Summer Sagras

Amy Gulick
May 19, 2005

Summer in Florence means strolls along the Arno at sunset, gelato with friends, and dinners alfresco that go late into the night. But for those willing to venture beyond the city walls, summer also means a world of Tuscan tastes and traditions—at the sagra.

 

Sagra is the name given to a community’s celebration of a local culinary specialty or agricultural product. A vulgarization or variant of sacra, sagra can also refer to the festivities surrounding a church consecration, a patron saint feast, or a commemorative event of national or cultural import. The definition of sagrato — Italian for the space in front of a church entry - would suggest that the sagra tradition has long been linked with religious festivals and pageants, events that with time have grown more popular and less religious in nature.

 

Akin to our own crab feeds and pancake breakfasts back in the States, a sagra is a no-frills, unpretentious eating experience. They by necessity take place in large public spaces, such as recreation centres, school auditoriums, or temporary tent-halls. Expect cafeteria-style seating, paper tablecloths and plastic-ware. The service may be abrupt, and the noise level preclude any intimate chat, but once the food arrives, no one will be disappointed.

 

Here, where the kitchen is typically manned by local residents, you’ll find the cucina Italiana at its most authentic — from fresh, homemade pasta and desserts to grilled meats and the finest seasonal fruits and vegetables. A sagra’s featured specialty will dominate the menu, yet french fries, fried polenta, and other standard fare are usually available as well.

 

Come summer’s end, watch for a new host of sagras. Autumn in Tuscany brings the new oil and wine (olio nuovo and vino nuovo), white truffle (tartufo bianco), and chestnut (castagne) sagras, beginning in September.

 

An annual calendar of sagre, fiere and mercantini (sagras, fairs, and markets) is available through the Agenzia per il Turismo della Toscana, accessible also at http://www.vetrina-toscana.it/commercio

 (go to “sagre e fiere”). 

Support The Florentine

The Florentine is still here.

“Thank you, The Florentine, for the support you’ve offered to the city of Florence during such a difficult time.”

—Andrea

We’ve kept our promise to stand by your side during lockdown with real-time updates on legislative changes to inform local readers; with thoughtful words and iconic photography in Healing not Broken, a commemorative special issue; a more frequent and redesigned newsletter; and TF Together, our live interview series on Facebook and YouTube.

We’re bruised, but alive. We’re hurt, but refuse to break. Our advertising revenue has all but vanished, but we are striving to stay true to our mission as the English News Magazine in Florence since 2005. It’s thanks to our readers, the international community of Florence, wherever you are in the world that we are still afloat as Covid-19 relinquishes its grip on Italy and the economic crisis begins to bite.

If The Florentine is here tomorrow, it’s thanks to you.

Please donate to help us continue our coverage from this city we love.

Our request

We’re asking Florence lovers, here in Italy, in the US and further afield, to pledge what you can to guarantee coverage in the short- and mid-term.


Donation Total: €20,00

more articles

Comments