Like every year, Pisa celebrates his patron saint Saint Ranieri with the many events of the Giugno Pisano or Pisan June. Besides the celebrations that should not be missed, such as La Luminara, the Regatta of Saint Ranieri and Gioco del Ponte, there are many other initiatives that make the month of June the best time to visit the city.
Here is the press release by the Tourist Council, listing all the events organized this year.
Giugno Pisano: 30 “magical” days in the city of the Leaning Tower
The 2012 edition of the Giugno Pisano – traditionally the ‘magical’ month for Pisa – will be even more attractive on account of the number and quality of the events on schedule.
This is a month bubbling with life and an excellent time to discover and experience everything that centres around the holiday dedicated to the Patron Saint San Ranieri (17 June).
The atmosphere is infused with a magic that fills the air at dusk on 16th June, when the enchantment of the Luminara di San Ranieri is renewed on the Lungarni. This tradition is celebrated by the Pisans on the eve of the festival of the patron saint.
For each edition, over a hundred thousand lamps are carefully placed in smooth, transparent glasses and hung on white wooden frames arranged to exalt the outlines of the buildings, bridges, churches and towers that overlook the Lungarni.
A spectacular and unique addition to this is the Leaning Tower, which is illuminated by oil pans that are also positioned on the battlements of the stretch of city wall that encloses the Piazza dei Miracoli. After they have been lit, visitors are offered an incomparable experience of the Pisan night, enhanced by the myriad of floating lamps that are lit and released onto the waters of the Arno, where their quivering light reflects off the water.
Another event that brightens the anniversary of the patron saint is the Palio di San Ranieri, also known as the Historical Regatta, held on the afternoon of 17th June. Four boats, each representing one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods – Santa Maria, San Francesco, San Martino and Sant’Antonio – go head to head on the waters of the Arno in a boat race, a
legacy of the fine tradition of the Maritime Republic of Pisa. This is an event that manages to merge true sporting passion with the old and widespread custom of competing in boat races.
The Gioco del Ponte (Game of the Bridge) takes place on the last Saturday of June. This historical-commemorative event is divided into two separate, but equally significant, moments: the Historical Parade on the Lungarni, with over seven hundred characters, and the battle staged on the Ponte di Mezzo.
Here, the teams from the neighbourhoods of the city’s two rival districts (Tramontana and Mezzogiorno) put their respective physical strength on show by pushing a heavy cart in opposite directions in a heated moment of fierce competition. Victory is awarded to the team that retains its place as master of the Bridge, pushing the cart and opponents to the opposite end of the rail tracks.
Pisa and its historic centre
Stories from the Other World
Up until 1st July, the Palazzo Blu will play host to “Stories from the Other World – The Universe inside and outside ourselves” (admission is free) an exhibition recounting how man learnt to approach, explore and understand our
universe, a world very distant from our daily experience.
info tel. 050 916950 – www.palazzoblu.org
Guided tour centre in the Piazza dei Miracoli
The Guided Tour Centre is open from Friday to Monday and on special occasions at the Museum of Sinopie. The tours on offer include:
- On Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11.30am, the Tour of the Piazza dei Miracoli will give participants the opportunity to fully discover the famous square. Admission to the Cathedral and the Baptistery (not to the Leaning Tower) is included.
- On Friday and Monday afternoon at 3.00pm (in June, July and August the Friday tour will start at 9.00pm), the Three Steps in Pisa tour will provide a three-stage approach to visiting Pisa’s historic centre. The tour will start from the Piazza dei Miracoli (admission to the Cathedral included in afternoon tours) and continue to the Piazza dei Cavalieri, Borgo Stretto and the Lungarni (riverfront) as far as Keith Haring’s mural.
- On Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 3.00pm the Guided Tour Centre will offer the liturgical tour Art and Faith, allowing participants to discover the artistic beauties and sacred value of the monuments in the Piazza dei Miracoli.
- The Galilean Tour – an intriguing walk around Galileo’s places in the scientist’s hometown – completes the offer.
The Square under the Moonlight
From June 17th to September 9th the Opera della Primaziale Pisana re-launches The Square under the Moonlight (La Piazza sotto la Luna), the night openings of the monuments on the Piazza dei Miracoli.
Miracles by Night
On 17-23-30 June the Opera della Primaziale Pisana, in collaboration with the Pisatour Tourist Guides Association and Cooperativa Impegno e Futuro, will offer guided tours of the Monumental Cemetery, where specialized guides will tell the story of the building and of the imposing fresco cycle it is home to.
And what about the younger ones? An educational workshop will be held specially for them under the careful guidance of qualified staff who will help them to create a small “art gallery” before their parents finish their tour and come to admire the ‘masterpieces’ of the budding artists.
info tel. 050 550591 – 328 1446855 .
Music under the Tower
A festival including six performances ranging in genre from classical music to jazz. The concerts are held in the charming setting of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Museum of the Cathedral) on 22nd, 25th and 28th June and on 2nd, 5th and 11th July).
info tel. 050 835029
Every Saturday afternoon in June, an intriguing walk will lead you around Galileo’s places in the scientist’s hometown. Discover the fascinating human story and extraordinary discoveries of the founder of modern science!
info tel. 333 6144924 – 329 3941989.
Degustando Pisa is a festival dedicated to Pisan cuisine and gastronomic specialities.
Throughout the months of June and July you can experience very special menus and please your palate with the best traditional Pisan cuisine and high quality food and winein the restaurants that participate in the initiative.
Boat trips on the Navicelli Canal
Every Sunday at 6pm, enjoy San Rossore Park from an unusual point of view and the yacht yards lining the canal.
info tel. 050 530101 – 050 533755, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The River Arno
Starting from 7th June the bathing establishments of Marina di Pisa, Tirrenia and Calambrone will vie with each other to offer the most enjoyableevening to their guests with a programme of events called Il mare nel bicchiere (The Sea in a Glass).