Sunday, September 23, 2007

Battle of the Biggest

When tourists and fellow students visit Pisa, most travelers are aware only of the predominate tower that gives Pisa its claim to fame. But Pisa is known for more, and those of us who call Genova our home should definitely be aware of Pisa’s potential. From as far back as the 11th century, Genova and Pisa were engaged in a fight for the rule of the seas, both of the cities being maritime powerhouses. The first battle between the two cities was in 1060, in which Pisa won and gained superiority of power in the Mediterranean. Genova struck back, and the rivalry continued. The cities fought for a greater part of the 12th century, raiding and pirating up and down the others coastline. The Pope Innocent II stepped in to reestablish peace, and the treaty lasted for 30 years, until the Genovese attacked a trading vessel of Pisa. The cities remained bitter rivals and enemies, which cumulated with Genova herself being held under siege. Genova bounced back from this defeat and with a resounding victory against the greater numbers of the Pisan fleet in 1284, Pisa forever became subdominant to Genova’s maritime power, and remains to this day only famous because of a tilting tower.

No comments: