Thursday, 11 August 2016

How to spend a week end in Italy : the beautiful Antique Market Fair in SARZANA 5 hrs driving from Geneva- until August 21st

If you are looking for a very special way to spend a long week end , or if you are already in the Liguria area, close to 5 Terre , then I would strongly advice you to visit Sarzana' s yearly antique market street fair called  "La soffitta nella Strada"

The fair takes place , as every year , in the beautiful narrow streets of the historical center of Sarzana, from August 6th till August 21st. Sarzana is a medioeval town located in liguria, 5-6 hrs driving from Geneva, between Genoa and Pisa. 

The antique market is is a multi-faced market  where you can find good bargains, vintage objects and very ancient furniture, jewelry, laces, clothes, carpets and much more....

The stalls open every day at 4 p.m. and close after midnight; the little town is  full of history and very charming ; there are plenty of little restaurants serving the typical food of the area at very reasonable prices. My personal suggestion would be to go there at around 7 p.m. and sit in one of the  trendy bars of the city center to taste an Italian aperitifs and to enjoy the crowded and colorful atmosphere.
If you are passionate about high value antique objects, then you should also visit the Antique National Exhibition that takes place in parallel to the street fair  inside the beautiful medieval fortress  the Fortezza Firmafede in the heart of town.  The fortress was built by Lorenzo de Medici , the Magnificent  in 1488 and it's by itself worth a visit!

Fortezza Firmafede in the heart of Sarzana 
Sarzana's night antique fair -copyright
 To have more information on how to reach the beautiful little town of Sarzana, visit the official website
The area is plenty of interesting things to see, Pisa is 50 km away and the 5 Terre are 20 km far.
If you go to Sarzana,do not miss a visit to the Gemmi Pastry shop in the main pedestrian street, one of the most famous historical shop of the Region. From the pastry shop go upstairs and enjoy a dinner in the beautiful historical  Loggiato restaurant

The millions lights feast in Portovenere to celebrate the Madonna Bianca (Our White Lady) -on August 17th

 I have already talked in past posts about Portovenere   UNESCO World Heritage Site, just before the 5 Terre because I think that this Medieval village is one of the most beautiful places in the world and a perfect combination of natural beauty, landscape and historical architecture,

copyright alfredopepe

If you are in the area or just  happens that you will pass nearby to reach your final holiday destination or  to go back to Geneva then you shouldn't miss tomorrow's feast of Madonna Bianca (Our Lady White). On this occasion the village and it's worldwide famous symbol, the Church of Saint Peter is illuminated by the warm light of many thousands candles which turn it into a unrepeatable show!

This feast attracts many thousands visitor for its uniqueness and for it's breathtaking atmosphere ; the feast has very ancient traditions, it celebrate a miracle that took place back in 1399 ,the White Madonna painting it is told to be dated 1200 and it arrived to the village transported by the sea inside a trunk of cedar from Lebanon.

If you plan to go there, the best way is to stay in La Spezia and buy a return ticket by ferryboat from La Spezia pier , on the way back the ferry brings visitors to a short tour outside St Peter Church to show the unique lights spectacle from the sea.