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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Visiting the Cathedral of Pisa

The Duomo of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Image via Wikipedia

By []Priscila Siano

If you are planning a holy trip to Italy the way Muslims generally plan their annual pilgrimage or hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, no doubt a visit to Rome would serve as the pinnacle of your tour. But there are many other places in Italy that could offer you visual and spiritual nourishment, and one of those would be the Cathedral of Pisa or Duomo di Pisa.

The Beginnings of the Cathedral of Pisa

Located in Italy's Tuscan region, the city of Pisa is best known for its Leaning Tower. That, however, is not the only attraction it has to offer. There is also the Cathedral of Pisa, which makes as impressive a sight as its world famous tower.

Construction of the Cathedral of Pisa began in 1093. Buscheto, who had since then been entombed in one of the cathedral's arches, had been its primary architect. Upon his death, his work was continued by the equally renowned Rainaldo.

In 1595, a tragic fire had laid majority of the medieval artwork that the Cathedral of Pisa was hailed for. Thankfully, many of the best Renaissance artists had been commissioned to assist in the cathedral's redecoration. Their significant contribution had allowed the Cathedral of Pisa to continue being the symbol of Pisan Romanesque art that it is today.

Other Sites to See in the Cathedral

There are many reasons why your   rel=nofollow []trip to Italy must include a visit to Pisa. For starters, the Cathedral of Pisa offers numerous impressive artworks that you'll rarely see anywhere else. If you reach the vast nave of the cathedral, you will see a beautiful Cosmatesque marble pavement with a painted and equally lovely oval dome above it. In this area, you will also be able to view the majestic tomb designed by Tino di Camaino for Emperor Henry VII. The pair of cherubs in the southern side, however, is a masterpiece of Ghirlandaio.

Another one of the cathedral's most famous art masterpieces would be the pulpit designed by Giovanno Pisano. After the 1595 fire, renovation workers had initially been unimpressed with the pulpit's appearance. As a result, the pulpit had been dismantled and hidden away in a crate. It was only in 1926 that the pulpit was thankfully found and restored to its rightful place.

Last but not the least, be sure to visit the entrance pier of the cathedral. You'll find there St. Agnes with her Lamb, a glorious painting done by High Renaissance artist Andrea del Sarto. Also in the area are the bronze angels and the crucifix made by Giambologna.

The Cathedral of Pisa is open every day although visiting hours vary depending on the date of your visit. If you have a strict budget for your trip to Italy, please be aware that the Cathedral charges visitors a small fee for entrance.

Even if you have allocated only a short period of time for your trip to Italy, you would still not regret making a side trip to the city of Pisa. As the cathedral and the Leaning Tower are in close proximity to each other, you would not have a hard time visiting both attractions in a single day.

Priscila Siano is the Business Manager of [], a pioneer among the world's online providers of escorted, customized, small group tours to Italy. She also enjoys writing articles about Italy escorted tours. Feel free to republish this article provided you do not edit it in any way and include the author bio as well.

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