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Italy in Photos

Photos of Italy taken on Walks in the Cities Towns & Villages of Italia

Welcome to Italy in Photos, where we invite you to embark on a journey through Pisa: – Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Italy, that is famous for its Leaning Tower, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Pisa was founded by the Etruscans, an ancient civilization that ruled over central Italy before the Romans. The name Pisa comes from the Etruscan word for “mouth”, as the city is located at the mouth of the Arno River. Pisa became a powerful maritime republic in the Middle Ages, competing with Genoa, Venice, and Amalfi for trade and influence in the Mediterranean. Pisa was also a centre of learning and culture, home to the University of Pisa, the Scuola Normale Superiore, and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies. The most famous attraction in Pisa is the Square of Miracles (Piazza dei Miracoli), a UNESCO World Heritage Site that contains the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Cemetery. The Leaning Tower is a bell tower that began to tilt during its construction in the 12th century due to the unstable soil. The tower is 55.86 meters (183.27 feet) high and leans at an angle of 3.97 degrees. Visitors can climb the 294 steps to the top and enjoy the panoramic view of the city. The Cathedral is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture, with a marble facade, a bronze door, and a coffered ceiling. The Baptistery is the largest in Italy, with a circular shape and a dome that creates an amazing acoustic effect. The Cemetery is a monumental cloister that houses many frescoes, sculptures, and tombs of notable Pisans. Pisa is not only about the Square of Miracles, though. The city has many other attractions to discover, such as the Clock Palace, the Piazza dei Cavalieri, the Lungarni, and the Certosa di Calci. The Clock Palace is a medieval tower that houses a 17th-century clock and a chapel. The Piazza dei Cavalieri is a historic square that was once the political center of Pisa and the headquarters of the Knights of St. Stephen, a military order founded by the Medici. The Lungarni are the picturesque streets along the Arno River, where you can find many shops, restaurants, and palaces. The Certosa di Calci is a former Carthusian monastery that dates to the 14th century and hosts a natural history museum. It is also a city of festivals and traditions. Every June, Pisa celebrates its patron saint, San Ranieri, with a series of events that include the Luminara, the Regatta, and the Battle of the Bridge. The Luminara is a spectacular display of lights that illuminates the Lungarni and the monuments on the night of June 16. The Regatta is a boat race between the four districts of the city that takes place on the Arno on June 17. The Battle of the Bridge is a historical reenactment of a medieval fight between two teams that push a cart over a bridge on the last Sunday of June. Pisa is a city that will surprise you with its beauty, history, and culture. Whether you are interested in art, architecture, science, or nature, you will find something to enjoy in this city. Pisa is a perfect destination for a day trip or a longer stay, as it is well connected to other cities in Tuscany and Italy by train, bus, and plane. Pisa is waiting for you to discover its wonders and secrets.

Via Carlo Matteucci is a street in Pisa which runs from Via Cisanello to Ponte della Vittoria. (Photos 1-2-3) – Lungarno Bruno Buozzi is a street in Pisa which runs from Via Carlo Matteucci to Lung’Arno Mediceo.(Photo 4) – The Ponte della Vittoria (Bridge of Victory) in Pisa spans the Arno River and boasts intriguing features. It has a maximum height of 12.25 meters. with three arches. During the Fascist period, several public works were planned for Pisa. Among them, the bridge at the location of the Ponte della Vittoria was constructed. It connected the train station and the Politeama. However, the original bridge collapsed on the evening of December 22, 1934, even before its inauguration. The collapse resulted from the excessive load caused by numerous marble statues a consequence of the Fascist architectural style. Despite this setback, the bridge was rebuilt a few years later. Unfortunately, it was destroyed again during World War II. Undeterred, the Sogene company swiftly reconstructed the bridge between February 1949 and March 1950, commissioned by the Ministry of Public Labour1. The Ponte della Vittoria stands as a testament to resilience and architectural history, bridging the past and the present in the beautiful city of Pisa. (Photos taken from the Ponte della Vittoria 5-6) – Piazza Giuseppe Toniolo is a square in the city of Pisa. It is located near the River Arno and the Palazzo dei Congressi, a convention centre. It is named after Giuseppe Toniolo (1845-1918), an Italian economist, sociologist, and Catholic social activist. He was one of the founders of the International Union of Christian Democracy and the Italian People’s Party. It is home to the Fondazione Opera Toniolo, a charitable organization that provides social, educational, and cultural services to the local community. The foundation was established in 1920 by the will of Giuseppe Toniolo and his wife Maria. (Photo 7) – Via di Fortezza is a street in Pisa which runs from Giardino Scotto to Via Antonio Ceci. (Photo 8) -The Scotto Garden, also known as Giardino Scotto, is a historic green oasis nestled within an impressive ancient fortress. Founded in 1543 by the naturalist, doctor, and botanist Luca Ghini, the Botanic Garden within the fortress is recognized as the first university botanic garden in the world. Originally situated on the banks of the River Arno, it was later moved to its current location in 1591 and gradually expanded to cover approximately two hectares. The fortress itself, known as the Sangallo Fortress or Cittadella Nuova, was constructed starting from 1440 during the first Florentine domination under the government of Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici. Over time, the fortress underwent transformations, including partial destruction and subsequent rebuilding. In 1798, it passed into the hands of the Livorno shipowner Domenico Scotto, who transformed it into a delightful garden. Trees were planted, and fragrant flower beds were created, turning the fortress into a true garden of delights. Unfortunately, in 1934, a portion of the western bulwark was cut to make way for a road leading to the new Ponte della Vittoria. The park now hosts outdoor film screenings during the summer. (Photos 9-10-11-12-13-14)

Via Croce Benedetto is a street in Pisa which runs from Piazza Giuseppe Toniolo to Piazza Vittorio (Photo 15) – Piazza Sant’ Antonio is a square in the historic centre of Pisa. It is located near the Arno River and the Ponte di Mezzo bridge. It is named after the Church of Sant’ Antonio Abate, which dates to the 14th century and features a Gothic facade and a bell tower. (Photos 16-17-18-19-20) – Lungarno Gambacorti is a street in Pisa which runs from Lungarno Galileo Galilei to Lungarno Sidney Sonnino (Photos 21-22) – Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina is a captivating small church located in the enchanting Italian city of Pisa, nestled along the left bank of the Arno River. Originally known as Santa Maria di Pontenovo, the temple was erected in 1230 by the Gualandi family. Its name was derived from the bridge (ponte) that once connected Via Sant’Antonio to Via Santa Maria, but unfortunately collapsed in the 15th century. The name “Spina” comes from its historical association with a relic: a thorn believed to have been part of the crown worn by Jesus during His crucifixion. This sacred thorn was once housed here but is now preserved in the Church of Santa Chiara. The church showcases the exquisite Gothic Pisan architectural style. Its rectangular plan features polychrome marble along its entire perimeter. The exterior walls boast spires, tabernacles, and tympana adorned with sculptural elements. These include roses, tarsia, and statues by renowned 14th-century Pisan masters like Andrea Pisano, Giovanni di Balduccio, and Lupo di Francesco. Over the years, the church underwent numerous restoration efforts due to ground subsidence and its proximity to the Arno River. After Italy’s unification, a commission from the Academy of Fine Arts decided to dismantle and reconstruct the church in a more stable and secure location. Guided by architect Vincenzo Micheli, the reconstruction began in 1871 and concluded in 1875. During this process, the building was shifted a few meters eastward and raised by about a meter. Notably, the disassembly caused extensive damage to marble materials, some of which are now stored in the National Museum of San Matteo. The reconstructed church, however, deviated from its original structure, which drew criticism from the likes of John Ruskin during his visit to Pisa. (Photos 20-21-22-23-24-25) – Ponte Solferino is a bridge over the Arno River in Pisa. It has a history of being destroyed and rebuilt several times, due to war and natural disasters. It was originally built in 1875 by Vincenzo Micheli, with three arches and elegant white marble finishes. It was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt in style but was swept away by the terrible flood of 1966. In 1974, the new Solferino bridge was inaugurated, built in line with the needs of the time, but not in harmony with the appearance of the Lungarno. The four marble lions, works by Giovanni Topi placed at the ends of the bridge, are part of the previous construction and show the symbols of the city on their shields: Madonna and Child and Imperial eagle to the south, Gramigna and Pisan Cross to the north. The bridge offers a beautiful view on the bend of the river and above all on the Cittadella, a medieval fortress that houses the Museum of Ancient Ships. The bridge is also a popular spot to watch the Luminara di San Ranieri, a spectacular celebration of lights and fireworks that takes place on the evening of June 16, the patron saint of Pisa. (Taken from Ponte Solferino Photos 26-31-32)

The Piazza di Terzanaia was once home to the Republican Arsenal and Citadella. These structures date back to around 1160. The Republican Arsenal and Citadella featured a massive water basin within their walls. Their impressive design caught the attention of King Alfonso IV of Aragon, who specifically requested that the arsenal he commissioned in Porto Torres be modelled after the Pisan one. The large, arcaded sheds (approximately eighty of them) were used for constructing Pisan galleys, which were long and powerful warships. Over time, various towers were built in the area, including the Ghibelline tower, the San’Agnese tower, and the tower of San Giorgio. Unfortunately, the entire area suffered severe damage during World War II. (Photos 28-29-30) – Via Mecherini is a street in Pisa which runs from Lungarno Gambacorti to Via la Maddalena. (Photo 33) – Via la Maddalena is a street in Pisa which runs from Piazza Aurelio Saffi to Via Giuseppe Mazzini. (Photo 34) – Via la Nunziatina is a street in Pisa which runs from Via Giuseppe Mazzini to Corso Italia. (Photos 35-36-37) – Corso Italia is a street in Pisa which runs from Via S. Martino to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. (Photos 38-39) – The Ponte di Mezzo, also known as the Ponte Vecchio, is a bridge spanning the Arno River in Pisa. It ideally connects Piazza Garibaldi on the northern side (Tramontana) to Piazza XX Settembre on the southern side (Mezzogiorno). The bridge’s strategic location places it at the heart of the city, linking important landmarks such as the Palazzo Pretorio, the Municipality, and the Logge di Banchi. Until the 12th century, Pisa had only a wooden bridge connecting the two banks of the Arno, approximately where the Santa Cristina Church stands today. In 1035, after Pisa’s victory in Lipari, the wooden bridge was reconstructed in stone and moved further east to its current location, becoming the Ponte di Mezzo. The bridge underwent restoration in 1388 under the orders of Pietro Gambacorta, who owned the adjacent Palazzo Pretorio. Unfortunately, in 1635, the bridge (then known as the Ponte Vecchio) collapsed due to an Arno flood. The subsequent reconstruction was extensive and took approximately thirty years. Three different architects—Bernardo Cantini, Alessandro Bortolotti, and Francesco Nave—contributed to the project. The final design featured a three-arched bridge, and during the Lorraine period, four spheres were placed at its corners, a detail retained in the recent reconstruction. In the early 20th century, Pisa introduced a tram network, and the tracks even crossed the Ponte di Mezzo. The bridge has witnessed significant historical events, including the Gioco del Ponte (Bridge Game), a traditional competition held on the bridge. (Taken from Ponte Ponte di Mezzo Photo 40)

Piazza Garibaldi, formerly known as Piazza di Ponte di Mezzo, stands at the northern end of the Ponte di Mezzo (also called the Ponte Vecchio), which spans the Arno River. This square is flanked on three sides by historically significant buildings that played a crucial role in Pisa’s social and cultural life until the Late Modern Age. Slightly off-centre you’ll encounter the bronze statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi. Sculpted by Ettore Ferrari in 1892 and cast by the Crescenzi foundry in Rome, this statue depicts the Italian revolutionary and military leader. Ferrari’s approach portrays Garibaldi life-size and in an anti-hero stance, emphasizing the importance of the plinth. The plinth itself features scenes from Garibaldi’s life, including the fall of Rome and his wound at Aspromonte, which was treated in Pisa. (Photos 41-42) – Borgo Stretto is a street in Pisa which runs from Piazza Garibaldi to Via Guglielmo Oberdan. (Photos 43-44-45-46-47) – Via Guglielmo Oberdan is a street in Pisa which runs from Borgo Stretto to Via Giosuè Carducci. (Photos 48-49) – Via Giosuè Carducci is a street in Pisa which runs from Via Guglielmo Oberdani to Via Carlo Fedeli. (Photo 50) – Piazza Santa Caterina is a square in the city of Pisa, Italy. It is named after the church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, a Gothic-style building that was founded in 1220 by the Dominican order and completed in the 14th century. The church contains many artistic treasures, such as the Triumph of St Thomas by Francesco Traini, the Annunciation by Nino Pisano, and the tomb of Archbishop Simone Saltarelli by Andrea Pisano. The square also hosts the Istituto Arcivescovile Santa Caterina, a school founded in 1785 by Archbishop Francesco Maria de’ Medici34, and the Parcheggio Piazza Santa Caterina, a parking lot that offers convenient access to the city centre. The square is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, who can enjoy the historical and cultural atmosphere of Pisa. (Photos 51-52) – Via Santa Caterina is a street in Pisa which runs from Piazza Santa Caterina to Via Carlo Fedeli. (Photo 53) – Via Carlo Fedeli is a street in Pisa which runs from Via Giosuè Carducci to Largo Parlascio. (Photo 54) – Via Cardinale Pietro Maffi is a street in Pisa which runs from Largo Parlascio to Piazza del Duomo. (Photo 55)

Piazza del Duomo, also known as the Square of Miracles, is a remarkable and historically significant site in Pisa. The Piazza dei Miracoli (Italian: Piazza del Duomo), spanning 8.87 hectares (21.9 acres), is a walled compound in central Pisa. It is renowned as an important centre of European medieval art and boasts one of the finest architectural complexes globally. The square is dominated by four magnificent religious edifices: Pisa Cathedral (Duomo): The medieval cathedral of the Archdiocese of Pisa, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta (Saint Mary of the Assumption). Pisa Baptistery: An elegant circular building adjacent to the cathedral. Leaning Tower of Pisa: The cathedral’s campanile (bell tower), famous for its distinctive tilt. Camposanto Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery): A historic cemetery with beautiful frescoes. The square also houses the Ospedale Nuovo di Santo Spirito, which now hosts the Sinopias Museum and the Cathedral Museum. The Piazza dei Miracoli has left an indelible mark on monumental art in Italy from the 11th to the 14th century. Its construction began in 1064, following the designs of the architect Buscheto. The cathedral’s façade, adorned with grey marble and white stone, features coloured marble discs and was built by master Rainaldo. Byzantine influences are evident in the mosaics and pointed arches within the cathedral. The massive bronze main doors were crafted by Giambologna, replacing the original doors destroyed in a fire. UNESCO World Heritage Site In 1987, the entire square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural and architectural significance. The square is affectionately known as the “prato dei Miracoli” (meadow of miracles) by Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio. It is also sometimes referred to as the “Campo dei Miracoli” (Field of Miracles). If you ever find yourself in Pisa, don’t miss the chance to explore this awe-inspiring ensemble of art and history. (Photos 56-57-58-59-60)

Pisa Cuisine: – Pisa offers a delightful array of dishes that reflect the rich flavors of Tuscan cuisine. – Bordatino alla Pisana: A traditional first course, Bordatino alla Pisana, is a hearty soup made with beans, potatoes, and vegetables like chard, cabbage, and carrots. The combination of creamy beans, earthy vegetables, and slightly sweet potatoes creates a comforting and rustic flavor. – Pasta alla Renaiola features trenette pasta (like linguine) tossed with cime di rapa (turnip tops) or other tender leafy greens. Sautéed with garlic, chili pepper, and anchovies or herring, this dish combines bitterness with umami flavours. – Cecina is a savoury chickpea flour pancake, thin and crispy. It’s a popular street food in Pisa, often enjoyed as a snack or appetizer. The simplicity of ingredients—chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt—creates a delightful treat. – Pallette alla Pisana: A unique type of polenta made from cornmeal, Pallette alla Pisana is a specialty you’ll find only in Pisa. It’s typically served with savory toppings or sauces. – Tagliata di Mucco Pisano: Meat lovers, rejoice! Tagliata di Mucco Pisano is a grilled beefsteak made from the local breed of cattle. The succulent flavours of well-prepared beef are a must-try. – For dessert, indulge in the Torta coi Bischeri. This cake combines chocolate and pine nuts, creating a delightful treat for your sweet tooth.

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Photo Gallery of  Walk 1 – Via Carlo Matteucci to Ponte Solferino
Approximately 3.14 km – 1.95 miles

The walk starts in Via Carlo Matteucci – Lungarno Bruno Buozzi – Ponte della Vittoria – Piazza Toniolo Giuseppe – Via di Fortezza – Giardino Scotto – Via Croce Benedetto – Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II – Largo Padri della Costituzione – Piazza Sant’ Antonio – Via Sant’Antonio – Lungarno Gambacorti – Ponte Solferino – Lungarno Ranieri Simonelli – Piazza di Terzanaia – Walk back to Ponte Solferino

Photo Gallery of  Walk 2 – Via Del Mecherini  to Piazza del Duomo
Approximately 2.12 km – 1.32 miles

The walk starts in Via Del Mecherini – Via la Maddalena – Via la Nunziatina – Corso Italia – Ponte di Mezzo – Piazza Garibaldi – Borgo Stretto – Via Giosuè Carducci – Piazza Santa Caterina – Piazza Martiri della Libertà – Via Santa Caterina – Via Carlo Fedeli – Via Cardinale Pietro Maffi – Piazza del Duomo