"Pisa - Not just the Square of Miracles" Pisa by csordila

Pisa Travel Guide: 1,473 reviews and 4,173 photos

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina in the near of Ponte Solferino
is a picturesque little chapel on the train station-side of the Arno River before crossing over to see the Leaning Tower.

Piazza dei Cavalieri

Southeast from the Campo dei Miracoli before crossing the Arno, you reach the Piazza dei Cavalieri, where the Military Order of the Knights of St. Stephen was established by Cosimo I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany in the 14th Century.
On the huge square two large buildings - Palazzo dei Cavalieri, once the knights' military training quarters, Palazzo dell' Orologio - and a church - National Church of Saint Stephen of the Knights - were constructed for the use of the Order. The Order still exist but no longer for military purposes.
Palazzo dell' Orologio once used as jail, has a creepy story from the 13th century. A count of Pisa was condemned to death by starvation together with his sons. The story tells that he has eaten one of his children while in that prison.
Nowadays, the square is also internationally known for the University located in Palazzo dei Cavalieri. read more

The city and its people

Pisa is not a tourist town.
Hard to believe it, if you see the crowded Piazza dei Miracoli. But it is a fact, outside the main attraction of the city, not too many tourist are interested in staying here for a longer period of time. And Pisa itself does absolutely nothing to attract the tourists and invite them to stay.
The Pisani have a bad reputation in Tuscany: ?better a corpse in the house than a Pisan at the door? says a famous Tuscan proverb.
Therefore, unlike other Tuscan towns, here you have a higher chance to see the daily life of local people, that is more authentic than that of Florence or Siena.
Though Pisa is a small town, but one with an attitude, having a colourful history of belligerence and conquests. The typical Pisan is generaly unpretentious but - who knows, why - hostile to all those who are pretentious.. read more

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Pisa is not touristy town
  • Cons:Impolite people.
  • In a nutshell:Wonderful Campo dei Miracoli
  • Intro Updated Oct 9, 2011
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Reviews (5)

Comments (4)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    Live and learn... Thanks for your page, Laszlo !

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Aug 3, 2009 at 11:00 PM

    I always thought Pisa was touristy - but apparently not so...maybe the people got tired of tourists visiting too much...but you are right, it would not be a complete PISA tour if one does not go up the tower...my grandma and aunt were lucky they went up!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 1, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    I didn't know there are so many other bell towers in Italy that are also leaning for one reason or another. Maybe I'll go climb one of the other ones.

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2009 at 12:52 AM

    Nice page. I have to visit Pisa again soon. Ciao!


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