Summer is festival time in Italy!

According to Coldiretti, there are somewhere between 18,000 to 30,000 festivals throughout Italy every year, many of which occur between June and September. Here, you will find some advice on how to spend the rest of your summer weekends by discovering Italian locations and their flavor, while you have some fun and enjoy food, music and folklore.

sagra della fragola a BolzanoPhoto Credit: Alto Adige Bolzano

The Bel Paese (“Beautifiul Country”) is the first country in Europe to celebrate local products. Among them is truffle, a special ingredient found in many regional recipes, like the black truffle of the Bolognese Appennines. Visit the Tartufesta and the Festival of the White Truffle of Alba. If you like desserts, see you in Rocca Canavese, during the first week of August for the Festival of Stuffed Peach (Sagra della Pesca Ripiena), where you’ll find traditional recipes of chocolate and amaretto desserts.

fettuccine tartufoPhoto Credit: Sagre e Dintorni

Between Tradition and Innovation

To really learn about Italian food tradition, the best way to educate yourself is to visit local festivals instead of visiting the Expo 2015. Street food isn’t any news here, Italian festivals have been around for a long time, offering cheap food and a festive atmosphere. Recently, the trend is more in the way of natural food, aiming to use new techniques to eat like we did in the past. For instance, we recommend you visit the first Italian Bio Festival  in Casciano Val di Pesa, near Florence, from August 4– 16. It’s the perfect place to taste an organic and local menu.

Some festivals use the traditional local names of food, like the Festival of Pupporina e Del Tordello (meaning biscuit and stuffed pasta), taking place from August 115 in Massarosa, Lucca. 

toscana-sagre-e-cucinaPhoto Credit: Buttalapasta

Main Dishes From North to South 

Check out the Festival of Gnocchi (from August 1-10 in Guardea, Terni) and the Festival of Pappardelle al Cinghiale (wide strips of pasta and boar) in Casine di Ostra (Ancona), starting August 5th in Acquapendente (Viterbo).  

An Abundance of Wine Festivals

Many wine cellars are open for wine festivals. We start by toasting, “East! East!! Aleatico e Divino Etrusco!”  You can taste the famous classic Chianti in Tuscany, at the Festival of Wine. In Serrapetrona (the Marches), starting on August 6 you can taste the red local champagne at the Festival of Vernaccia

festa vendemmiaPhoto Credit: Festa Vendemmia

Festivals by the Sea 

Perhaps you want some fish to go with your white wine. The Festival of Oily Fish waits for you in Atrani, on the Amalfi Coast, at the end of August. In the wonderful Cinque Terre in Liguria, you have to visit the Festival of Monterosso Salt Anchovy in September. The enchanting Puglia sea looks even more amazing, thanks to the Festival of Swordfish in Gallipoli, Lecce, from August 15-18. In Morciano di Leuca (Puglia), you’ll find chili peppers to spice up your summer at the Festival of Diavulicchi. You can also find chili peppers in Calabria at the Diamante Peperoncino Fesitval. Sicily is especially wonderful in September and you can pass through there to enjoy the Festival of Arancino in Acicastello, Catania.

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