Festa delle Castagne at Castell’Arquato

Castell’Arquato (Emilia-Romagna) – There has been so many chestnut-roasting events going on in Como/Lecco that you could do a Sunday drive and come across no less than half a dozen of them. But the one that we chose to visit was over 2 hours away in the region of Emilia-Romagna. The distance was not too much of a deterrent because I was really looking forward to witnessing a pigiatura demonstration – that foot-happy, foot-naked stomping of wine grapes. Unfortunately, the grape massacre was scheduled much later in the afternoon and we couldn’t stay on, so we do hope to visit again next year. Castell’Arquato, I’ve learned, was one of the backdrops used in the film Ladyhawke. The other spectacle for this event was a gathering of old tractors – rather cool if you’re into period cars/machinery. All of the tractors were in beautiful mint condition, and again, it’s too bad that we couldn’t stay to see them in a parade down the street. My favorite part though, was the grilled polenta that had ciccioli (pork cracklings) in them. I usually prefer fresh polenta to grilled, but this…THIS…with teeny tiny bits of fatty pork skin mixed in – holy Porky Pig! It was just so good with grilled pork sausages.

Festa delle Castagne
♫ Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…Jack Frost nipping at your nose ♪

Polenta with ciccioli
Polenta con ciccioli

Fiat farm machinery

John Deere
Antique John Deere

Castell'Arquato piazza
At the main square in Castell’Arquato


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