Pisa is one of the major cultural centers of Italy that preserves a rich artistic heritage intact, made up of monuments, works of art, museums and stately buildings, now transformed into universities, which refer to the history of scientific research that since 1343, year of foundation of its university, it marked the life of the city. The Piazza del Duomo, also known through the poetic expression Piazza dei Miracoli, is the most important artistic and tourist center of Pisa, counted among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1987. You can admire the monuments that form the center of the religious life of the city, called miracles (by Gabriele d’Annunzio) for their beauty and originality: the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Campo Santo, and the Leaning Tower.

The second most important square in Pisa is Piazza dei Cavalieri where the Palazzo della Carovana designed by Giorgio Vasari stands, which currently houses the Scuola Normale Superiore.

Pisa is also known for its spectacular lungarni, the streets that line the Arno river, interesting points of reference for tourists because they host important buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. The best known is the Lungarno Mediceo which houses the major historical buildings of the city, such as the Palazzo dei Medici, Palazzo Toscanelli and the Church of San Matteo in Soarta.

In June some important cultural events take place: the Luminaria di San Ranieri, patron saint of the city (June 16) during which at dusk all the Lungarni palaces are illuminated with numerous candles lit to surround the windows and doors that enhance the buildings creating suggestive play of light and color and projecting the glow in the river water; the historical regatta with its procession in medieval clothes in which the boats of the city districts face each other on the water of the Arno river; the Game of the Bridge in which on the Ponte di Mezzo in front of the Municipality the various “barrel-plate” players fought, now made less bloody with the push of the various city teams at midday and north of a cart placed on the top of the bridge.

Every four years (many are the Maritime Republics) in the same month the four boats of Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice face each other and the challenge is preceded by the iron procession that tells the deeds and the characters of the four Maritime Republics.

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