Facts and History
of Pisa for Cruisers
to Livorno Cruise Port

Brief History of Pisa
for Travelers to Livorno Cruise Port

Updated: May 20, 2023

Pisa sits where two rivers meet, the Arno and the Serchio. Because of its access to waterways, it was a great place to house fleets of ships.

Photo of engraving of Piazza dei Miracoli Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Piazza dei Miracoli (engraving)

Photo: Public Domain

According to historical records, Pisa’s fleet was among the most efficient in all of Italy defending much of the western seaboard of Italy.

When Pisa sided with Rome, it became the naval base for the Roman fleet while fighting against the Ligurians and the Gauls. The goal of the Roman Empire was to subjugate Corsica, Sardinia, and other coastal zones, and Pisa was its main naval base.

In medieval Pisa, the Christian influences began to be even more noticeable. Many believe Saint Peter, who landed in Pisa in 47 AD, made the first Christian introduction in the area.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Pisa was ruled by the Lombardi, followed by the Franks. The city became focused on sea matters, which led to conflict with the Saracens who ruled the Mediterranean.

Eventually, the Pisans conquered both Sardinia and Corsica giving them control of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Pope then gave permission for the fleet to head to Sicily to support Norman Roger against the Saracens.

Once this battle was won they came home with enough money to begin the construction of the cathedral.

Due to their superiority in the west, Pisa was in constant conflict with Genoa. Their rivalry led to Pisa being excommunicated by the Pope, as Genoa was more willing to comply with Imperial rules and regulations.

The reunification of Italy in the 1800s helped put Pisa back on the map. With Papal recognition, Pisa was also recognized as playing an important role in Italian history and modern trade.


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