map

Knights' Square (Pisa)

icon-location-red

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

P.za dei Cavalieri, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 5

Find it on google maps

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)
expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Visit Knights' Square early in the morning to capture the perfect photograph of the historic architecture without the crowds, and don't miss the hidden courtyard of the Scuola Normale Superiore, where you can often find free art exhibitions curated by the university students."

What is Knights' Square (Pisa)?

Knights' Square, known locally as Piazza dei Cavalieri, is a historical and cultural hub located in the heart of Pisa, Tuscany. Surrounded by remarkable buildings with intricate facades, this square has been the focal point of power in the city since medieval times. It is notably different from the more tourist-frequented Leaning Tower and Piazza dei Miracoli, offering a glimpse into the civic heart of Pisa’s past. Knights' Square is where the city's aristocracy converged, where learning thrived at the Scuola Normale Superiore, and where grand ducal events unfolded beneath its historic arches.

Our Most Popular Tour:

All-Inclusive
Tuscany Vistas & Villages Tour

Tuscacy Vistas & Villages TourEmbark on an enchanting journey through the rolling countryside and dreamy landscapes of Tuscany with our exclusive Tuscany Vi...

US$119/pp Learn more

History of Knights' Square

Knights' Square has a layered history, deeply intertwined with the politics and education of Pisa. It was once the headquarters of the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen, founded by Duke Cosimo I de' Medici in the mid-16th century to fight piracy in the Mediterranean. The square was remodeled by the famous Florentine architect Giorgio Vasari, transforming it into a symbol of Medicean power. Over centuries, this space has witnessed various regimes and uses, reflecting the changing tides of Pisa's governance and cultural influence. It has been a stage for grand ceremonies, a citadel for important military orders, and even a playground for nobility.

As a local, I've heard stories passed down about how the square served as the intellectual pulse of the city, especially after the establishment of the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore in 1810, which was an initiative by Napoleon Bonaparte to create an institution of higher education. This school, set within the historical walls of the Palazzo della Carovana, resides on the square and continues to influence the city's academic reputation to this day.

Why is Knights' Square Important?

Knights' Square is an emblem of Pisan identity, a testament to the city's resilience and intellectual spirit. Its architectural grandeur tells stories of glory and prestige. Among these storied edifices, the square is home to the Palazzo della Carovana with its exquisite sgraffito-decorated façade, a visual narrative of Pisa’s nobility and past splendors. It has served as the crucible for knowledge and power, shaping the culture and political landscape of Pisa over the ages.

This square is also a reminder of Pisa’s shifting roles through history—from a maritime republic formidable in trade and war to a hub of academic excellence. Its importance lies beyond mere aesthetics; it is a cultural and educational landmark, a place where the past convenes with the present, where students of the Scuola Normale tread paths once walked by knights.

Things to Do & See at Knights' Square

Visitors to Knights' Square can embark on a journey through time. You'll marvel at the astounding architecture of Palazzo della Carovana, with intricate facades designed by Vasari, now housing the Scuola Normale Superiore. Take a moment to appreciate the Palazzo del Consiglio dei Dodici, which boasts historical significance as the former meeting place of the city's Council of Twelve.

Strolling around, you may also encounter the statue of Cosimo I de' Medici, standing as a powerful symbol of the Medici rule. Another key sight is the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, designed by Vasari, which harbors artwork by Donatello and other master craftsmen – it's a treasure trove for art lovers. And don’t miss the chance to peek inside the Scuola Normale Superiore's library if it is open to the public; it's an intellectual sanctuary housing centuries of knowledge.

For those with a taste for less tangible experiences, the square's atmosphere is itself an allure. The square’s dialogue between shadow and light, the echoing footsteps against the cobblestone, and the rustle of students shuffling between lectures; all contribute to the living history here. If you linger into the evening, the piazza transforms as the golden hour bathes the historic stones in a warm glow, calling for quiet contemplation amidst the hum of local life. Participating in a local walking tour can also uncover hidden stories that most visitors never hear—like legend has it, the ghost of a Medici prince still roams the square on moonless nights.

Our Top Trending Tuscany Tours:

  • All-Inclusive

    Tuscany Seaside & Scenery Tour

    US$119/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Tuscany Wine & Wellness Tour

    US$119/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Tuscany Artisan Adventures Tour

    US$119/pp Learn more

Frequently asked questions

What is Knights' Square in Pisa?

Knights' Square is a historical and cultural plaza in Pisa, Tuscany, known for its medieval architecture and significant past as the political and civic heart of the city during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

What are the main attractions in Knights' Square?

The main attractions in Knights' Square include the Palazzo della Carovana, the church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, and the statue of Cosimo I de' Medici, among other historical buildings and monuments.

Can you visit Knights' Square for free?

Yes, Knights' Square is a public outdoor square and can be visited for free at any time, although some individual buildings and museums within the square may charge an entrance fee.

How can I get to Knights' Square in Pisa?

Knights' Square is located centrally in Pisa and is easily accessible on foot from other major landmarks such as the Pisa Cathedral and the Leaning Tower. Public transportation and taxi services are also available in Pisa.

Are there guided tours available for Knights' Square?

Guided tours are often available and can provide in-depth historical context about Knights' Square and its significant structures. These tours may be booked independently or as part of a larger city tour.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

P.za dei Cavalieri, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 5

Find it on google maps