San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno

Known locally as Duomo Vecchio or Old Cathedral, the San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in Pisa. It is also one of the city's oldest buildings, dating back to the early 10th-century if not before.

The church's interior is a pleasingly simple configuration of an Egyptian-cross apse and three naves. It contains a Roman sarcophagus housing the body of Burgundio, a noted 13th-century philologist.

Over the centuries the church has belonged to the Benedictine and Vallombrosiani orders and then the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen. One legend linked to the church is that in the late-12th-century, a famous poet, Pier delle Vigne, committed suicide nearby after being falsely accused of betraying his lord, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.

While visiting the Church of San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno, visitors should take some time to admire the charming Chapel of St. Agatha which lies just behind it.