Luminara is a part of celebration which is dedicated for Pisa’s patron day. It is on 16th of June. And a patron’s day – San Ranieri – is on 17th of June. Luminaria in italian language means “illumination”. On that evening there are thousands of lights of the candles, along Lungarno is illuminated by candle lights.
Luminara was started in 1688. In that year, the urn containing the remains of Saint Ranieri was placed in the Cappella dell’Incoronata in the cathedral, which is now dedicated to him. Cosimo III of the Medici wanted the antique urn that contained the saint’s remains to be substituted with a more sumptuous and modern urn. The change was occassion for a memorable city feast and according to tradition, the Luminara, or “illumination” as it was called back then, was born.
The architectural details (such as windows, cornices, balconies) of the palaces, churches, towers and bridges along Arno river are recreated with white wooden frames andthese frames are fitted onto the buildings and on these frames candles are attached and lit after sunset. Around 11pm fireworks starts from Cittadella Vecchia (old citadel).
The only additional areas in the city lit up aside from those along the river are the battlements on the section of city walls that surround Piazza dei Miracoli and the Leaning Tower itself, where oil lamps show off the tower’s shape.