Pisa’s Piazza del Duomo – dominated by the Cathedral, Baptistery, Bell Tower and Camposanto – is an architectural entity characterized by a truly surprising stylistic conformity, so much so that it was once compared by Le Corbusier to the acropolis of Athens (Voyage d’Orient, 1911). The choice of materials, with the almost absolute supremacy of white marble, and the constant presence of blind arches at the base and small walkable loggias in the upper orders suggest a unitary project, seemingly the expression of a group of close-knit artists all working at the same site over a relatively short period of time. However, it is actually the result of a long process that has seen the alternation of various architects, sculptors and painters at work over the course of more than three centuries, including some of the great figures who marked their era. The architectural project, which arranges the volumes according to an order of calculated perfection, prevails over the entire site, giving life to a truly monumental complex.
PACINI Editore, New version 2020
Translated by Janice Loggans and Jeremy Carden for NTL