THINGS TO DISCOVER:
June in Pisa • The city celebrates its past every year in June with the Luminara di San Ranieri (June 16), the Historical Regatta (June 17), the Gioco del Ponte (last Saturday in June) and every four years the Regatta of the Historical Maritime Republics (first Sunday in June).
THINGS TO KNOW:
University Museum Complex • Since 1343, the University of Pisa has created an extraordinary heritage complex made up of museums and collections now included in the University Museum Network that takes visitors through the most important stages in the evolution of scientific thought and European culture itself, from then to today.
Cut by the River Arno, Pisa is in a favorable geographical position, located on the slopes of Mount Pisano and a few kilometers from the sea. Visitors can find the atmosphere of its glorious past in the narrow alleys with medieval tower houses, in the Renaissance palaces overlooking the River Arno, in the Pisan-Romanesque churches, on the medieval walls that surround the city, in Piazza dei Cavalieri, all the way to the splendor that is Piazza dei Miracoli.
The Miracles Square and the Lungarni
The Baptistery, the Cathedral, the Leaning Tower and the Camposanto Monumentale are all symbols of the path of Man from birth to death and they represent the grandiose majesty of the Piazza as well as the economic power of Pisa, then a Maritime Republic. The Opera del Duomo Museum and the Sinopie Museum also belong to the monumental complex of the Piazza.
Just outside the walls is instead the old Jewish Cemetery while nearby is the Botanical Garden, the first university botanical garden in the world.
Moreover, Pisa boasts a museum network on the River Arno (over 6km long) which includes the National Museum of San Matteo, the National Museum of the Royal Palace, the Museum of Graphic Design, the exhibition site of Palazzo Blu and the Museum of Ancient boats which houses reconstructions of Roman boats.
University city, of Galileo, Fibonacci and Pacinotti
Pisa is synonymous with culture: its University was founded in 1343 while the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore was created in 1810 thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte. The Sant’Anna’s School of Advanced Studies and the Pisa Research Area of the National Research Council are more recent but still excellent.
It was here that people who changed the course of history were born, such as Leonardo Fibonacci, who introduced Arabic numerals in the West and conceived the famous mathematical series; Galileo Galilei, who began his career as a university professor and conceived the laws of isochronism and the fall of weights; and Antonio Pacinotti, inventor of the dynamo and the direct current electric motor.
San Rossore and the sea
Pisa is also beautiful nature and sea: the main green area of the city is the nearby San Rossore Migliarino Massaciuccoli Regional Park, where the Hippodrome is also located, one of the first in Italy. The park is open all year for visits on foot, by bike, or by carriage, which can be booked at the Visitor Center of the San Rossore Estate.
Between the city and the sea, just 12 km away and easy to reach by bike, is the Romanesque Basilica of San Piero a Grado where it seems that St. Peter landed on his journey to Rome. The interior is simple but embellished with wonderful frescoes.
The Pisan coast begins from the mouth of the Arno, or rather from “Bocca d’Arno” where you are struck by its characteristic fishing nets as well as by the play of colors between the waters of the river and those of the sea and by the horizon, with the profile of the Pisan Mountains and the Apuan Alps in the distance.
South of the mouth are Marina di Pisa, Tirrenia and Calambrone, surrounded by the pine forests and with bathing resorts equipped beaches, accommodation and catering facilities, amusement parks and WWF oasis, golf courses, and the Port of Pisa with over 300 berths for boats.