Luminara di San Ranieri is a candlelight festival that takes place every year in Pisa, on the night of June 16, and is dedicated to San Ranieri, the patron saint of the city. On this occasion, the city lights up with thousands of candles, creating an evocative and unique effect that seems to bring the visitors back in time.
Every year, approximately 100,000 candles placed on wooden frames outline the architectural forms of the palaces, bridges, churches and towers that overlook the River Arno. Later, many of the candles are placed on water, on the same river, between the Fortezza Bridge and the Citadella Bridge, creating an enchanting play of lights and reflections.
Along with the Palio di San Ranieri, the Gioco del Ponte and, every four years, the Regatta of the Historical Maritime Republics, the Luminaria is part of a series of events entitled Giugno Pisano (Pisan June).
The first historical document attesting the tradition of illuminating the city of Pisa with oil lamps dates back to 1337.
Before 1688, the feast was held on several occasions. Notable are the 1539 edition, in honor of Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and the wife of Grand Duke Ferdinando II, and the one of June 14, 1662, when the lights were set up in honor of Margherita Luisa, Princess of Orleans and wife of Cosimo III, who passed through Pisa in her way to Florence.
On March 25, 1688, the urn containing the remains of Ranieri Scaccieri, patron of the city, was solemnly placed in the chapel of the Cathedral of Pisa. On this occasion, the city celebrated with candless, and the tradition of the feast was born.
The festival was banned in 1867, revived in 1937, on the same year with the Gioco del Ponte, and suspended again during the Second World War. In 1952, the Luminara tradition has been revived, but in 1966, due to the flood of the Arno River, the tradition was interrupted again. The festival was resumed in June 1969.
LUMINARA DI SAN RANIERI 2019 will take place on Sunday, June 16. The event will end with fireworks fired around midnight from the Citadel.