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Famed for its leaning tower, Pisa was once a great Mediterranean power and much of its contemporary charm rests upon its historical legacies. It is a town divided by the river Arno and its distinctive Romanesque architecture, medieval squares and statues all indicate Pisa's past grandeur.

 

Today much of its commercial loyalties are devoted to tourism. Pisa's food varies from the exotic to the ordinary. You can try tripe, brains, eels, squid, and 'twice-bolied' soup. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and unpretentious trattorias. The nightlife is relaxed with plenty of places to drink and free classical concerts are often available. The most fashionable shopping area centres upon the arcaded Borgo Largo and Borgo Stretto. However, busy streets and twisting alleys also surround the university and the lively, colourful market.

Pisa's focal point is the Campo dei Miracoli, where the tower stands alongside the Baptistery and the Duomo.



 

A splendid architectural contrast is provided by Santa Maria della Spina, one of the very few triumphs of Italian gothic.


 

Pisa also has several good museums, with the Museo di San Michele boasting the best of Pisan art from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The conference dates are typical spring times where Pisa climate is warm with average temperature of 18C (65F). Other attractions include easy access and one day excursions to the surrounding Tuscan countryside and coastline as famous Florence and Siena. For trips farther afield Pisa's Galileo Galileo airport is Tuscany's main airport and trains run from Pisa to Venice, Rome and other cities. Local buses are reasonable and long-distance services are available.


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