Sagra of porcini mushrooms in Sarzana, Liguria Photo by: iryna1
What is a sagra
A sagra is a traditional Italian food festival that usually takes place yearly and is centered around the local food produced in that town or region. So, Now that I have given you the wiki description, let me tell you what a sagra is to me and why you should go.
Sagre (plural in Italian) are a fun way to spend an evening blending in with locals and sampling a specialty food or drink from the area. There is almost always some ancient pagentry, music, dancing, bingo (which I never win) and games. The wine is flowing and it is impossible not to be overwhelmed by the sights, smells and above all else the pure Italianness of it all.
Some tips on how to find a sagra food festival in your area.
If you google sagra in Italy, Tuscany, or whatever town or region you are in, I can guarantee you will be more perplexed than when you started. The websites are old, outdated and often not accurate. (here are a few I found)
They are pretty bad right? If you want to go the search engine route, definitely start your search before you leave for Italy.
Keep on the lookout for posters!
The best way to find a sagra in your area is to look for the fliers that are always posted around town or in the main piazza. I’ve included some here so you will know what to look for.
Stumbling upon them is always fun!
Once when we were traveling near Siena, we came across a tiny town on a hill called Chiusure. While we were walking around, I noticed people setting up for a sagra. I also noticed an incredible amount of artichokes in the back of a tiny 3 wheeled truck. At that moment, I felt like I had just hit the jackpot or won at bingo! I LOVE ARTICHOKES. I immediately asked when the sagra was starting and returned later that evening. What we found was a true Italian food festival all about Artichokes. We had such a great night enjoying the music and the food. For one shining moment we felt like a part of this lovely little town.