The town of Pisa offers its visitors many opportunities of amusement, starting with the monumental places of the historical centre, such as the CATHEDRAL PLACE also known as the Miracles’ Place, only 300 m. from the hotel, with the renowned Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Campo Santo (Holy Cemetery), the Cathedral Works Museum and the Sinopie Museum.
Not to be missed is the PIAZZA DEI CAVALIERI, at a stone’s throw from the hotel, restored in the 16th century to design by Giorgio Vasari, with the Carovana Palace(ancient seat of the Medieval ruling Consiglio degli Anziani, then seat of the Saint Steven’s Knights Order in the 16th and 17th centuries, today seat of the Scuola Normale Superiore, established by Napoleon in 1810), the Clock Tower (the right part used to be the Hunger Tower where Count Ugolino della Gherardesca was imprisoned, convicted of treachery, at the end of the 13th century, the episode is mentioned byDante Alighieri in the 33rd Canto of his Divine Comedy’s Inferno), the Church of Saint Steven Knights’ Order (rich in artistic treasures, among them works by Giorgio Vasari) and the other historical palaces.
We suggest a walk in the striking LUNGARNI (Arno River banks) with their beautifulpalaces, the Gothic Church of Santa Maria della Spina and the two MUSEUMS of the right river bank: the Museum of San Matteo (it is house to one of the most important religious art collections of Italy with works dating back to the 12th until the 15th century: painted crosses of inestimable value, ceramic bowls and works bySimone Martini, Donatello, Masaccio, Gentile da Fabriano, Beato Angelico etc.) and the Royal Palace Museum where the Grand-Dukes of Tuscany dwelled when escaping Florence’s cold winters or hot summers, from the 16th to the 19th century (Medici then Hapsburg- Lorraine) and of the Savoy, kings of Italy in the 19th till the beginning of the 20th century. Currently seat of the Soprintendenza ai Beni Artistici e Culturali of Pisa province and housing a great collection of lay and religious works of medieval and modern art (e.g. one of the first panels painted by a young Raffaelloand works by Rosso Fiorentino, Guido Reni etc); the two MUSEUMS of the left river bank are the Palazzo BLU housing important temporary exhibitions (since its opening in 2009 exhibitions of Chagall, Mirò, Kandinsky Picasso and Warhol) with an interesting permanent collection and the Lanfranchi Palace, housing the Graphic Museum and temporary exhibitions.
It’s surely worth seeing the many CHURCHES spread all over the town of high historical-artistic interest, their façades are often built in the same style as the Cathedral, that is to say the Pisan Romanesque and the many MEDIEVAL TOWER-HOUSES (in the 12th century there were roughly 10 thousand!), their original arches and pilasters are still recognizable in many buildings of the town centre, like ours! Noteworthy is to spot the house where the great scientist GALILEO GALILEI was born in 1564, though it cannot be seen inside because it is now a private professional studio.
The CITY WALLS are also very interesting, erected between 1155 and 1162 AD, they are for a great part still intact and will soon be accessible to enjoy a special point of view on the city centre; they were originally 7 km long! The MEDICEAN AQUEDUCTwas built later, between the 16th and the 17th centuries, in order to finally bring fresh water from the nearby Monte Pisano, the water was supplied initially only through a series of beautiful monumental fountains.
At a stone’s throw from the Pisa San Rossore Railway Station you can see the interesting ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION SITE OF THE ANCIENT SHIPS, open since 1998, up till now they have discovered the remains of about 30 different ships and their cargo’s dating back to the Roman era. The excavation site has been recently re-opened for guided tours, waiting for a real Museum to be opened.
Near Pisa Railway Central Station one can admire the amazing last work of art byKeith Haring: the TUTTOMONDO mural painting.
Those who are fond of going SHOPPING, have a wide range of choices in Pisa and can stroll about the streets of Borgo Largo, Borgo Stretto, Via San Francesco, Corso Italia, Via San Martino and neighbouring streets, at a very close distance from the hotel. We also suggest you to see the peculiar fruit and vegetable market in the central Piazza delle Vettovaglie or the weekly market of via Paparelli.
The many RESTAURANTS, PUBS and BARS in the centre offer the chance to spend pleasant evenings.