Two years ago, we stumbled upon a festival…think bean supper crossed with the North End of Boston—one of those Saint celebrations they have on Saturday nights in the summer. These Festas, or Sagras, are all over Italy in the summer. The year we stumbled upon one was over-the-top fun. We were doing one of our day trips, exploring, driving, stopping, snooping around, and came upon one of these town-wide celebrations. This one was in honor of Hunting and Fishing. So there were huge long tables set up, and a team of “soccer moms” in matching tee-shirts cooking up fish and game. You paid some flat fee and filled your plate with tons of food and got a bottle of wine in a green label-less bottle. (Homemade.) It was a blast. We only wished we were at home and/or with friends because everyone else was with friends. If we had this in Winchester, it would be amazing. But they couldn’t serve wine like this at home….. hence, we Americans have things like church suppers.
This year, I found a website listing all the Festas in the region. We set our sights on the Festa della Bistecca (steak) in nearby Soriano Nel Cimino. We grabbed Karen, our friend and Fred’s TA for the summer, and set out.
We assumed it would be in the town center. Wrong. I asked some guy sitting in his car—with his shirt unbuttoned all the way down to his waist—who told us where the festa was……totally far away. But since we were already parked, we did some exploring there. (There was a castle.)
Here are some shots we took there.
Windblown atop the castle.
There was the tiniest church with the prettiest little interior. The only tipoff that it was a church was the cross on the top of the building and the two open doors giving passersby a peek inside. It was basically just another rowhouse.
Back in the car, we turned on the iPad GPS and made our way to the outskirts of town where the festa was being held. Parking was in a field. It was just what we had hoped for. You get in line, buy a ticket, and you’re all set for the night. We were brought to a table (one of about 40 LONG tables with paper tablecloths) on which the person who brought us there wrote our “number” and gave our receipt (with what we paid for) to someone else. In about twenty minutes, around came the waiters with our bruschetta (our first course. And our wine, of course.) Later, MORE steak on each person’s plate than we’d ever seen. Tons of people. Tons of wine. Watermelon for dessert. It was a hoot. The music was a bit underwhelming—accordion players performing the Sounds of Silence. If I hear one more accordion player performing Simon and Garfunkel……
The view from the parking lot.