Thursday, May 30, 2013

And finally, a festival

Rain clouds on their way

The annual lemon festival, which sort of "kicks off" the summer season and is the first of the various festivals throughout the summer, was delayed twice due to bad weather.  Finally, Sunday, the sun peeked out and the village covered itself in yellow.  Originally the week before, they moved the festival back a week due to the 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms, then moved it from Saturday to Sunday for the same reason, so it got a little muddled as to when the festival actually was.  The best part of the festival was the local children selling homemade lemonade and lemon cake to raise money for Padre Renato and the reconstruction of the monastery above the village, that sadly lost it's garden due to a landslide a few months ago.  Work is being done, by lifting equipment by helicopter from the parking lot in Via Fegina, up over the beach and to the hill where the mountain side needs to be reconstructed and secured before the containers can be removed that now cover the walkway connecting the old and new town of Monterosso.

 It's an incredible
 amount of work, and unique in the fact that helicoptering cement and equipment is the only way to get it done.  It can be disconcerting sitting on the beach (in the rain, of course) and having a helicopter swoop overhead and then turn back and do it all over again.  The pilot must be awfully bored - a 2 minute ride, then back again, then back again - all day long.
Lemon festival!
We were closed Sunday for the first communion of Manuel's nephew, which is celebrated here like a wedding.  A 7 hour, 13 course lunch later, and we stumbled full and tired through the festival back to our house and went to bed at 9pm.  Sometimes, you need a day off from your day off.
It was nice to have a day off that was sunny for a change, however, and it was nice to be a "tourist" for an event like the Lemon Festival, as opposed to working like a crazy person during it.  The weather has been constantly gloomy, and it's tough living at a beach when it's raining and chilly every day.  Normally, there is a line to sit at the seafront tables at the Cantina.  It says something of the temperature here when instead there is a line to sit inside, where it's warm.
This weekend brings the Infiorata, which is the festival when the streets are covered with flower petal mosaics.  I asked this year to help in making them, and assuming the sun will continue to shine on festival days, it's something I'm really looking forward to.  It's so strange, having all of these summer rituals, summer festivals starting, and having the temperature still feel like late October.  It's a funny trick with the mind.  Weather wise, it feels like the season is ending, but looking at the calendar, you have to remind yourself that it's only just begun.


  1. oh wow, its been a year since my trip and I so wish I was there this year. but maybe 2015 I can come again, thank you again for the photo's Christine, they make me smile when i read your post and see the village in all its glory. I hope the weather improves as it is just to special there to have people miss what make's it that way.
    thanks again. :)

  2. 2015 it is! I'm glad the photos made you smile - it's nice having it sunny and summery and normal again :) take care!