Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 13, 2015

A glorious day for a chestnut festival

I love local festivals here in Italy, especially the chestnut festivals held in autumn. One of the best that I have been to in the Garfagnana is in Cascio. This tiny town of only a handful of people manages to gather hundreds of people for its annual Festa di Castagna.

On Saturday we had rain, wind and cold, but on Sunday the sun was out and it was a perfect autumn day, so I headed off to Cascio to enjoy some roast chestnuts, necci, castagnaccio and other delights.

I was early and got a space in the first car park. This is important, crowds gather quickly and if you miss a good car park you may have to walk quite a long way.

The entrance to the town is through one of the old portals.

Cascio chestnut festival

The lovely piazza was lined with stalls selling local produce.

Cascio chestnut festival

The first thing to do is buy a ticket for your food, then head off in search of the queue. Courses are served in different places around the village.

 

Cascio chestnut festival

…time to find a seat.

Cascio chestnut festival

My friends found an excellent seat.

Cascio chestnut festival

 

…with some great views.

Cascio chestnut festival

Others enjoyed the view from a great vantage point.

Cascio chestnut festival

The polenta tent was my next stop.

Cascio chestnut festival

Chestnuts were roasted on open fires.

Cascio chestnut festival

Then it was onwards and upwards to the fortress where the dolci were served.

Cascio chestnut festival

It was a bit of a walk through the forest to the metato (chestnut drying house) where the chestnut liqueur was served.

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

In this area people could gather their own chestnut and cook them. Children were taught how by parents and grandparents.

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

As we were leaving a group of singers lined up to entertain the crowd.

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio’s festival is very well organised. It is a fun day with lots to keep visitors entertained. There was a bit of a wait for the food, but most people are good natured and wait patiently. (Except for one woman who was determined to push in…it didn’t work with us)

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

It is now raining heavily and quite cold…we were very lucky on Sunday.

 

 

 

 


Responses

  1. the sunlight filtering through the trees and smoke is so beautiful. it must have smelled heavenly. that is the quintessential smell of autumn and winter for me…roasting chestnuts.

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    • I love that photo. It was a gorgeous day…we were so lucky with the weather.

      Like

  2. Great photos Deb – sorry to have missed it

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    • It was the most beautiful day, even the drive up to Cascio was wonderful. I love these mountains.

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  3. Look like a lovely day Autumn day. The village looks lively with so many visitors for the festival. Beautiful views.

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    • The views from Cascio are stunning, especially on a day like Sunday. Today I can barely see out if the window with the rain falling so heavily.

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      • Guess the Lima is flowing fast again.

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  4. Italy sure knows how to do wonderful festivals. Looks like another great day out

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    • I love these festivals, especially the chestnut festivals, with chestnuts roasting over a fire…wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great photos. Grazie mille Debra.

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  6. A lot of hard work in the preparations, so I am pleased the sun was out for the festival it must have helped to draw in the crowds. I think we are in for a few days rain which will be good for the gardens.

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    • It is bucketing down today. The festival would have been called off if it had been like this.

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  7. Just fabulous. Well captured.

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    • Thank you, it was a fabulous day. Cascio does it very well.

      Like

  8. The chestnut aroma must have been wonderful – I remember that smell from my childhood in London and the men who sold roasted chestnuts on the streets from braziers of glowing coals. The photo of the sunbeams is beautiful. A mozzie just bit my toes – back to reality:)

    Like

    • Roasting chestnuts smell very good. The whole village smelled delicious.

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  9. Sounds like a wonderful event, worth attending. Great photos!

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    • It is a very good festival. I hope you go one day.

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  10. Looks like the perfect day for a festival. The smell of roasting chestnuts is so inviting. I bet the area around the festival smelled delicious.
    Many vendors around NYC sell them from carts in the winter and it just wafts out into the street, luring people to buy some.

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    • It was a perfect day. I felt happy just driving up the mountain to the village. Cascio does an amazing job on their festival.

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  11. That looks very popular indeed! I love chestnuts and remember experimenting with them for the first time! 😀 I wish I had learned from someone how to cook them.

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  12. […] is a time of chestnut festivals in the Garfagnana and one of the best is in Cascio. It was a glorious day in the […]

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