August 10th has a very special night: all city lights switch off, all sounds are gone and everyone stares at the sky to catch shooting stars that could make dreams come true. The whole Italy gets dark and silent in the night of August 10th, but there’s an exception. Manarola turns all lights on to celebrate “San Lorenzo”, and all of a sudden the Saint’s Boat breaks the silence with its accompanying songs.
Patron Saint day
San Lorenzo is the Patron Saint of Manarola, celebrated every year on August 10th.
The village begins with celebrations early in the morning when the bazar in Piazza Cappellini opens to exhibit and sell handicraft products and typical food products.
The market, occupying the whole central square and Via Antonio Discovolo, makes a stroll through the village very pleasant, especially for tourists in search of souvenirs.
Not much time allowed in the morning though if you wish to participate to the religious celebration in San Lorenzo Church.
At the end of the service, the Saint’s statue is taken on procession towards the marina, while the men waiting in the small harbor prepare the boat for the procession in the sea: enough spaces is reserved for the statue, and a fishing light attractor gets fixed on the boat bow.
Many more boats get ready to follow the Saint’s boat.
The sun sets, the village lights reflect on the calm sea, like many small lit flames carried by the faithful to guide San Lorenzo’s short trip.
As soon as the boat docks, fireworks light up the sky and impress the crowds with their typical bursts, just like shiny flowers above everyone’s heads that blossom, bloom and wilt in a matter of seconds.
Once the fireworks show is over, darkness overtakes the scene, and all is suddenly silent.
The rest of the night is dedicated to dreams: stare at the sky and look for shooting stars that will make your dreams come true!