The ancient Roman ships of Pisa

PISA – Lorena’s stalls to museum and auditorium

18 October 2015 THE TIRRENO

The building is going to become a structure at the service of the near exposition of the ancient ships. Also provided an area to sale local products. Its capacity is for about 600 people.

PISA- What President Mattarella saw (and inaugurated) yesterday is more or less similar to what the inhabitants of Pisa had seen for the first time on occasion of the inauguration in 1329, even though with the difference of 7 centuries of history. After the  restoration, the Republican Arsenals have gone back to the original structure of 1300: the presidential visit can be considered as a backward travel along 700 years.

Over 4 millions. The initial permission for the project given by the Superintendance and the work done by the experts of Lattanzi- the roman enterprise winner of the tender notice- have guaranteed the recovery of the historical building in the ancient Darsena of Pisa: because of its peculiar archaeological feautures, the intervention has been defined as a real philological restoration  by art history experts. Its realization has cost 4,3 millions within Piuss projects, financed  by the Region (european funds) and  40% by the City of Pisa. It has been one of the most complex and exacting Piuss projects that are changing the face of the city, also inculding the riqualification of Torre Guelfa and Cittadella, which are situated in front of it.

History. The ribbon cutting ceremony gives back to the city a privileged area that is going to become one of the main touristic attractions, a service centre and a functional expositive area for the Ships Museum and the close Cittadella Galileiana. In this way is it possible to fix decades of carelessness of such a symbolic place of Pisa’s history: the walls and the interior of the Arsenals preserve the great story of this building, previously at the service of Pisa’s naval force, then of Medici’s naval policy, then turned into private stall of Lorena family, until becoming important barracks of Savoia.

What it used to be. The intervention of restoration of the Arsenals, started after  a long period of archeaological excavations, has been defined philological since it aims at preserving and recovering all the internal structures that facilitate the recognition of the different intended uses of the buillding along 7 centuries.

Also, important recover and preservation of part of the pavement, the tanks and the cisterns of 16th century, where the grain of “Biscottificio mediceo” (that is the factory of crackers and dry and long-life focaccia bread, main food of soldiers and sailors) used to be minced and preserved. It was realized under the great spans of Republican Arsenals throughout Cosimo I de Medici’s Reign: the sovereing, promoter of the maritime vocation’s relaunch of Granducato, found a central element of this politics in the riqualification of Tersania, old dockyard of the Maritime Republic of Pisa.

What it is going to be. The Arsenals are destinated to the use of museum, auditorium, retail space of local products with capacity of 600 people. A preliminary study for a tender notice inclusive of the fortalice of Cittadella is now in progress. Also included activities at the service of the Ships Museum which is situated close to it. In this way, the connection between the two arsenals  – that marked the relaunch of the naval force of Pisa between 1500 and 1700- will be recreated. Even though the vocation won’t be anymore marinare, but markedly touristic.