year on the first Sunday of October
the town of Piglio hosts the Sagra dell’uva Cesanese, a festival
dedicated to wine. Over three days I soaked up the joyful
atmosphere – and plenty of samples – as the streets filled with
music and performers.
The autumn festival has marked the start of the grape harvest
for more than 45 years. In this Lazio region, the Cesanese grape is
well known, having been used in red wine production as far back as
Old wineries open to the public, offering tastings of
outstanding wines alongside typical local snacks such as roasted
chestnuts and grilled sweetcorn with arrosticini (barbecued lamb on
I devoured a street food unique to this locale: cresciutella – a
deep-fried bread dough stuffed with cheese and cured meat among
other ingredients. Another very special dish was that of
cacciocavallo cheese (made from sheep’s milk) melted on the grill,
served on a warm slice of bread and finished with truffle cream and
local friarielli (broccoli rabe).
Sated, I made my way between Piglio’s picturesque narrow streets
to a place where I could look out over Monti Ernici, a magnificent
mountain range beyond the commune.