In Italy, there’s always a reason to celebrate! And that typically means food & wine. Food & wine festivals happen year-round across Italy, whether it’s to celebrate the harvest of seasonal food or a regional wine, or to bring together an international community of foodies. 

If you are a foodie ready to eat your way through Italy, attending one of Italy’s many food festivals will be your dream Italian getaway. As Italian locals and travel experts, we’ve chosen six of the best Italian food festivals you won’t want to miss out on. 

We’ve also covered Italy’s best cultural festivals. Read it here! 

Ascoliva (Stuffed Olive Festival) and Fritto Misto – Ascoli Piceno, Marche

Ascoli Piceno of the Marche region is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered just three hours East of Rome. With its charming medieval streets, elegant piazzas, and rich history, it’s no wonder that Ascoli Piceno has been recognized as one of Italy’s most beautiful towns!

The town’s Renaissance and Gothic architecture, combined with its relaxed pace of life, make it a perfect destination for foodies seeking an Italian adventure. We are proud to call it our hometown and the home base of select tours! 

One of Ascoli Piceno’s culinary claims to fame is the Fritto Misto and Ascoliva, two different festivals dedicated to the town’s iconic dish – olive all’ascolana and its counterpart Fritto Misto which includes the stuffed olives as part of this dish. Each festival is held annually to celebrate the delicious olive all’ascolana, which are green olives stuffed with a savory meat filling, breaded, and fried to perfection. Festival goers can sample various versions of this local delicacy, each with its unique twist. 

The Fritto Misto takes place in the Spring and the Ascoliva festival usually has two dates in the summer of each year, often in July or August, with in various events held around town but the main food stands are found in Piazza Arringo. And it’s more than just a food festival—you’ll find live music, traditional dances, and other events that showcase Ascoli Piceno’s history and community, making it a great pick for locals and visitors alike! Especially if you’re in town around the Quintana which you can read more about by clicking here.

There’s also a gluten-free stand so that those with Celiac Disease can still enjoy the festival’s culinary delights. Learn more about gluten-free dining in Italy here! 

Did you know that guests of The Italian on Tour® learn how to make this very dish from organic ingredients, including the Olive Tenera? The Olive Tenera is a prestigious and expensive ingredient, making it hard to come by in most restaurants. When you come on tour with us, you’ll get to try the real thing with the original organic locally grown ingredients! 

best italian food festivals in italy black truffles

Sagra del Tartufo Nero Pregiato (Black Truffle Festival) – Norcia, Umbria

The picturesque town of Norcia hosts the Sagra del Tartufo Nero Pregiato, a celebration dedicated to the prized black truffle. This festival is a true culinary delight that draws truffle enthusiasts from all over the world to indulge in this gourmet delicacy. 

Umbria, often referred to as the “Green Heart of Italy,” is known for its lush landscapes and medieval hilltop towns, making it the perfect backdrop for the festival. 

The Sagra del Tartufo Nero Pregiato typically takes place between February and March, coinciding with the black truffle’s peak season. With its truffle-rich forests and fertile valleys, Norcia provides the ideal setting for the event. The town itself is a charming destination, known for its medieval walls, historic buildings, and artisanal shops selling local products. 

The black truffle itself is so widely sought after for its earthy aroma and unique flavor. Throughout the Sagra, visitors can enjoy a variety of truffle-based dishes, from pasta and risotto to meats and cheeses, each highlighting the truffle’s exquisite taste.

The festival also features truffle hunting demonstrations, where experts and trained dogs showcase the art of truffle hunting. 

The Sagra del Tartufo Nero Pregiato in Norcia is a must-visit for anyone interested in truffles and Italian cuisine. Whether you’re a truffle aficionado or a curious food lover, this festival offers a unique opportunity to taste, learn, and experience the magic of black truffles in the enchanting region of Umbria!

We actually take our guests on a truffle-hunting excursion with famed chef Jamie Oliver’s truffle hunter in Umbria on select tours, which includes an exclusive truffle menu exclusively crafted for 

turin best italian food festivals in italy<br />

Salone del Gusto – Turin, Piedmont

Turin, the capital of Italy’s Piedmont region, is home to the Salone del Gusto, one of the most prestigious food fairs in the world. This biennial event held on odd years, organized by Slow Food, transforms the Baroque city of Turin into a global hub for food lovers, showcasing a vast array of artisanal and traditional foods from Italy and around the world. 

Piedmont, with its rolling vineyards, rich culinary traditions, and historic charm, provides a fitting backdrop for this slow, sustainable food celebration. 

The Salone del Gusto typically takes place in the fall, offering visitors the chance to experience the region during harvest season. A fun event to extend your time in Italy before or after your time on the Northern Italian Delights tour. The event brings together producers, chefs, and food enthusiasts from all corners of the globe, creating a vibrant and multicultural atmosphere. 

Festival goers can explore a diverse range of food stalls and taste everything from Italian cheeses and cured meats to international delicacies and exotic spices. This is one of Italy’s largest international food festivals, a great educational experience for both beginner foodies and aficionados. 

Planning on visiting a festival and wondering which airport to fly into? Read our guide to Italy’s International Airports! 

best italian food festivals in italy

Sagra del Riso – Isola della Scala, Veneto

In the heart of Italy’s rice-growing region, the charming town of Isola della Scala hosts the Sagra del Riso, a vibrant festival dedicated to rice. Located in the Veneto region and known for its stunning landscapes, historic cities, and rich culinary traditions, Isola della Scala offers a perfect setting for this celebration of Italy’s beloved staple.

The Sagra del Riso typically takes place in late summer, coinciding with the rice harvest season. The festival highlights the versatility of rice with a variety of dishes, from classic risottos and rice salads to more innovative and experimental rice-based creations. 

Visitors can enjoy live music, cultural events, and cooking demonstrations that showcase the art of preparing and cooking rice. The town itself is quite the hidden gem with a rich history that can be explored through its historic buildings, charming streets, and picturesque canals.

 

best italian food festivals in italy cheese

Formaggio in Villa – Cittadella, Veneto

Formaggio in Villa, a celebration of cheese, takes place in the heart of Veneto, Italy’s Northern gem. This festival offers a unique opportunity to discover the region’s rich dairy traditions and sample artisanal cheeses made by local producers.

Hosted inside a magical medieval citadel, Formaggio in Villa invites visitors to indulge in the flavors of Italian cheese-making from across the entire nation. Not only will you taste fantastic award-winning cheese but you’ll step back in time when you visit the historic city center of Cittadella, Europe’s largest remaining citadel. When you grab your spot on the Northern Italian Delights you too will get to experience the stunning views and history that has shaped this area of Northern Italy just around the corner from UNESCO Palladian Villas and one of Italy’s most iconic cities, Venice.

Visitors can explore cheese-making demonstrations throughout the festival, learn about the production process, and even participate in hands-on workshops. It’s a chance to connect with local artisans, gain insights into Italy’s vast cheesemaking heritage, and savor the distinctive flavors of its cheeses. With cheesemakers coming from across Italy, you’ll taste all of Italy’s cheese in one weekend! 

Looking for trips where you’ll get to visit cheese producers?

Then check out:

best italian food festivals in italy chocolate

EuroChocolate – Perugia, Umbria

Heading back to the capital city of Umbria, The Green Heart of Italy, EuroChocolate is a can’t miss event for those with a sweet tooth. EuroChocolate is one of Europe’s most beloved chocolate festivals, hosted each year in the fall and attracting chocolate lovers from around the world. 

The festival fills Perugia’s charming medieval streets with the aroma of chocolate, with artisanal chocolatiers and renowned pastry chefs showing off their talents. Visitors can sample an array of chocolate treats, from traditional bars and truffles to innovative creations. The festival also hosts workshops where you can watch the process going from bean to bar or chefs craft stunning chocolate sculptures. 

One of the highlights of the festival is the chocolate sculptures throughout the city’s squares and alleys. For the duration of the festival, these sculptures turn Perugia into an open-air chocolate museum! 

best italian food festivals in italy white truffle

Alba White Truffle Fair – Alba, Piedmont

Returning to Piedmont and prestigious truffles, no guide on Italy’s food festivals would be complete without mentioning the Alba White Truffle Fair, one of Italy’s most prestigious truffle events. This annual celebration held in October draws truffle enthusiasts, chefs, and food lovers from around the world to experience this rare luxury delicacy. 

The fair coincides with the peak of truffle season in the region. Alba comes alive with truffle stalls showcasing the “diamond of the kitchen” in all its glory. From small truffles to large specimens weighing several hundred grams, visitors can take in the variety and quality of Italy’s prized white truffle. 

One of the fair’s highlights is the World Auction of the White Truffle of Alba, where the season’s finest truffles are auctioned off to the highest bidder, which attracts international attention. 

Interested in attending other truffle fairs? The Acqualagna Truffle Festival is another notable festival, and in fact, many of the more famous fairs’ truffle providences originate from the Le Marche region. We take our tour guests on a truffle-hunting excursion with Jamie Oliver’s truffle hunter, who has even done a special on truffles in Le Marche! 

Italy’s culinary festivals offer something for everyone, whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer the savory, unique taste of a truffle dish. 

Attending food festivals is a great way to get insight into the nuances of everyday Italian culture, but planning logistics and waiting time trying to figure out the lingo can weigh down your overall experience. 

If you’re a foodie, a multi-day food and wine tour of Italy’s hidden regions is the perfect option for you! When you join us on tour not only will you be able to sit back and relax knowing we’ve taken care of it, but you’ll get to enjoy exclusive experiences showcasing Italy’s best cuisine, from truffle hunting to authentic farm-to-table meals.  All while having two locals by your side to translate the Italian experience!

Choose your itinerary and get started planning your next Italian food and wine adventure! 

PLANNING A FOOD LOVERS TRIP TO ITALY? SAVE THESE TOP ITALIAN FOOD FESTIVALS FOR LATER!

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Best Italian Food Festivals: A Local's Guide<br />

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