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Sample sensational food and wine this autumn at a sagra in Italy
by Clare Evans
6 min read

Sample sensational food and wine this autumn at a sagra in Italy

Sample sensational food and wine this autumn at a sagra in Italy
Sample sensational food and wine at sagre in Puglia and Sicily this autumn. Find out more about attending a sagra in Italy and where to stay here.
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Close your eyes and imagine delicious food, made with the freshest ingredients and paired with the perfect bottle of wine from a local vineyard. Now think about being surrounded by exciting culture and vibrant scenery. You’re most of the way to imagining being at one of Italy’s iconic food and wine festivals — otherwise known as a sagra.

Autumn is traditionally the time of the harvest in most of the world and Italy is no exception. While the weather cools slightly, the days maintain a warmth reminiscent of summer and the crowds have faded away, allowing for a more relaxed and authentic holiday experience. And perhaps most excitingly, it’s when towns and villages start to put on their world-famous sagre.

What is a sagra?

A sagra is a local festival very often involving food that towns and villages across Italy hold. They take place in autumn to celebrate the harvest season and, as a result, they’re also a gastronome’s dream.

Many sagre are organised specifically so local restaurants and merchants can show off the very best local foods and wines. They are the ideal way to sample not just one local delicacy, but all of the best regional food each corner of Italy offers.

Here are just some of the reasons why you should put an Italian sagra on your holiday itinerary this autumn:

  • They’re the best way to try your favourite Italian dishes, complete with authentic twists

  • The best local wines will be free flowing, with many varieties you won’t find anywhere else

  • There are cultural events where you can learn more about

    Italy’s rich history

  • They’re a great opportunity to experience life as a local in the towns close to your villa

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Attending a sagra in Italy

A sagra in Italy is more than just a food festival and is a completely different experience than similar festivals in other parts of the world. They’re large events that draw in most of the town, and are typically dedicated to a patron saint or a food. We recommend you plan ahead and know what month the local sagra is, and what makes it unique. We would be more than happy to help with the research and planning, so please contact our team to see how we can help.

Our Specialists can research what foods will likely be offered, so you can plan what you want to try most. Sagre tend to be great places to try seasonal fruits, such as melons, figs or prickly pears. Autumn is the olive season, meaning you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to both olives themselves and a selection of local olive oils.

And, of course, it goes without saying that the best pairing for sumptuous food is a delicious glass of wine or two — or possibly an entire bottle! With some of the best local wines available, you might be taking more than a few bottles home with you at the end of the trip.

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Sagre in Puglia

If you’re looking for great sagre, some of the best are found in the region of Puglia. It is already host to some of the best events year-round, but when the harvest season arrives, there’s no better place to sample seasonal dishes and wines

Just some of the wide variety of sagre in Puglia include the:

  • Festival of the sugar potato in

    Lecce

  • Patron feast of Maria Santissima del Pozzo in Capurso

  • Festival of paw, bocconcino and good wine in Sammichele di

    Bari

As you might have already guessed, many sagre are themed around one particular ingredient or one particular dish. Some are famous for their arancini, while others might celebrate the humble pistachio.

Our villas are a great base, allowing you to easily explore the sagre in Puglia. They provide the perfect space to relax in before venturing into the local towns and villages to see what they have to offer. And when you’re done for the day, they offer a calming space to come back to and relax.

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Where to stay

If you want to create your own sagra experience, we recommend our spectacular and unique villa Montekore. As well as being an example of the best local architecture, it’s also located on its own 20-acre organic farm, allowing you to experience the production of some of Italy’s most loved ingredients firsthand.

Book the magnificent Montekore

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Sagre in Sicily

The island of Sicily is a great destination for food lovers all year, but it truly comes alive when the harvest season gets into full swing. These are just some of the sagre that can be found on Sicily in the autumn:

  • Blue Fish Festival in

    Marzamemi

  • Sagra della Salsiccia, or festival of the sausage, in Aragona

  • CousCous Fest in San Vito Lo Capo

Sagre are a great excuse to explore all corners of the island of Sicily, while also trying many of the best types of food along the way. You’ll be amazed by how many different ways the humble sausage can be celebrated, or the number of dishes that can be made using couscous.

In fact, when it comes to CousCous Fest, chefs descend from around the world, from across North Africa and the Middle East, to compete for the title of best dish. This means you’re not just being gifted the opportunity to sample the best food in Italy, you’re also enjoying the best food from around the world.

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Where to stay

If you’re looking for options of places to stay in Sicily with a view of the sea, Syracuse could be right for you. Here are our three favourite villas:

  • Ortigia

    has stunning panoramic views of both the water and the old town

  • If you’re looking for something a little further away from the hustle and bustle, the secluded

    Ai Faraglioni

    might just provide the perfect place to explore from

  • If you’re getting back from the local

    sagra

    and want a great spot to serve some of that food you took back with you, there are few places better than

    Villa Carmine

    , right in the heart of

    Taormina

Book a villa in Sicily

The only thing better than a vibrant festival is a vibrant festival where the main focus is food. Add great wine on top, and you have the base for an excellent autumn getaway. If you’re looking to try new foods, or maybe even rediscover old favourites, Italian sagre are an interesting way to start your gastronomic exploration of the Mediterranean. Contact our team at your convenience so we can help you begin planning your next food and wine holiday in Italy.