The 20 Best Sights of Pisa – Description and Photos

20 recommended tourist attractions in Pisa

Pisa-Dostoprimechatelnosti

Once a maritime powerhouse that rivaled Genoa and Venice, today Pisa draws its fame from an architectural project whose construction did not go quite as planned. But the world-famous falling tower is just one of the amazing sights of the city of Pisa.

The city center, with its bustling cafeterias and bars, optimally balances the enviable baggage of well-kept Romanesque buildings, Gothic churches and Renaissance squares with a lively street life dominated by locals rather than tourists.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Falling Tower

Falling Tower.

One of Italy’s iconic landmarks, the Leaning Tower really lives up to its name, tilting 5.5 degrees off its vertical axis. The 58-meter tower, officially the bell tower of the Duomo, was built for nearly two centuries and was not completed until 1372.

Over time, the tilt, provoked by the layers of soft soil at its base, increased steadily until it was finally halted by a stabilization project in the 1990s.

Italian architect Bonanno Pisano began to build the tower, in fact only a bell tower for a nearby cathedral, in 1173, but almost immediately his plans crashed due to the shifting soil under its foundations.

Only three of the tower’s seven tiers were completed before it began to tilt at a rate of about 1mm per year. By 1990, its inclination had reached 5.5 degrees, 10 degrees below the critical point set by computer models.

Stability was not finally achieved until after work was done in 1998, with a combination of counterweights and ground consolidation that forced the tower into a safer position. Today the slope is almost 4.1 m from perpendicular.

Address: Torre di Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Piazza dei Miracoli

Piazza dei Miracoli

Piazza dei Miracoli.

Pisans claim that Campo dei Miracoli is one of the most beautiful city squares in the world.

Its enclosed lawns provide a photogenic setting for the candy-striped Duomo, with its elegant tiered facade and extraordinary interior, whose construction began in 1063. And also for the Baptistery, which dates from 1153 and was completed in 1260 by Niccolò and Giovanni Pisano, with a magnificent pulpit by Niccolò Pisano inside. And also for the beautiful cemetery of Camposanto, which is said to contain earth delivered during the Crusades from Calvary. But all eyes are on the falling tower.

Address: Piazza dei Miracoli, Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, Italy.

Duomo

Duomo

Duomo.

The splendid Romanesque cathedral of Pisa was founded in 1064 and consecrated in 1118. Its striking tiered exterior, lined with greenish-cream marble strips, overlooks a huge columned hall topped by a gilded wooden ceiling.

An elliptical dome, the first of its kind in Europe at the time, was added in 1380. Before entering the cathedral, examine the three pairs of 16th century bronze doors at the main entrance.

Designed by the School of Giambologna to replace the wooden originals destroyed along with much of the interior of the cathedral by fire in 1596, the doors are absolutely breathtaking – you can spend hours deciphering the biblical scenes illustrating the Virgin’s Immaculate Conception and the birth of Christ on the central doors, as well as the road to Calvary, the crucifixion and the service of Christ.

Inside the north aisle, don’t miss the extraordinary early 14th-century octagonal pulpit. Giovanni Pisano’s Carrara marble sculpture, with its nude heroic figures, depth of detail and heightened sensibility, brought a new pictorial expressionism and life to Gothic sculpture.

Pisano’s work forms a stark contrast to the scandalous 2001 pulpit and altarpiece by Italian sculptor Giuliano Vangi.

Address: Cattedrale di Pisa, Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, Italy.

Baptistery

Baptistery

Baptistery.

The unusual Round Baptistery has one dome on top of another pyramidal one, each roof of the building is covered with shiny lead tiles on one side and tiled on the other, and its top is topped with a gilded bronze figure of John the Baptist, created in 1395.

The construction began in 1152, but when the project was continued by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, the original style of the Baptistery was slightly altered, and the final construction was not completed until the 14th century.

The highlight of the Baptistery is the hexagonal marble pulpit inside, designed by Nicollo Pisano and dating back to 1260. The lower level of the arcades is in the Pisano-Romanesque style, while the upper part together with the dome is in the Gothic style.

Pisa scientist Galileo Galilei, who history says invented the laws of the pendulum by observing a lamp in the cathedral swing in Pisa, was baptized in the octagonal font in 1246.

Don’t leave without going up to the upper gallery to listen, the keeper demonstrating the remarkable acoustics and echoing effects of the Baptistery’s double dome.

Address: Battistero di Pisa, Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, Italy.

Cemetery of Camposanto.

Camposanto

Camposanto.| Photo: Herbert Frank / Flickr.

Soil delivered during the Crusades from Calvary is said to lie within the white walls of this incredibly beautiful final resting place for many of the city’s famous residents, situated around a garden in a secluded quadrangle.

During World War II, Allied artillery destroyed many of the monasteries’ frescoes; nevertheless, you’ll find something to see in Pisa. Thus, a couple of the most ancient frescoes were saved and are now on display in the Sala Affreschi, or Fresco Room.

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Most notable is The Triumph of Death, a remarkable illustration of hell attributed to the fourteenth-century artist Buonamico Buffalmacco, dating from 1336-1341.

Fortunately, the mirrors that once stood next to the graphic depictions of the damned being roasted alive on a spit have been removed, because the audience originally saw their faces in the horrifying scene. Located in the same room, Buffalmacco’s “Last Judgment and Hell,” dating from 1333 to 1341, is equally violent.

The address is Campo Santo, Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, Italy.

Museum of Sinopia

Sinopia Museum

Museum of Sinopia | Photo: Dave & Margie Hill / Kleerup / Flickr.

The halls of this museum, in addition to the amazing frescoes, contain several synopias, which are a kind of preliminary sketches painted by artists using red pigment on the walls of Camposanto in the 14th and 15th centuries, before the frescoes were painted over them.

Go to the museum and explore the fresco paintings with short informative videos and scale models that fill its space.

Address: Museo Delle Sinopie, Pisa, Italy.

Museo Nazionale San Matteo

San Matteo National Museum

National Museum of San Matteo.| Photo: dvdbramhall / Flickr.

This impressive repository of medieval masterpieces is housed in a 13th-century Benedictine convent on the boulevard of the northern Arno promenade.

Particularly noteworthy is the collection of paintings of the Tuscan school from the 12th to 14th centuries, including works by Lippo Memmi, Taddeo Gaddi, Gentile da Fabriano and Ghirlandaio. Don’t miss Masaccio’s St. Paul, Fra Angelico’s Madonna of Humility and Simone Martini’s St. Catherine Polyptych.

Equally interesting is the collection of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Pisan sculptures, including works by Nicholas and Giovanni Pisano, Andrea and Nino Pisano, Francesco di Valdambrino, Donatello, Michelozzo and Andrea della Robbia.

Address: Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, Piazza San Matteo In Soarta, Pisa, Italy.

Blue Palace.

Blue Palace

Blue Palace. | Photo: Herbert Frank / Flickr.

This magnificently restored 14th-century building with an impressive dusty-blue facade overlooks the river.

Its luxurious 19th-century interiors provide the ideal setting for the splendid collection of works of art of the Pisa Foundation – predominantly Pisan works from the 14th to the 20th century on the second floor, as well as some temporary exhibitions on the ground level.

Moreover, in the basement of the museum you can see the archaeological area and on the first floor the noble residence of an aristocratic palace, furnished as it was in the nineteenth century.

Address: Palazzo Blu, Lungarno Gambacorti, Pisa, Italy.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden.

For a break from the crowds in Piazza dei Miracoli, go to this quiet enclosed garden with palm trees, flora typical of the Apuan Alps, a picturesque garden with aromatic herbs, and ancient greenhouses with 35 species of orchids.

The garden, showing the botanical collection of the University of Pisa, dates back to 1543 and is also the first university botanical garden in Europe.

It was tended by the eminent botanist Luca Guini (1490-1556). The museum at Palazzo della Conchigli tells the story of the garden through exquisite botanical illustrations, catalogs and models.

Address: L’Orto Botanico dell’Università di Pisa, Via Luca Ghini, Pisa, Italy.

Church of Santa Maria della Spina

Santa Maria della Spina Church

Church of Santa Maria della Spina. | Photo: Richard, enjoy my life! / Flickr.

Don’t miss this coastal church with its triple spires, an exquisite gem of the Pisano-Gothic style, exquisitely inlaid with tabernacles and statues. It was built between 1230 and 1233 as a reliquary for the spike from the Crown of Thorns of Christ

Address: Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina, Lungarno Gambacorti, Pisa, Italy.

The Ancient Walls of Pisa.

Ancient Walls of Pisa

Ancient Walls of Pisa. | Photo: Visit Tuscany / Flickr.

Recently opened to the public, the 2 km city walls are now one of Pisa’s most popular attractions. Climbing the fortress walls for free, you can admire spectacular views of the city.

Address: Antiche Mura di Pisa, Via Contessa Matilde, Pisa, Italy.

Piazza delle Vettovagli

Piazza delle Vettovalle

Piazza delle Vettovagli.

Piazza delle Vettovagli, which literally means supply square, is one of Pisa’s oldest squares and also the heart of the city’s nightlife.

It is formed by a series of peculiar arcades, where there are many stores, bars, restaurants and cafes. Near the square there is Vettovaglie market, where every morning you can make necessary purchases.

Address: Piazza delle Vettovaglie, Pisa, Italy.

Keith Haring’s Mural

Keith Haringa Fresco

Keith Haring’s mural.| Photo: Darren and Brad / Flickr.

Keith Haring’s popular style of graffiti art is recognized around the world, but you’d still be surprised to find this American artist’s huge mural in Pisa.

Haring loved the city during a visit in 1989 and painted this public work of art on the wall of the Church of Sant’Antonio, near the central station.

Address: Tuttomondo by Keith Haring, Via Riccardo Zandonai, Pisa, Italy.

Torre Guelfa

Torre Guelfa

Torre Guelfa.

This red tower, built in 1406 to control the river route to the city, contains a collection of arms of leading Pisa families that can be quite interesting.

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However, the best reason to come here is the beautiful view from the top of the tower over the coast and the natural park of San Rossore.

The address is Torre Guelfa, Pisa, Italy.

Loggia dei Bianchi

Loggia dei Bianchi

Loggia dei Bianchi.

The Loggia dei Bianchi is a building built by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti, which is currently used to house shopping rows, especially during the Christmas period.

The Loggia is at the end of Corso Italia, which is the main shopping destination in Pisa, so get ready to empty your wallet.

The address is Logge Dei Banchi, Via di Banchi, Pisa, Italy.

Church of Santo Stefano

Church of Santo Stefano

Church of Santo Stefano.| Photo: bill anderson / Flickr.

This church in Piazza dei Cavalieri was designed by Giorgio Vasari, one of Italy’s greatest architects.

It was originally built between 1565 and 1569, and some years later additional architectural elements were added.

Once here, you cannot miss the ornate high altar with the martyr’s throne of Pope Stephen I and the splendid baroque organ.

Address: Chiesa di Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Knights’ Square, Pisa, Italy.

Church of San Paolo

Church of San Paolo

The Church of San Paolo.

Pisa, like many Italian cities, has many beautiful churches that are definitely worth visiting.

The Church of San Paolo, is one of the oldest in the city, founded in 805 AD, it was expanded in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The church houses a Roman sarcophagus but it is its Pisan-Romanesque facade that attracts most attention.

Address: Parrocchia di San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno, Piazza San Paolo a Ripa D’Arno, Pisa, Italy.

Dante Square.

Piazza Dante

Piazza Dante.

One of the most beautiful and least touristy squares in Pisa, Piazza Dante is a beautiful place located near the Faculty of Law in the center of Pisa.

Few tourists come here to have a coffee, while students often visit it to relax between lectures.

Address: Piazza Dante Alighieri, Pisa, Italy.

Palazzo Agostini

Palazzo Agostini

Palazzo Agostini. | Photo: Vince Smith / Flickr.

The most beautiful palace in Pisa – Palazzo Agostini, built in the XIV century and well preserved to this day.

Its red brick facade makes it one of the most extraordinary palaces in the city.

The main reason this building is famous is the Caffè dell’Ussero, founded in 1794 and very popular among Italian patriots and intellectuals.

Address: Palazzo Agostini or dell’Ussero or Red, Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti, Pisa, Italy.

Pisa sights

It is usually believed that in Pisa it is enough to see the famous Leaning Tower and you will be in luck as a tourist. The famous Duomo, San Giovanni Baptistery, Campo Santo and the local museums, and the magical Field of Wonder – Piazza delle Cavalleri with Palazzo della Caravanova, Palazzo del Orologgio and Santo Stefano church, the only Renaissance religious building in the city, are just a few of the sights that Pisa’s magical field of wonders, the Cathedral Square, offers, however, are far from that.

And then there are the amazing churches of Santa Maria della Spina in Gothic style, San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno in Romanesque style, Santo Sepolcro in Lungarno-Galilei – a Roman octagonal church that stands out with its conical spire, San Michele in Borgo, San Paolo with a sculptural gallery inside, Sant’Andrea and Sant’Antonio. So Pisa is extraordinarily beautiful!

1. Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo is also called the Field of Miracles, because crowds of tourists come here in search of the coveted photo of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But in fact it is the Medieval Cathedral of Pisa that is the heart of the famous Field of Miracles (Cathedral Square). In terms of meaning, both the bell tower-campanile, which has become world-famous, and the baptistery of San Giovanni are minor additions. So, of course, are Campo Santo, the memorial cemetery, and Ospedale Nuovo di Santo Spirito, the fifth structure in the magnificent square, a former hospital and now a museum. The entire square and its architectural ensemble make an indelible impression!

2. The Tower of Pisa

Who would have thought, when Pisa’s majestic Cathedral was being built, that not it, but its bell tower would make the city famous all over the world! Yes, yes, it was the Leaning Tower of Pisa that became the main attraction “highlight” of the city, and it is to this architectural marvel, which began construction in 1173, that tourists from all over the world go and go. It was immediately clear that the ground beneath the Campanile was subsiding, so its construction lasted as much as 2 centuries.

As a result, the Tower of Pisa is a seven-story building, consisting of a base and the bell tower itself. Inside the tower there are many covered galleries connected by arches, which in turn are decorated with various ornaments. A huge hall with an open ceiling, its walls are lined with bas-reliefs depicting inhabitants of the sea depths, three twisted staircases, and of course the bell tower, the largest bell it weighs more than three and a half tons, and the oldest already more than four hundred years. Tourists around the world first climb up the tower, and then “pant” for photos, trying to keep the wonder-construction from falling. You do it too.

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3. Pisa Cathedral

The Cathedral of Pisa or Duomo began to be built in 1064 in the Pisa-Romanesque architectural style. The result is a true masterpiece; the facade of the cathedral is made of gray stone and white marble and decorated with discs of colored marble. Above the bronze doors are four rows of open galleries with columns, above which is a statue of the Madonna and Child and in the corners are four evangelists. In the eastern part of the cathedral outside, on a high column, is a modern replica of the Griffin of Pisa, the largest known Muslim sculpture in metal.

The interior of the Duomo is also impressive, and the first things that catch the eye are the black and white marble patterns, the smoothed ceilings, and the frescoed dome. The wonderfully carved pulpit was created in 1302-1310. Giovanni Pisano, and is considered one of the priceless masterpieces of medieval sculpture. Among the relics of the church are the relics of St. Ranieri, the patron saint of Pisa, and the tomb of the Roman emperor Henry the Seventh with a carved decoration by Tino da Camaino (1315).

4. San Giovanni Baptistery

For two centuries the Baptistery of San Giovanni was under construction, starting in 1152, and the result of this building with a height of nearly 55 meters and a circumference of 107 meters surpassed all expectations! Its incredibly intricately decorated construction is truly striking and even a little overwhelming, and it is, incidentally, the largest baptistery in Italy.

The baptistery portal faces the cathedral facade and is framed by two classical columns, while the interior jambs are in Byzantine style. The lintel divides it into two levels; the lower one depicts several scenes from the life of John the Baptist, while the upper one shows Christ between the Madonna and John, surrounded by angels and evangelists.

5. Campo Santo Memorial Cemetery

Campo Santo was the fourth structure in the Cathedral Square and dates back to 1278, although it was not completed until 1464. The imposing Campo Santo has 43 blind arches and two gates, most of the tombs are placed under the arcades. There are only three chapels in the cemetery, the oldest being the Ammannati Chapel (1360), the Aulla Chapel with an altar created by Giovanni della Robia in 1518, and the Dal Pozzo Chapel. The Roman sarcophagi, of which there were a huge number, can also be regarded as a landmark of Campo Santo. Another attraction of the Old Cemetery are the frescoes, the first of which were created in 1360 and the last about three centuries later.

6. Ospedale Nuovo di Santo Spirito Museum

This is the fifth building in the Cathedral Square and tourists usually pay attention to it only to note its gloomy and rough appearance compared to the delicate Duomo, the Tower and the Baptistery. But Ospedale Nuovo di Santo Spirito used to be a hospital and was built for that purpose back in 1257. During the reign of Medici in 1562, the hospital was reconstructed but has not had such functions for a long time. Since 1976, it is home to a museum of synopies or peculiar sketches or artistic “preparations” of frescoes.

7. Piazza dei Cavalieri

There used to be an ancient port, but since 1140 it was the center of the municipality and the buildings belonged to the different magistrates. In 1254 the Palace of the Elders was erected here, and in 1558 the square was rebuilt in Renaissance style by Giorgio Vasari, the famous court architect under the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosimo the First Medici.

The main building in the piazza is the Palazzo della Caravana, palace of the knights and former palace of the elders. It, too, has been modernized by Vasari: in particular, the architect created a stunning sgraffito façade with six niches containing busts of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. In front of the palazzo is a large statue of Cosimo the First Medici, and at the other corner of the square is the Palazzo del Orologgio. Other notable structures in the Piazza dei Cavalieri are the many university buildings, the Church of San Rocco, the Torre dei Gualandi tower as part of the Palazzo del Orologio, and the fountain by Pietro Francavilla.

8. Palazzo della Caravana

The Palazzo della Caravanova occupies a venerable main place in the Piazza dei Cavalieri, the second most important in Pisa after the “Field of Wonders”. This palace was built for the headquarters of the Knights of the Order of St. Stephen, whose task was to massacre the Saracens. The palazzo was built between 1562 and 1564 by the famous architect Giorgio Vasari, and was distinguished by the particular decoration of the facade. It used a complex scheme of sgraffito technique, and to this day the entire façade is covered with zodiacal signs and allegorical figures.

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Among the sculptural compositions one can see the coat of arms of the Medici, the founder of the order, and the order itself surrounded by allegorical figures of religion and justice. The upper gallery at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 18th centuries contained busts of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany (all of whom were Grand Masters of the Order). In some of the interior halls one can see 16th-century paintings, while the staircase with a double ramp in the center of the building was the main decoration of its construction.

9. Palazzo del Orologgio

On the northern part of the magnificent Piazza dei Cavalieri stands the Clock Tower, or Palazzo del Orologio, in the symbolic form of a half-opened book. By the way, it is now occupied by the library of the local university, so the logic in Pisa is fully respected. But in the 13th century, when Duke Ugolino was accused of treason in this beautiful tower he was starved to death, so not everything was so rosy with this building.

By the early 17th century, the building had acquired a modern look. Architect Giorgio Vasari connected the Ugolino Tower to the adjacent palace, standing at an angle to it, with an elegant arch. The result was the original book-shaped palace, which was the hospital of the ubiquitous Order of St. Stephen. Well, the clock appeared on the central section of the building in 1696.

10. Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri

The church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri has decorated the square of the same name since 1569 and is the only one in Pisa built in Renaissance style. Its façade, finished in white marble, was designed by Don Giovanni de’ Medici, illegitimate son of Duke Cosimo, and its bell tower was designed by Giorgio Vasari.

The interior of the church contains many interesting fragments: in particular, five paintings illustrating the life of St. Stephen, and on the ceiling there are six paintings on wooden panels with episodes of historical events in which the saint’s order took an active part. A special treasure of the church are the many war banners captured during naval battles with the Saracens.

11. Church of Santa Maria della Spina

The Church of Santa Maria della Spina, built in 1239 in a splendid Gothic style, is dedicated to the thorn from the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ (in Italian “back” means “thorn”), a relic that was brought here in 1333. Despite its small size, it is considered one of the most outstanding examples of Gothic art in Europe. In plan it is a rectangular building with a complete exterior clad in marble laid in multicolored strips.

The building is decorated with a huge number of sculptures, socket windows and other openwork decorative elements created by the leading artists of Pisa of the 14th century. The main façade features two symmetrical arched gates and a tabernacle with statues of the Madonna and Child and two angels. The right side of the church is also richly decorated: there are 13 sculptures of Christ and the apostles above the tympanum, made in the workshop of Nino Pisano, and in a niche stands another Madonna with Child.

12. Church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno

The Church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno was built in the 11th and 12th centuries and is of Romanesque style. In plan, the church is a Latin cross with a nave and two aisles that are separated from each other by colonnades of granite from Elba. The facade, created in the 12th century and finished in the 14th century (probably by Giovanni Pisano), is decorated with blind arches and marble loggias with columns of three orders in the upper section. Inside, one can see a 13th-century crucifix on a panel, frescoes by Buffalmacco and a “Madonna and Saints” by Turino Vanni (14th century). But most notable is the 2nd century Roman sarcophagus, which was used in the Middle Ages as a tomb.

13. Medici Palace

The Medici palace was built in the 13th century, and when the Florentines conquered Pisa, the palace was taken over by the Medici family. King Charles the Eighth of France was a guest at this palace in 1494, and in the 19th century the palace was restored to have neo-Gothic elements with arched windows and an attached turret with crenellated ends.

The outer walls are finished with rough, unworked stone, which gives it a stern, militant appearance. One corner of the building is decorated with the Medici family coat of arms. The courtyard is surrounded by a gallery decorated with elegant columns. The palace itself is three-storey; the upper floor had living rooms, the lower ones have magnificently decorated halls for festivities and celebrations; it now houses the prefecture.

14. Church of San Ferdiano

The church of San Ferdiano was first mentioned in documents in 1061. The facade of the church is austere and unpretentious in the ancient Roman style. Rectangular window and door apertures are decorated by columns with flat arches without any extravagances and special ornaments, high above the entrance in the central aisle there is a big window with arched apertures. On the sides of it there are diamond-shaped windows. In the interior decoration of the temple the huge painted cross and frescos with which the vaults of the central aisle are decorated attract attention. Numerous marble columns supporting the vaults of naves are decorated with carved capitals.

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15. National Museum of San Matteo

The National Museum of San Matteo is housed in an 11th-century building, and its exhibits include splendid collections of historical, cultural and archaeological finds. The exhibits of the museum date back to the 12th-17th centuries, with works of art dating from the 13th-15th centuries being of the greatest artistic interest. Among them is the collection of painted crosses, the Bible of 1168 with illustrations, various sculptures of famous masters, unique paintings by artists of the Tuscan school. The complex of buildings of the National Museum is also interesting. It contains a courtyard surrounded by a gallery with columns and arches, which was built in the 15th century.

16. Museum of ancient ships

Antique Ships Museum owes its existence to a simple miracle. During the renovation works in 1998 the builders discovered 30 ancient ships in the San Rossore railway station. Their age ranges from the 2nd century BC to the 7th century AD. The site was a port in ancient times.

Almost half of the discovered ships and boats were in perfect condition due to being in the ground without oxygen. In the holds were found fishing nets and rigging, things that belonged to the sailors, various amphorae, jewels, anchors, and working tools. The found ships belong to different regions of the Mediterranean. The building of the ancient Arsenal, built by the Tuscan Duke Casimo the First to store and repair his fleet, was given over to the museum.

17. Church of Santo Sepolcro

The church of Santo Sepolcro was erected during the first quarter of the 12th century and was originally commissioned by the Hospitallers. Its name, which means “Church of the Holy Sepulchre”, was used to house the relics brought back from the First Crusade, when the Crusader Knights invaded Jerusalem in 1099. The church has an octagonal shape, with two arched windows on each side and an octagonal dome in the center of the roof. The exterior resembles a defensive tower, the influence of the Knights Templar. The church of Santo Sepolcro was owned by the Maltese Knights after the dissolution of the Hospitaller Order. During the restoration of the church in 1849, it was restored to its original medieval appearance. There is a tombstone of Maria Mancini and a 15th century fresco depicting the Madonna and Child.

18. Palazzo Lanfranchi

Palazzo Lanfranci is a striking example of medieval architecture in Pisan, the result of the merging of several tower houses from the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries into one. The façade was designed according to the wishes of the Lanfranci family, who bought the palace in the 16th century, and has retained some Renaissance elements. In the masonry of the building the modern white stone contrasts sharply with the ancient brick walls. The entrance portal is framed by set columns supporting a balcony. Above it is a relief coat of arms. The windows are framed by pilasters and inlaid columns. Nowadays the palace houses the city Museum of Graphic Arts, which has a permanent exposition and regularly holds temporary exhibitions.

19. Palazzo Cevoli

One of the splendid palaces that adorn Via San Martino is Palazzo Cevoli. The palace has two relatively well-preserved towers, its façade is decorated with several columns supported by arches, the windows are decorated with cills and cornices, and the interiors are richly decorated with frescoes. During the renovation works, some fragments of 14th century frescoes depicting heads of saints were discovered. The Danish King Federico the Fourth, who was in Florence on a romantic visit, lived for a time in the Palazzo Cevoli, to which the pediment bears inscriptions in Latin.

20. The quarter of San Martino

Of course, all tourists in Pisa rush to the Field of Miracles and undeservedly leave out the very pretty quarter of San Martino, which runs parallel to the Galileo Galilei promenade and the Via San Martino. The main attraction of this neighborhood is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is notable for holding relics brought back from Jerusalem, captured during the Crusades. The unquestionable jewel of the quarter is the Lanfranca Palace, one of the oldest and most beautiful palazzo in the city, famous for the large reliefs with coats of arms that decorate its walls. In the same quarter is one of the city’s favorite resting places, the splendid Scotto Garden or as it is called Cittadella Nuova. Via San Martino boasts many beautiful palaces – Palazzo Cervoli, Palazzo Tizzoni and others – but most importantly, it’s great to walk along the very memorable promenade a little away from the noisy crowds of tourists.

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