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Kinzica de ' Sismondi, between history and legend

The woman who saved Pisa by the Saracens

You're probably wondering who is this girl with a name so exotic, Kinzica de' Sismondi was a young girl belonging to a noble family of Pisa who according to a legend managed to save the city from the Saracen invasion.

The story goes that the episode occurred in 1004 when the Saracen pirates, who at the time were accustomed to plunder and loot big cities besieged Reggio Calabria. It was from this episode that the city of Pisa, to run to the aid of the Calabrians with its powerful fleet, remained vulnerable and exposed to the attack of one of the most bloodthirsty pirates of the era, Mujahid al-Amiri called Musetto, which goes up the Arno landed on the attack of the Tuscan city.

Always according to the legend it was Kinzica, in the dark of night, to notice the attack. The young girl ran to warn the consuls of Pisa who managed to give the alarm bells enabling cities and pisani to react to the attack, apparently driven by the same girl, and to compel the Saracens.

Historians today are led to believe that the story of Kinzica isn't real, sources put the attack referenced in 1016-1024, and then a few years later than the myth says. In addition, Kinzica is for them only the name of one of the quarters of the Pisa year 1000, an area that today roughly corresponds to existing neighborhoods of Sant'Antonio and San Martino.

Truth or legend, Kinzica de 'Sismondi is a real heroine for Pisa, a figure of the popular tradition to whom a street has been dedicated in the historic center of the city and a statue that is now located at Casa Tizzoni in via San Martino . He is also the most important character of the historical Court held annually in the city during the traditional Regata delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare.

It is no coincidence that even a  typical pastry of Pisan tradition made with honey and pine nuts of the Parco Migliarino San Rossore takes the name of Kinzica.


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