Tag Archives: Mediterranean

Pisa in Tuscany

Pisa: So much more than the leaning tower

The leaning tower of Pisa TuscanyPisa first belonged to the Longobard kingdom and later to the Carolingian empire. Already an important naval base in the Roman era, from the 11th century Pisa intensified its Mediterranean trade, with numerous victories of its fleet over Muslim cities and ships.

The Mediaeval Era coincided with the height of its economic, political and artistic growth, to which the urban planning of the old centre bears witness by its many religious and civic buildings, its squares, its typical narrow alleys that run perpendicular to the River Arno, the great trade route that for centuries represented the economic heart of the city.

The city walls, whose construction began around 1154-1155, were completed in the mid-14th century and today represent an important part of the architectural heritage.

In 1406 Pisa was conquered for the first time by Florence, thus beginning a long period of profound crisis that ended only with the political ascent of the Medici nobles. From the second half of the 16th century there was a recovery characterized by the development of the University, founded on the orders of Lorenzo II Magnifico at the end of the 15th century.
Cosimo I de’ Medici and his successors renovated the aspect of the squares and churches, rendering Pisa the second capital of Tuscany, until its annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
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Livorno in Tuscany

Livorno: Pittoresque Tuscan gateway to the Mediterranean

Picture of Piazza Grande at Lvirona TuscanyThe history of Livorno (or Leghorn) is revealed through its districts characterised by the Medicean canals, which are still navigable and all lead you to it’s historic centre. Once defined as an ‘ideal’ town during the Italian Renaissance, nowadays the Venice district is the district that preserved most of its original town planning and architectural features such as the bridges, the narrow lanes, the noblemen‘s houses and a dense network of canals which once linked the port to its storehouses.

Allthough many buildings and historic places have been bombed in WW2, the port with it’s fortresses and towers is largely spared.

The “Piazza della Repubblica” in Livorno contains two important monuments of Italian politicians. Besides being the main square it is also a bridge: in fact, under the bridge there is an old, big canal. Piazza della Repubblica is the largest bridge of Europe. (see picture above)
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