According to an ancient legend the city of Pisa was founded by some Trojan refugees, coming from the homonymous Greek city of Pisa, once located in the valley of the river Alpheus, in the Peloponnese. On the main square “Pizza Dei Miracoli”, artistic and historical centre of the city, are located the most important monuments. On the square, UNESCO 's World Heritage Site since 1987, you can admire masterpieces of Romanesque architecture: the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Monumental Cemetery and the Belfry.
The heart of the complex is the medieval Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, in marble, in Pisan Romanesque style, with the bronze door of San Ranieri by Bonanno Pisano and the pulpit by Giovanni Pisano.
On the square stands the worldwide famous leaning tower (XII century), that started to lean 10 years after the beginning of its building. But most people don't know that in Pisa there are other two leaning towers: the bell towers of St. Nichola's Church San Michele's Church (leaning itself as well).
Pisa is not only art centre: the most important airport in Tuscany (Galileo Galilei), with international flights, is actually located there. Three of the most important universities in Italy are located in Pisa: the University of Pisa, the Scuola Normale Superiore and the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, as well as some important research institutes.
In Pisa you can also take a walk outdoors in the nature, for instance in the Cittadella Nuova, an ancient fortress today called Giardino Scotto.
Some folk festivals and shows deserve to be mentioned. The “Bridge Game” takes place on the last Sunday of June, with two teams (Tramontana and Mezzogiorno) challenging on the “Ponte di Mezzo”. The battle is preceded by a parade with a thousand figurants in 16th century Spanish costumes. But the most important event is probably the “Maritime Republics Regatta “ taking place every four years in Pisa, with the four Maritime Republics (Genoa, Venice and Amalfi) challenging in a n oar race.
Tooday in Pisa, together with traditional cultural tourism, beach tourism is increasing, thanks to some massive coast re-qualification works. The southern coast looks more urbanized, while the northern one (part of “Migliarino” Park) is wilder and uncontaminated.