San Nicola traditional fair

I have already posted about the Fiera di San Nicola, as our family is fond of it.

First of all the fair is strongly connected to our childhood when our grandparents used to give us our allowance to buy candies, a toy or a balloon. Besides, when my sister (auntie Chicca) and I were in our teens – I mean, when she was in her teens; I’m the younger of the two 😉 –  we used to go to San Nicola fair and sell bead jewelry she would make months ahead. We even sold painted tiles (mostly using Peanuts characters) and painted cotton bags. My father used to rent us a regular space right in front of the former Cruiser Congress Hotel (which turned into a Mercure hotel this year). He never told us but the rent he payed for our exhibiting (little) area was never made up for by our earnings! That was fun though 😉

The fair – entitled to Saint Nicholas (celebrated on Sept. 10th according to the Roman Catholic calendar) – marks for us Pesaresi the turning point between Summer and Fall.

It dates back to 400 years ago: after the new harbour was built under Francesco Maria Della Rovere II in 1615, the inhabitants and the merchants of Pesaro asked for the ‘old fair’ (already existing in the 16th century) to be held again, and improved. The fair did not keep going through the centuries; later on the fairs of San Terenzio, Pesaro patron saint – which we celebrate on Sept. 24th – and San Nicola fair merged into just one fair.  Nowadays, they are again two seperate events.

Since our daughter Costanza was born I attend the fair with quite a different attitude… First of all we mostly linger on the sweet children’s shops set up on the sidewalks looking for a soft stuffed animal to add to Costanza’s collection or for a new Playmobil character.

Starting from via della Repubblica (leading to the bronze sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro), both viale Trento and viale Trieste display each year all kinds of goods on over 500 hundred stalls: onions, garlic, local ‘pecorino’ or ‘fossa’ cheese, sausages, honey, toys, clothes, hats, books, umbrellas, shoes and, of course, the yearly fair ‘thing-a-majig’.

Each year someone comes up with the ‘discovery-of-the-year’ item that is supposed to make each housewife the most fulfilled housewife in the world. The eighth wonder of the world is usually a miraculous rag to clean windows, a magic knife to make roses out of zucchini and/or carrots, a lemon squeezer you just have to push into the lemon (I got it two years ago and never used it!). This year the big fuss was about a ‘reverse umbrella’…

Last year Costanza made a ‘sidewalk sale’. She went there for a couple of days with her friends Lara and Anastasia. She was very proud of her achievement and earned about 50 euros. She said she needs money for when she grows up and goes to ‘that Spanish disco island’ (i.e Ibiza… OMG!).

This year though she could not find any old toy or book to sell. We gave her our old books and DVDs but she said that ‘grown-ups’ things do not sell so good’. So, no sidewalk shop.

So much for Ibiza 😉



  1. This looks fascinating and so much fun Simona!! It makes me think of the Christmas markets when we lived in Spain. Hope you found some fun treats! and hope you’re in the middle of a lovely weekend. I spent most of the morning today addressing envelopes for invites for a party we’re having for our daughter and son-in-law who were married in August. Inviting all our family and friends who weren’t able to travel to the wedding. Happy Weekend! xox

    • Ciao Rhonda! How nice of you to give a party for your daughter and son-in-law for those who were not able to travel to the wedding! Is it going to be a lot of people? Will you have a party at your house? Are you going to cook (I know you are an awesome cook!). I love it that in your country you still write (and send) cards for all different occasions! In Italy we only seem to send cards or invitations when somebody gets married or dies! I love it so much to receive real cards and invitations (and not just digital ones or a phone call instead). Great habit. I hope you are going to have a wonderful party full of friends, relatives and joy!

      • Hey Simona– yep it’s at our little house and I hope the weather is fine to use the backyard because we invited 170 people!! Her friends, our friends and our big family. We’re cooking brats (sausages) that are so popular in Wisconsin (where they live) and a Wisconsin cheese table. And my sis will have me make salads and lots of cakes! It’s a casual come go “open house.” should be lots of fun! xox

        • Ciao Rhonda! I think it’s incredible! 170 people! I’m sure it is going to be a great party and lots of fun. A big (very big!) family and friends reunion in your backyard… that sounds wonderful. It must be so beautiful to have so many relations… our family is so small 😉 Have a gorgious week-end ahead!

          • Hi Simona– yep, we’re getting ready for the party ahead, and this weekend our kids with the 3 grand-girls are coming to stay over and bringing 3 friends from China! (wish I spoke a little Chinese!). What does your weekend look like?? hugs!

          • Ciao Rhonda! I hope you had a great weekend with your kids and grand-girls and Chinese friends! I recently watched a Ted Talk about a 70-year-long research at Harvard on what makes people really happy and it turned out that it is the relations we have in our lives! I guess that with 4 kids, so many grand-children and friends around your life is a very fulfilled one! We had a quiet week-end. I am thankful for that! Have a nice week start! xoxo

          • Hi Simona– I can believe that. Our kids are our biggest joy– and friends nearby. (Don’t you love TED talks?? I listen to them when I walk in the mornings). We did have a lovely time with the Chinese friends–they made a huge Chinese supper for us on Saturday. They were lovely (and thankfully spoke English so we could chat!). hugs hugs friend!

          • Ciao Rhonda! So glad the weekend went fine. The Chinese supper must have been delicious! We go to the Chinese restaurant here every now and then, but they say it is not real Chinese food (as the one I’m sure you had in the week-end!). And yes, I do love TED talks. Sometimes, when I listen to them in the morning, they just give me the right fuel to start my brain 😉 And then I feel I can change the world and be a better person! It does not always work but still I love them 😉

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