Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri

Historic, ornate and full of fascinating exhibits, the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri should be part of any Pisan itinerary. It was the work of Giorgio Vasari in the 16th-century and was where the Knights of the Order of St. Stephan worshipped when they weren't fighting pirates on the high seas.

The white marble exterior makes the church a highlight of the Piazza dei Cavalieri.

Inside are reminders of the province's many battles on the high seas and dotted among these military and naval exhibits are colorful banners seized from Saracen pirates.

Visitors should take a moment to look up at the impressive painted ceiling. Surrounded by blue and gold stucco work, the ceiling's panels depict events from the order's military history. Look out in particular for Jacopo da Empoli's Victory in the Greek Archipelago.

Also worthy of a mention is the elaborate 18th-century altar, sculpted by Giovanni Battista Foggini. This features a statue and a bronze relief of St. Stephen, one depicts him before his decapitation and one after.