by poonam bisht

Home to the Leaning Tower, Pisa is the birthplace of Galileo Galilei. It has one of the oldest universities in the country.

The Italian city of Pisa is located in Tuscany, Italy. The geographical coordinates of the city are 43 42 N, 10 24 E. It covers an area of 71.4 square miles and has an estimated population of 88,332. It is the capital city of Province of Pisa and is located at the junction of two rivers, Arno and the Serchio. Like most of Central and South Italy, it has a Mediterranean climate. The average temperature of the city is 59 degrees Fahrenheit. It is believed that Pisa was founded by the Pelasgi, the Greeks, the Etruscans, and the Ligurians. Like the founders of the city, the etymology of the name remains unclear.

Historically, Pisa is the birthplace of Galileo Galilei. During the 11th century, it was quite famous and was known as one of the four major historical Maritime Republics of Italy. It was an important commercial center, although continuously at war with Saracens. 11th century also saw many wars, including the battle with Genoa. The decline of Pisa began by the end of the 13th century. The superior fleet of Pisa, under the command of Albertino Morosini was defeated in the naval Battle of Meloria. The city tried to build up its power, but was limited by internal strife. It lost its mercantile strength, and later, was acquired by Florence in 1406.

Pisa is home to many historical monuments and sights. The Piaszza del Duomo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other important sights include: Knight’s Square, Church of St. Francis, Museo delle Sinopie, Santa Maria della Spina, and the monumental Camposanto Monumentale.

Camposanto Monumentale or Campo Santo was built during the 12th century and was the fourth and the final one to be raised in the Cathedral Square. It literally translates to “holy field”, and is said to be made around a shipload of sacred soil from Golgotha. The city is also home to University of Pisa, one of the oldest universities in Italy. It was established in 1343 and has a long list of notable alumni, including Galileo Galilei and Enrico Fermi.

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