Province of Pisa:
According to tradition, the Basilica of San Piero a Grado was
built where Saint Peter landed after coming from Antioch in the 44 AD.
The present building, in tufa, dates back to the XI century, while the
western side and the bell tower (partially destroyed during WW2) date
back to the XII century.
At the end of the XII century, the church was mysteriously shortened to
about a quarter of its original length, resulting in the demolition of
the early façade and four rows of arches to make way for a building
without windows but with a new façade and altar. Repeated shapes such as
pilaster strips and single-windows make this church one of the first
examples of the Pisan-Romanesque architecture.
Inside, the church is divided into three naves with recycled columns and
capitals. In the vast central nave, there are frescoes representing “Scenes
from the Life of Saints Peter and Paul” and “Popes Portraits”, which
Deodato Orlandi painted in the XIV century.
The visit takes about 1 hour, but depending on your interests and time
constraints, the tour could be extended. Following a short bus excursion,
you could have a spectacular panoramic view of the Church and its
surroundings, with the Meditherranean Sea in the background.