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Santuario di Montenero

We’ve lots of festivals and feasts in the Cinque Terre, including patronal feasts, feasts at the five shrines, festivals, and other events that tell and pass on local traditions or enhance their peculiarities and the environment.

Here’s a short summary, but we will be writing a post about each one of these events.

Luminous nativity scene of Manarola
© Carlo Alberto Conti

Festivities and events in winter in the Cinque Terre

In December the now-famous luminous nativity scene is held in Manarola. A dream that Mario Andreoli has transformed into a project and given to his fellow citizens and the whole world. Over 15 thousand bulbs to give life to the 250 characters of the Hill of Three Crosses. A unique nativity scene, which enchants from the day of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) until the end of January.

Another decidedly special event is the underwater Christmas of Vernazza, with the birth of Jesus in the waters of the small gulf at the stroke of midnight and Christmas mass to follow.

Moving from the religious to the decidedly sporty, between the end of March and the beginning of April we attend Sciacchetrail a trail running race celebrating our precious Sciacchetrà wine. A circuit above and through the five villages and their shrines, 47 km long with 2,600 meters of altitude difference.

In spring

With Easter, the holiday season opens at the Cinque Terre Shrines, while in May the festivals begin.

On the second Sunday of May, the shrine of the Madonna di Reggio in Vernazza celebrates the Christ Feast, with suggestive processions and very specific culinary traditions.

In mid-May Monterosso celebrates lemons, with a festival that colors and perfume the caruggi (narrow local alleys) and squares of the village for a whole weekend. Limoncino, lemon cream, jam, and lemon cake are tasted from one end of the village to the other and events organized until the evening.

In summer

At Corpus Domini in Monterosso, in addition to the Holy Mass and the procession, the inhabitants of the town decorate the streets of the village with the traditional floral display.

Also in June and always in Monterosso we celebrate the fried anchovy festival: the famous Monterosso anchovies are fried in the characteristic iron fish-shaped pan, combined with sgabei (local fried bread) and served with Cinque Terre white wine. Lots of other events are planned on this occasion.

On June 23 and 24, the Patronal Feast of San Giovanni Battista is also celebrated in Monterosso, with the traditional bonfire on the beach on the 23rd, procession, fair, and suggestive floating candles on the 24th.

On June 24, Riomaggiore also celebrates San Giovanni. A traditional procession is planned, often accompanied by a colored chalks street art exhibition by the Madonnari.

On 29 June the patron saint of Corniglia is celebrated as well, with the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. On this occasion religion, tradition, and history meet and mix and the village festival culminates with a typical dessert, the renowned Torta dei Fieschi, in memory of the past dominion of this Genoese family.

On July 7 at the shrine of Soviore in Monterosso there’s the celebration of the Rediscovery of the Pietà.

On July 20 we celebrate Santa Margherita di Antiochia in Vernazza. A procession, banquets in the main street, traditional games for children, music, and fireworks in the evening.

The first Sunday of August always in Vernazza there is a big feast at the Shrine of Our Lady of Reggio.

On 10 August Manarola celebrates the Feast of San Lorenzo, with a procession through the streets of the village, till the holy statue is embarks a fisherman boat!

In autumn

On 8 September in San Bernardino, the hamlet of Corniglia and home of its sanctuary, the feast of Our Lady of Grace is celebrated, also common to the sanctuaries of Soviore and Montenero.

Also in September, Monterosso celebrates the salted anchovy festival, with tastings in the numerous food stalls scattered throughout the village, always accompanied by collateral events guaranteeing special moments.

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