A great way to get a feel for Umbria and Tuscany and their people is to attend a local sagra (festival). During the summer there's one taking place nearly every weekend in some small towns or villages, usually with a food theme, such as Sagra dei funghi (mushroom festival) or Sagra della zuppa (soup festival). Held in the evening, the events dish out plenty to eat and drink, and there's usually dancing, sometimes with live music. Old-school ballroom dance moves are the norm- you're likely to see couples fox-trotting or doing the tango. These are village affairs and just a few people speak English. There are no numbers to call for information. The festivals are advertised only by crudely printed signs on the side of the road. Attending a sagra is a unique opportunity to experience the Italian culture.
Author: Sonia Tardetti Piergiovanni
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