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Famously known by its 14th century bell tower, Pisa is an under-appreciated treasure trove of architectural, artistic, and cultural wonders. Pisa is located in Central Italy, in Tuscany, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Though Pisa dates back to ancient times, it has a predominantly younger population, boasting schools like the 12th century-old University of Pisa, the mythic Napoleonic Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies. Out of a population of approximately eighty-nine thousand people, sixty thousand of them are students. This gives Pisa a rich and vibrant nightlife of student planned parties, cultural events, and shows.

So break away from the typical, and take an adventure. Visiting Pisa is the perfect time to slow down walk through the city. Walking is the best way to see what Pisa has to offer. From ancient churches to taverns with delicious Tuscan cuisine, to the gorgeous Piazza dei Miracoli and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is plenty to see.

Piazza dei Miracoli

Piazza dei Miracoli


Luminara, Regatta and Battle of the Bridge: Known by some as the most magical night in Tuscany, visit Pisa on June 16th for a night you’ll never forget. Wait for dusk to see the skyline explode into candlelit flames. The holiday, Luminara, is the beginning of the festivities honoring Saint Ranieri, the patron saint of Pisa and protector of all travelers. With over 70,000 burning candles atop bridges, in windows, and strewn anywhere they can fit, this night will be sure to be a high point of any vacation.

Following the mystical night of lights, watch as four boats with 8 oarsmen, a helmsman, and a montatore (climber) representing the most ancient districts of the city compete in the Regatta (boat race). Upon crossing the finish line it is up to the team’s climber to complete the victory, boarding an anchored boat to climb a 10 meter mast and retrieve the blue silk banner.

About a week later, in Pisa, the streets come alive once more with the reenactment of the Battle of the Bridge on the Lungarno (Arno River). The event is very structured with two armies dressed in sixteenth century Spanish costumes, and consists of five phases: the march of the troops along the Lungarni until they arrive in their respective bases, the formal opening of the battle by the Anziano Rettore, the “call to arms” by the troops, the challenges made by ambassadors on horseback, and finally, the battle itself, as each team competes under the strategic command of their respective leaders.

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