Italy’s largest baptistery (104m/341 ft. in circumference), begun in 1153 and capped with a Gothic dome in the 1300s, is built on the same unstable soil as the Leaning Tower. The first thing you will notice is a decided tilt—not nearly as severe as that of the tower, but the round structure leans noticeably towards the cathedral. The unadorned interior is considered to be where the Renaissance, with its emphasis on classical style and humanism, began to flower, in the pulpit created by Nicola Pisano (1255–60). The sculptor had studied sarcophagi and other ancient Roman works that the Pisan navy had brought back from Rome as booty, and the classic influence is obvious, nowhere more so than in the presence of a nude Hercules standing next to statues of St. Michael and St. John the Baptist. In scenes of the life of Christ, figures wear tunics and Mary wears the headdress of a Roman matron. If the baptistery is not too crowded, stand near the middle and utter something loudly; the sound will reverberate for quite awhile, thanks to the structure’s renowned acoustics.
Piazza del Duomo
Our Rating Hours Open daily, Apr–Sept 8am–8pm; Oct 9am–7pm; Nov–Feb 10am–5pm; Mar 9am–6pm Transportation Bus: E, 4, LAM Rossa Phone 050-835-011 Prices Bundled admission: 5€ to enter one sight; any two sights cost 7€; and three cost 8€ Web site Baptistery
MapPiazza del Duomo Pisa
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.