Janet Ross e Nelly Erichsen – Pisa, The Appearance of the City ; Walls, Towers, Bridges, and Embankments – 1

Pisa - Lungarno - 2013 07 02 - DSCF0884
Pisa – Arno


“Pisa is a very great city with about 10,000 turreted houses for battle at time of strife. . . . The city is not surrounded by a wall.” 

The Itinerary of Benjamin da Tudela, circa 1170.

“… E guardate da … gran Torri ch’n tutto’l mondo non si trovan tali.” 

Sixteenth century MS. 

” Within the surface of the fleeting river
The wrinkled image of the city lay,
Immovably unquiet, and for ever
It trembles, but it never fades away.” 

Evening : Ponte a Mare, Pisa. Shelley.


Pisa, now a sedate and rather plain city, still shows traces of her former greatness. The wide circumference of the walls, the spacious streets and a certain largeness of design, remind us that instead of the mere capital of a province she was planned to be the centre of a powerful Republic.

The city lies in a rich and fertile plain. Marshes have given place to rich cultivation. Corn, vines and pine-trees grow luxuriantly on soil that once was covered with pools of stagnant water which exhaled malaria.

The situation is open, and pleasant breezes come from the sea, distant about six and a quarter miles to the west, while the mountains that girdle her in on three sides, the Monti Pisani on the north and east, the Colline Pisane on the south, ward off the cold winter winds and give to Pisa her reputation as a warm winter residence.

Almost square in form, the city is divided into two irregular portions by the Arno. A Florentine in the fifteenth century compared the beautiful curve of the river to the arch of a crossbow, while to modern eyes it suggests an almost perfect crescent.

The Arno  is a statelier stream here than at Florence ; broad and full, having gathered the waters of many affluents it rushes swiftly through the city, eager for the sea.

So strong is the current that from time immemorial it has been necessary to save the Pisan palaces from its fierce embraces by penning it within quays, more than two miles long.



( From the book “The Story of Pisa” by Janet Ross and Nelly Erichsen – Illustrade by Nelly Erichsen – London : J.M. Dent & Co, Aldine House, 29 and 30 Bedfod Street Covent Garden, W.C. – 1909  )


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Pisa – Lungarno


Pisa - Giardino Scotto - 2013 07 02 - DSCF0892
Pisa – Giardino Scotto – Interno


Pisa - Giardino Scotto - 2013 07 02 - DSCF0893
Pisa – Giardino Scotto – Esterno

5 commenti Aggiungi il tuo

  1. kethuprofumo ha detto:

    Che bellezza! Grazie! Buona settimana! 🙂

    "Mi piace"

    1. Carlo Rossi ha detto:

      Grazie, buona settimana anche a te.

      Piace a 1 persona

  2. newwhitebear ha detto:

    internazionale sei diventato 😀

    "Mi piace"

    1. Carlo Rossi ha detto:


      Piace a 1 persona


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