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Sagra Delle Fragole: A Sweet Strawberry Festival

Lake Nemi

Nemi StrawberriesIn Italy, many small towns and comuni in rural areas hold festivals known as sagre. These sagre are held in honor of ancient traditions or organized as pageants celebrating local culinary specialties. Many are also held when a local produce is in season. From olive oil, pasta, and wine to pastries, vegetables, and fruits, these products bring income and sustenance to the communities and thus are a source of pride for the locals.

Some 19 miles southeast of Rome, in the comune of Nemi, a sagra dedicated to strawberries is celebrated every late spring and early summer. This hillside town overlooking a lake of the same name has long been famous for its rich volcanic environment, which produces some of the sweetest strawberries in all of the Mediterranean. These strawberries come from the surrounding forests and are locally known as frogoline di bosco (wild strawberries).

The Sagra Delle Fragole, as the festival is known, is usually held from late May through the month of June. The first week of June is usually the highlight of the event because the festivities coincide with the Festa dela Repubblica, the Italian Republic Day.

Nemi Strawberries

During the sagra, the idyllic town’s pastel and earth-colored buldings are bedecked with flowers and festoons of strawberry-shaped penants. There are also performances of folk music and traditional dances for people’s entertainment, as well as a flower festival at the Palazzo Ruspoli. The main event of the festival features a parade women and girls dressed in traditional frocks. They will go around town offering strawberries to locals and visitors.

When you visit Nemi for the festival, also make sure to try out all the strawberry-related delicacies you can find in town.

Buon appetito!

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By Priscila Siano (266 Posts)

Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients.

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