The local economy enjoys a major contribution from Education since the 1400s. Students from all parts of Italy vie for a seat in its elite university. The town centre boasts of well-maintained Romanesque edifices, Gothic churches and Renaissance piazzas, well-balanced with a vibrant café and bar scene. If you restrict yourself to just visiting Piazza dei Miracoli, you may probably not realize the interesting fact that the town’s street life is dominated by locals more than tourists!
Coming by train from Florence?
Many people come to Pisa from Florence to see the Leaning Tower. Travellers are recommended to take the time to explore the rest of the center which is really neat. Pisa has two train stations: Pisa Centrale and Pisa San Rossore.
The Leaning Tower
The construction of the tower began in 1173 under architect Bonanno Pisano’s supervision. But he was forced to abandon work after the edifice started leaning. In 1272 the construction work resumed. Measures to bolster the foundations miserably failed in spite of the hard work put in by the artisans and masons. Yet, they kept building straight up from the lower storeys. Again, work was suspended due to war. The construction of the tower wasn’t completed until the second half of the 14th century.
The cathedral was a blueprint for many other Romanesque churches built later, in Tuscany. In 1063, victory in a naval battle fought against an Arab fleet off Palermo, gave the Pisans enough spoils, which was used in the construction of the church. The cathedral was built to be Europe’s largest, to mark this victory and symbolise Pisa’s Mediterranean domination.
In 1380, for the first time ever in Europe, an elliptical dome was added, which later became the inspiration for even bigger domes in Florence and later at St Peter’s in Vatican and St. Paul’s in London.
Though admission is free, an entrance coupon from the ticket office or a ticket from one of the other Piazza deiMiracoli sights is required.