The discovery of the ancient port city of Pisa, the Etruscan and Roman ruins is one of those events that will leave a profound mark on the knowledge of the history of Mediterranean civilizations. There was talk (and talk about it again and better over the years to come) to "dig Wonderland" and, with some exaggeration, the discovery of the "Pompeii of the Sea." And there is no doubt that we are facing one of those sudden revelations that only now can give us archeology. One of those raids that in the distant past, forcing us to rewrite major pieces of our history, they end up having a considerable effect on our future. Certainly the discovery of the ancient port that encompasses an entire millennium (from the fifth century BC to the fifth after) is bound to strengthen and partly to change the tourist image of Pisa, a city known worldwide for its Leaning Tower, but almost burdened by a stereotypical tourist who at one time played an overwhelming of his identity. And never as in this case is half of the unconscious of a city that, incredibly, you drag and melancholy moods precisely because of the unsolved problems of history and an abrupt end yesterday, but did not occurred in 1284 when the fleet of Genoa, Pisa beating that put an end to a dream of glory that had the appearance of an imperial project. Would want to say – a little ‘too far and a little’ telling the truth – that even today the Pisan fail over it. Guilt also a fine writer by the name of Rudolf Borchardt, well known in the early twentieth century, who in 1932 wrote a book titled Wilhelmine of intense nostalgia Pisa, the loneliness of an empire (Nistri-Lischi publisher) if ever there was suggestive and overflowing in the heat of his historical imagination. It’s required reading, supplied with a robust, critical spirit, but it will have to propose some kind of summary we can speak of an "ideal conception of Pisa as the nucleus of a world empire in the old way."
Borchardt stage diagram depicting the Ghibellines of Pisa, XII and XIII century as a maritime reference arm and the emperors in Italy and the Mediterranean. More than armed, he says, Pisa was the driving force of an imperial project that certainly needed the largest German power but that could not be achieved except through the consecration of Pisa as its capital and spiritual center. The explanation lies in reading the whole originality of Pisa, whose story "so alien to the Italian character – here is the keystone of the thought of Borchardt – does not belong to the history of Italy," but that of a "perfect arc of the sea" that practically sums up the entire perimeter of the Mediterranean.
We know that this project (it was real or virtual) could not be realized and still is a fact that the canonical date of the beginning of the decline of Pisa (in fact, the defeat of Meloria of 1284) is shortly after the death of Emperor Swabian Frederick I (1250) that the imperial project was inscrutable, but the undisputed interpreter.
Borchardt’s vision, as enforced, has proved so attractive and rewarding for the ego to become Pisa itself a piece of its history. For a people who have suffered for centuries the rule of Florence, who has fought bitterly with Lucca and poorly endured the birth and development of the port of Livorno, Tuscany inland to the shoulders and feel happily extrapolated from the events of communal quarrelsome was a formidable and comforting way out of the depression gained in the long tunnel of decadence. In fact, this consolation was not and could not be decisive. In some respects heightened so the regret and frustration of not having been able to achieve such an ambitious historical project. Pisa has long been left to describe how a city marked by "solitude", "solitary and silent," "almost empty", "the shadow of what had once been." And all this in spite of its monuments and a climate so healthy to be able to retain even Giacomo Leopardi. Which, however, for this he needed to apologize to her friend, writing: "I fear that I fall in love too much of Pisa, but console yourself that I’m out of this danger. I do not see Pisa, I only go nowhere except to walk. " The "lonely" was in fact a form of detachment and estrangement. It is in fact an expression that recurs so frequently in the diaries of lovers of the grand tour to suggest that the Pisan have done so, over time, to break away from the legacies of extraordinary artistic and architectural value that the ancient maritime power had poured the city. Not surprisingly, the Piazza dei Miracoli, which lays her jewelry (the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Tower and the Cemetery) is incomprehensible in a green carpet, living in splendid isolation peripheral individually away from the modern city center, it is not known though to be better preserved for the enjoyment of tourists or to be kept at a safe distance instead of a daily life that they want and maybe we should not ignore, I wonder.
Of course this gives additional charm to Pisa and makes it even more memorable (and intriguing) a visit that does not want to stop at the surface and a desire to penetrate the mysteries of a city that has aroused great hatred and great loves. But wanting to think in terms of identity as a people and a culture, we can not escape the impression that the discovery of the port seems destined to have a liberating effect for the troubled psychology of Pisa.
It might help soothe the wounds open seven centuries after the defeat of Meloria and finally free from the tourist image of the city unbearable slope of the dictatorship of the Tower. This finding, wrote in an essay admirably Stefano Bruni of the first volume of Pisa over the centuries, "has been opened a few chinks in the oldest story of the settlement of Pisa, taking away the character of the ancient city without the apparent lack of antiquities archaeological remains that had conferred. " It is as if suddenly he found Pisa, with its Pompeii, the deep roots of its history so far had remained surprisingly hidden.
It is noble roots that give birth in the heart of ancient civilization and that, once again, back to the sea, the sea that it was inexplicably removed.
It is truly a wonderful adventure today I tried to peer Pisa with different eyes, trying to distinguish the true likelihood, the history of literature, the ancient from the modern, the ancestral memories stored in the unconscious collective rationality of the quiet life of all day.
Going to Pisa, you can always stare in front of the inclination of the Tower. But if you really want to know this amazing city and gain the attention of Pisa try to look up and see if the sea horizon is outlined.
Aldo Canale, journalist and publisher