The Feast of San Venerio in the Gulf of La Spezia

On 11 and 12 September, San Venerio is celebrated, the patron saint of the Gulf of La Spezia. For the occasion, it is possible to visit the Tino, the island where San Venerio lived, on which the mooring of civil boats is normally denied, where the scheduled liturgical celebrations will take place.

Navigazione Golfo dei Poeti provides, as every year, a special boat service to reach the island of Tino, and participate in the celebrations dedicated to the memory of the patron saint of sailors and light-keepers.

To reach the island, registration on the CAI La Spezia website is mandatory (the link will be active from Wednesday 8 September). Participants are also required to have a Green Pass.
The transport by sea for the will be divided into two shifts of 150 people:
1st round: Departure at 9.00 Morin walk – return at 13.30
2nd round: Departure at 13.00 Morin walk – return at 17.30

The rate will be € 15 for adults and € 8 for children aged 6 to 11.

San Venerio, the ancient cult that tells the Gulf

San Venerio statue in La Spezia’s cathedral

Venerio bore in the name his native origin in the village of Portovenere, even if precisely he was born around 560 AD. on the Palmaria Island. In his person, before his holiness, the original and identity traits of the inhabitants of the Gulf are identified: expert sailor and ax master and lover of freedom and solitude, the latter traits that led him to the monastic choice to join the Monks of the Palmaria Island and to the even more drastic one of retiring as a hermitage on the Tino.

From the Island of Tino, Venerio soon became a point of reference for sailors, certainly with the stormy sea, which he illuminated with fires that signaled the presence of the mainland, but also in everyday life, with valuable advice for making navigation safer and more effective, on the construction of boats, and also on the cultivation of the land.
He soon gained the fame and gratitude of the local population, that he shunned away calling to generosity and charity, significantly contributing to the spread of Christianity in the Gulf.

San Venerio died around the year 630 d. C. and was buried on his Tino. Later some monks continued his work, especially spreading the Gospel in the hinterland and the cult of the saint grew greatly throughout the territory of La Spezia and the Cinque Terre.
In the 1960s, archaeological excavations began which revealed, among other things, the “Tomba della vela” which would testify to the “discovery” of modern sailing by Venerio.

Even today the archaeological excavations continue to discover more and more intriguing testimonies on the presence of man in times even more ancient than those of Venerio in the archipelago of Portovenere.

Cover ph. by Gianni Bedini

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