If you’re visiting Camogli on the second Sunday in May, you won’t be able to miss the Sagra del Pesce, preceded on the Saturday night by fireworks and a huge bonfire. This generous – and smelly – event has its origins in celebrating the munificence of the sea and retains its ancient resonance for Camogli’s fisherfolk even today. Thousands of fish are plucked fresh from the waves, flipped into a giant frying-pan set up on the harbourfront and distributed free of charge to all and sundry as a demonstration of the sea’s abundance. In recent years the event has been beset by quibbles: bureaucrats have suggested that the frying pan – some 4m across – is a health hazard, and there have even been allegations that frozen fish is defrosted out at sea and then passed off as fresh. For all that, local enthusiasm for the festival hasn’t waned one bit.

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