Fiera di San Giuseppe: A street fair that locals look forward to each year

Every village and city in Italy has a patron saint.  San Giuseppe (St. Joseph) is the patron saint of La Spezia, which is the nearest city to the Cinque Terre (just 8 minutes by train from Riomaggiore).  

Aside from religious festivities, the city offers a huge street fair (fiera) with over 600 stands selling everything from household goods and clothing to culinary specialties. It’s an event that locals look forward to each year!

This year you can witness the fiera in La Spezia the 18, 19 & 20 of March. On Saturday night (March 19) there will be a Notte Bianca (literal translation: White Night), which means the stands and shops will stay open later. Usually the Notte Bianca has a few street performances thrown in the mix as well. 

The hours the stands will be open are as follows:

Friday, March 18, from 8am to 8pm

Saturday, March 19, from 8am to 9:30pm

Sunday, March 20, from 8am to 8pm


  • If you’re not a fan of crowds, you’ll want to hit up the fiera in the early morning.  
  • Based on personal experience, I wouldn’t wait to attend until the evening of the last day (as the vendors start packing things away before the official closing time).
  • Because it’s super popular and you’ll be elbow to elbow with other spectators, you’ll want to be extra vigilant of pick pockets.  

The Giro d’Italia in the Cinque Terre

photo credit: Imperia Post

For those of you that don’t know, the Giro d’Italia is Italy’s premier cycling race (comparable to the Tour de France).  It’s a pretty big deal.  And for the first time since 2009, it’s heading through the Cinque Terre. You can see the route map and expected passing times here.


This is great news for sports & cycling enthusiasts but not such great news for those planning to arrive by car to the Cinque Terre on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015.  The cyclists will be starting in Chiavari, making their way through the Cinque Terre, and finishing up in La Spezia.

In the Comune di Riomaggiore the Litoranea delle Cinque Terre (a.k.a. SP370) will be closed to traffic from 2pm to approx. 6:30pm.  Other comuni (La Spezia, Vernazza, Monterosso and Levanto) will be having road closures for presumably different times (depending on when the cyclists are expected to pass by).


The notice of road closure times signed by Riomaggiore’s mayor

If you are planning to drive to the Cinque Terre that day, speak with your host in advance to see what recommendations they might have (whether that be to park elsewhere and train in or to arrive before/after road closure times).