A road closure?
You’re riding along in Italy, going up and down, enjoying a few twisties and great views in the hills, when all of a sudden you see a medieval village and aim towards it to have a look. Only to realise once there that the whole town is closed off!
The reason of many road closures is bound to the fact that eating well in Italy is still alive and well. The typical image of “La Mamma” who tries to feed you until you explode is still reality today. especially in the south. But all over the territory, one of things that Italy is less famous for, and yet is widely spread, is the tradition of sagre (plural form of sagra).
What is a sagra?
The literal translation is festival, and every week-end there is one somewhere in all regions. Something like 42,000 in a year, according to the Fipe, to celebrate all kinds of food, wines and spirits, local dishes and agricultural products, such as chestnuts, mushrooms, potatoes, boar, sardine, cheese, wines and of course pasta, amongst a thousand other products and specialities!
These festivals are seasonal and regional, so the products on offer are always local specialties, fresh and delicious! As they are not run with tourists in mind but above all for the local population, the price of the products is very reasonable,. The towns are usually closed off to traffic and taken over by stalls, there is usually music and dancing, and very often food is being freshly cooked on site in big marquees by local restaurant keepers.
There’s usually a great atmosphere, it’s full of people, ready to enjoy themselves. Imagine series of long tables with benches, with big groups of friends chatting away, all drinking and eating together, enjoying a local speciality with a bit of the local wine or a craft beer, listening to live music and even dancing. Simply a great way to spend a few hours with friends!
Very often they of course don’t think about diversion signs, so it can be a bit of an adventure to get back on route! But since sagre is a great Italian tradition, our advice is that if you do come across one, don’t worry about finding your route back, but instead go and immerse yourself with the locals and enjoy this great experience!