Perched within the cusp of a volcanic crater, Nemi, an ancient village in the heart of the Castelli Romani, will host the 80th Sagra delle Fragole in June. This strawberry festival, which takes place annually on the first Sunday of June, is dedicated to local fragoline di bosco (wild strawberries). It is one of the most popular sagre in Lazio and this year the festivities will be extended from one weekend to three consecutive weekends.
The Sagra delle Fragole will include traditional music and folk dance. Young women dressed in local costume will hand out free samples of the small and tart fragoline. Visitors may help themselves to as many strawberries as they like.
Though the festival has now been extended over three weeks–and will include a flower show in the Palazzo Ruspoli–the main event, the traditional sfilata delle fragolare (a parade through town featuring young girls and women distributing strawberries), will take place on the afternoon of Sunday June 2. Arrive early to enjoy the full day of events.
In recognition of the sagra, Nemi’s restaurants and cafes will served strawberry-themed items. Look for strawberry risotto, which you can try at Lo Specchio di Diana; their specialties are local cuisine and recipes that incorporate ingredients from the nearby forest. Reservations are essential. For delectable strawberry cakes and tarts, head to Da Spartaco al Grottino at the end of Corso Vittorio Emmanule II.
For more information, visit the Comune di Nemi website.