Pisa’s magnificent cathedral will forever be associated with Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), a native son and founder of modern physics. Bored during church services, he discovered the law of perpetual motion (a pendulum’s swings always take the same amount of time) by watching the swing of a bronze chandelier now known as the “Lamp of Galileo.” (It’s also said, and the story is probably apocryphal, that Galileo climbed the adjacent Leaning Tower, dropped two wooden balls of differing sizes that hit the ground at the same time, proving that gravity exerts the same force on objects no matter what they weigh.) The exuberant structure, with its tiers of arches and columns, is quite remarkable in its own right; it was heavily influenced by Pisa’s contact through trade with the Arab world and has come to be the prime example of Pisan Romanesque architecture. Giovanni Pisano, whose father, Nicola, sculpted the pulpit in the Baptistery, created the pulpit here (1302–11), covering it with intricate scenes from the New Testament. Considered to be among the great masterpieces of Gothic sculpture, the relief panels were deemed to be too old fashioned by the church’s 16th-century restorers and packed away in crates until they were reassembled, rather clumsily, in 1926.
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 Cathedral free; for the Campo’s other sights (the Baptistery, Camposanto, or the Museo delle Sinopie) it costs 5€ to enter one sight; any two sights cost 7€; and three cost 8€. Leaning Tower: 18€ Web site Cattedrale
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.