• 2023.06.09
  • Blog Liguria - Spring is time for the Fish Festival in Camogli
Here in Liguria, there are some fishing villages that smell of fish, sea salt and whose atmosphere is rich in history.
One of these is Camogli, a small village on the outskirts of Genoa.
It is a village of sailors and fishermen with an authentic flavor, a green patch of maritime pines and eucalyptus trees which contribute to giving the village a fresh scent. It is here that punctually, in the Spring, during the month of May, the Mediterranean Fish Festival is held over a few days.

The festival is usually held on the second weekend of May but its events end up covering an entire week.
Camogli is rich in history and has a unique charm given that its past which can be linked to when Genoa was one of the Italian Maritime Republics.
Camogli is tradition and folklore and its fishermen work hard to keep its essence alive.
Most of the fresh fish is fried according to tradition and the pans used seem to get bigger and bigger every year as the influx of local and non-local visitors continues to grow.
During the three days of festivities, around three tons of fresh fish are cooked every day, using about three thousand liters of frying oil.
Also this year, the festival took place in the name of total sustainability: in addition to using compostable materials for the cutlery and the plates for serving, the Municipality of Camogli decided to transform the three thousand liters of fried oil used for cooking into bio diesel thanks to a local company which aims at increasing the collection of used domestic cooking oil.
Visiting Camogli during the event was a pleasure for all five
The evening before the first day of the festival, a religious ceremony takes place to honor Santo Fortunato, the patron saint of fishermen.

A procession takes place to carry the religious ark

A procession takes place to carry the religious ark on the shoulders from the church to the sea and vice versa and the ceremony ends with a bonfire on the shore. It is followed by fireworks.
Traditionally, the bonfire comes from burning old furniture and old fishing boats.
The morning of the first day of the Festival starts with the blessing of the frying pan and a sample of the fried fish which is golden on the outside and soft on the inside.
At lunch time and dinner time the food stands open up and people can eat at the long tables set up for the occasion.
The Festival used technology this year to make things more efficient.
You could just take a seat wherever available and a volunteer would come to get your order, restaurant style.
No more long lines to get your food or your drinks but a waitress with a tablet and an efficient network of young (even children) volunteers to serve food and bus tables.

Outdoor dining in Camogli

I was very pleased with this change and this nice organization as it is often a pain to go to this kind of town events due to the crowds and the poor organizational skills.
The menu was the following, at least the day I attended:
- Fried fish
- Pasta with prawns and chickpeas
- Pasta with pesto sauce
- Focaccia bun with octopus

Surely not a large choice of dishes but good enough if you think that everything was prepared on the spot, in an open-air makeshift kitchen.
The night ended with a beautiful fireworks display and there is nothing better than watching fireworks over the sea after a nice typical meal.



  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

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