Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del duomo 400
Piazza del Duomo
Photo by: greatlettuce, Creative Commons

Piazza del Duomo in Pisa is the most stunning of all piazzas in Italy. Imagine a clear blue sky, in contrast with the green grass and four white great architectures. Unlike many piazzas or squares in Italy, which are covered in pavement, the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa is situated on a vast land covered with green grass.

Also known as Piazza dei Miracoli or Piazza of Miracles, it is the center of ecclesiastical activity in Pisa. Upon getting to the piazza, many tourists tend to flock around the bell tower; more popularly called the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Located just behind the cathedral, it functions as the belfry. Its construction started in 1173 by Bonanno. The construction stopped when they noticed that the third floor began tilting. However, an artist by the name of Tommaso Andrea di Pisano, still finished the project during the 2nd half of the 14th century; he added the succeeding three floors and the belfry. Inside the tower there is a spiral staircase, which tourists can access to go to the top of the tower, it consists of two hundred ninety four steps. The tilting of the tower is attributed to the soft soil where the tower was built on.

The Duomo or the Cathedral of Pisa right in front the tower, is a fusion of Romanesque, Islamic, Byzantine and trans-Alpine architectural influence. The mix is bought about by the Crusades. On the façade of the cathedral there are inscriptions telling the history and the events when the cathedral was being built. The interior of the cathedral is as interesting as its façade. Inside you can see the lamp Galileo Galilee used, hanging in the apse of the cathedral.

Competing with the elegance of the Duomo is the baptistery right in front of it. Another interesting site to visit is the Campo Santo or the cemetery. It is where Pisa’s elite during medieval times where buried. On the cemetery, you could see different medieval works of art including frescoes by Florentine artists.

With just one look at Pisa’s piazza del Duomo, you won’t have to think twice to include it in your top 10 list of famous places in Italy. However, the soft soil where the piazza is built on requires continued reconstruction of the architectures. In 1987, the Piazza dei Miracoli has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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