Winter: the season of Fairs

In Liguria, winter is the season of fairs and markets. Here are the most important ones of the season.

Ancient events with an ancestral flavour, festivals where you can rediscover tastes, aromas, and entertainments of times past. Winter fairs in Liguria bring us back to folk wisdom and the cycle of nature. Here are some important ones that are worth visiting.

The Seed Mandillo in Montebruno, Sunday, January 21st

Set up just a stone’s throw from the river and the courtyard of the grand Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montebruno, the ‘Mandillo’ is an exhibition market of fruit seeds and home yeasts organised by the Quarantine Consortium. The event will take place from 10 AM to 5 PM.

santuario di Montebruno
santuario di Montebruno

The Sant’Antonio Fair in Chiavari, January 20-21st

The second largest fair in northern Italy is in Chiavari and offers two days of celebration, with over 500 exhibitors of artistic and hobbyist crafts, various goods, local gastronomic specialties and more. There will be tastings, entertainment for both adults and children, and much more. And as you stroll through the historic center of Chiavari, don’t resist the aroma and taste of ‘farinata’!

Fiera Sant'Antonio Chiavari
Sant’Antonio Fair Chiavari

The San Sebastiano Fair in Rapallo on January 28th

An event for everyone, the San Sebastiano Fair in Rapallo: on January 28th, the streets of the Tigullio town will shine with a celebration of colours and scents, featuring items, gifts, household goods, clothing, and gastronomy. Stalls, tents, and special sales. For the curious, homemakers, children on the hunt for cotton candy, and, why not, shopping enthusiasts.

Fiera San Sebastiano, Rapallo
San Sebastiano Fair, Rapallo

Candelora Fair in San Bartolomeo al Mare, February 2nd, 3rd & 4th

The Candelora Fair traditionally takes place on February 2nd and 3rd at the Sanctuary of Madonna della Rovere in San Bartolomeo al Mare. Dating back to the 17th century, it holds significant economic, social, and religious importance. As the olive season concludes, preparations for spring begin, including the purchase of fruit trees, fertilizers, working animals, and traditionally, contracts for the sale and export of oil are negotiated. It holds significant value in the ethno-anthropological context of the province of Imperia.

La Fiera della Candelora a San Bartolomeo al Mare
The Candelora Fair in San Bartolomeo al Mare

Fiera Sant’Agata a Genova il 4 febbraio

Losing yourself in the crowd, following colourful stalls, searching for the best deals: the Sant’Agata Fair in Genoa is the winter festival of the populous San Fruttuoso neighbourhood. On Sunday, February 4th, a tradition with ancient roots but still alive today returns: the fair is named after the saint venerated in the homonymous church of San Fruttuoso, and it is a highly cherished and attended event by the citizens. People buy seedlings and plants for the garden, already thinking about the imminent spring.

fiera S. Agata, Gneova
S. Agata Fair, Genova

The San Giuseppe Fair in La Spezia from March 17th to 19th

One of La Spezia’s most cherished traditions: the origin of the San Giuseppe Fair dates back to 1654 when merchants were invited to gather in La Spezia, exempt from duties. This gave rise to a three-day event that has lasted for three and a half centuries. In the city centre, over 600 stalls will create a festive atmosphere, with the scent of cotton candy, amusement rides, and happy children exploring the colourful stands. The White Night is scheduled between Saturday and Sunday, the San Giuseppe Trophy linked to the Palio del Golfo on the morning of the 17th, and the stalls continue until Tuesday.

Fiera San Giuseppe, La Spezia
San Giuseppe Fair, La Spezia

Sarzana hosts the traditional and historical Hazelnut Fair

At the borders of spring, the Hazelnut Fair in Sarzana will take place from April 6th to 8th. This historical event, much loved in Sarzana and attended by residents from the Val di Magra and Lunigiana, gets its name from the extensive hazelnut tree plantations that once covered the Sarzana area. In the early 1900s, a group of local farmers decided to celebrate the hazelnut harvest with a large city fair. For the occasion, they create and sell the typical hazelnut necklaces of Sarzana at the fair.

collana di nocciole a Sarzana
Hazlenut necklace in Sarzana