The anchovies of Monterosso are famous all over Italy. The fishermen of the Cinque Terre have been experts in anchovy fishing for centuries. They really know the sea around the Cinque Terre and cleverly use a traditional technique.
Anchovy fishing takes place at night, in the dark, with the use of a lamp. The well-equipped boats stop in the best spot. The sea is illuminated, the light attracts the anchovies and the fishermen surround them with their nets. The best time for anchovy-fishing is late spring and early summer, as the sea around here is full of this 10-12 cm long fish.
Anchovies are conserved in salt, in large barrels.
In the anchovy salting center of Monterosso (behind the Town Hall - Via Servano 2-4.), you can watch how the local girls are working, find out how the anchovies get from the sea onto your table and do some tasting. (Unfortunately the center is closed at the moment.)
Although not everyone likes the strong taste, the anchovy is without a doubt the star of the local cuisine. It is delicious in every form: fried, filled, with garlic, lemon or tomato, and of course on pasta or pizza as well.
If you would like to find out more, you can watch on a short video how the girls are cleaning and salting the anchovies.
Italian gastrotrip: how anchovies get from the sea to our plate?
If you would like to try night fishing with the "lampara" fishing method, check out this night fishing tour. If you would prefer fishing during the day, go fishing with a local fisherman. Or you can just get fresh seafood from the local market and prepare it with an italian cook during this wonderful cooking course in La Spezia.