Pisa: More Than the Leaning Tower
We’d been to Pisa years ago when our children were small. I can’t even remember if we explored much more than Piazza dei Miracoli.
Yes, that “Piazza of the Miracles” is certainly something miraculous and Pisa’s glory.
But this university town hides many treasures as we discovered thanks to Andrea, young doctor and son of an old friend who’d spent his university years here and showed us the “undiscovered Pisa.” Andrea led us down winding porticoed alleyways lined with stuccoed Renaissance buildings of warm earth colors, past frescoed palazzi, towering case torri, vaulted market piazzas, medieval churches, to a bridge spanning the Arno and vaulted market squares.
…and here are just a few of the Pisa splendors Andrea unveiled to us:
And before our Pisa wanders, Andrea took us to a favorite eating spot, Osteria dei Cavalieri.
We’d just returned from the island of Elba and a few days of tasting seafood creations and now it was time for la cucina di terra (“cuisine of the land”), Pisa variation.
Andrea’s pasta choice was a homemade pasta with ricotta salata and eggplant while I tried a local specialty: wild boar pasta with bits of carrots and juniper berries. Pasta did not appeal to Pino who opted for ossobuco with saffron rice on the side.
Desserts tempted but all we could do was share one among the three of us, a semifreddo croccante. But the translation – “crispy/crunchy chilled ice-cream-llike dessert” – doesn’t convey the magic.
You really just have to head to Osteria dei Cavalieri taste it.
….and when you do, be sure to explore the wonders of Pisa all around you.
Andrea, mille grazie for sharing with us your Pisa.