Festa di San Fortunato (Feast of San Fortunato) is a religious event held every year in Camogli, on the second Saturday of May, in honor of San Fortunato, patron saint of fishermen and sailors. On the next day, Sunday, Sagra del Pesce takes place, a festival dedicated to the same saint.
At the beginning of the 18th century, Camogli lived only on fishing, and the inhabitants spent long periods, from May to September, on the open sea. Often, they encountered bad weather, and for this they invoked the protection of the Madonna del Boschetto, patron saint of the city.
Therefore, was born the need to have a saint dedicated to fishermen and sailors, so the parish priest of the time, Father Pellegrino de Negri, asked Pope Clement XI to identify one. The pontiff pointed to an unnamed Roman legionary converted to Christianity, and killed in the circus by his own comrades.
In 1710, the sailors from Camogli left for Civitavecchia aboard a galley to bring the remains of the martyr, but on the return journey they were surprised by a terrible storm. In that moment, they turned their prayers to the anonymous saint they had on board. The storm stopped and the sailors returned safely to the port. The urn with the relics of the Saint was placed in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta.
From that moment, the local people decided that the second Sunday of May would be dedicated to the Saint, whom they called Fortunato. They chose to celebrate it at the time of departure for the four months of fishing, in May, with a solemn procession, during which the saint was invoked, asking for good weather and abundant fish.
During the month of September, Madonna del Boschetto was celebrated for the return of the fishermen back to their families.
FESTA DI SAN FORTUNATO 2019 will take place on Saturday, May 11, when a solemn procession led by eight volunteers will carry, along the streets of the old town, the statue of San Fortunato. When the statue will return to the Basilica, a fireworks display will begin, at the end of which two enormous bonfires will be lit on the beach of Camogli.