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Sagra del Pesce di Camogli

The Camogli Fish Festival

Camogli is still preserving its ancient maritime traditions. Its tall houses overlooking the beautiful beach and the quaint, colourful little harbour where fishermen’s boats sway in the sun, are the ideal setting for one of the most eagerly awaited and beloved traditional events for locals and numerous visitors.

Ogni anno, la seconda domenica di maggio si svolge infatti a Camogli la famosa Sagra del Pesce, un evento che vanta ormai una lunga tradizione.

The port of Camogli during the Fish Festival

The idea originated back in 1952, when lawyer Filippo De Gregori thought of attracting visitors to Camogli by organising an event during which fish caught by local fishermen was fried in 6 frying pans and distributed to participants.

The fish fries in the big frying pan

The initiative was so successful that the Camoglini fishermen decided to repeat it every year. Two of them, Lorenzo Viacava, known as ‘o Napoli’, and Lorenzo Gelosi, known as ‘Cen’, came up with the idea of building a large frying pan to create a spectacular fry-up. It soon changed to one large frying pan. In 1960, the diameter reached 6 metres. Currently, the stainless steel pan has a diameter of 4 metres and a handle length of 6 metres and can fry more than 30,000 portions in a single day, using 3 tonnes of fresh fish and 3,000 litres of oil.

The large frying pan at the Camogli Fish Festival

And also thanks to this huge pan, the Camogli Fish Festival has become increasingly popular over time, attracting more and more tourists.

The evening before the festival there is a celebration in honour of St Fortunato, Patron Saint of Fishermen. The heavy chest with the statue of the saint is carried in procession by eight fishermen and at 11pm the traditional bonfire is lit.

The programme is completed with the presence of gastronomic stands where you can taste Ligurian specialities, markets and a fireworks display.

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