TRADITIONAL FESTIVALS AT THE CINQUE TERRE
The festivals that cheer up the Cinque Terre throughout the year are linked above all to religion and gastronomy. During the Christmas period, usually from 8 December to mid-January, the luminous nativity scene of Manarola comes on, from an idea of Mario Andreoli who since 1976 has created more than 300 characters, illuminated by 17,000 light bulbs. In Vernazza the Underwater Christmas is celebrated, with the statue of the Child Jesus brought to the surface by divers to the church.
In spring, between the end of March and the beginning of April, the Sciacchetrail race takes place, a 47 km loop with start and finish in Monterosso. Very demanding, the race touches all the Cinque Terre, along paths with ups and downs, next to the vineyards that produce the famous passito wine, the sciacchetrà. During the Easter period, however, the traditional procession to the hill of the Three Crosses takes place in Manarola, with a luminous representation of the Passion.
In May, on the third Saturday, in Monterosso the lemons festival is celebrated.
Summer is the best period for festivals in the Cinque Terre. In June, the Corpus Domini is celebrated in Monterosso with a procession through the streets of the village and the "infiorata", a carpet of flower petals. June 12 is the festival of Our Lady of Montenero di Riomaggiore with a procession to the sanctuary. On the third Saturday of the month it is the turn of the fried anchovy festival in Monterosso and always in Monterosso, for San Giovanni, the "Battiston", a rag puppet, is burned in the traditional bonfire. Then the patronal festival continues, both in Monterosso and Riomaggiore, with the procession. June 29 is the festival of St. Peter and Paul in Corniglia, with the procession to the terrace of Santa Maria, when the Fieschi cake is eaten.
In July the 20th, the festival of Santa Margherita in Vernazza, with procession and fireworks. Religious celebrations continue in August: first Sunday in the sanctuary of our Lady of Reggio; August 5 Our Lady of Health at the Sanctuary of Volastra; August 10 San Lorenzo in Manarola, with the traditional procession; August 15 Confraternity of the Assumption in Riomaggiore.
Summer ends with the festival of Our Lady of Grace in San Bernardino on 8 September and the salted anchovy festival, on the third Saturday of September in Monterosso.