Via Pietro Toselli, with excavations
Via P. Toselli is the extension of via S. Martino beyond the Logge dei Banchi, and leads to the Lungarno beside Palazzo Blu. It was the main street in the “chapel” of S. Cristina in Chinzica, once a very lively area of the city, partlybecause until the 12th century the only bridge crossing the river Arno was here and partly because in the middle ages via S. Martino and via Toselli were part of the ancient via Aemilia Scauri, later called Carraia Maiore, the main road that led from Florence and Rome.
In this street it is possible to admire the original structures of the handsome buildings that face the river, for example, the loggias of palazzo Gambacorti and the now bricked-in structures of Palazzo Mosca. On the opposite side of the street are tower houses (case torri), with decorative terracotta motifs on the arches and coats of arms from several ages, arched alleyways and overhead passages.
Almost at the end is the Casa del Nero, where the supporting structures of stone pillars and round brick arches is clearly visible on the façade facing the street. Beside it there was a similar ancient tower connected to it by a pointed arch over an alleyway. The tower, with other three buildings, had to be demolished because of bomb damage in 1943 but before recent re-building began, the site was thoroughly examined. Archaeologists were able to understand the history of these homes. They were built before the chapel, beside the church of S. Cristina. In the central middle ages, they were inhabited by rich families of craftsmen and aristocrats and later, after the conquest of Pisa in the 16th century, by Florentine families. Archaeological research brought to light many extremely interesting objects of daily use.