In a city like Pisa, with about 86,000 inhabitants (2012) a number of festivals and other annual events take place throughout the year. The most famous happenings are the Luminara di San Ranieri and the “Game of the Bridge“.
Annual Events Pisa
Gioco del Ponte (Game of the Bridge)
In the Gioco del Ponte two groups from two sides of the city fight each other. The area south of the Arno i called Mezzogiorno, the area north of this river is Tramontana. Each group stands on one side of the river Arno and tries to push a 7 ton wagon over a rail to the other side. Place of action is the Ponte di Mezzo. The tradition, which takes place annually on the last Saturday of June, goes back to the 12th century.
Luminara di San Ranieri
The Luminara di San Ranieri takes place every year on the 17th of June. The river Arno is adorned with beautifully decorated boats and there are rowing competitions. The contestants are dressed in period costumes. On the day before the inhabitants of the palaces along the river light oil lamps in their windows.
Record – and CD-market
The annual Mostre Mercato del Disco takes place in the beginning of September in the Stazione Leopolda. There are approximately 100 stands and you can purchase any kind of music in amy kind of format, but mostly records and CDs.
Anima Mundi is the name of an international sacred music festival in Pisa. Several venues are involved, including the Duomo (Cathedral) and the Teatro Verdi. The festival was first organized in 2001 and has since grown steadily in both size and prestige. The event lasts a month (September-October).
Pisa Dolcemente (“Pisa Sweetly”) is an annual culinary event organized by the Slow Food movement. Visitors can taste several local sweet delicacies, from chocolate to different kinds of cakes. There is also some entertainment for children. The event takes place in March.
Regata of the Ancient Maritime Republics
The Regata delle Atiche Repubbliche Marinare is a famous rowing race between teams from Pisa, Genoa, Amalfi and Venice. The four old Maritime Republics take turns organizing the event, which was held for the first time in 1956. Before the race there is a historic parade with costumes and banners. The event is held in May.