Best food festivals around Italy: where to go


Italy is the home of pasta. The birthplace of pizza. The refuge of cannoli and the haven of tiramisu. And that’s just covering a few regions!

As the world gets increasingly food focused, Italy’s reputation has just taken over, giving us not just the image of Italy as a foodie’s paradise, but direct-from-the-source-type places where we can get all the produce we’d ever need. Think Eataly!

To honour the beautiful country that is Italy and to get excited for the full calendar year of food events and things to do around the country, we’re taking a look at the best and biggest food festivals around the country to add to your diary. And why.

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JANUARY, gennaio

Sagra della Sfincia di Priescia, Montelepre, SICILY

All about the traditional Sicilian sweet treat, sfincia di priescia, this annual festival takes place on 6th January in the Piazza Principe di Piemonte.

FEBRUARY, febbraio

Battle of Oranges, Ivrea, PIEDMONT

Get your cameras ready because the Battle of Oranges must be seen to be believed. An epic three-day food fight which runs from Sunday until Shrove Tuesday every year, this festival is all about flying fruit in a re-enactment of a skirmish dating back to the 12th century.

MARCH, marzo

Feast of San Giuseppe, CAMPANIA, SICILY, LAZIO

Across southern Italy on March 19th, Italians celebrate San Giuseppe with myriad versions of zeppole, the more-ish crispy fried dough balls which are a popular street food throughout the south. Ask for the melt-in-your-mouth Zeppole di San Giuseppe – and don’t even try stopping at just one.

APRIL, aprile

Romanesco Artichoke Festival, Ladispoli (greater Rome), LAZIO

Since the early 1950s, Ladispoli has celebrated the joy of spring by cooking up a storm with one hero ingredient – the humble artichoke (carciofi). Witness cooking competitions, tasting stalls and artichoke sculptures (yes really!), while feasting on free fried artichoke wedges.

MAY, maggio

Sagra di Cannolo (Cannoli Festival), Piana degli Albanesi, SICILY

You can’t visit Sicily without sampling its iconic sweet, cannoli, and during the first week in May each year, this tiny town transforms into a magnet for cannoli fans from around the world. Whether you want to methodically traverse the town to try them all or join a cannoli-eating marathon, there’s no escaping the calories – but why would you want to?


Sagra del Limone (Lemon Festival), Monterosso, Cinque Terre, LIGURIA  

Lemons are literally everywhere in the Cinque Terre, and on one Saturday every March, the town of Monterosso takes the region’s love affair with the juicy fruit to another level. From a group stroll through the streets for ‘8000 lemon-scented steps’ to feasting on lemon gelato, lemon cake and limoncino, the festivities finish up at the pretty Piazza Garibaldi for the unveiling of the award-winning ‘biggest lemon’.

Sagra del Pesce (Fish Festival), Camogli, LIGURIA

No one likes to pass up a free seafood feast, so on the second Sunday in May, make your way to Camogli for its famous festival in honour of St Fortunato, the patron saint of fishermen. Kicking off with fireworks and a bonfire, the piece-de-resistance is an enormous four-metre frying pan dishing up 30,000 portions of free fresh fish from the main square, Piazza Colombo – followed by plenty of festive dancing.

Italian Porchetta Festival, Perugia, UMBRIA

Heaven for fans of succulent roast pork, this three-day extravaganza held every May draws the best porchetta producers in the land to show off porchetta sandwiches, street food and more in San Terenziano di Gualdo Cattaneo. Feeling guilty after the gluttony? Join the Porcorriamo – the Pork Run – to burn off your lunch with the masses.

JUNE, giugno

Gelato Festival, Florence, TUSCANY

Italy’s iconic gelato becomes the source of fierce rivalry during a two-day competition for the world’s best gelato makers every June, who flock to Florence to compete for the Gelato Festival World Masters title. Visitors can cast a vote for their favourite flavour and explore the biggest mobile ice-cream production lab in the world, the Buontalenti.

JULY, luglio

Sagra del Cuoppo (Fried Finger Food Festival), Saviano, CAMPANIA

Got a thing for finger food? Then this two-day event centred on fried finger food dished up in paper cones – think crispy fish, zeppole (Italian fried doughnuts) or fried zucchini flowers – will tick your taste bud’s boxes. Head to the Piazzale Enrico di Nicola for street food stalls galore, workshops, musical performances and puppet shows.  

Stragusto, Trapani, SICILY

There’s just something about Italian street food, and this late July festival in Trapani’s ancient Piazzo Mercato del Pesce shines a spotlight on street food favourites such as arancine, cannoli, cabbucio (pizza dough sandwich) and panelle (chickpea fritters) – with local wines to match.

AUGUST, agosto

Sagra del Mare (Seafood Festival), Procida, CAMPANIA

Over four days every August, Acquamorta Pier on the picture-perfect colourful of Island of Procida puts on a festival to showcase the catches of the day in a series of mouth-watering local dishes including seaweed pizza, peppered mussels, and fried ‘blue’ fish, as well as folk dancing and a heated cooking competition among the local women, the Graziella.

Fiordilatte FiordiFesta, Agerola, CAMPANIA

If cheese floats your boat, then hit the town of Agerola to over-indulge in Italy’s beloved fiordilatte, a soft mozzarella made from cow’s milk feted during the first week of August every year with plentiful tastings, cheese making demonstrations and special cheese-centric menus.

Sagra della Nocciola (Hazelnut Festival), Cortemilia, PIEDMONT

The home of Ferrero Rocher and Nutella, it’s little wonder Piedmont is home of Italy’s Hazelnut Festival, where the town of Cortemilia comes alive with hazelnut produce including chocolate cakes, spreads, cookies, and pastries. Add in vibrant parades, fireworks, music, dancing, and a hazelnut cooking contest, and it’s a recipe for hazelnut heaven.

SEPTEMBER, settembre

Sagra del Peperoncino (Hot Chilli Pepper Festival), Diamante, CALABRIA

Held in mid-September each year, this five-day celebration is one of Italy’s most well-known food festivals, featuring everything from serious foodie talks on everything pepperoncini to celebrity chef cooking demonstrations to a film festival, photography exhibition and plenty of dishes featuring the famous chilli peppers, such as Sardella di Crucoli and Nduja di Spilinga.

Pizza Village, Naples, CAMPANIA

If Europe’s biggest pizza festival sounds like a dream day out – then hit Naple’s Lungomare Caracciolo waterfront promenade for a week in September to see hundreds of pizza makers showcasing their craft as they knead, roll and fill thousands of pizzas of every possible flavour. If you want to experience Naples at its hectic best, this is it.


OCTOBER, ottobre

Mortadella Festival, Bologna, EMILIA ROMAGNA

Known as the ‘Pink Queen’ of Bologna, the city’s beloved mortadella is celebrated over four days every October during MortadellaBo. With the historic town square decked out in pink and white decorations, you can look forward to tastings, cooking shows, Mortadella LEGO exhibits, music performances, foodie tours and more.

Alba International White Truffle Fair, PIEDMONT

Held across weekends from October through November, this is Italy’s biggest truffle food fair and the perfect excuse to stroll the streets sampling delightful local cheeses, meats, hazelnuts, chestnuts, desserts, and truffles of course. A program of cooking chows, wine tastings and educational talks will keep truffle lovers busy from dawn until dusk.

EuroChocolate, Perugia, UMBRIA

Calling all serious chocolate fans…cancel your plans between October 14th and 23rd to check out the EuroChocolate Festival for tastings, sculptures, chocolate booze, chocolate kebabs, chocolate-covered fruit, chocolate everything….

Scale del Gusto (Stairs of Taste), Ragusa, SICILY

One of Italy’s most spectacular and scenic food festivals, the Stairs of Taste three-day event takes place along the many stairs connecting Ragusa to the old town of Ibla. Enjoy breathtaking views while discovering artisanal food, wine, and art as you go. 

NOVEMBER, novembre

November Porc, Parma, EMILIA ROMAGNA

Acclaimed as the ‘most gluttonous relay’ in the country, November Porc is a month-long festival celebrating Parma’s famed cured hams and prosciutto, with different themes and products taking centre stage each weekend. Check out the Strada del Culatello for tasty local pork dishes at pocket-friendly prices or check out the official race through the towns of Sissa, Zibello, Roccabianca and Polesine Parmense.

Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco, San Miniato, TUSCANY

Over the final three weekends of November, Tuscany’s truffle season comes into full flight and the National Exhibition of the White Truffle of San Miniato invites you to sample endless small portions – degustation style – of dishes where the treasured truffle is the star, including pizza bianca con tartufi, truffle sausage and fried polenta with truffle sauce.

DECEMBER, dicembre


While most people think of Germany and Austria when it comes to Christmas markets, Italy actually has a number of fairy tale markets featuring traditional timber stalls, twinkling fairy lights, local delicacies, mulled wine, carol singing, nativity scenes, artisan craft and a magical ambience bound to get visitors into the seasonal spirit.

Popular picks include the Alpine towns of Brixen and Bolzano in South Tyrol, Piazza Navona in Rome, the area around the Duomo in Milan and the entire village of Govone in Piedmont.  

For more info, head to the ENIT website