It is no secret that italian food los angeles love their food. But beyond the time spent in the kitchen and around the dining room table, you will also find another Italian tradition throughout the country – sagre. Sagre are festivals of Italian cuisine. Unlike religious festivals that include special foods, such as Easter, mardi gras and the Ivrea carnival, these festivals focus on local cuisine.
Events generally take place every year and the whole community participates. If you attend one of these festivals during your stay, you should enjoy it. You will often have the opportunity to taste local dishes and seasonal foods that you might otherwise miss on your travels.
As the different fruits come in season all year round, you are sure to find festivals of Italian cuisine that focus around them in different cities. There are many festivals for fruits and vegetables, including artichokes, cherries, lemons, peaches and strawberries. If you are in Puglia in September, Palmariggi even has a pomegranate festival. One of the most popular fruit festivals takes place in the village of Monterosso al Mare, located in Liguria. This pretty little village is surrounded by lemon trees, which makes it a really picturesque scene. The lemon festival usually takes place in May, on the third Saturday before Ascension.
If you like mushrooms, you have certainly heard about the delicacy of wood truffles. Famous throughout Italy, the white and black varieties have their own festival. For black truffles, the most famous festival takes place in Norcia, Umbria. However, if you miss this one, you can also visit the villages of Marche and Lazio for other black truffle fairs. If white truffles are what you want, you should be in Tuscany at the end of October and beginning of November. The white truffle festival takes place in Voltera, and you will find many street vendors who sell this highly prized mushroom during this festival of Italian cuisine.
Chocolate and Chestnuts
If the desserts are more to your liking, then you will want to visit Turin. Unofficially known as the country’s chocolate capital, this city hosts an annual chocolate festival where you can enjoy a wide variety of delicious foods combined with the rich flavour of chocolate. Certainly not the time to go on a diet if you visit this Italian food festival!
A less well-known festival is the Chestnut Festival. Held in Castiglione d’Orcia, Tuscany, this festival features the chestnut tree that grows abundantly in the surrounding area and allows visitors to enjoy a wide range of dishes. Campiglia and Vivo are two small towns particularly dedicated to the festival and should be part of your itinerary if you are in the region at the end of October.
With so many kilometres of coastline, it is not surprising that Italy also has its own seafood festivals in which you can participate. In July, you can visit Calabria for the swordfish festival, or if you are visiting later in the summer, participate in the salt cod festival in Avigliano, Basilicata in August. There is also the Sagra del Pesce, another lively fish festival in Camogli, Liguria.