In order of the author’s preferences, here are just a few of the Feste and Sagre which will be coming up over the next few months.

First, Podenzana(Aulla) offers Panigacci sotto le stelle, a festival dedicated to traditional tastes of the Lunigiana region including testaroli with pesto (almost like a pancake pasta). The main stars, though, are panigacci, a type of unleavened focaccia cooked in terracotta and filled with cold cuts and cheeses. This may be the opportunity to mention the excellent meal of panigacci with ham and salame, cheese and honey, and nutella which I enjoyed recently at Da Gamin(pictured above), Podenzana’s  speciality panigacci restaurant. It may not look much, but the welcome and food within are well worth the trip, and the views over the next valley are stunning.

Next, in Colonnata, “quarryman’s land”, set against the Apuan Alps, the Festa del Lardo (cured pigback fat fest) takes place. 

This is a unique occasion, not only to sample this traditional salume and the specialties of the Apuan town, such as tordelli al ragù and lardo-based taglierini pasta with beans, but also to admire the magnificent views of the white marble quarries which we often feature in this Blog. Pictured are a few of last year’s pilgrimage to the marble quarries of Fantiscritti and Campo Cecina, which just had to be followed with plates of lardo and other cold meats, all washed down with an excellent local wine.

Thirdly, we head into our neighbouring Garfagnana woods for the Festa del Farro, which in Piazza al Serchio presents dishes made with this flavourful, centuries-old grain typical of the Lucchesia. Farro is exceptional in soups with beans, but also in savoury pies with ricotta or mushrooms.

Last but not least, September will bring us the second of two Sagra dei Pomi, Codiponte’s apple festival, where you can eat anything made with apple, or accompanied by apple, pretty much everything apart from apples themselves.

For more information on local Sagras and Festas or advice on where to stay to make the most of them, contact us on http://www.luniholidays.co.uk or telephone on 01633 422074. If we’re not here, leave your number and we’ll get back to you.