Discover the authentic side of Tuscany in Pisa, Italy! Visit this lively and beautiful city! Find the best travel tips and suggestions on toscanainside.com

If you are planning to visit Pisa, Italy you have made a great choice. If you are interested in Tuscany, Pisa is an ideal choice as there are lots of things to see in Pisa. Just to give you an idea of what to visit in Pisa: the famous Campo dei Miracoli, the riversides, the university, the centre of Pisa with its shops and its typical food stalls. We at toscanainside.com are offering you a guide of the best places to visit in Pisa including its monuments, without forgetting other interesting tourism destinations in the surroundings of Pisa too!

Before we begin to tell you the things to see in Pisa, we want to give you some information about the city, its history and its illustrious past. Its origins are uncertain: but according to legend Pisa was founded by the Trojans, while others consider it to be Etruscan. Later the Romans arrived and left their deep heritage in the area, no doubt, then about the domain Latin! During the Middle Ages the city had a great vitality, and soon became a reference point for trade, and at one point it was one of the four maritime republics! In case you have forgotten, Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa and you may find yourself walking near his birthplace! Dante , as usual, had little love for this city: in the famous poem on Count Ugolino you will find an invective against Pisa, among the most heated of the whole poem.

We want to describe Pisa sightseeing suggestions and what to admire in this beautiful city. You will not be the only ones to be fascinated and, if you wanted to try your hand at some poetry, you can take inspiration from Shelley and D'Annunzio, who wrote beautiful verses on Pisa. So, what to see in the historical centre of Pisa-Italy and surroundings?

Starting from the Arno riverside allows one to get in contact with the real atmosphere to discover  Pisa. These beautiful streets run along the Arno river and are the heart of student life and unique to Pisa. Giacomo Leopardi was struck already in his time by the uniqueness of these streets and wrote: "This embankment is a show so beautiful, so large, so magnificent, so gay, so pleasant that makes people fall in love with it, I have not seen anything like it either in Florence, or Milan, nor in Rome; and really I do not know if in all of Europe there are many views of this sort. " We can only share this thought and therefore suggest these places among best things to see in Pisa Italy and the destinations of Pisa where to relax and daydream.

Among the monuments of Pisa, the most famous is undoubtedly its Leaning Tower. The bell tower of the cathedral has tilted for a very long time due to land subsidence. When you stand in front of this monument you will be completely amazed. And if you want to see the centre of Pisa from a different perspective, it is now possible to go up the tower and enjoy the city and its ancient walls from above!

In the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) you will be amazed and may wonder what are the top things to see in Pisa, Italy other than the Tower: the Cathedral of St Maria Assunta in Pisa is of Romanesque style and can be visited free of charge and the Baptistery (one of the largest in Italy), designed by Diotisalvi (who also designed the Tower). In addition to the sculptures, take a minute of two to admire the beautiful pulpit by Nicola Pisano and the dome, you will find that here a remarkable phenomenon of echo takes place.

This magnificent square does not end here among the places of interest in Pisa. Another Pisa sight to see is the Monumental Cemetery. This cemetery, surrounded by walls of white marble, is located within a cloister and hosts the most important people of Pisa. You will find many works from various periods, including the famous medieval fresco of the Triumph of Death by Buffalmacco. It is a holy place: it is claimed that its land derives from the Holy Land of Golgotha and was brought back by the crusaders from Jerusalem. If you intend to visit remember that silence is a priority!

Other things to see in Pisa, Italy include Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knights’ Square) in the heart of the historic centre. Pisa is a city famous for its university and that is where you will find the beautiful Caravana Palace, home of the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. Not forgetting the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri and the Tower of the Muda attached to the Clock Palace. In the Divine Comedy Count Ugolino is placed deeper into the abyss of hell, in Cocytus (frozen lake) where the traitors were punished. Ugolino della Gherardesca, who lived in the 13th century, was a prominent figure in the city of Pisa. Following some personal political choices he was accused of treason (and in turn betrayed) by the archbishop Ruggeri of Pisa. The Count and his sons were so locked up in the Tower of Muda and sentenced to death by starvation. The sad story is described by Dante, through the words of Ugolino, in one of the most famous and terrible poems of the Divine Comedy. Through the verses of the poem the poet presents us with the possibility that the count, gnawed by hunger and madness, might have eaten his own children!

After visiting in Pisa the things to see, head to Borgo Stretto and discover one of the most loved districts by the inhabitants of Pisa: here you can stroll along the medieval arches and see two other leaning towers: one of the St Nicholas Church and the other of St Michael Scalzi Church. This part of town is perfect for a lunch break and then on to the fruit market in Piazza delle Vettovaglie, one of the best things to see in Pisa that we highly recommend! If you are here at sunset you should return to the Arno river and enjoy the unique spectacle of light and reflections. You will see, walking to the Lungarno Medici, noble palaces of the Middle Ages such as the Toscanelli Palace or you will find yourself in front of beautiful churches such as St Maria della Spina on the Lungarno Gambacorti. You will be surrounded by students who relax in the sun in the early afternoon during summer.

What if during the day you feel tired and hot after your Pisa sightseeing because of your wandering between monuments and squares in Pisa and you want somewhere to relax? Then we recommend Cittadella Nuova or, more commonly known as, Garden Scotto. It is an ancient fortress that is located in Pisa Lungarno Fibonacci. At the centre of the property is a large garden and you can also walk along a walkway that leads to a turret. In spring it is ideal for staying outdoors! If you want to immerse yourself even more in the nature you could walk along the Piagge Avenue by the Arno river, which is home to many different trees and breeds of birds, including owls and kingfishers. Along this route is also the fascinating St Michele degli Scalzi Romanesque Church.

Visiting Pisa, Italy will be made unforgettable if you try its typical products.

Starting with the queen of snacks: cecina. A Genoese dish that the Pisans acquired, it is a thin cake made from chickpea flour: ask for it at Montino and queue with patience (it is always full!) Your first taste will be rewarded with golden, crispy, excellent with sausage or alone, a real treat: be careful not to burn yourself, though! This former bakery is among the best places to visit in Pisa. Or does the famous frog soup inspire you? If not, try the Pisa fish soup, grilled cod or sour stock fish! If you are true connoisseurs, however, try to taste the cee with sage (cee stands for 'blind', or young eels!), or maybe you prefer a simple pasta and chickpeas?

The typical cake of Pisa is Torta co’ 'Bischeri, (bischeri are the folds in the pasta), a rich tart pastry with chocolate, rice and many other secret ingredients.

If you have planned to visit Pisa during the month of June, you can expect a fantastic surprise. On the evening of June 16, the eve of the patron Saint of Pisa - St Ranieri - the Luminara festival takes place. The riverside in the evening light, thanks to the flames of countless candles, is an indescribable spectacle which you may participate in: you will admire the profile of the buildings in the night-time colours and a vision of the ancient past all night long. The following day the city continues to celebrate its patron saint with the HistoricalRegatta (Palio of St Ranieri), during which four boats compete along the river. At the end of the month of June there is the Gioco del Ponte (Games bridge), which includes one the most beautiful parades of Tuscany and a battle that takes place on the Mezzo Bridge. The two historical teams of the city (Tramontana and Mezzogiorno) compete to earn the territory of the bridge pushing a chariot against one another. The Historical Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics takes place in summer every four years instead.

So, there is no shortage of places to visit in Pisa. If you have time for an excursion, there are also places to visit near Pisa. You can travel to the Pisan Hills and sample the local wines. If you are looking for a relaxing break, you can easily reach San Giuliano Terme, known as the Baths of Pisa. The San Rossore area in Pisa has a huge natural park (much loved by D'Annunzio who dedicated verses to it in Alcyone) and also has an important Hippodrome. Pisa is also not far from beautiful ancient towns such as Montescudaio and Volterra, or head to the sea, to the  nearby Pisa Marina to go for a swim or a bit of sun bathing!

Pisa tourism offers history, culture and good wine surrounded by natural landscapes. We at toscanainside.com feel sure you will love this part of Tuscany. Pisa is a lively and friendly city, you will want to stop the clock in front of the Square of Miracles and spend evenings watching the colours and reflections on the waterside and children enjoying the atmosphere of this magical city. Pisa is a dream and seems asleep along the River Arno with views of the Apuan Alps in the distance and a fresh sea breeze. Students are the soul of the city and you will find many little places, bars, pubs and quaint bookshops where to find any book you want.

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