Sacred Destinations to Visit in Pisa
Pisa is a small and very cozy Italian town in the province of Tuscany. It is situated on the banks of the River Arno about 10 km from the coast of the Ligurian Sea, which is about 250 kilometers from Genoa. In the Middle Ages, Pisa was a powerful rival of Genoa in the struggle for trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea.
Today Pisa is one of the most visited cities in Italy among tourists.
Pisa is not just the Leaning Tower, but also has stunning churches of the old town, a beautiful promenade, outdoor cafes and a pleasant experience of walking through the old streets. So grab your camera and get ready for an exciting time visiting these holy and interesting places of an old Christian city which is called Pisa!
7 Sacred Places in Pisa Italy to Relax the Mind
Here are seven destinations definitely worth seeing on your visit to the lovely town:
1. Pisa Cathedral (Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta)
Words cannot convey the feeling one experiences while inside this lovely cathedral! Marvel at the magnificent painted ceiling, the amazing design of the altar and the stunning acoustics that you feel during worship – it is something unforgettable. By the way, watching the chandelier in the cathedral, Galileo formulated the law of the pendulum.
Pisa Cathedral is definitely worth seeing while visiting the Leaning Tower!
2. The Pisa Baptistery of St. John
The Pisa Baptistery of St. John
This octagonal structure, built of green and white marble and constructed probably in the XI-XII centuries, is considered the oldest building in the Piazza del Duomo.
The architect of the building was Diotisalvi, whose initials and the date “1153” can be read on two pillars inside. Baptistery is 54.86 meters high and 107.24 meters in circumference and is the largest baptistery in Italy. Pisa Baptistery of St. John is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site!
Very beautiful and richly decorated inside as opposed to most of the other Basilica and definitely worth seeing!
3. Church of San Sisto
Church of San Sisto
The Church of San Sisto is one of the oldest churches in Pisa. In fact, it is so old that information about the date of its foundation is lost in the darkness of centuries. It is known that at the end of XI century, it had already existed. The author of the project, who asked to remain anonymous, as the saying goes, has created quite an impressive building, successfully stood for many centuries and has hardly changed from that time!
4. Church of Santa Maria della Spina
Church of Santa Maria della Spina
This little Gothic church standing on the embankment of the River Arno, always attracts many tourists. Here, from 1333 up to the XIX century a thorn from the crown of thorns of Jesus Christ was kept. Hence, its name “spina” translated from Italian means “thorn”.
The interior of the church seems to be very modest and consists of just a single room. Its ceiling was painted during the reconstruction in the 19th century. In the center you can see one of the major masterpieces of Gothic sculpture – Madonna Rose by Andrea and Nino Pisano. Here you can spend hours looking at paintings and murals with amazement, always thinking just “how did they do that?”
5. Santa Caterina d’Alessandria Church
Santa Caterina d’Alessandria
Church of Santa Catherin, built in Pisa in the 13th century – is one of the outstanding examples of Roman-Pisan style interspersed with Gothic. Its magnificent facade beauty is not inferior to many Italian churches. People say that it was built at the behest of St. Dominic in 1220. The church is dedicated to the very holy Catherine that got her stigmata in Pisa. Saint Catherin is related to many local legends.
6. Basilica San Pietro in Grado
Basilica San Pietro
Basilica San Pietro in Grado is a Catholic church built in the IX century on a place of an earlier Christian chapel. In ancient times it was a building on the banks of the Arno River and the port of the village belonged to Grado, now located within Pisa.
Basilica was constructed on the same place where St. Peter during his voyage from Antioch to Rome came ashore and celebrated the first mass (’44). Now this place is noted by gothic ciborium inside the Basilica San Pietro in Grado.
7. San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno
San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno
Church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno is a fine example of the deep penetration of different cultures in Italy. As a result, we can see the style elements inherent to Malaysian temples which are added to a typical Roman style. As a result of this confusion, a new architectural style that soon was named as Roman-Pisan.
Also it should be noted that in addition to the unique style of the church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno, it was the main cathedral of the city until construction of the Duomo in Pisa.
How to Visit All These Attractions in Pisa
Do not miss your chance to discover the whole beauty of Pisa’s architectural wonders! Get some money, a GPS navigator or a map and a rental car, because local taxis are not cheap. The City transport is not punctual and often crowded.
Don`t waste your time and money! There is no need to worry about searching for a rental car after arrival, visit Pisa Airport, and choose any rental car that suites you the best. It will be prepared for you upon your arrival at the airport.
Lily Berns is a journalism student and a keen traveler. She enjoys traveling the world and exploring the new attractions all the time in the year.
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