The Best Travel Guide to Pisa by BestTravelbook

Pisa is world-famous for its leaning tower of Pisa, however, the city boasts fantastic Romanesque buildings, Gothic churches and Renaissance piazzas with a lively street life dominated by locals rather than tourists and is a real joy.

The Best Travel Guide to Pisa is segmented into 4 key travel themes to immerse you into everything Pisa:

  1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town;
  2. A comprehensive lowdown of What to See;
  3. Some Top Tips / Good to Know;
  4. An insider guide

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!

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1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town:

The leaning tower of Pisa is just one building within Pisa’s breathtaking Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles.   It is part of an ensemble where the Duomo, Baptistry and Camposanto complete a beautiful architectural ensemble. Piazza dei Miracoli was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa offers a fantastic array of beautiful historical buildings and indeed it boasts over 20 historical churches.  Pisa also boasts some world class museums and beautiful scenery along the banks of the River Arno. This historical city is worth much more than just a fleeting visit and serves as a great base for those wishing to explore this region of Tuscany.

Pisa Duomo, Pisa
Pisa Duomo, Pisa

There are some beautiful palaces and aristocratic homes that line the south bank of the River Arno.  For those that love high-end shopping check out the Corso Italia.  Art lovers can immerse themselves into the Museo delle Sinopie or the Museo di San Matteo.

Santa Maria della Spina, Pisa
Santa Maria della Spina, Pisa

For excellent al fresco dining join the locals at Piazza delle Vettovaglie and Piazza Dante Alighieri.

2. A comprehensive lowdown of What to See:

What to See & Do in Pisa
What to See & Do in Pisa

 

 

Leaning Tower of Pisa:

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa is 58m-high tower, officially the Duomo’s campanile (bell tower)
  • It took almost 200 years to build and became a listed building when it was unveiled in 1372
  • The tower has about 294 steps and you can climb it inside to get to the top. Once on the top, you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Piazza Del Duomo and across Pisa
  • It is a thrill to climb the steep, narrow steps once trodden by Galileo Galilei, and the view of the city is superb

 

Pisa Duomo:

Pisa Duomo, Pisa
Pisa Duomo, Pisa

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • Pisa Duomo is one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture – a local trend of this style which sometimes is called also Pisan Romanesque style. Work of Buscheto inspired the next generations of architects in the region
  • Building work on the Duomo commenced in the middle of the 11th century and it was this elaborate Romanesque-style architecture that really set the tone for so much of Pisa
  • The design incorporates a huge quantity of coloured marble, with the cathedral boasting five naves, giant bronze doors, mosaics, a gilded ceiling and various religious statues
  • Visitors enter via the Porta di San Ranieri doorway, opposite the Leaning Tower
  • Entry is free of charge

 

San Giovanni Baptistery:

San Giovanni Baptistery, Pisa
San Giovanni Baptistery, Pisa

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • Thee Baptistery is one of the four buildings that form Piazza dei Miracoli, together with the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Camposanto Monumentale
  • The construction of the larger Baptistery in Italy was made in 1153 by Diotisalvi, the designer of the Church of Santo Sepolcro

 

Camposanto Monumentale:

Camposanto Monumentale
Camposanto Monumentale

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The Camposanto Monumentale is one of the 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tuscany
  • The building process of the Camposanto Monumentale started in the year 1278 by Giovanni di Simone.
  • It houses the fourteenth and fifteenth century frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi, Andrea Bonaiuti, the Maestro del Trionfo della Morte and Benozzo Gozzoli

 

What to See & Do in Pisa
What to See & Do in Pisa

 

Santa Maria della Spina:

Santa Maria della Spina, Pisa
Santa Maria della Spina, Pisa

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The eye-catching Gothic Santa Maria della Spina was originally a simple oratory for seamen, who would come here to pray for a safe return.
  • A shining example of Pisan-Gothic architecture, this small triple-spired church can be found on the banks of the Arno and was built between 1230 and 1223

 

 

Palazzo dei Cavalieri:

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

Palazzo dei Cavalieri, Pisa
Palazzo dei Cavalieri, Pisa

 

  • Palazzo della Carovana, also known as Palazzo dei Cavalieri, is a palace with a beautiful façade located in Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knights’ Square)
  • The palace was once the headquarters of the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen
  • Inside, there are some frescoed rooms decorated with stuccoes from the 19th century, where there are paintings by 16th-century artists Carlo Portelli, Francesco del Brina and Giovan Battista Naldini

 

Torre Guelfa:

Torre Guelfa, Pisa
Torre Guelfa, Pisa

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The tower, built around 1406 when the Florentines ruled Pisa, was part of the old Ciutadella.
  • In 1944 the Torre Guelfa was destroyed the bombings of World War II, however, was rebuilt in 1956
  • There are great views towards the coast and San Rossore natural park from the top of the tower

 

Borgo Stretto:

Piazza delle Vettovaglie, Pisa
Piazza delle Vettovaglie, Pisa

 

BestTravelBook Top Pick:

  • The Borgo Stretto district is a lively warren of alleyways and shopping streets between Piazza dei Cavallieri and the Arno riverbanks
  • Lined with cafes and shops, the arcaded Borgo Stretto opens out at Piazza Garibaldi and the Ponte di Mezzo bridge
  • Under its beautiful porches are the most elegant shops and boutiques of the city.
  • It is also a great place if you are in search of some delightful Italian food

 

 

 

 

 

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