Pisa is both an ancient and modern city. On the one hand, it is proud of its past, when it was a Maritime Republic and became a world power during the Middle Ages. On the other hand, now is famous for having three of the most important universities in Italy: The Scuola Normale Superiore, the Sant’Anna school of Advanced Studies and the University of Pisa.
Pisa can also be considered an international city, due to the intercontinental Galileo Galilei Airport that joints it to anywhere in the world.
There are also curiosities about Pisa: in the city there isn’t only one leaning Tower, but there are other two, also: the Bell Tower of San Nicola Church which is near the banks of Arno and the whole church of San Michele of Scalzi.
Culturally and historically, Pisa is a very rich city. In past times, it had a lead role in some relevant historical periods, in the Middle Ages for example, when it was a Maritime Republic.
Pisa was born as an Etruscan port, around the middle of the VI century. First human settlements date back to the IX century. There are many hypotheses about Pisa’s origins: it is said it was a Greek country, a village of Liguria or an Etruscan city.
Etruscans called the city Pise and developed the economy of the country through arts and crafts production. The city had a strategic position, because it is close to river Arno and the sea. After the first battles against Ligures, Pisa became the ally of Rome, and took place in the wars against Carthage. At the end, it became a Roman colony.
Around the 15th century, Pisa was subjected by Lombards. From that moment the city became the main port of the Tyrrhenian Sea and Lombards traded with Sardinia, Corsica, Spain and France.
Like all the Tuscan cuisine, the Pisan one is a simple way of cooking that combines rustic recipes and seafood. The typical Tuscan bread (without salt) represents an essential element of cooking in this region.
Another typical indispensable ingredient are truffles, which are particularly popular in this area. But also Pisa’s wines and its olive oil are counted among the best in Tuscany.
Pisa is famous for its Tower, called the Pisa Tower or Leaning Tower, a unique monument all over the world. But in Pisa you can find other two leaning towers.
The Bell Tower of San Nicola Church, near the banks of Arno. The octagonal Bell Tower is a little bit tilted and buried in the pavement compared to the current plan. The Bell Tower of San Michele of Scalzi Church. Probably due to the Arno’s flood in 1966 a land subsidence caused the leaning of the Tower, that nowadays has a slope of 5%.