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Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri

Discover fascinating relics from battles fought by Pisa’s knights or admire the architecture by Giorgio Vasari at this historic church.

The Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri is one of Pisa’s many fascinating historical monuments. The white marble exterior makes the church one of the most opulent structures on Piazza dei Cavalieri and one of the most photographed buildings in the area. The church was built when the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen was founded.

While largely the architectural work of Giorgio Vasari, the man behind the Knight’s Square and the nearby Palazzo della Carovana, the church’s exterior was designed by the illegitimate son of the first Duke of Tuscany. Inside, the church resembles a military museum as much as a place of worship, with banners seized from Saracen pirates sitting alongside other military relics.

The interior’s main feature is its painted ceiling. Six events from the order’s long military history are depicted, including Victory in the Greek Archipelago by Jacopo da Empoli. Gaze at the painted wooden panels, all of which are surrounded by blue and gold stucco sculptures.

Walk through the main nave to reach the altar, an elaborate example of Giovanni Battista Foggini’s sculpture work. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, the altar features two depictions of St. Stephen: a statue with head and a relief upon a bronze throne, which depicts the saint after his decapitation.

If you can hear the deep tones of the church organ you know that a ceremonial service is in progress. While three organs reside within the church, only the most modern of the three remains in use.

The Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri is located on Pisa’s Knight’s Square in the Santa Maria district. It can be reached on foot or by bus from the city center. There is metered parking in the area, but it is notoriously difficult to find. The church is open daily and a modest admission fee applies.


Guide to Exploring around Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri


Best Lodging Options Near Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri

See all 2,971 Properties near Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri
NH Pisa ¥8,722
NH Pisa

NH Pisa

Piazza Stazione 2, Pisa, PI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Pisa City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mezzogiorno and University of Pisa. Leaning Tower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 1 mi (2 km). Pisa Central Station is only a 1-minute walk.

    Hotel Bologna ¥6,662
    Hotel Bologna

    Hotel Bologna

    Via Mazzini 57, Pisa, PI
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Pisa City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mezzogiorno and University of Pisa. Leaning Tower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 1 mi (2 km). Pisa Central Station is 8 minutes by foot and Pisa San Rossore Station is 25 minutes.

      Hotel Relais Dell Orologio ¥6,755
      Hotel Relais Dell Orologio

      Hotel Relais Dell Orologio

      Via Uguccione della Faggiola 12-14, Pisa, PI
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Pisa City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Torre dei Gualandi, Leaning Tower, and University of Pisa. Piazza del Duomo and Cathedral of Pisa are also within 10 minutes. Pisa San Rossore Station is 15 minutes by foot and Pisa Central Station is 19 minutes.

        You & Me ¥2,928
        You & Me

        You & Me

        Lungarno Mediceo 40, Pisa, PI
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Pisa City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro Verdi and University of Pisa. Leaning Tower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 1 mi (2 km). Pisa Central Station is 13 minutes by foot and Pisa San Rossore Station is 25 minutes.

          Time Out ¥3,941
          Time Out

          Time Out

          Via Santa Maria, 50, Pisa
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Pisa City Centre, this townhouse accommodation is within a 5-minute walk of Torre dei Gualandi and Leaning Tower. Piazza del Duomo and Cathedral of Pisa are also within 10 minutes. Pisa San Rossore Station is 15 minutes by foot and Pisa Central Station is 17 minutes.

            Rinascimento Bed & Breakfast ¥10,726
            Rinascimento Bed & Breakfast

            Rinascimento Bed & Breakfast

            Piazza Giovan Battista Donati, Pisa, Provincia di Pisa
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Pisa City Centre, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza Garibaldi and University of Pisa. Leaning Tower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 15 minutes. Pisa Central Station is 14 minutes by foot and Pisa San Rossore Station is 20 minutes.

              La Lu Cozy Rooms ¥8,331
              La Lu Cozy Rooms

              La Lu Cozy Rooms

              Via Dalmazia 2, Pisa, Provincia di Pisa
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Pisa City Centre, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Scuola Normale Superiore and University of Pisa. Leaning Tower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 10 minutes. Pisa San Rossore Station is 16 minutes by foot and Pisa Central Station is 17 minutes.

                Hotel Leonardo ¥5,269
                Hotel Leonardo

                Hotel Leonardo

                Via Tavoleria, 17, Pisa, PI
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Pisa City Centre, this inn is steps from Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri and University of Pisa. Leaning Tower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 15 minutes. Pisa Central Station is 15 minutes by foot and Pisa San Rossore Station is 20 minutes.