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Located on Arno river, six miles from Ligurian sea, it was developed as Roman naval base. It became a leading medieval city-state and maritime power; made commercial contacts in Syria during the 11th-century Crusades. Pisa was a Ghibelline stronghold; a series of wars was fought from the mid-13th century through the early 14th century between Guelf-controlled Florence and allies (Montepulciano, Bologna, and Orvieto) and their Ghibelline opponents (Pisa, Siena, Pistoia, and Arezzo). Pisa was held by Florence from the 15th century.
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