Last Sunday in June - 'Gioco del Ponte' (Bridges Game) . This is probably the most important festival in Pisa. It involves Mediaeval costumes, horseback parades and 12 teams of 20 people attempting to push a 7 ton 'trolley' onto the opposite side of the bridge.
This event takes place on the eve of the patron saint's feast day (June 16) and transforms the lungarni into a phantasmagoric fairy-tale setting. The architectural details of the palaces , windows, cornices, balconies the parapets of the river and the bridges glow in the reflected light of over 70,000 (lumini) (small glass lamps burning oil or wax) while thousands of lighted candles float on the waters of the Arno. Sham architecture (machines) and a firework spectacle at the Cittadella Vecchia make this event, which dates back to 1688, even more fascinating
Gioco del Ponte (Bridge's game).
This is one of the most important events in Pisa. If u are there at the end of june, enjoy it but remember to take a place along the Arno River before the afternoon, becuase the game starts around 5-6 p.m. and there is always a big crowd to wait for it!
Luminaria De San Ranier - Pisa is an atmospheric place to be during June, and the night of the 'Luminaria' is a particularly special one, when 50,000 plus candles and blazing torches illuminate and define the buildings on both sides of the Arno.
The Palio held in the Piazza Del Campo in the centre of Siena.
This ancient race dates back to the early part of the 15th century.
Held twice a year on the 2nd of July and the 16th of August, this is more than a horse race, the Italians are passionate about the Palio, which involves the ten houses competing for a ancient hand painted banner called the Palio.
Preparations for the race begin the minute one has finished and last all year, and the celebrations and pageantry lasts all week leading up to the race, where they parade in wonderfully coloured costumes and hurl large flags up in the air and catch them again, an ancient skill. Loud fire works are fired off and drums and horns are sounded, on top of the roar of the crowd a truly exciting spectacle.
Before the race the horses, their jockeys and grooms all go to the Cathedral where they are given a blessing at a small alter in the Cathedral in Siena, do go and look you can’t miss it there are helmets from jockeys near the alter and small chapel.
So the race begins and ten horses are ridden bareback three times round the sand track at brake neck speed, sometimes the horses go into the crowd and people are injured or horses are killed.
But there is great rivalry between the houses and even marriages between two different houses is not really accepted.
Coming second is not acceptable you must win, and having done so great celebrations ensue, and of course tears for the losers.