Pisa Journals

Easy Pisa

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A March 2008 trip to Pisa by Liam Hetherington

Duomo Santa Maria Assunta Photo, Pisa, Italy More Photos
Quote: Want to see one of the world's most famous landmarks? Pisa can be visited in a mere half-day - and should not be missed!

Easy Pisa

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Overview

Duomo Santa Maria Assunta Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
Obviously, Pisa is the home of one of the world's most famous landmarks, the famous Torre Pendente or Leaning Tower. This does attract the attention, and a climb up it is well worthwhile, despite the steep admission price (€15, or €17 if booked online in advance). Yet this is not the only attraction in the immediate vicinity. The cathedral precints, in which the campanile is set, is a harmonius and elegant confection of pale marble. The setting of the entire area is even more stunning than the delicate tower in isolation - though it is often crammed with tourists posing for the camera by doing the 'Holding Up The Tower' position. The Piazza del Duomo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However it is bett...Read More

Hotel Terminus and Plaza

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Hotel | "Hotel Terminus & Plaza"

Hotel Terminus and Plaza Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
From the outside Hotel Terminus & Plaza looks pretty groggy. Mind you, I did turn up at gone ten pm, and some work they were having done to the doors probably didn't help. It is located on what was seemingly a deserted side-street. It is well south of the river, in the more modern part of town, a thirty minute walk from the Piazza dei Miracoli. However, it is a mere 50m from the train station. As I was arriving late at night and would be departing by train the next day, its location outside the historic core made sense to me. For this night I wanted convenience, not atmosphere.Inside the hotel is much nicer - stained glass and a bar. My room was fairly small. It was mostly taken up by a huge...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 22, 2008

Hotel Terminus and Plaza
Via Cristoforo Colombo 45
Pisa, Italy 56125
+39 (075) 505-7933

Camposanto

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Attraction

The Holy Field Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
A visit to the Camposanto, the serene white-marble cemetary of Pisa, should not be missed. It does not resemble a cemetary in the traditional sense. Instead it is an elegant cloister surrounding a narrow strip of turf. This earth was reputedly brought back from Golgotha, and was hence 'holy'. Hence the name: 'Camposanto' - 'Holy Field'. Burial here thus provided a leg-up to heaven for those wealthy enough to afford a plot. The long colonnade sadly took a direct hit from Allied bombs during the Second World War and hence is rather bare at first glance. Only patches of its once fine medieval frescoes remain in situ - a splash of turquoise sky, a glimpse of a Pisan cityscape. The older grave me...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2008

Duomo Santa Maria Assunta

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Attraction

Duomo Santa Maria Assunta Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
The Cathedral of Pisa is startlingly pretty in isolation. One feels sorry for it having the famous Torre Pendente plonked beside it, and the ornate barbarous crown of the Baptistery at the far end. In comparison the Duomo fades into normalcy, which is a shame. With its precise angles and clean lines it almost looks like a cardboard model rather than a real masonry building. Founded in 1064 following Pisan victory against the Saracens, this 'temple of snow-white marble' is lovely. The western end, where the entrance and exit are, most clearly exhibits the famous green banding and four galleried levels, as well as some gilden mosaics.Inside it is dark. The brooding 17th-century oil paintings d...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 22, 2008

Duomo Santa Maria Assunta
Campo dei Miracoli
Pisa, Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Attraction | "Leaning Tower of Pisa - Torre Pendente di Pisa"

Leaning Tower of Pisa Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
Nations are all too often summed up by a shorthand image. Greece? The Acropolis, a symbol of learning and civilisation. Britain? The grand clock-tower of Big Ben, order and science atop the 'Mother of Parliaments'. The US? Obviously the Statue of Liberty. And Italy? It has to be the Leaning Tower of Pisa.In many ways it is a shame that a country with so much to see and admire is mentally linked with what is essentially a bit of bodged craftsmanship. After all, it was here that Galileo Galilei conducted his experiments. Yet, no matter how many images you may have seen of the infamous Torre Pendente does not prepare you for the thrill of seeing viewing it with your own eyes. Despite its unplan...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 22, 2008

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Campo del Miracoli
Pisa, Italy

Museo Nazionale di San Matteo

Attraction | "Museo dell'Opera del Duomo"

Museo Nazionale di San Matteo Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
I fully admit that I went to the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo only because it was on the combined ticket I had bought from the bigliettera. Actually it was pretty engaging. The ground floor has several noteworthy treasures. One of the best is a bronze griffin that used to sit atop the Duomo (a replica now perches up there). Arabesque etchings reveal its Islamic provenance; indeed, the Pisans captured it from the Saracens. There is also a pleasant 'Madonna of the Colloquoy', chatting away with the baby JC. I also liked two small Limoges chests, presents from Richard the Lionheart of England, and a Madonna carved from ivory.The second floor is less immediately appealing, starting off with copies...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 22, 2008

Museo Nazionale di San Matteo
Campo dei Miracoli
Pisa, Italy