Festivals in ItalyCan you imagine the fragrance of a house made of lemons and oranges? This is one of the structures built during the lemon festival in Menton, France. Okay, it’s not in Italy but, Menton used to be Italy until it became part of France. It’s on the Italian/French border.

If you’d like a list of the major festivals in Italy (sagras), check out the GO ITALY website.

From: Fodor’s Review:

Beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and plentiful small hotels and restaurants make Monterosso al Mare, the largest of the Cinque Terre villages (population 1,730), the busiest in midsummer. The village center bustles high on a hillside. Below, connected by stone steps, are the port and seaside promenade, where there are boats for hire. The medieval tower, Aurora, on the hills of the Cappuccini, separates the ancient part of the village from the more modern part. The village is encircled by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves, and by a forest of scrubby bushes and small trees.

Monterosso has the most Festivals in Italy, of the five villages, starting with the Lemon Feast on the Saturday preceding Ascension Sunday, followed by the Flower Festival of Corpus Christi, celebrated yearly on the second Sunday after Pentecost. During the afternoon, the streets and alleyways of the centro storico (historic center) are decorated with thousands of colorful flower petals set in beautiful designs that the evening procession passes over.

Finally, the Salted Anchovy and Olive Oil Festival takes place each year during the second weekend of September. In 2009, the festival is Saturday, September 19.

Thursday, the market (Old town center. Thurs. 8-1) attracts mingled crowds of tourists and villagers from along the coast to shop for everything from pots and pans and underwear to fruits, vegetables, and fish. Often a few stands sell local art and crafts as well as olive oil and wine.

Traditionally anchovies were preserved in salt for practical reasons. Up till today, they are still preserved in the same way, seasoned in olive oil and kept in glass containers ready to be enjoyed with bruschette and a glass of local white wine.

At the end of month, Monterosso has another food event, the Tournament of the Nuts along the streets of the village.

12 more days and I’ll be walking the streets of Monterosso. I’ll be there for the anchovy festival and perhaps I’ll find some other sagri, festivals in Italy.

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