Pisa

Pisa is a city in Tuscany, in central Italy, which is most famous for the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the freestanding bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa, which over the years has developed a 4 degree lean, due to an unstable foundation. The most famous square in the city is the Piazza del Duomo, also called the Square of Miracles, which is located at the northwestern end of the medieval walled city. The Square of Miracles is where one can find the Bapistery, the Cathedral, and the Leaning Tower.

Both the cathedral and the baptistery, which was begun in 1152 century but only completed in the 14th century, are built of white marble with strips of black in the Pisan Romanesque style. Construction on the bell tower, now the Leaning Tower, began in 1174 and was also completed only in the 14th century. By the mid 20th century it began to lean almost 5 degrees, due to an unstable foundation. After extensive work, architects were able to reduce the lean to 4 degrees. Visitors can climb up the circular staircase to the top of the tower to feel the lean, as well as see the spectacular views of the city from the top.

In addition to the baptistery, cathedral and leaning tower, Pisa is home to more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces, and the University of Pisa, which dates back to the 12th century. Ancient Pisa was probably inhabited by the Ligurians, before it became a Roman colony around 180 BC. The city became a flourishing commercial center in the 11th century, and the chief port of Tuscany. By 1406, the city was occupied by the Florentines.


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