Pisa is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea.
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City is home to the University of Pisa, which has a history going back to the 12th century, the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, founded by Napoleon in 1810, and its offshoot, the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies.
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Maritime role of Pisa should have been already prominent if the ancient authorities ascribed to it the invention of the naval ram.
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Pisa took advantage of being the only port along the western coast between Genoa and Ostia.
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Pisa served as a base for Roman naval expeditions against Ligurians and Gauls.
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In 930, Pisa became the county centre within the mark of Tuscia.
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Pisa was in continuous conflict with some 'Saracens' - a medieval term to refer to Arab Muslims - who had their bases in Corsica, for control of the Mediterranean.
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Between 1030 and 1035, Pisa went on to defeat several rival towns in Sicily and conquer Carthage in North Africa.
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For some years of that century, Pisa was the most prominent commercial and military ally of the Byzantine Empire, overcoming Venice itself.
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The war that followed ended in 1206 with a treaty in which Pisa gave up all its hopes to expand in the Adriatic, though it maintained the trading posts it had established in the area.
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The region around Pisa did not permit the city to recover from the loss of thousands of sailors from the Meloria, while Liguria guaranteed enough sailors to Genoa.
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Always Ghibelline, Pisa tried to build up its power in the course of the 14th century, and even managed to defeat Florence in the Battle of Montecatini, under the command of Uguccione della Faggiuola.
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In 1409, Pisa was the seat of a council trying to set the question of the Great Schism.
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Vitellozzo Vitelli with his brother Paolo were the only ones who actually managed to break the strong defences of Pisa and make a breach in the Stampace bastion in the southern west part of the walls, but he did not enter the city.
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Pisa was the birthplace of the important early physicist Galileo Galilei.
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Since the early 1950s, the US Army has maintained Camp Darby just outside Pisa, which is used by many US military personnel as a base for vacations in the area.
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In Pisa there was a festival and game fr:Gioco del Ponte which was celebrated in Pisa from perhaps the 1200s down to 1807.
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Pisa, currently plays in the Serie B, and has had a top flight history throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, featuring several world-class players such as Diego Simeone, Christian Vieri and Dunga during this time.
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Pisa Centrale is the main railway station and is located along the Tyrrhenic railway line.
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