(Click on any photo for a slightly sharper image.)

July 3rd, a quiet night in Rapallo:

Then suddenly all hell broke loose!

July 1, 2 and 3 are the special days Rapallo has set aside to honor the Madonna of Montallegro. It’s crazy in town – huge crowds; lots of noise; a wonderful procession with crosses, bishops and mayors, and children; all culminating in the tradional ‘attack and burning’ of the ancient castello. To give you an idea of the scope and the noise, over the course of the day on Monday, the middle day of the Festa, some 6,000 mortars were fired off.  These are the bright flashes accompanied by an ear-splitting and echoing BOOM that can be heard all through the area.

This year we did not go down into the hub-bub. Instead we stayed ‘quietly’ home and enjoyed a partial show of fireworks. (‘Quiet’ does not exist here on July 1, 2 or 3.)  I love that this happens right before our own traditional Fireworks Day, the 4th of July.  If you’d like to see some photos and read more about the doings in town, read this post from last year.  And if you’re interested in knowing why Rapallo has chosen the Madonna as her patron saint you can read about it here (spoiler: The Blessed Virgin was an early tourist).

Happy Independence Day to one and all!