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Likely of Phoenician origin, Pisa was first settled by the Ligurians and then inhabited by the Etruscans, who left many signs of their passage. The real development of the city occurred in the Roman era, with the present layout of the most ancient part of the city clearly indicating the presence of the Romans. At that time in history, Pisa was a coastal town and a major Roman naval base. In the early Middle Ages, Pisa continued as a lively port and a rich commercial center, and was one of the four Maritime Republics alongside Genoa, Venice and Amalfi, which each fought for control of the very important waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Click here to see the full Pisa travel guide on Travel42 »
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