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Pisa

Introduction

This town is widely known because of its Leaning Tower located in Piazza dei Miracoli along with other beautiful monuments in the Romanesque style. In addition to the hoards of tourists that visit daily and fill the streets, since Pisa has had a university for centuries, it is always overrun with students.
The Romanesque cathedral, baptistery and the Leaning Tower set amidst the perfectly manicured green lawns of Piazza dei Miracoli are all listed among the Unesco World Heritage Sites. Beauty, cultural significance and danger of further inclination which affects the three of them account for their inclusion. Combined tickets including two or three sights are available at the ticket offices in the square. The rest of Pisa is more tranquil with quiet streets, a large university and a picturesque market quarter, San Martino.
The origins of Pisa are not clear and have been lost in the mists of time. Maybe founded by Greeks, it then was turned into a Roman naval base and an important port.
In the 10th century the Maritime Republic of Pisa, Genoa and Venice vied for control. When its sailing boundaries were extended to the Orient, Pisa opened the door to scientific, artistic and architectural innovations. In the 13th century Pisa was still a thriving powerhouse whose control extended over Corsica, Sardinia and the coast of Tuscany. During its heydays its special Romanesque style with an Arab touch bloomed.
In the struggle between the Holy Roman Empire and popes, Pisa took sides with the Ghibellines which stirred up matters between Pisa and the Guelph supporters such as Siena, Lucca and Florence. At the end of the 13th century its fleet was defeated in the Battle of Meloria and over a century later the town was taken by Florence. The Medicis made the city flourish artistically and scientifically and reopened its university.
The Grand Dukes of Tuscany imposed great modifications and some buildings were torn down to build boulevards as traffic congestion was an inconvenience. Half of old Pisa was also destroyed in WWII.

Also visit our complete guide of Pisa










 
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