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DISCOVER ITALY

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.

Man smelling a glass of Italian moscato.
Most Italian ‘sagre’ will give you the chance to sample the local wine. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

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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LIVING IN ITALY

Where can you celebrate Thanksgiving in Italy this year?

For Americans craving a taste of home with minimal effort, here's a look at the restaurants hosting Thanksgiving dinner in 2022.

Where can you celebrate Thanksgiving in Italy this year?

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and many Americans abroad are looking forward to a taste of home during the festive season.

If you’re spending your first festive season in Italy, have no fear: with a little effort it’s perfectly possible to create your own authentic Thanksgiving at home.

But perhaps the idea of sourcing for the all right ingredients for a home-cooked dinner makes you feel exhausted; or maybe you plan to celebrate with a large group.

So what are the options if you prefer to dine out? If you’re in a major Italian city with a sizeable American expat population, you may be in luck.

Here are some of the restaurants where you can book a Thanksgiving dinner in Italy this November.

Although a wide range of Italian restaurants have held Thanksgiving celebrations in the past, we’ve restricted our list to those venues and groups that have confirmed they will be hosting an event this year on Thursday, November 24th.

Milan: 

7.30-11.30pm Milano Culture Club, DOT Chianti Restaurant. American-Italian fusion dinner, €35-€45. Book here.

7.30-10pm God Save the Food, Piave, Brera and Tortona locations. €38 includes water, coffee and a bottle of wine per 2 bookings. Booking details here.

No time given, 24th-27th November, Erba Brusca. Drinks not included, €45. Details here.

No time given, 24th-26th November, Route 66 Diner. €29; €1 extra buys a litre of beer. Book here.

8.30pm, California Bakery. Locations across Milan. Booking details here.

8-11pm Scopriamo la tradizione del THANKSGIVING in cucina! (‘Let’s discover the tradition of Thanksgiving in the kitchen!’) event. Specifically targeted at singles, €86.58. Book here.  

Rome:

7-9pm or 9.30-11.30pm Hard Rock Cafe, Live Pearl Jam tribute act. €26.40 for one or €37.90 for two. Book here.

7pm until late American Club of Rome, Emme Restaurant. €50. Book here

6:30-8pm Highlander Pub. All you can eat buffet. €50. Book here

7.30-10.30pm or 8-11pm on Saturday, November 26th, Expats in Rome, Expats Club house on Via Portuense 104 in Trastevere. €40. Booking details here.

8.15pm or 9.45pm, Bakery House, Corso Trieste, EUR and Ostia locations. Drinks not included, €40. Booking details here. Takeaway Thanksgiving dinner also offered for €33; book here.

No time given, Hummustown takeaway (or stand around) Thanksgiving kiosk lunch. €20 for first course, €5 drink, €5 pecan pie. Booking details here.

7pm on November 23rd, Joel Nafuma Refugee Centre bring-and-share Thanksgiving meal. Entry is free and turkey provided; bring your own side or dessert and drinks. Book here.

Florence:

9-11.30pm Hotel Savoy, Rocco Forte Hotel. Drinks not included, €65. Booking details here.

12-10pm Hard Rock Cafe, €26.40 for one or €37.90 for two. Book here.

7.30pm until late Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano wine estate, American-Tuscan food in the hills outside Florence. €40. Booking details here.

No time given, Ristorante Accademia. Booking details here.

Venice

No time given, 24th-27th November, Hard Rock Cafe. Live performance on stage at 9.30pm. €27.90 for one or €39.90 for two. Book here.

Naples

8.30pm, Birdy’s Bakery, Thanksgiving turkey burger, sides and cake. Details here.

Do you know of any other restaurants we should add to this list? Please leave a comment below or let us know by email.

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