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The Best Italian Festivals and Sagre in Fall/Winter 2022

While Italy cools down in autumn, long-running regional festivals return in full regalia. These genuinely irreplaceable happenings bring us closer to inspirational artisans, long-time traditions and unforgettable (and often delicious!) experiences.

 

Be sure to check the official websites or Facebook pages of the organizers for the latest updates.

ABRUZZO

Tornareccio Regina di Miele

October 8-9, 2022

A sweet festival in Abruzzo’s capital of honey. Bee lovers and keepers of all ages descend from all over Italy to celebrate the new harvest and the dozens of honey varieties in production in Tornareccio.

BASILICATA

Sagra della Varola

October 19-20, 2022

One of the largest and oldest chestnut festivals in Italy, the Melfi chestnut harvest festival is in its 61th year. Taste sweets like classic castagnaccio and chestnut gelato, beer and pizza–all featuring local chestnuts.

CALABRIA

Festa del Cioccolato

Oct 28-30, 2022

Did someone say chili pepper chocolate? Master chocolatiers from Calabria assemble on Corso Mazzini in Cosenza to celebrate it “cibo degli dei“–food of the gods.

EMILIA-ROMAGNA

Sagra dell’Anguilla

October 1-16, 2022

Comacchio is built over wetlands where narrow, networked waterways meet the Adriatic sea. Their most prized export, eel, is best tried at this festival that marks the beginning of the season. If you can’t make it, watch the 1954 film La Donna del Fiume (The River Girl) in which Sophia Loren dances around a Manufactura de los Marinati, an eel preserving factory, in Comacchio.

FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA

Barcolana

October 1-9, 2022

With a record 2,689 boats registered in 2018, Barcolana is the largest international sailing regatta in the world. The 54th edition’s finish line is yet again in the stretch of blue in front of Piazza Unità in Trieste.

LAZIO

Sagra delle Castagne

Sept 30 – Oct 16, 2022

Dating back to the 15th century, Soriano nel Cimino lights up with the scent of roasted chestnuts and historical reenactments that honor this nutty and nourishing specialty.

LIGURIA

Rolli Days

October 14-16, 2022

Over this weekend, discover the acclaimed Palazzi dei Rolli in Genoa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006. Twenty seven of the forty two UNESCO Palazzi, along with five villas and nine other exquisite sites, will be open to the public. This ensemble of the Strade Nuove, dotted with 16th and 17th century palaces, was admired by Peter Paul Rubens, who considers them the most elegant and perfect models for any European residence.

LOMBARDIA

Torrone Festival

November 12-20, 2022

Cremona is the home of nougat (torrone in Italian), which originated from the cake made for the wedding banquet of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti in 1441. During the festival, the historical reenactment of the Sforza Visconti wedding is aptly celebrated. Nougat of every imaginative flavor is sure to create memories as sticky as the sweet.

MARCHE

Festa della Cicerchia di Primavera

November 25-27, 2022

The grass pea festival is inside the medieval walls of historic Serra de’ Conti. Try local delicacies and cherish and protect the hearty legume, which has fed locals for centuries in both times good and bad.

MOLISE

Festa della Mela

October 15-16, 2022

The 5th apple festival in Castel del Giudice promises taste workshops, apple picking, guided tours, autumnal nature excursions and more. The best organic producers will set the mood with the scents and flavors of local varieties.

PIEMONTE

Alba Truffle Festival

Oct 8 – Dec 4, 2022

The 92nd edition of this international fair celebrates one of the most prized culinary jewels growing in the hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato: the white truffle. Don’t miss the hilarious Donkey Palio on the first Sunday in October, when donkeys race around the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Alba. 

SICILY

Sagra della Mostarda e del Ficodindia di Militello

October 7-16, 2022

Taste hot mostarda cooked in terracotta made from local prickly pear. This festival celebrates its 30th year with art, culture, music and gastronomy.

UMBRIA

Eurochocolate

October 14-23, 2022

Unsurprising, Perugia (home to Perugina!) is home to the world’s largest international chocolate festival. With more than 6,000 chocolate products on display, this extra large gathering is within Umbria’s convention center.

 

VENETO

Festa del Baccalà

October 4-7, 2022

The cod festival in Montegalda celebrates Veneto’s most iconic cicchetti star: baccala mantecato. Vicenza-style, cod salads and more, this festival is a must for stockfish lovers.

TOSCANA

Sagra del Tordo

October 29-30, 2022

Since 1958, this weekend originates from the ancient hunting tradition of migratory birds and wild boar. The archery competition is the most important moment where four regions, dressed in their respective colors, compete: Borghetto (white and red), Pianello (white and blue), Ruga (yellow and blue) and Travaglio (yellow and red). The historical parade with medieval decorations ends with a local menu paired with Montalcino wines: pappardelle with wild boar, pinci al sugo, mushroom soup, quail rotisserie and fried polenta.

TRENTINO-ALTO ADIGE

Cavalcata di San Leonardo

November 6, 2022

San Leonardo celebrates their patron saint with “Leonardiritt”, horse riding and colorful  costumes. The 22nd edition begins with a parade and ends with traditional Ladin dishes, roasted chestnut and folk dancing.

VAL D’AOSTA

Seven Towers Race 

October 23, 2022

Aosta hosts the 35th edition of the Seven Towers Race, a national relay named after seven of the 20 towers that were erected by the Romans to defend and decorate Aosta himself, Augusta Praetoria.