An Ionian seaside town, Avola is a mix of old and new. The town focuses heavily on the sea, with its history as a tuna fishing port. Today, the remains of the Vecchia Tonnara at the wharf are a stone backdrop to the sandy beaches. Avola dates back to a pre-Greek people called the Sicani.…
A weekend getaway 🙂
Saturday flight from Brussels and landing in one hour to north of Italy – to Tuscany.
We started the day immediately after landing. Settling first in the hotel in the famous Giacomo Puccini street. The opera composer was born in the nearby city called Lucca.
First stop was the Corso. It is a walking street with shops and galleries that goes through the city. I was amazed how many people were there, having fun, shopping and christmasing.
First stop – quick coffee, an espresso in the typical italian espresso bar. You drink it at the bar table, quickly and happily.
Next was the pizza cut, of course 🙂 and something that is similar to pizza – didn’t find the name yet. I keep you posted.
So, Pisa! Everybody was telling me that it is a boring city, industrial and besides the Leaning Tower – nothing to see. So not true!
From the moment I digged into the city, and you know how much I adore medieval times -I felt intrigued.
The origin of the name, Pisa, is a mystery . However, we do know that the Etruscans, and the Ligurians had variously been proposed as founders of the city. Later taken by the Romans, the maritime role of Pisa should have been already prominent if the ancient authorities ascribed to it the invention of the naval ram. Pisa took advantage of being the only port along the western coast between Genoa (then a small village – will visit that too! 🙂 ) and Ostia (check the article about Rome).
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Pisa was a city-state with the natural opponent Saracenes – medieval term for Arab Muslims who had their bases in Corsica, for control of the Mediterranean.
Pisa has the river Arno that goes through the city and then to Ligurian sea.
To walk down the Lungarno di Pisa (down the river) and watch the facades of typical tuscan style was amazing.
Crossing the river Arno via Ponte di Mezzo we arrived to Piazza Garibaldi – the leader of the Italian revolution in 19th century.
It is a typical bar-hopping area so we gave a try.
The place has loads of arcades – just like Bologna.
Entering the Borgo Stretto (one of the typical names for medieval streets in old time Pisa) we entered the Church San Michele in Borgo.
Wandering around, we ended at Torre del Campano.
Nowm this is more like 19th century architecture.
That day we arrived to Piazza dei Miracoli where is the tower. But we decided to leave it for the next day.
Dinner time! With lots of chianti – the local Tuscany wine 🙂
Day 2 – only the tower and cathedral 🙂 Have a look!
Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale di Santa Maria Assunta is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Construction began in 11th century and expenses were paid using the spoils received fighting against the Muslims in Sicily.
It includes various stylistic elements: classical, Lombard-Emilian, Byzantine, and Islamic, drawing upon the international presence of Pisan merchants at that time. In the same year, St. Mark’s Basilica began its reconstruction in Venice, evidence of a strong rivalry between the two maritime republics to see which could create the most beautiful and luxurious place of worship.
Pisa was the birthplace of the important early physicist Galileo Galilei. Apparently, he was climbing over the Leaning tower of Pisa to prove his theory of gravity, Later he was burned by the church. Today, the airport of Pisa holds his name.
The Pisa Baptistery of St. John is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building in Pisa. Construction started in 12th century to replace an older baptistery, and when it was completed, it became the second building, in chronological order, in the Piazza dei Miracoli, near the Duomo di Pisa and the cathedral’s free-standing campanile, the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.