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Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Pisa is a well known town in Italy, located in Tuscany at the mouth of the Arno River, near the Ligurian Sea (Mediterranean Sea). It is famous of so called Leaning Tower. In addition, in the historical center of the town you will find several another important buildings, including Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Baptistery.


Parking in Pisa

We suggest to leave the car in a quite large parking lot located next to the train station (P; GPS: 43.709052, 10.395543). You can also use alternative transport and come to Pisa by train if you have such a possibility.


Walk to the centre

Then you can walk down the Via Cesare Battisti street and then Via Francesco Crispi street to the Solferino bridge (A; GPS: 43.715194, 10.395328). About 70 meters away from the bridge there is a small church of Santa Maria della Spina (B; GPS: 43.715279, 10.39667) with very interesting architecture. It was built in 1230 and then rebuilt in gothic style in 1323. After crossing the Arno river we walk down the Via Roma street right in the direction of Piazza dei Miracoli (Sqare of Miracles) (C; GPS: 43.723297, 10.394824).


Campo dei Miracoli

In the Campo dei Miracoli you can see the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the famous Leaning Tower.


Torre Pendente (Leaning Tower) was to be the original bell tower of the cathedral. Its construction started in 1173, but because of the sandy soil, it began to tilt even during construction. Currently, the tower has a height of 54.98 m and is inclined from the vertical by about 5 meters. This is best noticeable in the places where we can compare the tower with perfectly vertical walls of the cathedral.

The Cathedral was built between 1063-1118, and then rebuilt in 1604 after a fire that took place in 1595. The facade of the cathedral is decorated with colored sandstone and tiles of glass and majolica. Inside the church you can find remarcable pulpit designed by sculptor Giovanni Pisano and built in years 1302-1311.

The Baptistery combines several architectural styles: Romanesque in the building itself, Gothic in the slender towers and accompanying them crockets, and the Renaissance in semicircular arches.


The Botanical Garden

In the old town area of Pisa you can visit an attractive botanical garden (E; GPS: 43.7201237, 10.3961121) belonging to the University of Pisa. It was established in 1543 on the initiative of Luc Ghini - a doctor and botanist. At the time of its establishment, it was the oldest university botanical garden in the world.

The arrangement of the plants inside the garden was inspired by the stylistic canons relevant to the time, with an allusion to the four elements. The species were placed in eight large square areas, divided in turn into smaller parts with a specific geometric shape, arranged symmetrically around eight fountains.


In the nineteenth century, the garden underwent significant changes: the sixteenth-century layout of large areas was removed to make way for smaller flower beds, cut by avenues and walls, in the center of which there were six fountains. There are currently four of them, as two have been removed to put up a small building in their place.

The Botanical Garden is currently divided into several sections: botanical nursery, cedar garden, myrtle garden, new garden, pond with lilies.

Admission to the botanical garden is paid, although the ticket prices are not too high (€ 4).

Dantesca

After such a busy day we could have had a very tasty dinner in a small restaurant Dantesca located on Dante Alighieri square (D; GPS: 43.717894, 10.398480) with very nice service. If possible, remember not to use restaurants located on major tourist routes. It is best to take a walk and look for something small on side streets of the town.


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