On the occasion of Pisa’s Luminaria Festival on June 16, Explore: Planet Earth, a show of 100 spectacular images taken by National Geographic photographers at Palazzo Blu, Lungarno Gambacorti, 9 will be open until midnight. Admission is €6, reduced €4.
After sunset on June 16, nocturnal wonders envelop the ancient maritime city and the Arno, both shimmering and buzzing with candlelight thanks to the Luminara di San Ranieri.
The Luminara began in medieval times as part of the banquet festivities for the patron Saint Ranieri of Pisa. Today, the festival maintains many of its original elements, but adds a few tantalizing modern flares.
Around 100,000 lumini—candles placed in glass cases—are constructed. Some are then released onto the Arno, while others light up the façades of historic buildings along the river. These candles are fixed to windows, balconies, and doors of the riverside palazzos with wooden, white-painted frames. They are lit after sunset, bathing the noble Renaissance archiecture in warm light. Together with the drifting lumini, the lights dance, reflected in the river’s dark, polished surface.