Food Festivals in Calabria
THE RED ONION OF TROPEA FESTIVAL
Where: Tropea, province of Vibo Valentia
This festival has taken place in Ricadi, in the centre of the province of Vibo Valentia on the 13th of August each year for about 30 years. During the evening, there are many delicacies with the onion of Tropea as a base: sweet and sour onions, onion marmalade, breaded and fried onion rings, beans with onions etc. Accompanying the evening are classic games (sack races, pinata, etc) Calabrian folk songs and many other types of entertainment. The evening concludes with the “du camijuzzu i focu” dance. This is a horse made of bamboo canes, covered with firecrackers from its head to its tail. The pyro-technical dance is accompanied by a traditional Calabrian tarantella.
A man with a very resistant helmet dances with the “horse”.
Many people position themselves in a circle around this to watch the extraordinary fireworks display.
THE STOCKFISH FESTIVAL
Where: Mammola, province of Reggio Calabria
A traditional event is the The Stockfish Festival.
Try stockfish cooked in various ways according to traditional Mammolesi recipes. The festival, due to its unique flavours, is one of the most important food events in Calabria and Italy, and brings thousands of tourists.
The festival takes place along the streets in this medieval village, where, other than the beauty of the village itself, one can admire the ancient church and the houses of the nobility, local art shows, and artisan stalls.
All this takes place in a folkloristic atmosphere, with dances, songs, sounds and various performances.
THE WINE FESTIVAL
Where: Brattirò di Drapia, province of Vibo Valentia
In a small town in the province of Vibo Valentia, a festival has been celebrated unfailingly on the evening of the 10th of August for more than 25 years.
The aim of the event is to introduce the excellent organoleptic properties of the locally produced wine. The vineyards of Brattirò are situated on two terraces at
an altitude of 330m sloping towards the sea of Tropea and Capo Vaticano.
This geographical lay of the land allows for an excellent ventilation and sunlight
on the ancient vineyards, which, together with methodical work and patience, has produced a genuine and fine wine.
THE SPILINGA ‘NDUJA FESTIVAL
Where: Spilinga, province of Vibo Valentia
In a small town in the province of Vibo Valentia, an event of the gastronomic, folkloristic and cultural type takes place on the 8th of August every year, for
all those who spend their vacations in Capo Vaticano and Tropea and for the citizens of Spilinga.
Thanks to ‘nduja, a very local product, known throughout Italy and even abroad, Spilinga has become famous. The ‘nduja of Spilinga is a type of sausage made with hot red peppers and pork, prepared by hand in the winter months, when it is customary for the Spilingesi to slaughter their pigs. The people of Spilinga await this festival with enthusiasm and the willingness to offer hospitality and genuine local Calabrian products to the many visitors. The various stalls offer spaghetti
with ‘nduja, beans, local vegetables, bruschette and sandwiches with ‘nduja.
GRAN GALA’ DEL PESCE SPADA
(the great swordfish gala)
When: end of July
Where: Bagnara Calabria, province of Reggio Calabria
Every year, since 1965, the Swordfish Festival has taken place in Bagnara Calabra . If in 1971, circa 1000 attended, from 1971 to 2000 the attendance level is at about 4000 people, including citizens, casual tourists and passionate regulars.
The importance of the festival is evident not only by the numbers, but also
in the interest of the local and national mass media.
The event, sponsored by the Region of Calabria and upheld by territorial political institutions, aims to promote one of the most ancient traditions in the territory:
The period chosen for the event is the first week of July, when the swordfish, in
search of a mate for reproduction, inhabit the tranquil waters of the Strait of Messina.
GRAN FESTA DEL PANE
(the great bread Festival)
Where: Altomonte, province of Cosenza
After only a few years, it has become one of the most characteristic events due to the rich cultural and touristic offering of Altomonte. The event takes place in the old part of town, which has for many years been rated as among the “Most beautiful
villages in Italy”.
For four days, the town will be literally invaded by numerous expositive stands, which involve the participation of many local producers and some representatives of cities that are member of the “City of Bread Association”, those ranked among the “Most beautiful villages in Italy” and “Slow City”, which display and give tasty samples of their specialties and products of excellence.
The city will be visitable for free (guided tours in the village among “Forni Accesi” (Ovens On) and “Catui Aperti” (Open Cellars) organized by the Pro Loco).
(from Calabria Tourism Portal)