Capodanno Pisano: Traditional Pisan New Year's Day

In Pisa, the New Year is celebrated twice – not only on the 1st of January along with the rest of the world, but also on the 25th of March.

The Leaning Tower in Pisa
The Pisans have not forgotten their traditions, and each year they mark the beginning of the year as was their custom between 1200 and 1749, when New Year's Day coincided with the Annunciation, nine months before Christmas (Anno Pisano ab Incarnatione Domini).

Today, just like then, the beginning of the Pisan Year is marked by a sort of solar clock, a physical phenomenon that is as simple as it is spectacular and intriguing: at midday sharp, a ray of sunlight penetrates the Duomo through a round nave window, landing on a marble egg on a shelf surmounting a column next to the pulpit of Giovanni Pisano, on the opposite side. The event is preceded in the morning by a historical parade and a religious ceremony that ends at exactly 12 noon.

The beginning of the Pisan Year coincides with the official opening of the tourist season. All through the weekend (24-25 March), Pisa and its environs will offer a range of collateral events including the Pisan-Romanesque Days, special tours of Pisa, Volterra, Pomarance and Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, special spa and wellness offers in Casciana Terme and San Giuliano Terme, special openings of churches (in Pisa, Calci and Cascina), museums (in Fauglia, Peccioli) and monuments (the fortresses of Vicopisano) and nature excursions in San Rossore Park and in Bientina.

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