'Frantoi Aperti' literally means 'The Olive Press are Open' and who can say fairer than that. A wonderful opportunity to taste the new olive oil and spend a weekend in Umbria. Typically the event takes place over 5 weekends starting from the first week of November. The zone to head for is Trevi in the Umbra Valley.
Early autumn sees the harvesting of one of the most important crops in Trentino Alto Adige - apples. It's also a good excuse to celebrate one of Italy's least considered culinary delicacies, the apple strudel.
The 'Week of the Apple Strudel' is held in the Altopiano dello Sciliar usually in the first half of September and is an occasion for discovering the many ways of preparing this typical 'altoatesino' sweet dish from South Tyrolean cuisine.
The Camogli fish festival is actually called the Fish Festival of Saint Fortunato, patron saint of fishermen and is held in the first half of May. This is the most famous event that happens in this drop-dead gorgeous Mediterranean port of Camogli. Free fried fish are dished out in front of the quaint miniature harbor (which is not far from, and is very similar to what Portofino was like before it was discovered by tourists).
When and where are the best truffle markets and festivals in Umbria? Between the 'Mostra Mercato Nazionale del Tartufo', the 'Mostra Mercato Nazionale del Tartufo Nero Pregiato' and the 'Mostra Mercato Nazionale del tartufo bianco e dei prodotti agro-alimentari' which do you choose?
The first truffle festival listed is held every year in the last two weeks of November in Valtopina, near Assisi. Although fresh truffles feature it is also a four day celebration of the gastronomy, wine and life of from the Mountain Comunity of the Monte Martano, Serano and Subasio.
June in central Puglia means bright colours and rich cherry harvests, especially in the cities of Bisceglie and Turi in the province of Bari. Turi is in the heart of Primitivo DOC wine country, but also knows a thing or two about cherries, not least the 'Ciliegia Ferrovia' or 'Railway Cherry', a strange name for the most cultivated cherry type in Italy.
Certainly large, the name actually originates from around 1935 when the strain was developed from the nut or seed of a tree growing near the railway lines heading south east towards Sammichele di Bari. Hence the name 'Ferrovìa' given by the local people. Carefully looked after the fruit of the original tree became popular with both consumers and cultivators and spread its roots first towards Conversano and Turi.
Turi still remains one of the most important zones for cherry production in Italy, mainly due to the fact that the 'Ferrovia' keeps its freshness for at least a week and is easily exported. The 'Sagra della Ciliegia Ferrovia' in June is held in its honour.
'Brindiamo con Primavera del Prosecco' or, in other words, 'Let's raise a glass to a Prosecco Spring'. And who can say fairer than that. This firmly established Spring wine event celebrating prosecco takes place from the first week of March to the first week of June.
Specifically in the hills of the Alta Marca Trevigiana and the comune of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, the heart of prosecco production in Italy.
The annual Eurochocolate festival in Perugia is one of the modern food 'sagre' which has caught the attention of everyone .. and who doesn't like chocolate! It's difficult to wait a whole year for the return of this delicious event, but the festival takes place every October taking over the whole of the historical centre of the capital of Umbria.
Turin, Rome and even Naples at Christmas have held big chocolate events in recent years, but the one in Perugia is now a mammoth 10 day affair and worth a visit. Just make sure you don't need to take the last train home to Rome over the weekends.