There’s no doubt about it, Italians have a deep-rooted love for food. So it should come as no surprise Italy has its own unique food festivals that even outsiders can get involved in.
Throughout the year, Italy hosts ” sagras ” festivals that showcase culinary delights such as truffles, wine, local bread, cheeses, and seafood. These distinctive culinary celebrations present a compelling reason for foodies to visit Italy. Spanning the entire country, the festivals offer a unique opportunity to explore delicious traditions and remarkable locations simultaneously.
Whether it’s engaging in an orange battle in Turin, commemorating nougat and truffles, or indulging in organic wines in Verona, there is an Italian food festival waiting for you.
Strike Gold With White Truffles in Alba
Experience the pinnacle of haute cuisine at the International Alba White Truffle Fair, a dazzling autumn spectacle in Alba. From October 8 to December 4, locals and visitors indulge in fresh, wonderous truffles sourced from the nearby UNESCO World Heritage forests of Langhe Roero and Monferrato. Savour the perfect pairing of truffles with local delicacies and fine wines. Once you’ve consumed all the truffles, you can tour the architectural marvels in the enchanting ‘City of a Hundred Towers’. It’s not to be missed.
Have a Food Fight in Piedmont
In the Piedmont region, an extraordinary event emerges from the tapestry of festivals and traditions — a delightful concoction of history, legend, and glorious messiness. Enter the Ivrea Carnival, Italy’s venerable carnival that commandeers Ireva’s city centre. At its core, the Battle of the Oranges— a grand spectacle of epic proportions.
The city’s streets and squares become a battleground of citrus chaos starting on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday and culminating on Shrove Tuesday. More than 200,000 kilos of oranges are hurled with fervour, symbolising Ivrea’s unwavering spirit of self-governance.
Watch as people on foot fling oranges at teams mounted on carts, protected by leather helmets.
A Nougat Celebration
Love nougat? Indulge in a nougat extravaganza at the Festa del Torrone, the Torrone Festival that spans from November 12-20. In the heart of Cremona, the unrivalled nougat capital of Italy, the historic town centre hosts a whirlwind of events, where towering structures of mouthwatering giant nougat and enticing nougat sampling stalls are.
Savour gourmet ice cream, chocolates, aromatic coffees, and even nougat-infused limoncello. And don’t miss the whimsical ‘nougat express’ locomotive, whisking nougat enthusiasts around the city.
Wine Time in Verona
Vinitaly is one of the world’s most important fairs for wine and spirits, taking place annually in Verona (the next to be held from April 14 to April 17, 2024). This annual extravaganza unfolds in the enchanting city of Verona, attracting diverse attendees, from professionals and importers to international buyers, sommeliers, and wine enthusiasts of all stripes.
The festival’s thematic areas cater to specific interests, with ‘Vinitaly Bio’ delving into the realm of organic wines from across Italy, while ‘Mixology’ presents masterclasses and workshops dedicated to the art of wine-based cocktails. Let Vinitaly be your gateway to a journey through the fascinating realm of Italian wine.
Christmas in Milan
Step into a Christmas wonderland by exploring the age-old Oh Bej! Christmas market, where the magic of the holiday season reaches new heights. Held from December 7-10, this beloved event takes over the majestic Castello Sforzesco and the picturesque Parco Sempione in the heart of Milan. Wander among stalls offering steaming cups of mulled wine and savouring delightful Christmas delicacies.
Indulge in the irresistible allure of firòn, strands of chestnuts gently smoked to perfection. Treat your taste buds to the tantalizing flavours of locally sourced honey-infused treats. And, of course, no visit to Oh Bej! is complete without relishing the iconic panettone, the city’s renowned signature dessert.