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EARTHQUAKES

Amatriciana pasta festival returns to quake-hit Amatrice

After a two year absence, the town that was devastated by an earthquake in August 2016 is welcoming home the festival which celebrates a pasta sauce to which it lent its name.

Amatriciana pasta festival returns to quake-hit Amatrice
Photo: lorenzograph/Depositphotos

The celebration of the recipe known all around the world is returning to its roots after a two year hiatus. The town of Amatrice in Lazio, which was struck by a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake in which 299 people were killed on August 24th, 2016, will once again come alive with the rich scents of tomato, olive oil, local pork, pepper, pecorino cheese and white wine. 

READ ALSO: Why Italy's quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again

Amatriciana, one of Italy's most famous pasta sauces, takes it name from the quake-affected region. The festival has been running for more than a half century and is organised by the local 'proloco,' the community. 

This year's poignant celebration includes 19 different live events, including a series of jazz concerts under the banner of 'Italian jazz for the earthquake regions'. Concerts will take place in Amatrice on September 1st as part of a solidarity tour by musicians, which has the support of Italy's Ministry of Culture. 

The Sagra degli Spaghetti all'Amatriciana starts on Friday August 31st and runs until September 2nd. Culinary events include a course – replete with a tasting – on how to recognize fake extra virgin olive oil, a presentation on ancient techniques for making local cured meats and workshops on making the ultimate tomato preserve, according to the full program published by the Amatrice town council. Tickets for the culinary fare can be purchased on site. 

READ ALSO: The one dessert you have to try in each of Italy's regions”

“We have chosen to move forward. Every step we take is a step towards the future,” Amatrice's mayor, Filippo Palombini, told Italian daily Repubblica. “We are still in an emergency, but if we want to look ahead we must do it by first passing through our traditions, and the festival is a piece of history of this city and this land,” added Palombini. 

READ MORE: Nine delicious Italian summer delicacies you have to taste

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FOOD & DRINK

Sagra: The best Italian food festivals to visit in October

If you're visiting Italy in autumn, don't miss the many local food and drinks fairs held around the country. Here are some to visit this October.

Sagra: The best Italian food festivals to visit in October

One of the best things about visiting Italy in the autumn is having the opportunity to attend a sagra, a type of harvest festival or fair centred around one particular food or drink item local to the town hosting it.

sagra has a fairly broad definition: it could last for several weeks or one day, and might consist of anything from a raucous celebration with music and dancing to a lone food stall with a few wooden benches. It will usually be hosted in a field or a piazza, and entry is free.

READ ALSO: Seven reasons autumn is the best time to visit Italy

What all sagre have in common is the focus on eating and drinking fresh local produce, and the assurance that you won’t leave unsated.

Now, the good news is that October is by far the month with the most sagre, with a wealth of events taking place throughout the country that are worth seeking out if you’re in the area. So, here are some of the best sagre happening across Italy this month.

Campania 

Sagra della Castagna (chestnut festival), 7th-16th October in Calvanico, Salerno.  

Festa della Mela Annurca (‘annurca‘ apple festival), 28th-29th October in Valle di Maddaloni, Caserta.

Sagra del Cinghiale (boar festival), every Friday of the month in Dugenta, Benevento.

Emilia Romagna

Sagra della Salamina da Sugo (salami festival), 5th-9th October in Poggio Renatico, Ferrara.

Sagra del Vino Romagnolo (Romagna’s wine festival), 6th-9th October in Cotignola, Ravenna.

Sagra del Tartufo (truffle festival), 7th-9th October in Bondeno, Ferrara.

Sagra dell’Anguilla (eel festival), first three weekends of the month in Comacchio, Ferrara.

Lazio

Sagra dell’Uva Cesanese del Piglio (‘Cesanese‘ grapes festival), 30th September-2nd October in Piglio, Frosinone.

Enorvinio (wine festival), 2nd October in Orvinio, Rieti.

Castelli di Cioccolato (chocolate castles festival), 7th-9th October, Marino, Rome.

Sagra delle Tacchie ai Funghi Porcini (‘tacchie‘ pasta and porcini mushroom festival), first two weekends of the month in Bellegra, Rome.

A street seller prepares roasted chestnuts in Rome.

Roasted chestnuts are a staple of Italy’s October ‘sagre’. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

Lombardy

Castagnata a Caglio (chestnut festival), 2nd-9th October in Caglio, Como.

Festival della Mostarda (mustard festival), 15th October-30th November in Cremona.

Fasulin de l’Oc con le Cudeghe (beans and pork rind festival), 29th-31st October in Pizzighettone, Cremona.

Sicily

Funghi Fest (Mushroom festival), 21st-23rd October in Castelbuono, Palermo.

Piedmont

Sagra del Ciapinabò (Jerusalem artichoke festival), 8th-9th October in Carignano, Turin.

Cioccolato nel Monferrato (chocolate festival), 16th October in Altavilla Monferrato, Alessandria.

Chocolate fair in Milan, Italy.

A number of chocolate festivals take place up and down the boot in October. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Tuscany

Sagra del Fungo Amiatino (‘amiatino‘ mushroom festival), 7th-9th, 15th-16th October in Bagnolo, Grosseto.

Sagra delle Frugiate (roasted chestnuts festivals), 9th and 16th October in Pescia, Pistoia.

Boccaccesca (local food festival), 14th-16th October in Certaldo, Florence.

Sagra del Tordo (local food festival), 29th-30th October in Montalcino, Siena.

Puglia

Sagra del Calzone (calzone festival), 14th-16th October in Acquaviva delle Fonti, Bari.

Veneto

Festa del Baccalà (cod festival), 30th September-2nd October and 7th-9th October in Montegalda, Vicenza.

Festa delle Giuggiole (jujubes festival), 2nd and 9th October in Arquà Petrarca, Padua.

Mele a Mel (apple festival), 7th-9th October in Mel, Belluno.

Festa della Patata (potato festival), all Sundays of the month in Tonezza del Cimone, Vicenza.

Umbria

Sagra del Sedano Nero e della Salsiccia (black celery and sausage festival), 15th-16th October in Trevi, Perugia.

This list is not exhaustive. Did we miss out your favourite October sagra? Leave a comment below to let us know.

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