Cinque Terre Slow Food: Many Ways To Experience Monterosso’s Famous Anchovies

Monterosso old town beach med
Monterosso old town and beach

Do you love anchovies, fried, marinated, salted, baked, stuffed or tossed in with vegetables or pasta to add that extra bit of spark to an Italian dish? Head right to Monterosso, the largest of the five towns in Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera, famous for its divine anchovies! When Italians hear that anchovies come from Monterosso, they know they’re top quality.

Two anchovy loving bloggers this week give delicious details of the many ways to experience these little fish—local festivals and good, simple recipes.

Monterosso blogger, Kate Little at, says pesto is the fast food of Cinque Terre and salted anchovies are the slow food. Her excellent article, Slow Food Cinque Terre Style, takes you on an anchovy journey joyfully telling you how anchovies are a big part of her food life. She includes step by step photos on how she preserves them in olive oil, garlic and oregano and give links to local, easy to make recipes with anchovies.

The Bagnum soup that fishermen used to make in their small boats is easy and delicious: tomatoes, fresh anchovies, onion, wine, parsley, olive oil, salt and old bread.  The classic Vernazza casserole, Tian is one of my favourites: layers of tomatoes, anchovies, thinly sliced potatoes, onions, parsley, white wine and lots of olive oil.

If you’d like to see how they salt anchovies, you can watch the video in Italian too.

A second Monterosso blogger, Christine Mitchell, takes us to Monterosso’s anchovy  festivals, with a series of photos so you almost feel you’re right there eating salted or fried anchovies in the main piazza of the old town. If you love anchovies, you’re in luck! Monterosso has two annual anchovy festivals! The salted anchovy festival in mid September and the fried anchovy festival in mid June. Check out her article at

Traveling in the Cinque Terre this summer? You’ll find schedules for trains, boats and buses all conveniently in one place at