This charming city in Central Italy is located right bank of the mouth of the River Arno. A part of Tuscany, Pisa serves as capital of the Province of Pisa and is world famous for its Leaning tower, which is an architectural project gone wrong. At an elevation of 4 meters above sea level, Pisa spreads on 185 km2 lands and is home to more than 200,000 people, out of which 89,373 reside in the city area. The city famed for its historical University of Pisa along with Napoleonic Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, which are regarded as the best sanctioned Superior Graduate Schools in Italy. Much of the city’s history is unknown as historians propose that one of the Pelasgi, the Greeks, the Etruscans, and the Ligurians might have been the founders of the city. Italian is the official language spoken by most of the people.
All the flights coming to Pisa land at the Pisa International Airport which is located in San Giusto neighborhood in Pisa. The airport has its own railway station and Pisa central railway station is 2 km. Formerly known as Galileo Galilei Airport and San Giusto Airport, currently more than 20 airlines operate direct flights to and from Pisa. The city has Mediterranean type of climate with mild winters and moderately warm summers, thus making it possible for tourists to visit all the year round. However, the months from March to October are considered to be the peak tourist season. Summer in Pisa lasts from May to August, followed by autumn from September to end of October. Winter season last from November till February and Spring blossoms from March to April. Capodanno pisano on March 25, Gioco del Ponte, Luminara di San Ranier in June, Regate delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare, Premio Nazionale Letterario Pisa, Pisa Book Festival, Metarock, Internet Festival, Turn Off Festival, Nessiah in Novemeber are the major cultural events in Pisa.
One of the wonder of the world, Leaning Tower of Pisa is the major attraction in the city and the world. The construction of the building started in 1173 and the famous leaning quality of the building can be attributed to the attempts made by various architects to correct its tilt during construction. The next tourist stop in the city is Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which is a five-aisled Romanesque basilica made entirely of white marble and was designed by Pisan architect Buscheto. The pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, which is similar to Church of Sant'Andrea in Pistoia, is the main highlight of the cathedral. Lying to the west of the Cathedral is the Baptistery which is illustrious for its free-standing marble pulpit built by Nicola Pisano in 1260. It is also one of the great masterworks of Romanesque sculpture. Camposanto, known as sacred field is another historical attraction.
Cathedral Museum (one of the best designed and curated museum in Tuscany), Museo Nazionale (National Museum housing sculpture and pictures of the Tuscan schools from the 12th to the 15th centuries), Santa Maria della Spina (a lovey smaller church in Pisa), Palazzo dei Cavalieri (a magnificent palace), Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri (a beautiful church) and San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno (famous for Pisan Romanesque style façade) are the major sightseeing places in the city.
Eating and Shopping
Like in most parts of the country, Italian food is the most commonly available menu but every restaurant in Pisa has its own twist to enhance and add uniqueness to the traditional cuisine. Some of the authentic dishes one should not miss tasting in Pisa are – Capatosta di Paolicchi Michele, brachetti alla renaiola along with huge varieties of pizzas, pastas and antipasti. Pizzeria Trattoria Il Montino, Pizzeria La Tana, Alle Antiche Navi, La Grotta, Osteria Dei Cavalieri, Hallet’s Restaurant, Ristorante Squisitia, Salza, Pasticceria Lilli and Gelateria De’Coltelli are the places to enjoy an authentic Italian style meal. However, the option is not limited to just Italian food. The city has numerous budget, mid-range as well as high end restaurants serving a large array of International cuisine as well.
Located in the country which has the ‘fashion capital of the world’, Pisa too has its share of glories. The most popular shopping item is the miniature Leaning tower of Pisa which is bought by almost all the tourists holidaying in Pisa. Campo dei Miracoli has numerous stalls that sell souvenirs. The area around the Leaning tower is filled with tacky shops but they are generally expensive, so bargaining is recommended. Fiera dell’Antiquariato e Artigianato Artistico is a popular antique art and crafts fair and is the best place for purchasing antiques and old furniture. Many shopping malls, branded outlets, large departmental stores and high end supermarkets are also available across the city.
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