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Rapallo just celebrated her Festa Patronale in honor of the Virgin Mary. It is three days of madness in town (you can see some photos of various elements of the celebration, including the parade of crucifixes here) beginning with a huge volley of mortar fire at 8 a.m. on July 1st. This is followed by fireworks presented by the Sestiere at mid-day and evening on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Why anyone wants to fire off huge noisy mortars first thing in the morning is beyond me (they do it to greet and salute the Virgin, to let her know the Festa has begun; it closes with another cannonade last thing on the 3rd). But fire them off they do. We were congratulating ourselves for living up above the chaos and thus missing most of the smoke:

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We were smug too soon, as it turned out. Half an hour later most of the smoke had drifted up our way, but by then it was dissipated enough not to matter.

During the Festa the cathedral in town is brightly lit:

Rapallo cathedral alight

Here are a few shots of the fireworks from rather far away on the night of the 3rd (our house – I just didn’t have the om-pah-pah to join the fray this year) . I like to think of them as our own private 4th of July.

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If you’re interested in Rapallo’s long relationship with the Virgin you can read about it here.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

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