Pisa: La Luminara and The Regatta of Saint Ranieri

Every year, on 16th June, the Luminara of Saint Ranieri is renewed along the river Arno in Pisa, when the sun goes down.

According to an old tradition, the city of Pisa celebrates with this unique illumination in wax the feast of its Saint patron, St. Ranieri, on 17th June.

The illumination runs along the streets near the river Arno with about 70,000 wax candles that for each edition are set in glasses and fixed to wooden white-painted frames, which are called the “biancheria”.

The wax candles are placed in such a way to model and exalt the outline of the palaces that give onto the river.

Other wax candles (about 70,000) float on the river and are moved by the flow, in this way there is another play of lights in the water, making the atmosphere even more breathtaking.

The tradition dates back to 1688, when Cosimo III of Medici wanted to move the Saint’s relic into a more sumptuous urn.

On the occasion of the transfer, the whole city wanted to celebrate the event with a memorable feast; only after many years they had the idea of illuminating the city.

In addition to this, at midnight there will be extraordinary fireworks that will light the whole city even more with a play of colours. It is an unforgettable event you can’t miss!

The same goes for the Regatta of Saint Ranieri that takes place in the afternoon on 17th June.

In honour of the Saint patron, four boats, representing the four ancient town districts, compete in a Regatta on the river Arno.

The Regatta starts at sunset, when the historical parade, celebrating the glorious past of the maritime Republic of Pisa, ends.

Also the origins of the Regatta are very old, in fact they goes back to 1292, when the first regatta took place in occasion of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary: only since 1718 it competes on 17th June in honour of St. Ranieri.

So, you can’t miss two of the most characteristic events of such a city full of life and rich in culture like Pisa.

If you would like to have further information about the city of Pisa, please visit the online tourist guide About Pisa.

Are you interested in the Pisa traditions and monuments? Visit the specific sections of the online guide About Pisa.

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