Pisa- more than a tower – English (part II)




In the first part of this article, I promised you that you will visit great places in Pisa, which you may not have known so far. Here are some other sights you can visit in this city:

Roman Baths

Nero’s baths are an archaeological site that preserves the Roman remains of the Pisana colony. They form a thermal complex and are the only remaining relics of the Roman period. It is believed that they were part of a palace, and the earliest level was built in the last decades of the 1st century.

Church of San Zeno

This church is documented since 1029 and was part of a monastery built over the pre-existing edifices. Until the fifteenth century, the church also had a hospital. In the 12th century it belonged to the Camaldolian monks. The interior retains Roman inscriptions and traces of medieval paintings.


Torre Piezometrica

Access to the tower is done on stairs, but there is also an elevator for disabled people.


San Matteo National Museum

The museum is located in the old Benedictine monastery of S. Matteo in Soarta (XI century), of which only a few parts remained, the monastery being destroyed after the last war. Transformation into a museum and restoration of the building took place in the years after the Second World War. The S. Matteo National Museum was born in 1949, thanks to Piero Sanpaolesi. The museum contains the largest collection of works of art in Pisa. It has a remarkable repository of medieval pottery found in ceramic pools around the Mediterranean as well as medieval and modern pots found during the excavations in Pisa (the Tongiorgi collection). Here you will find several precious jewels and a selection of coins and madieval seals from the Franceschi and Supino collections.


Tuesday-Sunday: 08: 30-19: 00

Festive days       :08.30-13.30

Closed: Monday, January 1, May 1, December 25.



  • Full price        : 5 €
  • Reduced price: 2.5 € (young people between 18 and 25 and teachers of state schools)
  • Free: People <18 years and> 65 years old (provided they come from countries in the EU or from countries with which Italy has established reciprocal treaties).

Cumulative ticket with the Royal Palace Museum:

  • full price: 8 €
  • reduced  : 4 €

The ticket allows a visit to both the National Museum of San Matteo and the National Museum of the Royal Palace and is valid for 3 days.

Palazzo Reale

The palace was built between 1583 and 1587 by the will of Grand Duke Francis I de Medici. Designed by the Florentine architect Bernardo Buontalenti, the palace is located in a prestigious area of Pisa, where the Tuscia marquis resides in the X century. Several existing buildings have been incorporated into the new building, including the tower known under the name “della Vergadoro” (Golden Rod).

The building, now offices Soprintendenza per Beni A.P.P.S.A.E. from Pisa and Livorno, and the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale.



  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00-14:30;
  • Saturday: 9:00-13:30 hours
  • Closed: Tuesday, Sunday and holidays.


  • full price: 5 €
  • Reduced: € 2.5 (youngsters between 18 and 25 years old)
  • free: Visitors aged  <8 years old and > 65 years old (provided they come from countries in the EU or from countries with which Italy has established reciprocal treaties).

Cumulative ticket with the Royal Palace Museum:

  • full price: 8 €
  • reduced  : 4 €

The ticket allows a visit to both the National Museum of San Matteo and the National Museum of the Royal Palace and is valid for 3 days.


The Romanian Navi Museum (ARSENALI MEDICEI)

In 1998, just outside the fortress walls, the Railways began excavation work along Pisa San Rossore Station. Immediately, wooden objects appeared, and archaeologists understood that they are of exceptional importance. Approximately three meters in height, an impressive series of wrecks appeared. In 1999, RFI decided to move the building elsewhere. Then a large excavation site was opened, finalized in 2016. As a result of excavations, about thirty boats from Roman times, ceramic fragments, glass, metals, elements made of organic material were returned.

The museum is now open to the public and you can visit level F and level I.

In Hall V, all the restored ships will be exposed: from warships, to commerce, from sea to river.

The ship F falls into the category of small, fast, canoe-style bad boats with a monochrome characteristic arc, which is carved in a single block. The body is deformed for piloting on one side, like gondolas.

I ship I is a flat-bottomed ferry built entirely of oak wood and covered on the outside with iron-lined strips to protect the body from the bottom of deep waters.


Torre della Citadella and Cittaella Vecchia

The medieval area of Tersana (shipyard) expanded during the 13th century, military victories and the flowering of overseas trade made the city find a place for naval purposes. Military infiltrations of the following century, followed by the crisis of Mercantile activities, led to the conversion of this area in the late 1300s, when Iacopo d’Appiano turned it into a fortress. Currently, the citadel is a public park and it is planned to connect to the Museum of Old Boats Arsenali Medicei.


Arsenali Repubblicani

In Pisa, the oldest reference to a shipyard dates back to 1200. The shipyard was designed for both shipbuilding and repairs. Around the middle of the century, fortifications were built around this area near the city walls. In the fourteenth century there were several changes: the walls of the fortress were raised, the 13th-century shed were demolished, and the southern defense wall moved northward. The navigable canal was moved to a more central position and new halls with Gothic arches were built. These are the five corridors of ruins that can be seen today on the western side of this area.


Sostegno Canale Navicelli

During the reign of Cosimo I de Medici, a canal was drilled from Porta de Mare in Pisa to Fortezza Vecchia in Livorno to connect the port of Livorno with Florence and the hinterland through the Arno River.

In 1943, this area of Pisa was severely bombed and these buildings were abandoned for many years. Recently, however, due to the rescue plans of Sostegno, the area underwent an archaeological study and was partly freed from debris, which allowed everyone to admire these interesting hydrotechnical works.


Church of Santa Maria della Spina

The church, founded in 1230, was once called S. Maria del Ponte novo (St. Mary through the New Bridge) and was a votive oratory. He was given the name he still bears today in 1333, when a thorn of the Spin Crown of Christ was donated to the oratory.


Domus Mazziniana

Domus Mazziniana is located in Palazzo Nathan-Rosselli, where Giuseppe Mazzini died in 1872. The building was declared a national monument on March 20, 1910. It was completely destroyed during the 1943 bombing. Although the original furniture was lost, Soprintendenza ai Monumenti has provided relics in Risorgimento. The palace is today a reconstruction built after the war and was inaugurated in June 1952 by the President of the Republic, Luigi Einaudi. Since then, he has become a cultural institution for studying Mazzini’s ideas, spreading his works, and collecting and preserving documents and objects related to his life and teachings. The archives contain over 87,000 documents.

Giardino Scotto

Recent archaeological research has shown that the Giardino Scotto area has undergone many changes over time. In 1095, the S. Andrea Church in Chinzica was founded here. Until the thirteenth century, it had become a flourishing area, populated by craftsmen, especially potters, so the area was known as Baractularia. After Pisa was conquered in the fifteenth century, the Florentines built here a fortified fortress (1440-75) to oversee the city’s inhabitants. Antonio da Sangallo used part of the previous building to build a new south-facing fortress and a bastion on the banks of the Arno River. The construction is still visible today at Guzarrazzi Square.

The fortress was demolished in 1785 and instead of the bastion was built a mansion, owned by Domenico Scotto, from which it took its name. The side of the fortress behind the house became a private garden. In 1936, when the palace became Regia Questura, the last heirs donated the park to the citizens of Pisa.


  • January / November / December: 8: 00-17: 00
  • February / March: 8: 00-17: 30
  • April / October: 8: 00-19: 00
  • May / September: 8: 00-20: 00
  • June / July / August: 8: 00-20: 30
  • Closed: January 1, Easter, May 1, December 25

Free access.


I love Italy and especially love their kitchen. Pizza, a leaning tower, a clear sky, and a glass of Chianti will perfectly complement an unforgettable vacation. See you soon!




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