At this time of the year, I usually need to make clear that I have not lost my mind writing about New Year’s Day in Pisa in March… Actually, Pisa celebrates its very own New Year’s Day on March 25. They are always one step ahead of us all, those Pisans… On March 26th, the city will already be in 2013!
The Pisan New Year’s Day, or Capodanno Pisano, is one of those “minor” yet really cool events that are largely unknown to the vast majority of the people planning a trip to Tuscany. I believe it makes a stay in Pisa well worth it, especially because more and more events are organized around it every year.
I have just received this press release from the Tourist Office:
“In Pisa, the New Year is celebrated twice – not only on the 1st of January along with the rest of the world, but also on the 25th of March.
The Pisans have not forgotten their traditions, and each year they mark the beginning of the year as was their custom between 1200 and 1749, when New Year’s Day coincided with the Annunciation, nine months before Christmas (Anno Pisano ab Incarnatione Domini).
Today, just like then, the beginning of the Pisan Year is marked by a sort of solar clock, a physical phenomenon that is as simple as it is spectacular and intriguing: at midday sharp, a ray of sunlight penetrates the Duomo through a round nave window, landing on a marble egg on a shelf surmounting a column next to the pulpit of Giovanni Pisano, on the opposite side.
The event is preceded by a historical parade and a religious ceremony that ends at exactly 12 noon.
The beginning of the Pisan Year coincides with the official opening of the tourist season. All through the weekend (24-25 March), Pisa and its environs will offer a range of collateral events including:
- the Pisan-Romanesque Days
- special tours of Pisa, Volterra, Pomarance and Castelnuovo Val di Cecina
- special spa and wellness offers in Casciana Terme and San Giuliano Terme
- special openings of churches (in Pisa, Calci and Cascina), museums (in Fauglia, Peccioli) and monuments (the fortresses of Vicopisano)
- nature excursions in San Rossore Park and in Bientina
Additional events include:
- Volterragusto, Volterra’s typical food and wine festival
- wine tastings in Palaia
- urban trekking in Pontedera
- a photographic workshop and Chocolate festival in San Miniato
- sporting events at the San Rossore racecourse and in Tirrenia
- shopping along the ‘leather route’ in Santa Croce sull’Arno
- a theatrical play in Lari
- traditional recipes in restaurants and fireworks on the banks of the Arno river in Pisa”
I also received a 6 page PDF document with lots of events and details, so if you are interested, just let me know and I will forward it to you at the email address you register with to post comments.
And of course, if you decide to visit the city on this occasion, check out our vacation rental apartment in Pisa!