Eating outdoors and for bargain prices. Sounds like a dream? In the summer months throughout Tuscany it’s the norm! Hop into the car and out of the city with our top ten summer sagre.
1.Festa del Mugello, ObiHall, Lungarno Aldo Moro, Florence. Until August 10.
If those of you with transport issues, you can enjoy a taste of the Mugello without ever leaving Florence, at this daily summer BBQ at the ObiHall. Every evening from 7pm, the outdoor area comes alive with games and magicians for children, tango, live music, sports matches on a giant screen and a full range of traditional food from the Mugello. See www.festadelmugello.com.
2. Sagra della Ficamaschia, Porto Ercole. From August 16–25.
Try the oddly-named oily fish, caught locally and stewed with potatoes, or breaded and fried.
3. Sagra dei Pici, Celle sul Rigo (San Casciano dei Bagni, near Siena). July26 and 27.
Stalls line the village streets dishing up pici with a variety of pasta sauces. Locals will give live demonstrations of how to make this fat kind of spaghetti. See (in Italian) www.sagradeipici.it.
4. Sagra dell’Ocio, Ruscello, near Arezzo. July 17–21.
Get your goose cooked in an array of scrumptious sauces at this food festival combined with historical reenactment of wheat threshing. See (in Italian) www.maccheronieocio.it.
5. Sagra del Fungo Porcino con Polenta, Capannori. Saturdays and Sundays until August 4.
Relish locally picked Garfagnana mushrooms in a rich variety of recipes, in a pasta sauce and served on crostini, plus other local specialities, washed down with a glass (or two) of Montecarlo wine.
6. Sagra del Cinghiale, Foro Boario, Borgo San Lorenzo. From August 23 to September 1.
Wild boar galore at this sagra destined to make all meat eaters wild with joy. Try the local Mugello tortelli and the pappardelle.
7. Sagra del Panigaccio, Podenzana, Massa Carrara. August 12–21.
Gobble up some amazing flatbread typical of the Lunigiana area, cooked on smoking-hot terracotta pots and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, pesto, cheese, cured meats, olives and mushrooms.
8. Baviera Festa, Castelnuovo di Garfaganana. August 1–11.
Germany comes to Tuscany with beer, pork shank, strudel and much, much more! See (in Italian) www.bavierafest.com.
9. Festa della Cantinelle, Pitigliano. From August 31 to September 3.
Sip the fine local wine and taste the exquisite local cuisine as the historical cellars throw open their doors to the public.
10. Fish & Chips Festival, Barga. From July 26 to August 16.
The Scottish enclave in this beautiful town stamp their mark on the summer with this typically British food festival.