Sagra del Misultin

Dervio fishermen

Dervio – This past Saturday we took a gamble and left our ever so slightly cooler altitude to head down to the lake to see if temperatures were better than up in the mountains. Boy was I surprised. Can you just imagine that cool breeze coming right off the water? Located on Lake Como’s eastern side, Dervio is less than 6 miles north of Varenna and one of a number of small villages dotting the lake’s shores. We probably would’ve never heard about it had it not been for this sagra of the misultin.

Misultin (missoltini in italian) is sun-dried agone or shad. A specialty of the Lake Como area, we enjoy eating it every now and then (flaked and stirred into spaghetti – yum!) but in all our time here have never seen the fishermen in action. Strolling south along the waterfront promenade from Boldona Park where the sagra was being held, we came across a few of them by chance. Check out the walking plank to this one particular fishing spot.

Walk the plank

Agone tasting menu

The process of turning agone into missoltini was well-illustrated on several board signs in the park, but only in italian. Live music, a limited menu, and lots of seating for the fish-lovers. We tried the tasting menu (15€) that included water or wine: agone in carpione (marinated in vinegar), fried little lakefish, and misultin over grilled polenta. Good stuff!

Parco Boldona

Even if at the time I thought it was crazy to leave the tranquility of the chestnut forest, sometimes it does pay to leave the house. Dervio seemed serene and not overrun with summer visitors like Varenna and Bellagio. Really, it looks like a prime spot for a bit of fishing.

Dervio fisherman

4 thoughts on “Sagra del Misultin

  1. Nonna T

    I always wondered how those lake fish tasted. Is the road between Lecco and Varenna finally finished with all of the construction work? Three years ago we were told to avoid it because of the all of the roadwork.


    1. Rowena Post author

      After the salting and sun-drying, I can’t think of any better way to describe the taste other than fish jerky. Reminds me somewhat of dried akule in Hawaii, only akule has a definite flavor of the sea to it. That construction you mention is done!



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