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Monday 26 April 2010
Food festivals in Italy
If you are travelling in Italy by car, you might want to enjoy a local food festival, called sagra in Italian. Look for sagra signs like the one in the photo, with the word sagra or festa followed by the name of a food. They are written in Italian, of course, but they are pretty easy to figure out. There are a lot of local 'sagras' in Umbria, infact these festivals centered around food, are common in several small towns and villages throughout Italy. Especially during the summer you will find them every weekend, don't worry if you don't like the speciality they offer, because there are usually other local food choices available. Sagras are a combination of the celebration of typical regional cuisine based on local seasonal produce, enthusiastically incorporated into Italian cookery. These small festivals are definitely not set up just for tourists, here you will find families, couples, children, and elderly people all enjoying a meal together. Food and wine are reasonably priced and sometimes there will be some live music, games, or vendors selling things on stalls like sweets, toys, etc. Food festivals and sagras are a good way to mingle with the locals and experience the Italian lifestyle.
Attending a sagra is also a way to get a taste of Italian country life. You order food to be cooked by locals with a passion for the local cuisine, then sit at communal tables to eat.
You will probably need a car to go to a sagra, as most of them are held in small towns, normally in the main square.