The Best Architectural sites of Pisa

Discover the other architectural wonders of Pisa beyond the famous tower!

Pisa is known worldwide for its legendary leaning tower, luring travellers from all over the world to snap the iconic optical illusion photo. But the Leaning Tower of Pisa isn’t the only architectural masterpiece hidden within this historic city, with some of Italy’s best beauties beyond the tower. Take a look at our top favourite Pisa sights that are well worth the visit!

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, also known as the Duomo of Pisa, sits right next to the famous leaning tower, with many travellers strolling over to see this neighbouring building without ever planning it prior! Made in the same style as the leaning tower, its stunning white marble façade, columns and statues make it one of the most spectacular churches in Italy. It was created in 1063, the church embodies a number of architectural styles, from classical, Lombard-Emilian, Byzantine, and Islamic, it showcases the diverse internationally of the city’s merchants at the time. Its placement being outside the city’s walls also made a statement of Pisa’s power.

The Baptistery

Another neighbouring site to the famous tower, this building is regarded as one of the largest baptisteries in Italy. A structure with a fascinating history and style, the marble baptistery highlights the city’s switch from Romanesque to the Gothic style. What is truly fascinating about this structure is that tilts just like it is much more famous neighbour! It is barely noticeable, only tilting at 0.6 degrees towards the cathedral-but it is still worth checking out! The outside of the building isn’t just the only feature worth seeing, with the inside crammed full of a number of stunning paintings and pieces of art.

The Camposanto

Also known as Camposanto Monumentale, this massive structure is built in the Piazza dei Miracoli and its region’s cemetery. Surrounded by a wall of arches that creates the archbishop Federico Visconti’s goal of having a large, dignified and secluded location. It was built in 1277 to accommodate the graves that were scattered around the Cathedral. Nowadays, however, the older burial ground is found underneath what is now standing. What is truly interesting in this building it that the ancient builders used soil imported directly from Golgotha, making it even more valuable to the Pisa people.

The Scuola Normale

Back in the middle ages of Pisa, this spectacular building was the political and civil centre of the city. Nowadays, it is a pristine university, specialising in scientific literature and politics, only accepting a select few every year. It is steeped in culture and history, made up with the square home to Torre Della, the church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, and Scuola Normale Superiore. Wander around the university and see the magnificent this site holds!

Palazzo Blu

Palazzo Blu, also known as Palazzo Giuli Rosselmini Gualandi, stands out from the other buildings by its bright blue colour. It is the centre of all art within Pisa, holding a number of permanent and everchanging art exhibitions and activities. Once a noble mansion, it was strategically placed next to the river, at the entrance of the bridge, and right in front of the city centre and ancient church of S. Cristina. Its exterior look dates back to the second half of the 18th century, only repainted its blue coloured façade after its recent restoration. Throughout its re-opening in 2008, it has had a number of famous pieces of art by great artists, such as Picasso, Benozzo Gozzoli, and Francesco da Volterra.

Museo Nazionale

Home to a range of artefacts and artwork spanning from the early medieval period to the 16th century, this museum is a sight to see both in and out of the structure. The stunning building was once the rooms of the old Benedictine convent of S. Matteo in Sparta in the 11th century. Wander around the building before heading in to see the masterpieces held here!

Guelph Tower

The tall tower of Guelph sits in one of the prettiest areas of Pisa that is typically unseen by tourists. It was built in the 12th century when the region was used for shipbuilding activities. However, these days the tower acts as a museum displaying a fascinating array of different Florentine military captains and commissioners’ coat of arms. Climb up the 200 steps of the tower and be met with a marvellous view of the city, seeing the popular sites such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, all the way down till the vivid green pine trees of the Park of San Rossore.

Church of Santa Maria Della Spina

This tiny church stands out against the riverbank buildings, with its dramatic architectural style obvious against the other smooth cut structures. The church dates from the early 13th century, Gothic in style and white marble in structure, stunning in appearance, with decorative windows, pillars, and columns. The indoors isn’t as extravagant, but it is still worth the pop in during your visit to Pisa!

Check out our 1 Hour Guided Pisa Tower to see all these sights!

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