A weekend getaway šŸ™‚

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 šŸ™‚ and something that is similar to pizza – didn’t find the name yet. I keep you posted.

Does anyone know the name of the cake?

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 theĀ Etruscans, and theĀ LiguriansĀ 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 theĀ naval ram. Pisa took advantage of being the only port along the western coast betweenĀ GenoaĀ (then a small village – will visit that too! šŸ™‚ ) andĀ 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.

City walls of Pisa

In later medieval times, Italian city states were in fight amonfst each other and the Papal state. So was the case with Pisa: against Genoa, Majorca, Naples etc.

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.

Do you see it?

Dinner time! With lots of chianti – the local Tuscany wine šŸ™‚

Day 2 – only the tower and cathedral šŸ™‚ Have a look!

Cattedrale Metropolitana Primaziale di Santa Maria Assunta is a medievalĀ Roman Catholic cathedralĀ dedicated to theĀ Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Construction began in 11th centuryĀ and expenses were paid using the spoils received fighting against the Muslims inĀ Sicily.

It includes various stylistic elements: classical,Ā Lombard-Emilian,Ā Byzantine, andĀ Islamic, drawing upon the international presence of Pisan merchants at that time. In the same year,Ā St. Mark’s BasilicaĀ began its reconstruction inĀ Venice, evidence of a strong rivalry between the twoĀ maritime republicsĀ to see which could create the most beautiful and luxurious place of worship.

Pisa was the birthplace of the important early physicistĀ 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.

TheĀ Pisa Baptistery of St. John is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building inĀ Pisa. Construction started in 12th century to replace an olderĀ baptistery, and when it was completed, it became the second building, in chronological order, in theĀ Piazza dei Miracoli, near theĀ Duomo di PisaĀ and the cathedral’s free-standingĀ campanile, the famousĀ Leaning Tower of Pisa.


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