Many know that Galileo Galilei, the famous 16th-17th century physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher involved in the Scientific Revolution, was born in Pisa. Yet despite this fact, not even all Pisans know that the city boasts a number of places connected to the “Father of Modern Science”. During the Internet Festival of Pisa, visitors were given the chance to follow Galileo tours conducted by local guides, and many were surprised to discover the number of places linked to Galileo.
Want to see them all? Start your tour in Pisa's most famous area: piazza dei Miracoli, known worldwide for its famed Leaning Tower, the impressive cathedral and baptistery. It's here that Galileo's story begins, as it's where Galileo was baptized (inside the cathedral) and consecrated as a scientist.
The tour continues at the end of the square in front of the Opera della Primaziale Pisana building, which conserves Galileo's certificate of baptism. Despite Galileo's breathing difficulties at birth, his parents maintained great expectations for their son. For this reason, they chose a first name (Galileo) similar to the family name (Galilei). The third part of the tour takes you to piazza dei Cavalieri, only a few meters from piazza dei Miracoli. To reach this square, walk along via Benedetto Castelli, named after Galileo's successor at the University of Pisa. The famous Medici family, one of the most influential families of the time, supported Galileo's professorship at the esteemed University of Pisa.
The fourth part takes you to Borgo Stretto, one of the Pisa's most noteworthy streets, today considered one of the city's top fashion zones. Here, pay close attention to Palazzo Bocca, where you'll find a plaque recalling the time period when the Galilei family lived in the corner house on via Mercanti. Just up ahead, you’ll find the magnificent Church of San Michele in Borgo. For the fifth part of your tour, head to piazza delle Vettovaglie, where Galileo stayed as student and later in life while teaching in Pisa from 1581 to 1586.
The sixth stage of your tour involves the Palazzo della Sapienza, a structure where Pisa's Department of Law was established. Here, you'll find an Aries, a symbol of the Medici family. In the last stage of your tour, head to the National Museum of the Royal Palace designed by Buontalenti. For centuries it was home to the reigning Medici, Lorraine and Savoy families, now filled with furnishings from the 17th-19th centuries, including paintings, armor and tapestries. The structure's most amazing feature is the view of Pisa from above, as seen from the Torre della Verga d’Oro.