Pisa, birthplace of the famous scientist Galileo Galilei, is one of the most important cities of Italy for its monuments, palaces, squares, churches and works of art. It is also a qualified cultural centre, thanks to its University and the Scuola Normale Superiore. Pisa, of Etruscan origin, played an important role even when it was conquered by the Romans, as evidenced by a recent archaeological discovery in the railway station of San Rossore: ten Roman ships have been unearthed in a perfect state of preservation, restoring their board instruments and their precious cargo, consisting of over three hundred jars with their contents inside. During the Middle Ages, Pisa was a powerful maritime cities along with Amalfi, Venice and Genoa, and developed a thriving network of businesses that made the city one of the most influential of the Mediterranean. This dominance continued until 1284 when, following a disastrous naval defeat that was inflicted by rival Genoa, Pisa went out to a slow decline that caused the loss of its independence in 1406, when it was conquered by Florence. One of the most famous monuments, linked with the golden age of the history of Pisa, is Piazza del Duomo (better known as Piazza dei Miracoli), declared a World Heritage Site, where it is possible to admire the Cathedral (built between 1063 and 1118, a masterpiece of Tuscan Romanesque), the Baptistery and the Leaning Tower, one of the most world famous Italian monuments, which acquired its characteristic tilt just ten years after the start of its construction.