I can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Ravioli Day than at the ultimate event dedicated to the moorish pasta parcel: Sagra Del Raviolo (Festival of Ravioli) in August. It’s also a chance to enjoy a holiday to Italy, so certainly beats picking up a packet of pasta for dinner!
If you’re looking for a bit of holiday temptation, why not tuck into your very own taste of Tuscany tour? From one of the world’s most expensive foods to a four-day wine tasting event – hic! – follow this guide to 3 Italian food festivals that will make your next short break to Europe enviously delicious (no filter required…)
Sagra Del Raviolo (16th – 20th Aug 2015)
First up on your foodie pilgrimage is a trip to Contignano, a small village in the heart of Val d’Orcia, Tuscany. The Festival of Ravioli started here in 1971 and has grown to become the area’s most famous (and delicious) gastronomical event.
You guessed it: it’s dedicated to ravioli, all of which is made by hand using ancient recipes from the area. Creamy ricotta cheese is the champion filling here, made with milk from local dairy farms, and served wrapped in delicious pasta with meat or butter and sage sauces.
Perfect place to stay nearby: Parco delle Piscine (30 mins away)
San Miniato National White Truffle Market (Nov 2015)
If you’ve got a taste for the finer things in life, don’t miss the Tuscan festival dedicated to one of the world’s most expensive foods: the white truffle. Belonging to the fungi family, white truffles can only be found in this region of Italy, and are gathered selectively during their short harvest (October to December).
[responsive-image id=’2102′ align=’left’ caption=’Expensive taste? White truffles from San Miniato’]
Thanks to their scarcity and reputation for quality, white truffles are in serious demand across the globe; in 2009 a truffle weighing 1.6 lbs sold for $150,000. But don’t worry, you won’t have to splash that kind of cash to enjoy the National White Truffle Market in San Miniato. Visit the town during the last 3 weeks of November and you’ll see the city centre transform into a huge, open-air tasting workshop, where you can sample all types of Tuscan produce including oils, chestnuts and of course, white truffles. The delicacy loses its aroma when cooked, so expect to enjoy grated over oozy risottos, mash potato and fresh pasta dishes.
Perfect place to stay nearby: Barco Reale (35 mins away)
Chianti Classico Wine Fair (10th – 13th Sep)
A food trip to Tuscany wouldn’t be complete without a stop to savour one of the region’s most popular liquid exports: Chianti wine. This strong, bold red wine is laced with fruity flavours (cherry, plum and spice) and is produced in the Chianti region between two of Tuscany’s most famous cities: Florence and Sienna.
[responsive-image id=’2105′ align=’right’ caption=’Through the grapevine in Chianti’]
The small town of Greve is considered the gateway to the Chianti region and plays host to the Chianti Classico Wine Fair each September. This four-day wine tasting event provides a fun way to sample the best wine the region has to offer, without forking out for pricey vineyard tours. Simply buy a wine glass (around €10) from the information booth in the Piazza Matteotti when you arrive and get your fill of wines on offer from the independent makers lining the square.
Perfect place to stay nearby: Norcenni Girasole Club (25 mins away)
Are these events enough to whet your appetite? Or have you tried and tested other food events abroad and reckon they can’t be missed? Leave me a reply below!