a huge amount of restaurants, discos and live music bars, pizzerias, and inns in the heart of the city. Call at the Marina di Pisa and Tirrenia and you will enjoy fish courses for every taste. Those who prefer to combine sightseeing with entertainment should visit Versilia Coast.

Tourists who go in for sports will greatly love this area since they have a lot of sports options, namely trekking, cycling, horse riding, bird watching, golf, open air and water sports to play. The sun beaches are provided with bathing units, hotels and restaurants offering international delicacies for tourists who prefer not only local food. You will wholly love your holiday in Pisa for the climate herein is very mild and thus, summer days are longer. Even the winter season is appropriate to spend a holiday with its little rainfall.

How to get to Pisa

You are welcome to Pisa by any vehicle from abroad and you may find the public transport networks useful to get there. Try Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa if you go there by air. This is a convenient place to pave the path between Italian and European places. You will be immediately picked up by taxis who give you a lift to wherever you want to get from between Pisa Central Station and Piazza Duomo. Collective taxis are practiced to seat more passengers up to eight persons. Pisa Central Station connects the city with Pisa Airport, while also offering direct links to Florence eight times a day. In addition, the Thyrrenic line offers links to Naples and Rome, with stops at Genoa and Turin. Pisa can also be reached by road. Any way you choose to get to Pisa you will considerably enjoy your holiday there!

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