Amidst a rolling field just a few miles from Pisa lies the stark and impressive Basilica of San Piero a Grado, an extraordinary example of Romanesque architecture. According to popular tradition, it was founded on the very spot that Saint Peter, the apostle destined to become the first pope, first touched Italian soil.
The present structure was erected at the turn of 11th century on the foundations of a 5th century basilica and Roman ruins (likely shops and urban edifices). For millennia legend has maintained that Saint Peter disembarked here on his way to Rome in order to celebrate the first mass ever conducted in Italy, subsequently making the church a major point of pilgrimage.
In fact, in centuries past, before the Arno changed its course away from the coast, the church sat very close to the port of Pisa. Our tour will explore the secrets of this centuries-old edifice, beginning the archeological excavations in the central nave, still surrounded by Roman columns re-purposed to erect the basilica. Glancing upwards, our attention will be captured by the awe-inspiring fresco cycles, produced for the occasion of the Jubilee of 1300, which recount the life of Saint Peter from his first meeting with Christ to Constantine’s dream and the foundation of the Church of Saint Peter in Rome.
Length: approximately 1 hour*
Cost: 120 €
* Indicates the length of a standard tour, Indicates the duration of a standard tour, which can be shortened or lengthened according to your wishes and compatibility with the type of excursion.