Top Italian Sagre in Le Marche
Sagre in June
June is a graceful month in Le Marche. It gives you the just-about-right balmy weather you need to see through a string of food festivals dedicated to porchetta and wine. Made in central Italy, porchetta is a roasted suckling pig that has been boned, seasoned with herbs, typically served as a filling in sandwiches.
Cagli is a cute inland village that between May and June hosts a food festival called Distinti Salumi (Refined Cured Meats). Unlike many other sagre, this one focuses on filling your plate with an incredible and surprising variety of salami-based courses. They also offer a series of cooking lessons where you can learn local cured meat-based recipes. If this is not enough for you, drive to Genga 35 km farther south, in Frasassi National Park and find out about its caves, rivers and spectacular waterfalls that tear down craggy gorges. Down there stands the incredible Temple of Valadier that will surely make your visit worth your while.
At Monterubbiano, at the beginning of June, takes place Sciò la Pica - Sagra dei Piceni. It’s a food festival that besides making great food, also includes an interesting palio. Not a typical horse race event, this palio consists of horseman trying to pick a metal ring dangling from a high pole with their spears.
The Palio dei Castelli at San Severino also starts at the beginning of June and has archers, horsemen, and delightful food swirling around the streets of this enchanting town.
Mogliano is an intact ancient town lying along a ridge like a giant ship. 1744 Mogliano is the name of an extraordinary cultural event held at the beginning of July. To put on this very unique event, the whole town, including its restaurants and wineries, turns into a huge stage. They wear the clothes, adopt the habits, use the recipes, and put on the feasts from the 18th century. Walk across this astounding place and you’ll be plunged right into the time of white wigs and aristocratic etiquette.
Le Marche is a region of superlative wines as well. There are many types of vines, but the queen of the region is verdicchio bianco. Like in many other areas in Italy, farmers here tend to form wine cooperatives to preserve the quality and the standards of their wine. At the little town Camerino many wine cooperatives bring their best whites and reds to the festival Il Ducato in un bicchiere.
Sagre in October
If June seems to favor porchetta and medieval horse races, October no doubt loves truffle and grape harvests.
Autumn marks the start of the truffle-hunting season which in its turn triggers the season of truffle food festivals in Le Marche. At the National Truffle Fair at Acqualagna this magic tuber is finely sliced and served in a wide range of recipes.
Gola del Furlo (Furlo’s Gore) near Acqualagna
Ascoli Piceno is one of the main cities of this region. The place is truly delightful and it’s worth visiting at any time. However, in the first weekend of November, the city holds Il salone del vino piceno a wine festival where the major wine cooperatives bring you their best wine production of the year.
Caprmanotana, Grape Festival
A wine festival that truly stands out is the Sagra dell’uva in Cupramontana. It’s one of the oldest festivals dedicated to the most renowned vine in Le Marche, verdicchio. But it’s not just that. The festival goes on for four days at the beginning of October and wants to amaze you with a rich program. So when you go there you see people crushing grapes by foot in huge wooden tubs, major live music shows, parades with giant floats and food stands dishing up top local recipes.
The last weekend of September sees another Grape Festival at Montefelcino that resembles the one in Cupramontana but in a more discreet fashion, so to speak.
At Petriolo the festival Le Cantinette di petriolo runs for three days run at the start of November. Petriolo puts on a wine and food event in a more traditional fashion. A similar festival is held at the end of November at Serra dei Conti and it’s called Festa della Cicerchia.