St. Joseph has been the patron saint of La Spezia since 1653, and the city celebrates him with a large fair each year on the 19th of March.
In the past, the fair of St. Joseph lasted for 5 days. Merchants would come to the city to sell many types of goods, especially food. Today, the fair lasts for 3 days, still takes place on the 19th of March, and attracts hundreds of visitors from all parts of the region and beyond. You will find all kinds of goods on the stalls that are set up at the public gardens, and along the adjacent streets and the seafront promenade: speciality foods, utensils, toys and clothing bring colour to this highly anticipated event. Over three days, the city lives for this fair; you will hardly meet a La Spezia resident who has not spent at least a small part of their day wandering amongst the marvels of this rich market. The fair has become a public meeting place, and its impact has been growing: in recent years, side events have been organised that expand the range of tourist opportunities. Today, the fair of St. Joseph is still an event that is doused with folklore and tradition, and helps many people get further acquainted with the culture of La Spezia.