Pisa is a city that mixes ancient traditions with modern entertainment. The town is also well connected to nearby Lucca and Viareggio. Between the three towns, a most colorful selection of festivals and events is at your fingertips.
Palio di Buti
While not nearly as famous as the Palio of Siena, this great Tuscan horse race held in the town of Buti, in the Province of Pisa, also traces its roots to the middle ages and is a joyous celebration of the proud traditions that hold together this region of Italy.
Carnival of Viareggio
February is a wonderful time to visit Viareggio. Elaborate, costumes, masks, and effigies of politicians and mythological characters are paraded through the streets of the seaside town every year as part of one of the world’s best beloved carnival celebrations. The carnival which is held traditionally between February and March attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators.
While much of the world celebrate the New Year (capodanno) on the 1st of January, traditionalists Pisa celebrate their New Year’s on March 25th. In accordance with the calendar they used until 1749. Many restaurants prepare special dishes for the date and it is a wonderful time to enjoy traditional heraldry, music, and fireworks!
June in Pisa (Giugno Pisano) is all about celebrating San Ranieri, the patron of Pisa, is celebrated on June. First with a La Lumina on the 16th, when hundreds of thousands of lights illuminate the historic center and on the 17th a historic rowing regatta is held along the Arno River. Finally, the game of the bridge (gioco del ponte) is a medieval tradition, held in the evening of the last Saturday of June. Armies of men in costume participate in an elaborate game of tug of war which takes place over the Mezzo bridge.
Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics
Typically around June, the Palio delle Quattro Antiche Repubbliche Marinare, otherwise known as the Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics takes place in one of the four ancient Italian maritime republics, Amalfi, Genoa, Venezia, and, you guessed it, Pisa. If you are lucky enough to be in Pisa in 2021, you’ll have a chance to see the Regatta.
Music Under the Tower Pisa
Both Jazz and classical music lovers will be able to enjoy music in several venues across the town between late June and early July as part of the Music Under the Tower festival, which is organized by the municipality of Pisa.
This internationally minded free world music festival hosts 15 concerts in different locations around the province of Pisa every year between July 5h and August 9th.
The Puccini Festival
Between July and August the city of Lucca celebrates its opera heritage with a festival in honor of the city’s beloved hometown composer, Giacomo Puccini.
Pisa Anima Mundi Festival
Typically held between September and October, Anima Mundi is a series of free concerts (most require booking tickets) held by renowned orchestras.When there are free open air concerts, the whole town gathers to the Square of Miracles to reflect on the beauty of sacred music.
LUS: Experiments Under the Tower
This event, currently held between October and December, gathers together scientists and bewildered audiences under the Leaning Tower to interact with each other in a series of scientific experiments held on specific days during this most peculiar stretch of the calendar year for lovers of science