Pisa, located in central Italy in the Tuscany, has so much more to offer than just the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Wandering the streets of this ancient city, I was awestruck by the beautiful Piazza dei Miracoli, the Arno River, numerous museums, chapels, churches, and Piazzas (public squares).
Piazza dei Miracoli, translated to Square of Miracles, aptly received the name from controversial Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio. The 8.87 hectare expanse, owned by the Catholic church and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, contains 4 religious structures; the Cathedral, the Baptistry, the Cemetery (Campo Santo) and the Leaning Tower.
For the curious minds, Pisa is home to many Museums, featuring everything from sculptures and paintings to frescoes, manuscripts and skeletons.
The 241 km (150 miles) long Arno River, meandering through central Pisa is the perfect place for a romantic stroll as well as providing fantastic photo opportunities. If you are fortunate enough to be in Pisa during the month of June, the San Ranieri Festival showcases a fast paced Regatta race with an interesting ending as well as the Luminara – a candlelight ceremony followed by fireworks and the exciting Battle of the Bridge. I was not so fortunate, but plan to return!
Constructed in 1173 (completion 1399), the Leaning Tower of Pisa Bell Tower stands 56 meters (184 ft) tall. Due to the foundation settling, the tower leans at a little less than 4 degrees. At it’s worst, in 1990, it sat a 5.5 degree angle which caused the area to be closed in order to reinforce the base; it did not reopen until 1991. The tower correction reduced the lean by 44 cm (17”), quite a feat, but more amazingly, by 2008 it had improved another 4 cm (2”) for a total improvement of 48 cm (19”)!
The perfect way to enjoy one of the many Piazzas and to recharge energy – grab an espresso and enjoy the views!
Pisa, Italy – Photo Album
Pisa, Italy – YouTube
Discover Tuscany – One Day Pisa Tour
Battle of the Bridge
Foreign Travel Advice – UK Government
Alerts and Warnings – USA Government