The Dinette Teller – 25. Celebrating Pisa Luminaria on the 16th of June

An important event in Pisa is the festivities of Saint Ranieri and the beautiful Luminaria, a magic event that takes place on the evening of June 16.

WHO WAS SAINT RANIERI?

Saint Ranieri was born in 1118 and died on the 17th of June 1160. He was the son of a famous merchant. His life was really hard due to the work of his father. He had a lot of money at his disposal and at the age of 19 years old he met a hermit, called Alberto. An event that deeply changed his life.

Ranieri decided to abandon all his possessions and became a peregrine. He reached the Holy Land and stayed there for some years.

In 1154 he came back to Pisa and retired in the Saint Vito Monastery, where he died. Already known by the miracles during his lifetime.

A legend tells that the heavy rain that occurs in Pisa before the summer season is a manifestation of the Saint. A sign to the inhabitants of Pisa to strengthen their body and soul.

In 1688 the sarcophagus containing the remains of S. Ranieri was placed on the Cathedral altar.

St. Ranieri Sarcophagus in Pisa

During the night of June 16, everyone in Pisa lightened their houses up has a tribute to the Saint.

THE LUMINEER AND THE REGATTA

On June 16, all the windows and door frames along the Arno river are decorated with millions of tiny candles. Then, lightened at night creating a unique atmosphere.

Even the monuments in the Miracle Square are decorated with lights and candles.

Thousands of volunteers start working one week in advance to place the candles everywhere around town.

For the occasion, music shows, craft and food stands are set all around the city. The city offers a vibrant atmosphere full of music and fun.

People of all ages come to Pisa to admire the scenario and to attend the fireworks show at midnight.

The reflections of the candles and lights in the river gives off a magic and romantic scene.

The 1th on June is a bank holiday in Pisa. The music is on until late and the day after everybody sleeps until late. If you are planning to visit Pisa, it is recommended to come during this period!

Another event that takes place on June 17 is “The Palio of Pisa” an historycal boat regatta that cruises the Arno river.

There is also a historical parade. The main four suburbs of the city compete to become the “leader” of the year. Conversely, the second and third teams received two ducks as a reward following the tradition of the Dark Age.

THE MIRACLE SQUARE AND THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA

The Square of Miracles in Pisa is recognized as an important center of European medieval art. It’s also one of the finest architectural complexes in the world.

The square has 4 religious buildings: the Cathedral, the Baptistry, the Monumental Cemetery and the famous Leaning Tower. It is one of the few Italian Cathedral Squares surrounded by grass lawns instead of paved ground. Becoming one of the nicest green areas in town.

Students love to go there and have lunch or study during breaks. It is a relaxing and peaceful spot in the city and one of the favourite places of citizen and tourists. In 1987, the whole square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is perhaps the most famous of the monuments. It is the bell tower of the cathedral of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt.

The tower leans at an angle of 4 degree. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres from the centre!

The tower’s tilt began during construction due to an inadequate foundation on ground that was too soft to support the weight. The tilt increased during all the years that passed before the structure was completed. The construction halted for almost a century because the Republic of Pisa was continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca, and Florence. This allowed enough time for the underlying soil to settle. f not so, the tower would almost certainly have toppled!

The structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) in the late XX and early XXI.

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