— The coastal city of Pisa in Italy’s famed province of Tuscany is known primarily for it’s famed Leaning Tower, and then perhaps for its one of its iconic native sons, Galileo Galilei. This ancient Italian city, however, is far more than just a tower and an astronomer. Whether you’re looking to explore the rich history of the region, the iconic artwork and architecture, or the world-renowned food, you’ll quickly discover a city that has plenty to offer visitors of all tastes. If you happen to be planning your trip to Pisa, here are some interesting facts to keep in mind.
1.The Leaning Tower of Pisa weighs approximately 14,500 tonnes.
2.Construction was at one point completely stopped for a century when the tower began to lean - engineers hoped that the clay beneath the tower would harden before they carried on. After several centuries, the tower was completed in the year 1350, and reached a height of 55.86 metres. Regular restoration and maintenance of the structure goes on to this day.
3.According to his Pupil and biographer, Galileo dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that their time of descent was in fact completely independent of their mass. Today, historians still argue whether this demonstration was a theoretical story, or one Galileo actually performed.
4.During the time of the Ancient Roman Empire and right up until the 15th century, the city of Pisa lay on the sea. During this period the Port of Pisa was an important shipping hub, and today visitors can make their way to The Museum of the Ancient Ships of Pisa, where there are recently excavated Roman ships from the ancient port on display.
5.The Camposanto Monumentale sits on the northern edge of the Cathedral Square in Pisa, and its name, “Campo Santo” can literally be translated to “Holy Land”. The name of this religious site is not merely symbolic, as the building itself is said to be built around a shipment of earth that was transported back from Golgotha by Ubaldo de' Lanfranchi, archbishop of Pisa, during the Fourth Crusade in the 12th century.
6. Pisa is located in the famed gastronomic region of Tuscany and the city's cuisine tends tohave a seafood focus. Some of the region’s signature meals include grilled grey mullet and cod, boiled Mediterranean spiderfish, sweet and sour cod, and frog soup.
Whether you’re headed to Pisa for an extended stay or are stopping-in as part of an Italian tour, you’ll quickly find this city is one of the country’s most majestic.