The Monument to Giuseppe Mazzini, by Oragio Andreoni, dates from 1883. Mazzini was an important Italian journalist, activist, and politician, who played a crucial role in the unification of Italy. He died while in Pisa, in 1872, at 66 years of age.
Palazzo dei Cavalieri, also known as Palazzo della Carovana, sits in the piazza of the same name. Originally intended as a place of training for the Knights of Saint Steven, the building was designed by Giorgio Vasari. The facade was completed by Vasari, with the help of Alessandro Forzori, and Tommaso di Batista del Verrocchio. Today, it hosts a public school.
From Piazza dei Cavalieri, it is but a short walk to the Campo dei Miracoli. This is the place that most people come to Pisa to see, and you will find crowds there. Luckily, most of the people remain outside, in the square, not wanting to purchase tickets to gain admission to the various buildings around them. But, do buy the tickets! A combination ticket is the way to go! For one price of €9.00, you can gain admission to all four attractions on the square, except the tower, which has its own admission price of €18.00, and MUST be reserved in advance.
The Duomo, or Cathedral of Pisa, dates back to 1063. The church was originally built outside of the city walls, to show the world that the city of Pisa was strong, and not afraid of being invaded.
The church contains works by artists such as Cimabue, Giambologna, Giovanni and Nicola Pisano, Andrea del Sarto, and Il Sodoma, to name a few. Do yourself a favor, and take the time to visit this remarkable place!
The Baptistery of Saint John, or Battistero di San Giovanni, dates from 1152. It is the largest baptistery in all of Italy. The baptismal font in the center dates from 1246, and is by the artist Guido Bigarelli da Como, while the pulpit is by Nicola Pisano. Although not noticeable to the eye, the baptistery is also leaning slightly towards the nearby cathedral.
The Campo Santo, or Camposanto Monumentale, was built around a shipload of soil from Golgotha, which was brought back to Pisa during the Crusades. The building dates from 1278, but was only completed in 1464. Relics that are housed inside of the Dal Pozzo Chapel, in the Campo Santo, include two fragments of the True Cross, a thorn from the Crown of Thorns, and a small piece of a dress that belonged to the Virgin Mary, as well as other relics from eleven of the twelve apostles. The walls are covered with over 2,600 meters of frescoes.
And then, there is the famous Leaning Tower, or the Campanile.
I do recommend climbing to the top of this beautiful structure, but again, make a reservation, or else, you will find yourself just admiring it from the outside. The number of people allowed into the tower is limited, and strictly enforced. No bags, or large pocketbooks, are allowed. They must be checked at the ticket office, so be sure to arrive early enough to take care of all of that, and still be at the security line, by your given entrance time.
We sat at picnic tables in the middle of a piazza, and ate fried fish, to finish off our last night in Pisa!
Next up: We head to the lovely town of Porto Santo Stefano!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Pisa, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!