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Palio di San Ranieri (Regatta of Saint Rainerius) will take place on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, along the river Arno, in Pisa, as part of the series of events entitled Pisan June 2020, dedicated to the patron saint of the city, San Ranieri.
The first information about a regatta in Pisa dates back to the year 1292, when a palio was held in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
After the Battle of Lepanto of 1571, when the Order of Saint Stephen fought on water against the Ottomans and captured the pennant of the enemy, a pennant that is now held in the Church of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, the regatta began to recall this event.
Starting with 1718, the palio is disputed on June 17, for the anniversary of Saint Rainerius.
PROGRAM OF THE EVENT
The Regatta of San Ranieri, preceded by a historical parade on the streets of the historical center of Pisa, is disputed among 4 crews representing the 4 historical districts of the city, two of Tramontana and two of Mezzogiorno – San Francesco (yellow boat), San Martino (red boat), Santa Maria (blue boat) and Sant’Antonio (green boat).
Each crew consists of eight rowers, a helmsman and a montatore. The montatore is responsible for the most spectacular part of the race – he must climb a ten meter high flagpole, placed at the finish, on a floating platform, to capture the palio (the flag).
The boats used in the competition recall the typical frigates of the Medicean Order of the Saint Stephen’s Knights. The race starts from the Railway Bridge and takes place over a distance of 1,500 meters, with the competitors rowing against the current. The finishing line is at the Palazzo Medici, near the Ponte della Fortezza.
The Pisan June (Giugno Pisano) is a series of events which take place during the month of June, in Pisa, in honor of the patron saint of the city, San Ranieri.
The Pisan June 2020 will begin on May 28, when the historical game of Mazzascudo will be held in Piazza dei Cavalieri, and will conclude on July 6, when the ceremony of the Marriage with the Sea will take place.