“Luminara di San Ranieri” – Pisa June
Centro storico Pisa
centro, piazze e luoghi limitrofi
Info: 050 550100
Pisa Tourist Office
It is the most eagerly awaited moment of the year by the Pisans, the festival most felt by the entire city, the evening when Pisa puts on its best dress, a spectacular dress of lights that illuminate its lungarni. This is the Luminara di San Ranieri, which every 16 June evening lights up the city with no less than 100,000 wax candles, which are placed on wooden frames, called biancheria, that outline the architectural design of the palaces and churches along the Lungarni (riversides). And the river contributes to the evocative spectacle by reflecting the imaginative lighting on its water surface, enhancing the luminous effect of the whole.
Before midnight hundreds of impressive fireworks are shot off. Along the course of the Arno some floating platforms serve as launching pads for the fires, and the whole of Pisa is transformed even more, as if the candles were not enough, into an enormous dazzling lighthouse that will remain in the memory of those lucky enough to be there.
The tradition of the Luminara dates back to 25 March 1688, when the urn containing the body of Ranieri degli Scaccieri, the city’s patron saint who died in 1161, was solemnly placed in the Duomo chapel in Pisa. The translation was the occasion for a memorable town festival, which, according to tradition, was the beginning of the three-yearly “illumination” that in the nineteenth century took the name of Luminara and became an increasingly important part of the town’s tradition, becoming an unmissable event to reaffirm the community’s sense of belonging to its city, in the same way as other celebrations that go by the name of Giugno Pisano.
The programme – Starting at 3.00 p.m., the Municipality’s staff will be on duty to begin, one by one, the lighting of the 100,000 candles on the Lungarni, between the Ponte della Cittadella and the Ponte della Fortezza, until dusk when, thanks to the public and private artificial lighting being switched off, the Lungarni will plunge into the magical evening of San Ranieri. At 11.00 p.m., as tradition has it, the fireworks display is scheduled to begin on the Lungarni, with a series of spectacular fireworks, lasting about 30 minutes, fired from 12 floating platforms located on the Arno.
How to reach the Lungarni: To reach the centre by car, you can use the car parks on Via Pietrasantina (500 spaces), Esselunga and the car parks on Via Matteucci up to the Palazzo dei Congressi. You can also park in Via Paparelli (800 spaces) from where it takes only a few minutes on foot to reach the centre. Those coming from outside the city can use the Pisa Mover car parks, with a shuttle service running until 01.00 in the morning.
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