The secret language of Lungarni's facades

by Valentina Ieva
16 Love 3985 Visits

The month of June is certainly for Pisa the most fascinating period of the year, when the city and its citizens breathe an air of excitement and expectation, waiting for the evening of the 16th of June, the evening of the 'Luminara di San Ranieri', city’s patron saint, that is celebrated the day after.

Carlo Cafferini's passion for photography has gone hand in hand with a passion for architecture. For this reason his photographs have always had a special consideration for architecture, and they are often linked with the human figure, without whom the structure would not exist.

In the weeks before the Luminara, hundreds of white wooden boards called ‘biancherie’ are hanged on windows and doors of houses. Originally these boards should highlight the structure of houses, following accurately the shapes of doors and windows, but today they have been replaced by more curious and creative shapes.

The night of the 16th of June, these boards will host thousands and thousands of little candles for the celebration of the ‘Luminara di San Ranieri’, the city’s patron saint, and Lungarni (the two sides of river Arno) will be enlightened only by the light of the small lamps, creating an extraordinary sight.

Carlo said: "I decided to dedicate an architectural project to the ‘Luminara di San Ranieri’, focusing on the preparation of the event and not on the more well-known part, the evening of the festivity. The last image of the series gives however a taste of this great celebration".

"The project is entitled ‘Secret code’ -  he explained - because in this period facades of palaces and buildings in Lungarno seem to speak a secret language: the white boards hanged on windows and doors of houses create strange patterns, looking like a mysterious code of signs and symbols".

Born in Piacenza in 1985, Carlo Cafferini lives in Pisa. He is an architecture photographer, with special consideration for contemporary one. Carlo is devoted to street photography and to the details and the geometries in architecture.

    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)