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Piazza dei Cavalieri

Second only to the more famous Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa's Piazza dei Cavalieri was one of the most important urban centres in the city and still today is home to a renowned cultural pole, the Scuola Normale di Pisa, famous the world over for the quality of its teaching.

In the Middle Ages Piazza dei Cavalieri was home to Pisa's marketplace, and therefore home to many buildings intended for running the city: in the Palazzo dell'Orologio for example, lived the Capo del Populo (Leader of the People), while nearby is the Torre della Muda, famous for being the tomb of Count Ugolino, protagonist of one of the most famous parts of the Divine Comedy.
During the Renaissance the piazza changed its intended use when the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen Pope and martyr was founded, which became a place for papal rule.

It was Giorgio Vasari, a well-known name for lovers of Italian history and art, to put his hand to the appearance of the square and adapt it to its new task.

It was at that time that the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri was built, on the ruins of the church of San Sebastiano at the Fabbriche Maggiore, within which you can admire precious works such as the Natività di Cristo by Bronzino and the beautiful altar by Giovanni Battista Foggini. Palazzo della Carovana, which should have been the headquarters for the Order, is today home to the Scuola Normale di Pisa, and is home to many precious sixteenth century frescoes and paintings by Giovan Battista Naldini, Francesco del Brina and Carlo Portelli.