This heart-warming tradition dates back to 1688. During one night, on June 16th, the city is lit up by holiday lights to honour Saint Ranieri, the patron of Pisa. Over 70,00 candle lanterns called "lumini" are placed all over the city and also floated on the river Arno. The Leaning Tower and other historical buildings look amazing in the gentle light. The city truly glows and is as beautiful as can be.
San Ranieri is the patron saint of Pisa and a protector of travellers. The legend says that he was born to a wealthy family in 1118. He received a religious education and learned music. Once he had an amazing vision: an eagle carrying light told him to guide those people who lived in darkness to the light. Struck by the vision he made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he lived for 13 years helping the poor people. When he returned to Pisa from the Holy Land he became a preacher and continued to help people in need. When he died he was buried in Duomo cathedral.
Ranieri was canonised by Pope Alexander III in the 1160s and became a cult figure for Pisa. In 1632 he became the patron saint of the city and became widely celebrated. Modern celebrations include spectacular fireworks at the end of the day that are perfectly visible from the banks of the Arno.