On 16 June, one the eve of the celebration of its patron saint, Pisa is illuminated in a festival of lights. With thousands of candles hung on bridges, river banks, the facades of its ancient buildings and fireworks exploding in the night sky, the atmosphere is simply magical.
The tradition dates back to the 25th of March 1688 when the urn containing the ashes of Ranieri degli Scaccieri, patron saint of the city, was placed in the chapel in Pisa cathedral.
The tradition of lighting a city to celebrate an event was a common one in the middle ages and early renaissance - and you can imagine how striking it would have been then, when cities would have been largely dark after sunfall! But while many celebrations fell away, Pisa kept theirs running, and it's amazing!