[nggallery id=28]Few days ago I was in Portofino and saw some residents of this little charming town preparing for the feast day of San Giorgio (the dragon-slayer) hold on April 23.  The festival honours the patron saint of Portofino and the celebrations take place in the famous Piazzetta, surrounded by small multi-colored Italian style houses, arched porticos, shops, boutiques and bars, as well as restaurants.

That day, fishermen and inhabitants with their children began by putting up the trunk of a big tree, called “pennolla”, harvested by young men from Portofino’s mount forest and brought down to the Piazzetta. A fisherman told me that for days, people position old boats and parts of fences, old doors, tree branches, and anything that would have burn all around the huge tree trunk.

This Festival is a tradition, a time of great celebration in Portofino. On the eve of April 23, the bonfire is lit and later people eat, drink and sing songs till the “pennolla” fall to the ground (tradition holds that if it falls towards the sea, it signifies a good season ahead).

San Giorgio’s Fire, is one of the biggest events on Portofino’s calendar and it includes giant barbecues grilling fish, a religious procession and fireworks.

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