6 Reasons To Head For Pisa
23 November, 2016
It never fails to surprise that the main – and intensely photographed – claim to Pisa’s fame should be a leaning tower with an inclination presaging a long overdue fall. It is not the only tilting building in the city, but it is the most famous one. That’s what comes from daring to site architectural creations of some considerable height on marshy ground. However Pisa is worth a lot more, so take your time to discover all the other facets of this beautiful Tuscan city.
1. Piazza dei Miracoli – The Stellar Landmark
A World Heritage Site, it has the honour of hosting the city’s most visited landmark, as well as being one of the most immortalised in Italy – the Leaning Tower. That is what draws tourists to the square, but there are other architectural gems here, too. Apart from the tower, there is the Duomo with its spectacular central body in bronze, and the pulpit, masterfully carved by Giovanni Pisano from 1302 to 1310; the Baptistry, built from the Romanesque period to the 14th century, its standout feature being the pulpit by Nicola Pisano, regarded as a forerunner of the Renaissance, and the Camposanto with its 600 tombstones, prominent being the frescoes decorating the gallery walls.
2. Pisa’s Other Piazzas
Pisa has other piazzas apart from the Miracoli and more monuments to see than those in the celebrated square. A case in point is the Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knights’ Square) with its magnificent palaces, notably the Palazzo del Popolo e degli Anziani (Palace of the People and the Elders), the Palazzo dell'Orologio (Clock Palace) and the stunning Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri. For many, though, the greatest attraction is the university atmosphere that pervades the square. The same atmosphere can be had in the Piazza Dante Alighieri, where the standout landmark is the Sapienza, a building housing the Law Faculty and Library of Pisa University.
3. Pisa’s Other Leaning Buildings
Building on marshy ground like in Pisa has its drawbacks, as constructions are likely to become unstable. Thus, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not the only building affected by this phenomenon. Others which reveal their walls to be tilted include the Duomo and the Baptistry and the campaniles of the Chiesa di San Nicola and Chiesa di San Michele degli Scalzi.
4. Keith Haring’s Mega Graffiti
The only graffiti Keith Haring executed in 1989 as a permanent mural, marking a departure from his custom of producing temporary works, one of the essential traits of graffiti. It is located on the south wall of the Chiesa di Sant'Antonio Abate and covers a surface of 180 square metres. Entitled Tuttomondo, it is a tribute to peace and harmony in the world and is immediately recognisable from his unmistakeable style of simplified human figures.
5. Strolling Along the Arno Riverbank
The river Arno passes through Pisa on the last leg of its journey before flowing into the sea, having left behind the irresistible Florence and much of Tuscany. On its passage through Pisa, the Arno is flanked by splendid palaces, so be sure to wander along the lungarni as the streets bordering the river are known.
6. Upbeat University Atmosphere
Pisa has one of Italy’s most prestigious universities, which accounts for the atmosphere one breathes throughout the city, filled as it is with students. This is also the reason for the host of café terraces and venues where you can stop to refuel on a tour of the city. Apart from sightseeing breathers, it is also the ideal spot for those who like to go out in the evening.
Now that you have the essential pointers for visiting Pisa, all that’s left is to book your Vueling and enjoy it!
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Images by bvi4092
23 November, 2016