Walking around, Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city's cathedral, contains more than 20 other historic churches, several palaces.
While the Leaning Tower is the most famous image of the city, it is one of many works of art and architecture in the city's Piazza del Duomo, also known, since 20th century, as Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), to the north of the old town center. The Piazza del Duomo also houses the Duomo (the Cathedral), the Baptistry and the Camposanto Monumentale (the monumental cemetery).
I spent several hours in Pisa in July of 1996 and dream to come back one day for closer investigation.
Just down the street from the Campo dei Miracoli is the Museum of Religious Art. The day we arrived it was closed, or at least the Museum was, the entrance courtyard was not, so we did a walk around there.
The arched entrance seems to draw you into the interior courtyard where stands a statue of ??? (sorry we posed in front of the statue, but there was no plaque or explanation sign).
Loved the door knocker, a lion, since I am a Leo.
The Leaning Tower
Fondest memory: My (and also a distraught woman at the airport's) wallet being stolen at Pisa station by a gang using a black woman and a baby strapped to her front that looked nearly dead followed by other black woman in hat and another, stealing wallets and purses around the bus station outside the railway as people transfer to the air port.
Favorite thing: This little dollhouse duomo on the edge of the Arno charmed me. Pisa in April is simply wonderful, not too crowded, Campo dei Miracoli of course notwithstanding. Toward the old wall from the Baptistry you can get into an impromptu calcio friendly with the locals though.
Invariably, most of the people travel to Pisa by train. Once you get out of the station, walk 50 meters ahead, then turn left and then keep walking straight. That's the general direction that I can give. Its just a 10 minute walk and you will see some interesting sights along the way.
Alternatively, buy a book of Pisa (if you don't already have a travel book) OR but a 2.50 Euros foldable map of Pisa.
Here's a picture of the train station.
I spent the majority of my time in Pisa at Piazza dei Miracoli, because the main reason I came to Pisa was to see the leaning tower (and I was only here on an afternoon trip from Firenze). It is a small-ish area that houses quite a few beautiful buildings. However when I went (mid-August, height of tourist season) there were poeple everywhere! Just masses of people. But it was a sunny day and everyone seemed to be in good spirits seeing the sites and checking out the many souvenir stalls in the piazza.
But aside from the piazza dei Miracoli, along the River Arno is also a nice spot (and less touristy) to walk around as well.
Fondest memory: Entering into Piazza dei Miracoli for the first time and being impressed by the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
In the past Pisa was a blooming trade centre. In fact it was a flourishing harbour city.
But due to the sanding of the River Arno and the battles with groups from Genoa, Firenze and Milan, Pisa lost its power.
Near the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II you can still see parts of the former town ramparts.
Tradition claims that the church was founded on 6 August 1070, “Lo die di San Sisto”, the day that the Pisan navy claimed extraordinary victories, but also the inauspicious day of the defeat of the Meloria in 1284.
The stone church has a medieval architectural design, with two aisles and a central nave, and granite columns with re-employed capitals from the Classical age. In this church the Major Council and the Minor Council of the People were held and in that era it was considered one of the most important churches of the city. The façade is decorated with blind arches and ceramic bowls.
The church is situated in Piazza San Sisto
We parked in some distance from the central part of Pisa, and enjoyed our walk through the streets.
Actually Pisa was a city that appealed to me, and this city is definitely much more than the Piazza dei Miracoli.
There are other great buildings in Pisa that I'm sorry I didn't have time to see.
Museo del'Opera that is listed as an excellent modern museum.
A tiny church called Santa Maria della Spina built between 1230 and 1323.
A large university the Scuola Normale Superiore built in 1561.
Fondest memory: This little city is filled with amazing architecture.
Favorite thing: Here's a map of the city of Pisa. (Just click on the picture to get a better view of it) You may also print it from your computer if you'd like) Most of it is from walking distance, in case you don't have the transportation available.
Favorite thing: Leaning Tower is the best place to visit here ... and interesting place can be reached by walk. I spend few hours here and went back to Firenze.
Favorite thing: This building front near the Arno begs the question of how it came to be as it is today. No less charming for not knowing, still!
Favorite thing: The painted medieval houses in Pisa are great examples of Tuscan style and colour. On the pedestrian shopping streets there are many of these colourful fronts.
Wander through the streets of Pisa.
You'll find, for sure, a nice place to sit and admire the city's beauty.