Food & Progress 2018, Florence, Tuscany

Tuscan food is  a kind of cucina povera or “poor cooking.” A concept that started very literally, it’s about simple meals that are inexpensive and could easily be made in large amounts.

Today it remains largely the same – but by choice instead of economy. Tuscan cooking doesn’t use complicated seasonings or elaborate creations because they’re not needed. Instead it’s made using fresh, high-quality ingredients that bring out the natural flavors in each dish, simple or not. When you arrive in Tuscany you will be faced with one doubt . What are the foods I can’t miss, what will I regret not having eaten? If you came and visit   “Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ” , you will have an idea! “Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ” is about Culinary Specialities in Florence and  showcases Tuscan Excellence. 

Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ”  has a lot to offer to the guests from locally sourced products to Wine Tastings with AIS (Italian  Sommelier  Association).

The program begins with Conferences, Master Classes, each focusing on a specific thematic about Wine & Food. Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ”  has a lot to offer to the guests, from locally sourced products to Wine Tastings with AIS (Italian  Sommelier  Association). The program begins with Conferences, Master Classes, each focusing on a specific thematic about Wine & Food.

My favourite Master Class is the one about Riesling . I’m learning a lot about Germany Wine  Production  in  Pfalz thanks to a special Wine Tasting organized by the “ Bassermann-Jordan Winery “.

“ Bassermann-JordanWinery “ is  an established leader and an example of the efficiency of Riesling Production in GermanyThe history of the “ Bassermann-JordanWinery “ is the history of a family dynasty that has helped to establish quality viticulture for almost 300 years. Generation after generation, important personalities emerge from it who know how to preserve and develop the importance of the estate and top Palatinate Wines with intelligence, expertise and intuition as well as economic and political influence – up to the top rank of the world. Their wine labels are landmarks and stand for Wines from the best locations and pioneering work in cultivation and vinification with a passion for quality. These Wines are fruity ,  elegant and fit any specific need. These are Characteristic Wines of Origin which are cultivated and matured ecologically according to anthroposophical teachings. For most of their  Wines Art Nouveau label is used.

There are also  interesting Cooking Shows (including fresh pasta and vegan recipes)  at “Food & Wine in Progress 2018 ” and  hundreds of fans who come to join this magic Wine & Food Exibition.

Enjoy it !

Stefania

Vinoè 2018: Wine Exibition at Stazione Leopolda, Florence

“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.” 
― Charles Baudelaire

Florence is not only the “Cradle of the Renaissance”, because its historical center is a triumph of art, but it’s a lively city . There are lots of things to do, such as traditional Festivals, Art and Cultural manifestations that represent the core of the city and its inhabitants. Experiencing Florence in this way means  living the city as a local! 

As the capital of Tuscany, Florence has remarkable Wines, most notably the deep red wine Chianti Classico. Florence offers Wine Festivals lots  all the year long.  In addition, every restaurant, every cafe, sometimes every vendor on the street sells Florence’s best Wines. Above all Tuscany is famous for its Chianti , made with perfect purple Sangiovese grapes grown in the golden sunlight of the Tuscan hills. You’ll also find fine Wines like the”Brunello di Montalcino”, “Pomino Vin Santo” and other “Trebiano White Wines”, and “Moscadello” varieties for sweet wines! It takes a long time to speak about Wine in Tuscany, so it’s better to participate in the Wine Exibition ““Vinoè”, held in Stazione Leopolda, Florence, from from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 October 2018.

“Vinoè”now in its third edition, is  an event dedicated to Italian and International Wine Excellence , and it is organized by FISAR (Italian Federation of Hotel and Catering Sommeliers). There are not only exihibitors with their best bottles of white, sparkling, rosé and red wines, but also cooking shows . 

“Vinoè” is a meeting point for Wine Lovers.  It is possible in 3 days  to discover: 

“Vinoè” is a really beautiful and inspiring experience. There are lots of visitors and I have the fantastic opportunity to taste High Quality Wine such as: 

Three Extraordinary Wineries  give me the idea what Passion for Wine and Life means. 

I want to share with you my favourite Wineries of this unforgettable Wine Kermesse: Claudio Cipressi Winery, Molise”, “Piccini/Tenuta Mora, Tuscany” and “Tenuta del Travale, Calabria”They are 

Claudio Cipressi Winery, is located in San Felice del Molise, Campobasso. Since 2014 it has become officially certified as organic . 

Molise is a beautiful region with a unique landscape. It is largely uncontaminated and the vineyards have great potential, which is why Claudio Cipressi cultivates 16 hectares with enthusiasm. Claudio Cipressi has reintroduced the Tintilia a native white grape variety.

“Tenuta Mora Winery”  is owned by the historic Tuscan Producer Tenute Piccini, one of the most popular brand of Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Brunello Wines in Italy and the world.

“Tenuta Mora  is a boutique Winery located on the Etna volcano, a black mountain looking at a blue shining sea, a unique place able to craft hidden wine gems. The two vineyards of “Tenuta Mora ” are located at about 650-700m in Contrada Rovittello, in the municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia and Contrada Torre, in the municipality of Linguaglossa. The philosophy of “Tenuta Mora Winery” is one grape, one territory. Their main grapes are Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. The average age of vines sits at around 15 years old . Vineyards on the Etna feature extremely fertile volcanic soils at an altitude of 650-700 meters above sea level (2100-2300 ft), with important temperature variations between day and night considerably influencing the quality of the grapes. Other properties under the Piccini umbrella are Valiano in Chianti ClassicoVilla al Cortille in Montalcino, Tenuta Moraia in the Maremma Toscana, and Regio Cantinain the Aglianico del Vulture DOC zone of Basilicata.  They are passionate about Winemaking! 

Tenuta del Travale”  is located in Rovito, Cosenza, a thirty minute drive from the spectacular blue sea of the Tyrrhenian coast in Calabria.

Calabria is a wine region waiting to be discovered. Calabrian Wine has not received the recognition it deserves, even though the region of Calabria has a very long history of vine cultivation. The territory is gorgeous, but the economic problems of the region have prevented it from achieving its full potential. A goal that was pursued with determination by the owners of “Tenuta del Travale” , Raffaella Ciardullo and his husband Nicola Piluso. Today they run this stunning  estate revitalising the old territory.  They carry on the intent of defending the ancient Calabrian origin of Nerello Mascalese with one single label “Eleuteria” (there is  some evidence that Nerello Mascalese may be related to Mantonico Bianco, an ancientCalabrian grape). “Tenuta del Travale” covers two hectares of hilly terrain. Founded in 1993, the estate cultivates today only 2 varieties of vines, Nerello Mescalese and Nerello Cappuccio, from which are produced Red Wines with the IGP recognition

 “Vinoè” 20018 is not only a sensorial experience. It’s the perfect place where you can understand why the story behind each Wine in your glass matters. There’s the Value of Work according to human passion and effort. An example of Authentic Life to follow in the caos of these times!

Enjoy it ! 

Stefania

 

Fisar : Degustazione Champagne 18 Ottobre 2018, Convento dei Cappucini,Pisa

Capodanno, Natale, il cuore di ogni festa è nelle bollicine  che salgono  brillanti lungo i  calici. Certo, oggi nei bicchieri possono fare splendida figura spumanti italiani o spagnoli, americani e perfino australiani, bianchi o rosati, secchi e dolci, ma all’inizio c’era soltanto lui: lo Champagne

Si tratta di un mondo affascinante, su cui non si finisce mai di imparare . Così per approfondire le mie conoscenze, e per bere oro liquido, partecipo alla Degustazione di Champagne organizzata dalla Fisar di Pisa  il  18 Ottobre 2018. All’interno della suggestiva Biblioteca del Convento dei Cappuccini di Pisa l’esperto Sommelier Luca Canapicchi  svela a un folto pubblico di partecipanti, tutti i segreti dello Champagne in modo semplice e coinvolgente: caratteristiche, origini, zone di produzione, differenze tra i piccoli e grandi produttori , legislazione , denominazioni, appellazioni. Mi auguro il mio resoconto su quanto apprendo, possa essere utile ai neofiti e possa offrire qualche spunto interessante per chi ha maggiore esperienza. 

10 Cose da sapere sullo Champagne 

1. Lo Champagne è diverso dallo Spumante: sono vini effervescenti ottenuti da diverse qualità di uva coltivate nel mondo e secondo differenti metodi di lavorazione. Un vino Spumante può essere dunque molto diverso per origine e tipologia. I migliori Spumanti, e non solo in Italia, hanno guadagnato la denominazione di origine geografica che ne garantisce la qualità e la provenienza. Un esempio è il Franciacorta, prodotto secondo un rigido disciplinare, o il Prosecco Spumante, oggi sempre più apprezzato; 

2. Lo Champagne è  coltivato nell’omonima zona , Nord Est Parigi, (34.000 ettari), divisa in 5 aeree: le Montagne di Reims  , la Valle della Marna  , la Cote des Blancs , la Cote de Sèzanne e la Cote des Bar (Aube);

3. Lo Champagne e il clima :  possiede aromi di eccezionale finezza perché nasce da grappoli maturati oltre il 49° parallelo, ultima frontiera a nord per la coltivazione della vite;  è questo il segreto della sua inimitabile eleganza, dell’armonico equilibrio tra la freschezza acidula del suo sapore e la calda dolcezza della sua alcolicità;

4. Lo Champagne e il terreno : ma le uve dello Champagne non riuscirebbero a maturare nel rigido clima continentale francese se il terreno (gesso, calcare, ecc… ) su cui sono impiantate le viti non avesse un sottosuolo che riverbera il calore del sole e che dosa alle radici l’acqua della pioggia, assorbendola quando è in eccesso e restituendola lentamente durante la siccità estiva.

5. I vitigni consentiti per la produzione dello Champagne sono tre: Pinot Nero (Montagna di Reims) che da Pinot Meunier (Valle della Marna) e Chardonnay (la Cote des Blancs); i primi due sono a bacca nera e conferiscono allo Champagne corpo e freschezza, il terzo è   bacca bianca e dona delicatezza ;  in misura nettamente minore, altri vitigni come Arbanne e Petit Meslier

6. Lo Champagne è ottenuto con il Metodo Classico/“Champenoise”, di cui le fasi principali sono : 

  • Vinificazione in bianco del Pinot Nero,  Pinot Meunier, e Chardonnay (Vin de Clair ) e  loro assemblaggio  detto Cuvée : i tre vitigni principali possono essere di diversa annata (se no si parla di Millesimato) e di diversa provenienza;
  • Seconda Fermentazione/Presa di Spuma (che avviene prima in tini e poi in bottiglia) per aggiunta  alla Cuvée di zuccheri e lieviti;
  • Affinamento a contatto con i lieviti, fondamentale per dare allo Champagne le note aromatiche;
  • Remuage (manuale o meccanico):  dopo il contatto con i lieviti avviene un  processo che consiste nel ruotare le bottiglie di qualche millimetro ogni giorno per far scivolare i depositi nel collo della bottiglia;
  • Dégorgement o Sboccatura: rimozione del deposito, raggiunta la posizione verticale, con il collo verso il basso ; 
  • Liqueur de Dosage o D’expédition : nella fase conclusiva, verrà aggiunto uncomposto spesso da zucchero di canna disciolto nel vino, in dosi variabili a seconda della tipologia di vino prodotto (Doux 50 gr/l ; Demi-Sec 32-50 gr/l ; Sec tra 17 -32 g / l ; Doux più di 50 g / l; Demi-Sec  32 -50 g /l;  Extra Dry tra 12 -17 g / l; Brut meno di 12 g / l; Extra Brut  0 – 6 g / l; Pas Dosé o Dosage Zéro con una concentrazione inferiore ai 3 g / l)

7. Tiplogia di Champagne

  • Blanc de Blancs, ottenute esclusivamente da uve Chardonnay;
  • Blanc de Noirs, ottenuto vinificando in bianco uve nere (Pinot Noir e Pinot Meunier);
  • Rosé, miscelando vino bianco o vino rosso, oppure da uve rosse vinificate in rosato;
  • Cuvée speciale, assemblaggio di vini eccezionale qualità (ogni Maison la chiama con nome diverso).;
  • Millesimato, è lo Champagne che dichiara in etichetta l’anno della vendemmia;
  • Grand Cru, è fatto con uve raccolte in vigneti classificati 100%;
  • Premier Cru, è fatto con uve raccolte in vigneti classificati tra il 90% e il 99%;
  • Monocru, preparato con le uve di un solo vigneto anziché con Cuvée. Molto raro

8. Dimensioni bottiglie Champagne

 

9. Storia/Leggenda dello Champagne: comincia con Pierre Pérignon, il  monaco benedettino che fu cantiniere e amministratore  dell’Abbazia di Hautvillers per 47 anni, dal 1668 al 1715, e che è universalmente conosciuto come l’inventore dello Champagne

10. Fatti importanti nella seconda metà dell’Ottocento per lo Champagne

  • Il chimico francese Louis Pasteur dimostra l’attività dei lieviti e il loro ruolo centrale nella fermentazione, gettando le basi per l’Enologia moderna. Negli stessi anni nasce l’Ampelografia, la scienza che studia e classifica le caratteristiche morfologiche dei vitigni, e l’Agronomia si orienta verso un approccio scientifico;
  • Madame Clicquot produce nel 1810 il primo Champagne Millesimato e inventa la prima Table de Remouage, una tavola che inclina le bottiglie, facendo gradualmente scivolare i sedimenti verso il collo della bottiglia, da dove possono essere rimossi per rendere il vino più limpido e prezioso; 
  •  Louise Pommery, alla morte del marito, gestisce  l’azienda di famiglia fondata nel 1858 che impegnata fino a quel momento nel commercio della lana, punta dopo alla produzione di Champagne. Louise Pommery ha successo, e in breve tempo il marchio di famiglia assurge ad un ruolo di primo piano fra le “Maison” della Regione; 
  • Nel XVIII secolo nascono le Grandi Maison : Ruinart, Moèt, Vander-Veken, Delamotte, Veuve Cliquot, Heidsieck, Jacquesson, Krug; il loro talento risiede nell’ elaborazione di Cuvée che riflettano immutabilmente lo stile caratteristico di ogni marchio attraverso l’assemblaggio di vitigni, Cru e annate provenienti essenzialmente dagli acquisti di uve presso i Vigneron (piccoli viticoltori) con i quali stipulano contratti di partnership pluriennali; 
  • 1882 primi  Sindacati e Associazioni di categoria che lottano per la difesa della denominazione e delle tecniche di viticoltura; 
  • Fine del XIX  secolo diffusione di alcune terribili malattie della vite come  l’ Oidio, e la Peronospora che si propagano in tutta Europa portando al grave danneggiamento di quasi tutti i vigneti;  in modo particolare per la più distruttiva, la Fillossera (un insetto giunto dall America che attacca le radici della pianta provocandone rapidamente la morte),  l’unico rimedio si rivela l’innesto di viti europee su portainnesto di vite americana, immune dal parassita; 
  • 1911 Scala dei Cru: Gran Cru (17 villaggi), Premier Cru (44 villaggi) e Cru (255 villaggi),  classificazione territoriale con cui  legalmente si certifica  la qualità delle uve costantemente più alta che nel resto della regione a Nord Est di Parigi, Reims, quella tradizionalmente più vocata per la produzione di Champagne
  • Legge sullo Champagne;  
  • AOC Champagne; 
  • 1941 nascita della  CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne) ; senza queste azioni, “Champagne” sarebbe divenuto un nome generico, sinonimo di un metodi di elaborazione di vini effervescenti. 

La bellissima serata prosegue con la degustazione delle seguenti etichette, provenienti dai territori più rappresentativi e da produttori di rilievo nel panorama degli Champagne, in abbinamento a degli stuzzichini:

Ho davvero apprezzato la preparazione di Luca Canapicchi,  e soprattutto tutto ciò che di nuovo imparo da questa Degustazione di Champagne  unica ideata e ben orchestrata dalla Fisar di Pisa. Sorseggiando un nettare divino pregiatissimo con una storia lunga quasi 300 anni, ringrazio in modo particolare alcuni dei rappresentanti della Fisar di Pisa, Salvo Pulvirenti e Luigi Vaglini, che per l’accoglienza, e per darmi la possibilità di  scrivere un post su questa eccezionale esperienza nel mio blog sulle Bellezze d’Italia www.WeLoveItaly.eu . 

Enjoy it ! 

Stefania

AIS of Lucca: “Italian Sommelier Association”

AIS of Lucca: to be a Sommelier. A Life Experience to enjoy at its  fullest.

If you love Wine, a  Sommelier Experience with the AIS of Lucca, Tuscany,  is a chance of a lifetime:

  • to  explore the world’s wine regions; 
  • to learn how to build your own cellar:
  • to study Food &  Wine pairings and take part in  tasting analysis so you can identify any Wine simply by smell and by sip; 
  • to share your passion and enjoy life with friends! 

AIS of Lucca is one of the several “Italian Sommelier Association” branches  in each region of Italy. The “AIS” or “Italian Sommelier Association” is  an Italian non-profit organization founded in Milan on July 7, 1965, officially recognised and legally acknowledged by the Italian government on April 6, 1973. Its founding members were : Gianfranco Botti, Jean Valenti, Leonardo Guerra  and Italian Sommelier Ernesto Rossi. The “Italian Sommelier Association” is part and founding member of the “Worldwide Sommelier Association” (WSA) which is officially recognized across the world. The AIS is one of the oldest and actually the largest Sommelier Association in the world, featuring more than 30.000 members only in Italy! The aim of “Italian Sommelier Association” , as stated in the third article of its charter, is to qualify Sommelier’s role and profession, therefore adding value to Wine, Traditional Specialties and Gastronomy culture. Its aim is also to promote, even in the legislative branch, the introduction of its didactic approach in Hospitality related schools, as well as to endorse the Sommelier’s professional role, international recognition and esteem. An educational, Experience with AIS of Lucca will ensure you have all you need to take your passion to a high  level.

My  graduation as a Sommelier with the AIS of Lucca was an unforgettable moment. I worked hard for that exam. It was one of my Growth Days: we all have days that mark special life milestones, all events that allow us to celebrate, to reflect, to learn. It was last June I went to “Berlucchi Winery ” in Franciacorta (Brescia Area)  to get  a Sommelier Certification offered by the AIS of Lucca after a three year course recognized by Wine industry and Restaurant Professionals throughout the world. It was an incredible journey for : rounding out my knowledge ,  expanding  my  palate, making a professional assessment on Wine. It was something more than  connecting the dots between a flavor, such as clove and vanilla in a sample Pinot Noir!  There are two types of Certified Sommeliers: those who currently work in the industry, and those who go through the certification process to learn much more than Wine, that is the area in which is produced. That’s me!  I started my adventure with Wine by chance, because  dealing  with Tourism, attending a Sommelier Course in Lucca (the best in terms of organization and preparation in Tuscany) was the right way to know  better Tuscany with all its Beauty, Art and Culture. I recognize that to be a Sommelier  without working in the industry  is much harder,  since you’re not working with Wine every day, you have to carve out time in your schedule to practice and to dedicate to Wine. One option isn’t better than the other–you just need to know which category you’ll likely fall under before you become a Sommelier. In order to make it through the long class schedule and nerve-wracking final exam, you should have an ultimate end goal in mind from the beginning. Some Sommelier students drop out before the courses are complete, sometimes because they underestimate the amount of studying required to pass the exam, and sometimes because they only liked the idea of being a Sommelier, without having a plan to use their education for a specific purpose. You need to have a purpose in mind when you receive Sommelier Certification! Becoming a Sommelier is only the tip of the iceberg. The reality is that Wine Education never ends, even for those who are fully certified with every program. Getting certified is only one method for growing a greater understanding of Wine, and it’s not necessary for every Wine ‘fan’. Before you pressure yourself into becoming certified, it’s important to ask yourself why you want to go through the experience, and whether it’s truly the right choice for you!

My fortune was to have clear ideas why to be a Sommelier and to run into AIS of Lucca for my certification. 

Studying for being a Sommelier meant to meet Wine Professionals  who loved exploring the best about Wine & Food Tradition in Tuscany . The AIS of Lucca was absolutely essential for me, because they gave me the chance to practice what I  learned in their classes  about the Wine Education and  Tuscany Culture . Nowadays, I ‘m really able to give useful tips for visitors who want to experience Italian Life Style and who want to discover this awesome region  with my services in www.WeLoveItaly.eu

 

 

Recently, a friend asked why a person should invest in a Wine Class instead of purchasing a few bottles and having a liquid study session at home. I think it’s a great question! 

Learning about Wine seems a foreign concept to many,  but it’s actually a great deal of fun as well as financially rewarding – the more you know about Wine, the better your Wine purchases will be. You need to know at least enough to understand what makes you happy. I know, Wine makes you happy. But, which Wines make you happiest? Until you try a well-curated selection, how do you know? Learning the  “AIS” Systematic Approach to Tasting will give you great insight into how your palate works. In the  “AIS” course, I tasted Top Wines from different parts of and from all over the word. I got  great tasting experience there. Of course, I could taste Wine at home, but the difference  is that in the “AIS” course  my  tasting was  focused and guided. It was tasting with a purpose and  even after a one day class,  my tasting abilities  and my appreciation of what I tasted was considerably greater.  I can guarantee that “AIS” is not only a  a great place to get all your answers about Wine with other like-minded Wine Lovers, but above all a possibility to make frienships with interesting people.  My Sommelier Experience is not only made of books, of Wine glasses , restaurants, and now My Wine Tasting Events in Pisa and its province, but above all of it is about all  my friends I share my passion about Wine and travelling with.  My family  and my friends describe me as an explorer, enthusiastic, adventurous,  dynamic, optimistic, sociable person and it is really who I am. I love life and that’s why I love Wine because it represents all that I love about life.  To me, Wine is like a friend. Through Wine, you:

  • Meet great people:  Yes, there are so many great people behind and around Wine, people who enjoy having Wine,  the Winemaker, the Wine-Seller, the Cook, and the Sommelier of course! 
  • Celebrate life: Yes, don’t you have Wine when you’re celebrating a birthday, a wedding, Christmas, or a graduation?
  • Eat great food: Wine without Food is not really Wine, don’t you agree with me?
  • See the world:  Yes, Wine is International, with it you discover new Countries and Regions, along with their History and Culture. 

 

I’m a Passionate Traveler and wherever I go, I always try to find the most unique vineyard, meet with the winemaker and also to find the best restaurant in town, or wine bar and, living in Pisa, my starting point of course is Tuscany !  

Salute ! 

Stefania

Top 10 things to do in Pisa

Top 10 Things to do in Pisa: a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Although Pisa is known worldwide for its Leaning tower (the Bell Tower of the City’s Cathedral), the city of over 88,627 residents (around 200,000 with the metropolitan area) contains more than 20 other historic churches, several palaces and various bridges across the River Arno . Much of the city’s architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian Maritime Republics. The city is also home of the University of Pisa, which has a history going back to the 12th century and also has the mythic Napoleonic Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies as the best sanctioned Superior Graduate Schools in Italy.

Pisa , The Leaning Tower , what else? Top 10 things !

When Pisa is mentioned, everybody thinks about its tower,  but this impressive “Leaning Bell Tower” it’s just one of the many monuments you can find in this nice Tuscan city.

The beautiful “Piazza del Duomo” collects, in a unique architectural complex in the world, the so called “Campo dei  Miracoli (Miracles Square), the main religious monuments of the city: the Tower,the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the “Campo Santo” (the graveyard).  Pisa, however, it’s not just about this square: it will be enough to move just a little to discover the artistic beauty that make Pisa one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Buildings, monuments and museums keep alive the memory of a past time during which Pisa was the  Maritime Republic and, for a long time, the undisputed master of the Mediterranean sea . 

1. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa: the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Symbol of the city, thanks to its characteristic slope, this tower is the most famous monument of “Piazza del Duomo” and it was built between the XII and the XIV century.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa  leans because the ground gave during its early stage of construction, and since then it has remained in this way. Even if it could looks scaring, you don’t have to worry about it: the vertical axis, passing through its centre of gravity, falls into the support base, so the tower will never fall down, unless the laws of physics should be subverted. We don’t have certain informations about who built this tower, maybe it was the architect Diotisalvi, who in that period was working at the Baptistery. But even if there are several analogies between the two monuments the diatribe about the paternity of the tower is still open.  

2. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa:the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Pisa

The Cathedral of Pisa, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, is the most significant example of the Pisa Romanesque Art.

The architect Buscheto joined the classical tradition with elements from the Norman, Byzantine, Pre-Christian and Arabic Arts, creating a new style which anticipated the Florentine Renaissance. It testifies the prestige that the Maritime Republic of Pisa reached in its moment of maximum power. Its construction began in 1604, in the same date of the beginning of the works of  the Basilica of San Marco in Venice; probably it was risen a sort of silent competition between the two Republics for who was able to build the most beautiful and sumptuous worship place. The current aspect of the the Cathedral of Pisa is the result of continues restauration works made in different epochs. During the IX century some of the statues has been substituted with copies, the originals are now  in the Museum of Opera del Duomo of Pisa.

3. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa: Pisa Baptistery

The Pisa Baptistery too forms the monumental complex of “Piazza del Duomo” (“Cathedral Square” or “Miracle’s Square”). Its construction began in 1153 thanks to the architect Diotisalvi, as an  inscription inside an interior pillar testifies, but a lot of the sculptures on the façade have been made by Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni.

Nicola Pisano made also the pulpit that represents scenes from the Christ’s life and subject that represents the virtues: all masterpieces testify how their creator has been one of the principals precursors of the Renaissance Art. The external dome covers only the first part of columns and probably the lack of money caused it. The dome, in fact,  is made by different materials (red shingles and lead plates); for the same reason there are no frescoes on the ceiling, even if they were on the original plan. 

 

4. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa: the monumental Graveyard of Pisa

The last wonder of “Piazza del Duomo”  is the monumental “Graveyard of Pisa”, a sacred place. The crusaders brought there the saint-ground taken on the Golgotha mountain, just outside Jerusalem.

There are buried the most important People of Pisa, and there can be found art works from the Etruscan time passing through the Roman and Medieval era until the last century. Simple white marble walls guards the graves; the most important persons were buried into the garden or in the Roman sarcophagi, while the other were buried under the arcades. In the XIX century “Graveyard of Pisa”, was restructured, the sarcophagi was moved under the arcades to protect them, so currently everything is under them. The mix between celebration of the history and the death made this “Graveyard of Pisa”, one of the most visited place during 1800 until the second world war bombardments caused serious damages to the frescoes. In 1945 started the renovation works and they are  still in progress.

5. Top 10 Things to do in PisaBanks of the Arno

Pisa is also known for its Banks of the Arno: all the streets that go along the Arno are an important point of meeting for young people and reference’s point for the tourists. There are important buildings, dated back to the Middle Age, that during the centuries have been transformed. Towers, bridges and buildings, in spite of their actual Renaissance appearance, have a medieval soul, which can’t be ignored by the eye of an attentive tourist.

Among the great number of the banks of the Arno, the most famous is the Medicean one which hosts a great number of historical buildings, such as:  Palazzo dei Medici, Palazzo Toscanelli and the church of Matteo in Soarta.  On the bank of the Arno Gambacorti there’s a small gothic jewel, the church of “Santa Maria della Spina”. It took this name in 1333 when it hosted  the relic of a spur from Christ’s Crown (now exposed in the church of “Santa Chiara”). If you are in Pisa on 16th June, you cannot miss the illustrations of San Ranieri: the backs of the Arno are illuminated by candle lights enhancing the outlines of all buildings and  creating a play of light and colors.

6. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa:”Piazza dei Cavalieri” –Knights Square in Pisa

 “Piazza dei Cavalieri” owes its name to the presence of the headquarter of the Order of Knights of St. Stephen.  For centuries it has been the site of a national civil power, even though today it’s above all a cultural and study place thanks to the presence of the  Scuola Normale of Pisa, housed in the Palace of the Caravan.

“Piazza dei Cavalieri”  is an example of Renaissance architecture designed by Giorgio Vasari, who decorated it  with allegorical figures and zodiacal signs. Close to it there is the beautiful “Palazzo dell’Orologio” (Clock Palace), medieval building in which it was built the “Torre della Fame” (Tower of Starvation). In the Divine Comedy Dante told the story that  the Count Ugolino della Gherardesca died in 1289, in that tower, with its children and grandchildren. The other buildings in the square are “Canonica”, “Palazzo del Consiglio dei Dodici”, the “Church of Santo Stefano” and the one of  “San Rocco”. At the center of the square stands the statue of Cosimo I as a Grand Master of the Knights.
 

7. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa: the Mural made by Keith Haring in Pisa

In 1989, passing through Pisa, Keith Haring left to the city an extraordinary work of art: the mural “Tuttomondo”, painted on the rear façade of the convent of the friars “Servi di  Maria” of the “Church of St. Anthony”.

The “Church of St. Anthony”.is located close to the station, in an urban context in which the artist used to expressed itself at the best. A few months later Haring would die and this mural is one of his last works. He had this idea in  New York after a casual meeting with a Pisa student with whom he talked about world peace. The characters inside the murals are 30, stuck like a puzzle, and each one represents one aspect of a world in  peace: there are “humanized” scissors defeating the evil serpent that was eating the head of the another figure.   Then there is motherhood, represented by the woman with the baby in her arms, the nature with the two men supporting the dolphin and so on.Haring used soft colors, as a form of respect for the beauty of Pisa. He worked on it for a week, with the intention of making a permanent work, in fact, he used the colors specially made by craftsmen of the Caparol Center, tempera and acrylic that could keep intact the quality of color for a long time. After 20 years “Tuttomondo” is still there to remind us the brief and intense life of this extraordinary artist.

8. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa: Narrow Borgo and Wide Borgo

If you pass through the old town centre of Pisa probably  you’ll pass through the “Narrow Borgo” (burg), or “the Borgo” as people of Pisa use to call it.

It’s the most typical street of the center, with its colonnades, the shops, the café. Along the way you can see buildings of the XIV and XV centuries that formed the nucleus of the ancient Pisa: here the noble families and merchants competed to build the most beautiful, the tallest and  colorful building. All that splendor can be seen so much today. Going along “Via delle Colonne” you can arrive in “Piazza Vettovaglie”, secular place of the food market, originally “Piazza dei Porci”. Once the arcades of “Narrow Borgo” are finished there is “Piazza del Pozzetto”.

9. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa: Marina di Pisa and its Harbour 

 

Marina di Pisa and Its Tourist Harbour  (also called simply “Marina”) is a seaside town located just 12 km from Pisa and, unlikely the majority of the Tuscan cities, its foundation is rather recent.

In 1606, Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1587 to 1609, decided to reclaim the area by moving the River Arno mouth as he believed that the south-west wind could block the normal flow of the Arno River, increasing the risk of flooding in Pisa. On the left bank there was an hexagonal building surrounded by a moat, called “the Fort”, which was the custom for the river traffic. Probably the first houses of fishermen were built around this structure, but the official foundation of the town dates back to 1872, when the municipality of Pisa drew up a plan of a grid-pattern town divided by three squares connected to Pisa by a major road, currently known as “D’Annunzio Avenue” (Viale d’Annunzio). On June 23, 1892 a steam railway line from Pisa to Marina di Pisa was inaugurated (later replaced by an electric one, no longer working as well), which contributed to its rapid growth as a tourist destination. The first restaurants were built in this area, as well as beach resorts and inns. Also many beautiful Art Nouveau and Neo-Medieval Villas were built there, therefore many celebrities chose to buy a house in this new coastal town. Gabriele D’Annunzio, a famous Italian writer, poet and journalist, brought an house here and Marina di Pisa  has been a source and inspiration of many of his poems. Marina di Pisa is  a renowned destination for summer tourism, offering many accommodation facilities. Beaches are both sandy or with pebbles, and along the coast there are many bathing facilities and restaurants. In 2013, the “Porto di Pisa” harbor was inaugurated just 10 minutes away from the city and its famous Leaning Tower and its international Airport, Galileo Galilei. It is located in the center of the most extensive nature reserve of Tuscany, the Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli, which covers about 24,000 hectares, ensuring that the view from the sea of dune plants is quite unique. The harbor has 354 seats and has been designed to be entirely walkable thus you can walk admiring the sea, the mouth of the Arno, the Apuan Alps and the port itself. Marina di Pisa offers relax and a beach break from the city, we suggest you to enjoy the seafront, a day at the (free) beaches or in a bathing establishment which is a structure with bathrooms, hot/cold showers, changing area, café and sometime restaurant. You can rent an umbrella with chairs for the day/week/month/season and the service is available seven days a week. The harbor is a perfect spot for a walk and you can have a drink or a coffee here.

 

At the end of the day you can watch the sunset by the sea at Sunset Cafè, where to relax and appreciate Food & Wine, good company and the passing of time!

 

10. Top 10 Things to do in Pisa: Night Life in Pisa

Unlike other major European cities, Pisa is far from being the most sparkling venue when it comes to nightlife opportunities.

Gven the fact that Pisa is a university city and that students represent a consistent percentage of the population, a fairly solid buzz takes hold of certain parts of Pisa at night, especially nearby the University. Students, are, as it were, the most reliable barometer as to the places fitted for drinking, making conversation and, why not, dancing and listening to live music. Thus, Pisa hosts a reasonable number of pubs, bars and clubs which yield mild and yet appealing nightlife opportunities. Tourists with a penchant for long conversations, drinking and dancing may find the center of the city to be the best fitted for their nighttime activities. “Via Lungarno” is a thoroughfare in terms of nightlife venues, the old Caffe dell’Ussero (Lungarno Pacinotti 27, Pisa, Italy) being located here for the thrill of visitors and students alike. The nearby Bazeel pub (Lungarno Pacinotti 1, Pisa, Italy) is yet another popular pub on this street, just like  Amaltea (Lungarno Mediceo 49, Pisa, Italy). All these places offer good music, a fine selection of drinks and, why not, quick snacks in the early hours of the evening. Other recommendable venues in the city of Pisa refer to:  Pick a Flower  (Via Della Sapienza 7, Pisa, Italy)  and the Borderline Club (Via G. Vernaccini 7, Pisa, Italy) have to offer.  Teatro Verdi (Via Palestro 40, Pisa, Italy) is yet another option, and this venue hosts both opera and theater representations, which is always a tempting and pleasant manner of spending evenings for enthusiasts of this kind of performances. During summer nighttime buzz seems to shift from Pisa to the nearby Coastline Resorts, such as Tirrenia, Viareggio and Marina di Pisa. If accommodated in Pisa, a trip to one of these resorts is worth making, if for nothing else, than for sampling the wonderful nightlife opportunities they put forward!

Things to eat in Pisa

Pisa Gastronomy isn’t very popular, because it isn’t very different from the Tuscany one, even if it’s more spiced and abundant . 

Here below  it is the ultimate list of top 10 Foods you must eat in Tuscany with links to  recipes.

 

Lampredotto sandwich

1. Lampredotto (Street Food)

Crostini toscani

2. Crostini Toscani (Starter)

Panzanella

3. Panzanella  (First Course or Starter)

Lardo di Colonnata

4. Lardo di Colonnata (Cured meet served as Starter)

Ribollita

5. Ribollita (First Course)

Pappa al pomodoro

6. Pappa al Pomodoro (First Course)

Caciucco

7. Cacciucco (Fish Stew)

Bistecca alla fiorentina

8. Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Meat)

Castagnaccio

9. Castagnaccio (Dessert)

oliven oil

10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

11. Tuscany Wine 

 

Where to sleep in Pisa

Pisa attracts about 1 million of different tourists: there are many foreigners, Italians who visit for a school weekend, many trips and even a good number of people who commute to the city to take advantage of the excellent local hospitals.

It’s therefore not easy to find a cheap room, especially in high season and during periods of school trips. I suggest, therefore, to book in advance especially if you want three stars midrange hotels in the tourist areas. Hotel prices in the center start from 80 € per night in a double room including breakfast. A good alternative are the hotels and cottages on the outskirts of Pisa. If you are looking for a right accomodation in Pisa, go to Booking.com . There is a big choice  with prices, pictures  and comments of guests already stayed there. 

Travelers come from all locations of the world to discover the Beauty of Pisa for several reasons: Art, Culture, Friendly People, Wine & Food, extraordinary country side ,  attractive beaches and  weather (spring and late summer are the best times to visit  Pisa)

Click  here Pisa Unica Terra  and discover what you can experience in this Beautiful City!

Enjoy It ! 

Stefania