Pisa is an ancient city, first Greek, then Etruscan and Roman; a great Maritime Republic and finally part of the Medici Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Pisa developed its architectural style by blending classical and oriental forms. Magnificent Italian Gothic sculpture was also born at Pisa with Nicola Pisano’s school, which produced Giovanni Pisano, Arnolfo da Cambia, and Andrea and Nino Pisano. From the early 11th to the late 14th centuries, Pisa was one of the most important and most active Italian centers of art. Proof of this is the remarkable group of buildings constituted by the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Leaning Tower, and the adjacent Cemetery, which, in their perfect isolation, form one of the most solemn and enchanting corners in all of Italy. We cannot even attempt to list the works of art produced by this extraordinary flowering in Pisa. There are the superb bronze Doors by Bonanno (late 12th-century), the Pulpit by Giovanni Pisano (1310) in the Cathedral, the mosaics, the paintings by Cimabue, Andrea del Santo, Beccafumi, and Sodoma. Also, the inlaid woodwork in the choir, the Tomb which Tino da Camaino sculptured for Emperor Henry VII, and the incredible collection of Greek, Roman, and medieval sculptures which throng the four sides of the 14th-15th-century Cemetery beneath a veritable treasure-house of medieval frescoes. The chain of artistic miracles continues unbroken in architectural settings untouched by the passing of the centuries. It is a guide to Pisa, for a day visit to the Piazza dei Miracoli and its famous Leaning Tower. There are extensive descriptions and photos of the attractions. It has a listing of many reviews for the best-recommended restaurants.
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