Pisa may be best known throughout the world for its iconic Leaning Tower, but there are plenty of other great things to see and do in this coastal Italian City that sits on the mouth of the River Arno. Whether you’re traveling alone, as a couple, or a family, this historical city will reward you with great vistas, delicious food, and a classic Italian experience. So here are just a handful of things to keep in mind for after you’ve booked your Pisa flights.
1. Piazza del Duomo
While the city’s most well-known object might be the Leaning Tower of Pisa, this architectural marvel is only one small part of the outstanding Cathedral Square, which is known locally as the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles). The whole square is, in fact, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the 10th-century Cathedral and Baptistry feature distinctive Pisan Romanesque architecture and a beautiful frescoed dome. Be sure to follow in the footsteps of Galileo and climb the tower to see stunning views of the town.
2. The Museum of the Ancient Ships of Pisa
This museum is in its infancy and has been home to a recently finished archaeological dig. The main attractions are the nine ancient Roman cargo ships that were excavated from silt in the Pisan harbor and restored to their ancient splendor. These ships and the goods that were recovered with them provide important insight into the once valuable and thriving economy that surrounded the harbor of Pisa.
3. Camposanto Monumentale
The Monumental Cemetery in Pisa was established in the 12th century and is said to be built around a shipload of sacred Golgotha soil, returned to Italy after the Fourth Crusade by Ubaldo de’ Lanfranchi, the archbishop of Pisa. The building and cloister are home to intricate frescoes and historic objects such as the famous lamp from which Galileo calculated pendular movements, 84 sarcophagi, and a variety of Roman and Etruscan sculptures and urns.
4. Walk the Arno
Many of the buildings built along the Arno Promenade date back to the Middle Ages, even though they have a Renaissance flare to them. A stroll through these towers, bridges, and buildings will bring you upon the Medici Palace, the Toscanelli Palace, and the church of San Matteo. This area is also a great place to head for food and drinks.
5. Eating in Pisa
Pisa is located in Tuscany and features many of the ingredients and techniques found in the regions well-known dishes. However, as it is a coastal town, does tend to focus more around fish, which are found in some of its signature dishes such as, grilled grey mullet and cod, boiled Mediterranean spider fish, sweet and sour cod, and frog soup. You can also find pheasant, boar, hare, and the famous pesto Pisano.
If you’re looking to explore a historic Italian region and all the great culture it has to offer, Pisa and the surrounding countryside of Tuscany will not disappoint.
Special guest post provided to Jen is on a Journey.