Many travel to Italy for their impressive culture of food and wine: and it’s easy to see why. With so many culinary delights on offer, it can be difficult to experience it all in one short trip. One way to get the full experience of Italian cuisine is to head for one of the many food or wine festivals across the country. It’s a great way to see the integral part that eating and drinking plays in communities across Italy.
Wine tour operators SmoothRed have put together a guide to the best Italian food and wine festivals throughout the year:
Olive and Bruschetta Festival – Spello
The small town of Spello celebrates its olive harvest by eating bruschetta drizzled with fresh olive oil (plus many other olive products) and enjoying traditional music each February.
Vinitaly – Verona
A huge wine conference – one of the biggest in the world, in fact – Vinitaly features wines and spirits from all over the globe. It’s focused on the business and industry, however it’s only open to industry members.
ViniVeri – Verona
With its focus on organic, artisan and natural wines, Vini Veri is all about small-scale makers. Representatives come from Italy, France, Slovenia, Austria, Spain and Georgia.
Wine Festival – Elba
It’s hard to come across Elba wines as they are so rarely exported. Make your way to the Elba festival to sample the whites and reds on Le Ghiaie beach. Summer sun and wine on a Mediterranean island? Perfect.
International Cheese Festival by Slow Food International – Bra
Lovers of wine’s favourite companion, cheese, will enjoy this brilliant event in the slow food capital of Italy. Including food markets, educational activities, tasting sessions and even cheese lectures, this is the pinnacle of cheese enjoyment.
Chianti Classico Wine Festival – Greve in Chianti
Greve’s annual wine festival shows off the latest wine vintages from all the local wineries. Set in Tuscany, Greve is an ancient town that features beautiful scenery, fascinating history and a huge array of local wine-makers.
Vino Novello (New Wine) Festivals – various
t’s ensconced in Italian law that new wine can’t be released prior to the 4th of November, so the weekend following the 4th is cause for celebration in many locations across Italy. The new wines are tasted, big dinners are planned and stalls are placed in the main street with a huge array of offerings. Some of the larger festivals are held in Montespertoli and Pontassieve.
You can out more about SmoothRed’s range of wine tour options here.
Photo by zone41 on Flickr