Now that Summer is over and we are in full fall mode, what better way to get over the summertime blues than hitting up a sagra (festival) in Italy? No nation so excitedly celebrates summer like the Italians, so they need an equally exciting festival schedule to help face the realities of returning to the daily routine. Is there anything better than Chocolate, Wine, Cheese and Truffles to ease one back into the ROUTINE life? I think not. Keep on reading to discover some of Italy’s most fun festivals.
La Sagra dell’uva di Marino – The Grape Festival of Marino – Rome, Lazio
I mentioned this festival a while back, but I guess it is so hip, it deserves a second mention. Marino is a hillside town about 20 miles from Rome. Every year during the first weekend of October this town celebrates the wine produced in the area by letting it flow free from the fountain in the central square. This festival has been going on since 1925 problem-free, but apparently in 2008, (as Susan from Timelsss Italy informed me) city officials made a mistake and misdirected the wine into the homes of the residents of Marino! Whoohoo! Must have been fun – wine on tap from the faucet at home. Life is good in the old country! Marino can be reached from Rome’s Termini station in 30 minutes.
Euro Chocolate Festival – Perugia, Umbria
This one is for every chocolate lover out there. Perugia, home to the hazelnut chocolates that include love messages properly called Baci (Kisses), hosts an annual festival every October. This jubilee attracts 900,000 visitors to the city and with good reason – a big chocolate party. The city comes to life with street performers, chocolate tastings and even sculptures made out of chocolate. Vendors come from all over the world to sell everything you could possibly imagine made with chocolate including: chocolate covered fruits, chocolate liqueurs and even chocolate doggie snacks! For details and dates see: www.eurochocolate.com
Cheese Festival – Bra, Piedmont
This celebration of the wonderful world of cheese takes place in the region of Piedmont known not only for its cheeses but also wines. So you get a nice glass of wine to accompany your cheese tastings. This festival takes place during the 3rd weekend of September once every two years during odd-numbered years (2015, 2017, etc…) and is organized by the city of Bra in conjunction with Slow Food. Over 150,000 people attend to mingle and to taste the cheeses from booths that are centered in the old town. www.cheese.slowfood.com
Fiera del Tartufo – Truffle Festival – Alba, Piedmont
No, this is not another Chocolate festival. The truffles we are talking about here are of the fungus variety. An expensive fungus at that: upwards of $2000 per pound for the white truffles found in this part of Italy. Truffles have a nutty aroma and flavor and are typically served with risotto, pasta or even veal or chicken. Other items you will find at this festival include truffle oils, sauces and butters. For more information see: www.fieradeltartufo.org
Festa dell’Olio Montemurlo – Olive Oil Festival – Monetmurlo near Prato, Tuscany
There is nothing like freshly pressed olive oil. Somehow it is just not the same as what you buy in the grocery store. In this Tuscan town you will find a world of olive oil as well as a big party, lots of people, great food and music too. Here is their website: www.festadelloliomontemurlo.it. Although in Italian, it is still helpful as you can find the exact dates of the festival which takes place in November.
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How fun! Really funny that wine was coming from the faucets in people’s houses (I certainly wouldn’t complain!) Seems like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs! When did you change the title of your blog btw? I like it!
hi…ha, ha, ha….lyn, I never thought of that! TOTALLY in line with the “meatball” movie. That is so funny. Yes…ehhh….I just felt like no one knew what my old name meant. 😦
Wow-vino coming out of the faucet! That sounds surreal!
Hi Cristina…isn’t that so funny??!?!!?
Great list! I have never heard these festivals before..I would love to visit the truffles festival! Italians always know how to make super delicious simple pasta with truffles 🙂
Hi Indah! I know – – the truffle pasta is to die for. If you happen to come to Italy in the fall, keep me posted, maybe we can hit one together! 🙂
I will let you know if we are visiting Italy 🙂 That will be awesome to meet up! Oh, I am crazy over truffle pasta 🙂
Great stuff, Diana. Those are some serious pots in the top shot.
Hi Graham! Isn’t that fab??? Polenta party….ha, ha, ha….polenta!
It seems like the month to visit Italy is October, Diana. Especially seeing that these festivals cover all the major food groups. 😉 I am going to save this post for my “Italy Travel Wish List”.
Hi! yes….it is a very fun time to be here….These are just a few of the big festivals….there are SO many….even in the small towns…also, every neighborhood also has a “fest settembrina” given by the church….food, wine, grappa, music. It is my favorite time of year in Italy.
Well, think of me in the desert when you flit from festival to festival. Enjoy. 🙂
Superb list, cara! I would love to attend the Alba truffle festival someday soon. Perugia choco festival sounds like a dream 😀 I love that town 🙂
Thanks Ishita! I know…Perugia is the best!
It certainly is. I hope to come to Italy soon!
Its been quite a long time since i visit3d your blog… Sincere apologies 😦
oh! NEVER a problem…thanks for the visit today though. 🙂
Yes! I can’t wait for Slow Food Cheese! Funny…”routine” life indeed 🙂
I would definitely have a hard time staying in shape in Italy!! So many sagras so little time 😦
The grape festival in Marino is my choice, if I must make one. I hear tell that its a wild and wooly occasion, AND that wine comes out of the large fountain. I’m ready to return….
Hi Susan! Get over here…we can go together!
I may surprise you and show up….wouldn’t we have a blast?
OH MY GOSH Susan! would LOVE it! Get on over here! 🙂
Italian sagras are great! If I had to choose now I would go for the truffles and to the chocolate ones. It is easy to have a good time at these places, so simple yet so much fun!
You Alida…..Fall is my favorite time of year in Italy…the festivals…the cool weather…it is a very romantic time of year to me. Buona domenica!
What fabulous choices! Of course chocolate is at the top of the list… 🙂
it is a toss up for me….depends on the day and the mood I am in! 🙂
That’s it we are getting on a plane straight away! wine in the fountain? Let’s start there. Alba was the first town we stayed in on our first trip to Italy. So lovely.
Thanks Sue! YES – wine from the Fountain! WHOOHOOO!
Didn’t know about these festivals, thanks for sharing. ‘wine on tap from the faucet’ ?! hahaha.
I would love to attend the chocolate festival!
Hi Anna…I know…the faucet thing is so funny….and any fest involving Chocolate has may name written all over it!
Très bonne idée ce petit tour des festivals afin de se donner du courage pour la nouvelle rentrée ! 🙂
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I will be saving some of these festivals!!
Oooo, cheese and olive oil festivals! The chocolate one sound dangerous 😉
These festivals are very nice!
Having lived in Italy for the past year, I’ve noticed that the Italians sure do love their festivals. I’m in the south and someone is always celebrating something. I am looking forward to the Easter festivities in Puglia. Wishing you a lovely new year! Really enjoyed your post.