Every year for centuries, on June 29th, the people of Carloforte celebrate their patron saint San Pietro. This is a very picturesque religious holiday with historical roots in ancient times when, according to legend, San Pietro escaped from a violent storm at sea and landed on this island which was then given his name.
Among the particularly evocative events related to this three day celebration, is a procession through the streets of the old town: this procession makes its way through the crowd, the Saint’s sacred statue carried by local fishermen, followed by large wooden crucifixes with festive decorations from the town of Pegli in Liguria, the ancestral home of the Carlofortinian people.
From the Church of San Pietro, the procession continues to the dock of Mamma Mahon, then continues by boat into the sea, as the setting sun paints the sea red.
In the old days, the Saint was placed on a "bastarda", a rowboat used in the Tonnara, and then carried out to open sea. Today all the boats have modern engines, but the charm of this ancient devotion remains unaltered.
The procession of boats glides on the waters of the harbor while the ferry boats, decorated for the occasion, sound their horns in honor of the patron saint until the fireworks light up the sky, closing the celebration.


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