Food festivals in Bologna: Plan your trip around the Sagra

Best Bologna food festivals

Guess what, Italians love to eat and have fun. And one of the best ways to do both is by joining a sagra.

I can imagine your face right now. “Sag…What?!”. Let's say it's a food festival and we have plenty of them from winter to summer.

So keep reading which are the best ones in and around Bologna.

What is a sagra?

Sagra takes its name from religious celebrations that took place in the area in front of churches called sagrato.

Nowadays most of these festivals have lost their religious purpose and they are an occasion for the small communities that host them, to celebrate together.

Usually, the star of this event is the one and only: food.

There are so many festivals that it's impossible to join them all, so here’s a selection of the 8 best from Bologna to Ravenna.

Food Festivals around Bologna

Mortadella, please

Bologna food festival mortadella

Not sure that the introduction of Mortadella is necessary.

This pink meat (without pistachio!!!) is one of the symbols of Bologna around the globe and the rockstar of our food tour in Bologna.

In the main square of Zola Predosa you find a festival dedicated to the pink queen.

In September, 3 days with visits to the producers, tastings, and show cooking.
And every time a different show on stage to entertain all the family with a huge Mortadella sandwich in your hand.

Info

Where: Zola Predosa, Bologna
When: September
Tel. +39 051 755 002

mortadellaplease.eu

Tartòfla

Bologna food festival Savigno Truffle

Passatelli with Parmigiano Reggiano cream and white truffle.
Poached egg with white truffle.
Potatoes, leek and mushroom soup with white truffle.

Guess where I am?

Easy answer. I'm reading the menu of the white truffle festival Tartoflà in Savigno, on the hills of Bologna.

Take a walk into the woods with your dog to go hunting or just visit the truffle market with many producers from the area.

Do you want to dig deeper into the truffle?

Book your seat at Trattoria Amerigo 1934, one of the few Michelin star restaurants in Bologna. And trust me, order the egg ;)

Info

Where: Savigno, Bologna
When: October, November
Tel. +39 348 8839413

tartufosavigno.com

Sagra del marrone

Bologna food festival Castel Rio chestnut

It’s almost November. A cold wind is blowing from the hills. Falling red leaves and a dark night coming early.

Wait, can you feel this smokey smell?
Yeah, it’s roasting marroni, the finest kind of chestnut.

Now, tell me if you can imagine something better than a hot bag of chestnut in your hand and a glass of spiced wine in the other to warm your heart while walking in Castel del Rio.

Also, you can grab your basket and pick up marroni in the woods on your own. Sound nice, uh?

Info

Where: Castel del Rio, Bologna
When: October

comune.casteldelrio.bo.it

Funerale della saracca

Bologna food festival Saracca

No need to be sad, fortunately, nobody’s dead in Monteveglio.

Saracca is another name for herring fish, and this festival it’s his funeral.

Yes, you’ve read right.

This cheap fish was a symbol of starvation when in winter food supplies were almost over, so they use it to give a taste to the bread.

In March when spring is coming, they organize a real funeral with the priest and the burial of the poor fish in a casket.
But nobody mourns, it's a party born to celebrate the end of winter on Ash Wednesday.

By now, you know, there is always a lot of food, stands for shopping and rivers of wine.

I guess you don’t want to miss this one.

Info

When: April/May
Where: Oliveto di Monteveglio, Bologna

Facebook page

Mangirò

Bologna food festival Mangiro

Eat bread with no regret.

Mangirò is not the usual festival. It's a gastronomic walk from the late morning to the evening through charming little villages and woods on the hills of Monghidoro.

At every stop, you find a local chef who provides refreshments to pilgrims in the shape of pizza, focaccia, hamburger and croissants.
In the end, you don’t have to worry about calories.

But if you are in Bologna far from this great festival?
I have a solution for you: here's the ultimate list of the best bakeries in Bologna.

Info

Where: Monghidoro
When: July

fornocalzolari.it/mangiro

Food Festivals around Modena

Festival dei ciliegi in fiore

Modena food festival Vignola Cherry

In April the little city of Vignola has nothing to envy about Japan.

Don’t you believe me?

The queen of Vignola is the sweetest juiciest cherry you’ve ever tried (be back in June to have a taste, trust me), and in April the entire city is in blossom.

During Festa di Ciliegi in Fiore Festival, you find street stands with food and wines, a flea market, games for children, and a float parade in blossom, surrounded by the aroma of flowers.

Did I mention that Vignola is very close to Modena?

Make sure to reserve your spot right now in our Modena Food tour not to miss gnocco fritto, tigelle and real balsamic. And maybe cherries, in season ;)

Info

Where: Vignola, Modena
When: April

centrostudivignola.it

Sagra del borlengo

Modena food festival Borlenghi

Have you ever heard about Borlenghi?

It's a thin flatbread with the consistency of a crepe cooked in a big copper pan and filled with lard seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and Parmigiano Reggiano.

We had the great honour to feed Phil in Modena on Netflix with Gnocco Fritto, but the next time he comes back with us, he has to try this one.

The Festival of this delicious food takes place in Guiglia, near Modena, since 1967.

You can taste Borlengo while listening to buskers on every corner and enjoy the lively atmosphere or a real sagra.

Info

Where: Guiglia, Modena
When: May/June
Tel. +39 334 2356329

borlengoguiglia.it

Food Festivals around Ravenna

Festa Artusiana

Ravenna food festival Artusi

Artusi is not food, it’s a person.

Let me introduce you to the father of Italian cooking.
Pellegrino Artusi had a big moustache and a bigger appetite.

His book “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well” is a bestseller and you can bet, is on every Italian cook’s bookshelf.

You can find it also on THAT website, but it's also one of the best souvenirs to take home from Bologna.

Forlimpompoli was Artusi's hometown and every summer they celebrate their most famous citizen with conferences, food stands (of course) and live concerts.

There you can enjoy cappelletti filled with cheese with the original Artusi’s recipe and learn how to make them with a Marietta.
Mariette is an association of women, often grandmothers, super experts of fresh egg pasta.

You can also visit Casa Artusi.
Inside you find a restaurant, a library and a bookshop where you can grab a copy of Artusi’s book.
And, why not a mattarello tool to make pasta at home.

Info

Where: Forlimpopoli (FC)
When: June/July
Tel. +39 0543 749234

festartusiana.it

Sagra dell'anguilla di Comacchio

Comacchio food festival Anguilla

Does Comacchio sound familiar?

I do love this little charming city that recalls Venice with its canals. And it's one of the best things to visit near Ravenna, besides mosaics, of course.

At the end of September, you can celebrate Anguilla, the eel, in its festival.

Never tried it?
It looks like a snake, but the meat is so tender and tasty that you have to try it grilled, fried, marinated, with risotto, with pasta.
Do I need to keep going or you're already on Skyscanner?

Since you're in Comacchio, you can go hiking in the Po river valley, take food souvenirs like the famous marinated sardines and go to say “Hi!” to the pink flamingos.

Info

Where: Comacchio, Ferrara
When: September/October
Tel. +39 348 5928679

sagradellanguilla.it

Food Festivals around Parma

Festa del Culatello di Zibello

Parma food festival culatello

Let’s move to Zibello, near Parma, for the festival of the king of cured meat: Culatello.

It seems to be prosciutto, but it’s not.
Culatello's secret ingredient is the aroma of the fog, that surrounds the zone of production.
Don’t even think of making a joke about this, they take the Culatello very seriously around there.

If you'd like to visit the kingdom of Culatello, Antica Corte Pallavicina is the place to put on Google Maps.

Now, back to the festival: in June, Zibello celebrates this great food with markets, music, and food stands.
There you can try tagliatelle or risotto with Culatello. And reach Nirvana.

If you're now mouthwatering with the idea of a slice of Culatello, don’t worry.
In our Parma food tour, we lead you to taste the best culatello in town, I promise.

Info

Where: Zibello, Parma
When: June

festadelculatello.it

[photo credits: amiciperilmondo.com, Stefano Scheda]


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