Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons (see fried porcini entry) and among them are the numerous sagre (food festivals) that celebrate typical autumn produce and meats. These food festivals were once local phenomenon that provided a social outlet during the difficult harvest time that preceded the long winters in Italy. Today, they are a way to preserve the traditions of the past, while simultaneously bringing enogastronomic tourists to small towns. Here are some of the sagre I wish I could attend this month:

Sept 5-14: Sagra della polenta e uccelli (polenta with birds); Barga (LU)
Sept 30: Festa della Zucca (pumpkin); Belluno (BL)
Sept 17: Porcolonga (Culatello festival); Zibello (PR)
Sept 23-25:Festa dell’Uva e del Recioto (Recioto grape festival); Gambellara (VI)
Sept (entire month): Sagra della pizza rustica; Manfredonia (FG)
Sept 13: Sagra della Salsiccia (sausage); Casalnuovo di Napoli (NA)
Sept 30-Oct 8: Sagra del pistacchio (pistaccio); Bronte (CT)
Sept 11-14: Sagra dell’Arancino (fried rice ball); Aci Castello (CT)
Sept 10: Sagra dello Spiedino (grilled meat on a stick); Canicattini Bagni (SR)
Sept 29: Sagra delle “Pizz Fritt e Mortadella” (fried dough and mortadella); Cervaro (FR)
Sept 12-21: Sagra del Fungo Porcino (porcini mushroom); Oriolo Romano (VT)
Sept 10: Festival delle sagre (Huge harvest festival); Asti (AT)
Sept 28: Festa del Vino; Alba (CN)
Sept 21-24: Cheese (Slow Food cheese festival); Bra (CN)
Sept 23-24: Città del Vino (wine festival); Canelli (AT)
Sept 13: Sagra della salsiccia (sausage); Casalnuovo di Napoli (NA)
Sept 12-14: Festa del fungo porcino; Santa Maria a Vico (CE)
Sept 11-14: Sagra del Pomodoro San Marzano DOP; Striano (NA)
Sept 6-14: Il Pizzocchero d’ Oro (buckwheat pasta); Teglio (SO)
Sept 10-14: Peperoncino (spicy pepper) Festival; Diamante (CS)
Sept 12-21: Sagra del Fungo Porcino; Oriolo Romano (VT)
Sept 19-21: Sagra della Focaccia; Saviano (NA)
Sept 20-21: Sagra della Lepre (hare); Subbiano (AR)
Sept 27-28: Sagra della Pasta; Boscoreale (NA)
Sept 26-28: Sagra del Fungo Porcino e Bistecca (porcini and steak); Castiglion Fiorentino (AR)
Sept 29: Sagra delle Castagne; Parghelia (VV)
Sept 29-Oct 5: Orvieto con Gusto (festival of typical local foods); Orvieto (TR)