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What’s on in Italy? Fish Festival of Saint Fortunato

Liguria is on the north-west coast of Italy, overlooking the Ligurian Sea. Bordered by France to the west, Piedmont to the north and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east. In the small village of Camogli, just east of Genoa, there is an annual festival Sagra del Pesce di San Fortunato (Fish Festival of St Fortunato). Taking place on the second Sunday of May the festival honours St Fortunato looking out for the local fisherman while they are at sea.

Such a fantastic experience and a festival which is worth visiting if travelling to Italy around this time. The night before the festival commences, eight volunteers which carry a 400kg statue of San Fortunato through the town followed by a huge crowd, also called the “Processione”.

The sky is then filled with a sparkling glow from the firework display. Followed by the competition of bonfires between the two main neighbourhoods of the city in which two gigantic wooden and paper structures that are built on the beach following creative, new themes each year (and often reaching two stories high) are torched.

Sunday is the day of the “Fish Festival“. It all begins in Piazza Colombo, where fried fish is distributed throughout the afternoon. The city center is lined with street artists, while Terrazza Lido hosts gastronomic booths for the visitor’s pleasure The town brings out possibly one of the largest frying pans seen to man and use to it to fry free fish for the hungry locals and visitors.