by Brianna McClean
Italy loves food. And, what better way to celebrate good food than with a festival? Each year, there are many food festivals across Italy – offering food lovers the chance to indulge in local cuisine and culture. Whether you’re looking for the best regional wine, a taste of traditional risotto or even an orange fight (seriously), there is an Italian food festival for you.
It’s all about: Celebration!
Carnevale is celebrated all across Italy, 40 days before Easter. It is a time for celebration before fasting – which means lots and lots of great food! The best place to get in on the Carnevale action is Venice, where traditional celebratory food is a major part of the festival.
Fried doughnuts, called Frittelle, are served in Venice over Carnevale. These pastries can be filled with custard or Nutella and are coated in icing sugar. Completely melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Another classic pastry for this festival is Chiacchere, a light and lemony fried strip of dough. There is a traditional Carnevale lasagne, originating in Naples, which often involves a combination of ricotta and tender meat. Served from street vendors equipped with family recipes, these Carnevale treats are truly something special.
It’s all about: Roast pork.
Porchetta is the famous roast pork from the Umbrian region. Porchettiamo is a multiple-day festival dedicated to this delicious tradition. Moist, boneless rolls of pork are stuffed with liver and herbs and roasted over wood for eight hours, leaving a crispy skin. Porchettiamo is your chance to eat as much of this as you can – great in sandwiches, with a side of vegetables or paired with apple sauce. Bring on all the pork you can handle at Porchettiamo!
It’s all about: Wine.
Vinitaly is the largest wine exhibition in the world. Enough said! With the best vineyards from across the peninsular represented, this is the festival of dreams for every wine lover. There are over 3000 wines on offer so there’s sure to be something you love. We will heartily cheers to that!
Fiera Del Riso
Location: Isola Della Scala
Time: September and October
It’s all about: Rice.
Who doesn’t love a cream bowl of risotto? The people of Isola Della Scala certainly do! This festival is dedicated to the art of Italian cooking with rice. Chefs from all over Italy come to this festival to present their way of risotto and rice dish recipes. This festival has been running for 52 years – now that’s dedication!
Sagra Del Limone
It’s all about: Lemons
Lemons are a wonderfully diverse food, giving flavour to many favourite Italian recipes. Our favourite lemony treat? Limoncello! This summery liquor and many other lemon centred items are celebrated every year by the Sagra Del Limone.
Battle of the Oranges
It’s all about: Oranges (throwing them!)
The Battle of the Oranges is a different kind of food festival – but one too fun not to include. This festival is just what it sounds like, a food fight. Participants throw oranges at one another and things get messy pretty quickly. While it isn’t a food festival which encourages tasting, surely any place with that amount of beautiful fresh Italian oranges is somewhere you want to be!
Food Festivals Galore
There is plenty to see and do in Italy. Food festivals are a great addition to any itinerary. They give an immersion into local cuisine, traditions and atmosphere. Festivals are one of the best ways to experience authentic Italy – with the very best of Italian food around every corner. Variety, colour and celebration – welcome to the wonderful world of Italian food festivals!
Which festivals are your on bucket list? We’d love to hear!