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San Ranieri Historical Regatta, 17th June. Pisa celebrates its patron saint in a regatta with each boat containing eight oarsmen representing the four areas of the city: St. Martino, St. Antonio, St. Maria and St. Francesco. The competition is held on the Arno along an upstream stretch of 2 km. The night before, the famous Luminara of San Ranieri is held in which thousands of candles are hung from the buildings by creating a spectacle of rare beauty. Thousands of locals crowd along the Arno to see the fireworks at midnight.

Gioco del Ponte. The last Sunday of June sees the renewal of the challenge between the two banks of the Arno: Tramontana and Mezzogiorno. On Mezzo Bridge, the 6 teams from each hamlet challenge each other by pushing a heavy, 70 ton cart on a 50 meter rail over its opponent’s line.

Palio of the Ancient Marine Republic, September 2006. Since 1955 this race commemorates the ancient rivalry between the marine cities of Medieval times which dominated the Mediterranean: Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice. The boats are identical with eight oarsmen each. They only differ in color and emblems. The race takes place each year in one of the four cities and 2006 will be Pisa’s turn to hold the race.

The International Festival of Holy Music. Piazza dei Miracoli, from 14/09/2005 to 29/10/2005. The International Festival of Holy Music takes place in the cathedral and is the most important event of its kind in Italy. It presents important compositions in holy music performed by the best Italian and international symphonies and choirs.

Pisa Vini, last weekend of November. The exhibition, which is held in the Convent of Santa Croce is dedicated to the production of white and red wines from the province of Pisa. A rich and complete exhibition on local wine production and everything it entails: tastings, accompaniment with traditional cuisine and the promotion of Pisan gourmet products.

Volterra A.D. 1398, last week of August. A unique occasion to immerse oneself in the magical atmosphere of the Medieval, in one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany: Volterra. The best manifestation is the “Giornata di Festa nell’Anno Domini 1398”: from dawn till dusk the historic center is reconstructed to appear as the medieval city in 1398 with markets, craftsmen, musicians, jewelers, commoners and nobles.

Photos courtesy of APT Pisa

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