Saturday, 4 August 2012 4:06 PM
Italy has produced many wonderful artists over the years, so it is of no surprise that the city of Pisa boasts some of the most famous pieces of art in the world. If you love spending your time in galleries and museums, the destination is perfect for you.
There is so much to see and do in Pisa that you will want to plan your holiday so you can fit in everything you want to. Aside from booking accommodation and car hire at Pisa Airport, don't forget to make a rough schedule of the top attractions you would like to visit.
To give you a helping hand, below are some of the leading art galleries to check out when holidaying in Pisa.
The Museo dell'Opera - housed at the back of the city's cathedral - is one of the most renowned art galleries in the country, and once you step through its doors, it is easy to see why. Filled with ancient relics, paintings and sculptures, there is plenty to keep even the most ardent art fan occupied for hours on end. Just some of the artists the gallery pays homage to include Michelangelo, Andrea Pisano, Niccolo di Pietro Donatello and Benozzo Gozzoli.
You do not have to be a huge art geek to understand the importance of Michelangelo's work, with his Pietas among his most revered creations. These sculptures depict the dead Jesus Christ being cradled by the Virgin Mary and one of these pieces is located in the museum, while you will find his other famous one in Rome. Another masterpiece located here includes Mary Magdalene, by Donatello.
Museo delle Sinopie
Even the building of the Museo delle Sinopie is a piece of art. It dates all the way back to 1257, when it was established to provide shelter to unwanted children, pilgrims, the poor and sick. It was designed by Giovanni di Simone, who was also responsible for the first construction of the Monumental Cemetery. A sinopia is a preparatory sketch for a future fresco and the ones in this gallery are from beneath the frescoes that used to be in place in the Campo Santa - or Monumental Cemetery - before it was damaged during the second world war.
Some of the most famous sketches located here include the Final Judgment and Triumph of Death by Francesco di Traino and Biblical Stories by Benozzo Gozzoli.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
While not an art gallery as such, you can't help but appreciate the artistic and archaeological skill that went into the Leaning Tower of Pisa considering its gradient. Work first started on this famous bell tower in 1173, but the foundations collapsed a few years later, resulting in its construction being halted for nearly a century. However, the Leaning Tower continued to be built under the guidance of Giovanni di Simone, who had experience after working on the bell tower of the San Francesco Church. He is credited with reining in the slope of the building, but the 1284 naval defeat at Meloria put paid to any more progress. Finally, the last part of the project was finished in the middle of the 14th century led by Tommaso Pisano. This saw the final ring - level seven - being placed on to the structure.
When you realise just how long the Leaning Tower of Pisa took to build, you will certainly appreciate the architecture even more.