Pisa is, of course, famous for its Leaning Tower -- a bell tower, or campanile, within the medieval Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) cathedral complex. The Tower began leaning when only three of its eight storys were finished. It also served as observatory for Pisa's hometown astronomer, Galileo Galilei, who was imprisoned by the Inquisition for supporting that heretical idea about the Earth revolving around the sun. The Tower is still leaning, too, so much so that it's now closed to the public.
Pisa is situated at the mouth of the Arno River, 10 km inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea, in west-central Italy's Tuscany Region. It's one of Italy's oldest towns, with Etruscan origins going back 3,000 years. A prime port in Roman times, Pisa became a power in its own right, fighting wars with Florence, Lucca, and Genoa, before bowing to the latter in 1284, which began a long period of decline.
Modern Pisa is home to around 105,000 people. Services and tourism are mainstays of the local economy, with textiles, pharmaceuticals, glass, and foodstuffs produced in the industrial sector.
The Campo dei Miracoli are a hard act to follow, but visitors won't be disappointed by Pisa's Renaissance architecture and peaceful strolls along the Arno River banks. The culture and ambience of a thriving college town are offered as well, thanks to the esteemed University of Pisa, which recently celebrated its 650th birthday.