To almost every tourist, Pisa is synonymous with its grand Torre Pendente (Leaning Tower), the almost symbolic image for Italy and an awesome structure that is actually a bell tower whose construction began in 1173 and took almost 200 years to build! But the Leaning Tower is only one Pisa's breathtaking Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles. Here, also can be seen the magnificent Duomo, the Battistero, and the Galleria that encloses the Camposanto (monumental graveyard). These, and a dozen or so churches and palazzi scattered about the historic centre, belong to Pisa's "Golden Age", from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries, when the city was one of the maritime powers of the Mediterranean. Pisa is also known for its excellent university established in 1343 and which is considered to be one of Italy's top schools and a place where writers and poets liked to live.
Pisa is filled with wonderful, historical monuments (produced from white Carrara marble,) and beautiful architecture known as "Pisan Romanesque", noted by its black and white marble facades inspired by the Moorish designs of Andalucia. Traveling extensively along the Mediterranean, Pisan merchants brought a diversity of style in art, culture and architecture to its citizens, resulting in great mercantile wealth and forming the basis of a scientific and cultural revolution that is still reflected in Pisa's splendid buildings, many of which date back hundreds of years.
Retaining its medieval appearance, Pisa's glorious past stays alive. Throughout the city evidence of its rich history and artistic accomplishment prevail, and its narrow streets that open into charming little squares, its multicolored markets and noble palaces, a park where you can walk on the walls, Pisa retains its image as the "city of marvels".