When I drove down the small, bending road into the Lamone valley for the very first time, I almost caused an accident: all of a sudden, I saw a glimpse of the castle in my childhood’s princess dreams and I had to stop, overwhelmed and speechless . But these roads weren’t built for tourists with childhood dreams, so the Italians behind me started to honk and yell at me, what a rude awakening! The castle was just the Clock tower of the real castle and each crowns the top of a hill, overlooking the fairy tale landscape: olive tree fields and vineyards, dotted with farm houses. Olive oil and wine are the most important farm products in this area, grown by the people of the Lamone valley since roman times – the very special microclimate and soil are just perfect here. After climbing the hill and indulging the princess-feeling, I was ready to focus on the food – this is why I came here.
Foodie town Brisighella
Fall time is “Sagra” time – “Sagra” means food festival in Italian and since Brisighella is a real foodie-town, they have to celebrate a lot: sheep, pork, forgotten fruits, cheese, olive oil and truffle. The sagra season starts with the last weekend in October and ends by the end of November – 5 gourmet weekends in a row! Unlikely that you can go every weekend, so you have to pick your favourite amongst them. I`ve already been at the olive oil and truffle festivals the years before, so I decided to go for sheep this year. The medieval streets are seemed with booths, you can buy every kind of seasonal vegetable and local specialties, the best way to satisfy your inner foodie, is to get small samples and eat it right away – can´t be more fresh!
Food tasting at the Sagra (food festival)
The olive oil, for which Brisighella is famous, can be tasted at the stall, same with the wine, or do you prefer hand-crafted beer? If you have a sweet tooth, (like I do), don´t miss the chestnut cake, if you prefer salty, go for ciccioli – these are just the seasonal items. The restaurants and food stalls along the street are prepared to offer special menus, following the topic of the sagra, they compete with different traditional recipes, almost impossible to try them all.