Pisa is situated in Tuscany, Central Italy. The city is divided in two halves by the river Arno, which flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea at Marina di Pisa. Nowadays, the coast is 12km away, since over the centuries debris from the river sanded up its watercourse downstream and moved the coast away. In the Early Middle Ages, Pisa was a very lively port and a rich commercial centre. Moreover, it was one of the four Maritime Republics (the other three were Genoa, Venice and Amalfi), which fought each other for control of the Mediterranean Sea. This was a period of victories and wealth for the city, which had colonies and commercial basis all over the Mediterranean coasts and was feared and respected.Pisa is known worldwide mostly for the Piazza dei Miracoli or Square of Miracles with its Leaning Tower and the other beautiful buildings that surround it: the Baptistery, the Cathedral – a wonderful example of Pisan-Romanesque architecture whose white-and-grey marble façade has been decorated with polychrome marble, creating a great first impact – and the Camposanto, a Gothic-style Monumental Cemetery, representing the cycle of life. Around the square’s perimeter is the Opera del Duomo Museum, home to the several artworks and statues from the Cathedral and the Baptistery, and the Sinopie Museum.
Pisa is a very lively and beautiful city with an ancient history which has much to offer: the Piazza dei Cavalieri, once the heart of power in the city and later the headquarters of the Knights of St. Stephen, is home to the prestigious university Scuola Normale di Pisa and to the Clock Palace; this palace is characterised by two towers, one of which – the Hunger Tower – has been mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy.
It is a city of art, but also a city of humanistic culture and science. It was the hometown of Galileo Galilei and nowadays the University of Pisa, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa and the CNR (National Research Centre) are four of the most important and prestigious cultural institutions in Italy and in the entire world.
Pisa is home to the oldest botanic garden in Europe, and it has beautiful gardens and parks.
You can find general information on food and dining spots on the SIGIR 2016 map, where a number of our favourite dining spots are pinpointed.
Pisa and its Monuments
Pisa has about 89,000 inhabitants and is one of the most important centers of art in Tuscany. See the the SIGIR 2016 map for locating some interesting sightseeing spots in Pisa.
The Leaning Tower is the symbol of Pisa, visited every day by thousands of people. Conceived of not only as a bell tower, but also as a belvedere for the square below – from the earliest times the loggias have served as ‘grandstand’ for religious events and fairs – it rises 58.36 m above the level of the foundation, just under 56 m over the level of the countryside, and its inclination, measured at the base, is over 4 m. The average subsidence of the base is 2.25 m, while the progressio of the overhang, despite all attempts so far made to bring it to a halt, is about 1.2 mm per year. The Tower of Pisa is open to visitors. For further information refer to the municipality website.
In size and aspect the Baptistery , an imposing construction with a circular ground plan and dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is, together with the Cathedral, the Tower and the Camposanto Monumentale, one of the local points of the Piazza dei Miracoli. Construction was begun in 1152 by Diotisalvi in Romanesque style. It was continued about a century later by Nicola Pisano who added the airy loggia with its Gothic embroidery of triangles and aediculas, the setting for sculpture from the workshop of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. The finishing touch to this marble gem is the dome, terminated in the 14th century, covered with tiles and lead plaques and crowned by a bronze figure of the Baptist, attributed to the 14th-century artist Turino di Sano. Of the four portals, the one on the east which opens onto the splendid facade of the Cathedral, is the finest and artistically most elaborate. The jambs are decorated with beautiful relief of pure Byzantine inspiration which depict, on the right, the Apostles, the Ascension and David, while on the left a trenchant series of the Months. The lintel is divided into two tiers; in the lower one is a description of Episodes in the life of St. John the Baptist, in the upper one, Christ between the Madonna and St. John the Baptist with Angels and Evangelists alternating.
The Cathedral of Pisa is an inseparable part of marvelous four-piece ensemble of masterpieces of architecture and art which makes the Piazza dei Miracoli what it is. The group of buildings so scenographically set in the piazza del Duomo of Pisa leave the visitor with an impression in part real and in part unreal, like a fairy tale, due first and foremost to the striking contrast of the white marble with the green lawn and blue sky. In Roman times the Palatium of Emperor Hadrian stood here and subsequently a place of worship dedicated to Santa Reparata was built on top.
On the outskirts of Pisa continuing towards the sea at south of the Arno river mouth you reach Marina di Pisa, a bathing place with its seaside resorts which belong to the second half of the nineteenth century, and its buildings built in liberty style are its most important feature. Marina di Pisa rose in the nineteenth century even if long before it was already populated by fishermen. It was founded by a bathing establishment’s owner whose name was Ceccherini. He early had a Resort near San Rossore but Savoia people (who lived in this property) did not like the closeness to the common people who went there to sunbathe. The Royal Savoia family in order to resolve this trouble gave Ceccherini a huge amount of money, with which he built another seaside Resort in 1869. A lot of villas began to be built along the littoral road. The long beach and the clearness of the sea fascinated Gabriele D’Annunzio, famous Italian poet, and then after him many other aristocratic people came to Marina di Pisa. In this way began the “Liberty style” that you can recognize from the houses appearance. It is said that D’Annunzio wrote in this town “La Pioggia nel Pineto”, one of his greatest poems. From Marina di Pisa there are daily trips in ferry-boats to Porto Venere and Cinque Terre.
Tirrenia is situated in the centre of the Tuscany coast, along a coast line of 10 Km. This town is entirely plunged into the nature and it is between two important cities, Pisa and Livorno. Tirrenia has a very fertile territory which in the course of the ages has acquired the features of the above mentioned cities which despite their closeness have different traditions.
Tirrenia mediterranean climate permits nice and suitable seasons: colourful days in spring , warm and bright in the summer and relaxing in autumn. Tirrenia is really crowded especially during the summer season, here the people have the possibility to spend the whole day on the well equipped beaches. There are many sport activities : Beach volley, Sailing , Underwater fishing, Tennis, Football, Golf and Horse riding. Such sports can be played in the numerous sports complexes plunged into the green.
There is also a wide choice of daily excursions: Bocca d’Arno with its “retoni” (particular hanging fishing-nets) situated among the contour line of San Rossore and just in front of Alpi Apuane, San Rossore Natural Park where there are stables near the homonymous race-course, the near Tuscany archipelago and also the huge historic and artistic patrimony of cities, such as Pisa, Lucca Volterra, Firenze, Siena, and also other wonderful little centres that can be discovered wherever. We recommend you a quiet and comfortable staying full of amusement, at the numerous camping-sites or in a boarding-house and also in luxurious hotels. If you try you will understand that this is not the usual publicity because when you come to Tirrenia you will become its greatest supporter after few days.
External links: here
Tuscany is a rich region of thermal fonts and where where it is possible to have a vacation dedicated to the care of ones own body.
Mental and physical well-being is that unmistakable light which shines out from the face of anyone who chooses to put health first and foremost in life and beauty. A wise choice which breaks the hectic rhythm of daily life with brief periods dedicated to nature, health and relaxation. Drinking S. Giuliano spa water, rich in mineral salts, between one treatment and another, detoxifies and reinvigorates vital functions. Treatments release the multitude of health-giving properties present in spa water, triggering the processes of natural osmosis so vital to bodily functions. Taking the waters is also an opportunity to meet with others in relaxed and congenial surroundings.
S. Giuliano spa waters are ideal for combating problems of the respiratory system: rhinitis, sinusitis, laryngitis and bronchitis. A programme to combat smog and the other threats to the respiratory tract. Nebulisation of health-giving vapours and mineral salts strengthen the immune system, revitalising body and skin functions.Nearby also Uliveto Terme and, surrounded by typical tuscan hill, Casciana Terme offer thermal services.