Castagnata is a traditional fall food-and-wine festival dedicated to chestnuts and typical local dishes. An event happening in many Italian towns and villages usually in the month of October, the castagnata is mainly characterized by roasted chestnuts and other traditional and local chestnut dishes.
Chestnuts have always played an important role in the life of people, influencing culture and politics. Closely linked to the chestnut, people have for long considered it a major source of supply and not coincidentally dubbed it "the cereal that grows on trees", since, nutritionally speaking, it's very similar to rice and wheat. Over time, different ways of propagation of the plant have developed, refining its quality, increasing the variety and consequently improving the fruit that can be used fresh, dried or ground to flour.
There are many varieties of chestnut depending on the area they grow in; the tree variety yields different fruit dimension and quality; some of the most known chestnut varieties are: Carpinese, Ciria, Lojola, Montan, Neiranda, Marrone, Pastinese, Brandigliana, Alotta, Lizzanese, Agostana, Rossera, Bellina, Biancola, Invernizza, Raggiolana, Valcamonica, Verdesa, Frombola, Pistolese, Torcione.
Many villages both in the Liguria and Piedmont region celebrate castagnata every year attracting numerous visitors and thus marking the beginning of the fall season.
Montegrosso Pian Latte has been celebrating the chestnut for over 40 years, since this fruit has always been at the center of its economy. The festival usually takes place on the second Sunday in October, a perfect day to taste the chestnut in its various form, from roast chestnuts to the local delicious chestnut dessert. Additionally, Cucina Bianca dishes, tasty local cheeses and many other products are part of the festival.
Monesi organizes, this year as well, the traditional Castagnata, now in its 7th edition. The event is scheduled for Sunday, October 11 at 1pm at the restaurant Vecchia Partenza where visitors will enjoy new delicacies. (organized by Monesi Borgo Antico)
Buggio is famous for its Roasted Chestnut Festival which is held annually since 1970 on the second Sunday in October. Visitors will be delighted to savor chestnuts freshly prepared on braziers, using the traditional pans. For the gourmands also awaits the castagnaccio, a local dessert made with chestnuts and other Ligurian chestnut specialties.
Cuneo's 17th National Chestnut Fair, taking place from October 16th to 18th, is one of the most important Italian gastronomic events. It offers a unique opportunity to savor the local chestnut that is so deeply linked to the food tradition of the alpine valleys in the Cuneo area. Hundreds of gastronomic stalls coming from all over Italy and abroad, high quality craftsmen, cultural visits, exhibitions and shows.
Roburent is preparing for the event "Buon gusto e tradizione", scheduled for Sunday, October 11, an extension of the the castagnata, held on the second Sunday of October for more than 50 years. Throughout the day, visitors will be able to enjoy dozens of stands of local products, DOP and IGP certified: chestnuts, potatoes, honey, mountain pasture cheese - primarily the delicious "Raschera", and other vegetables such as pumpkins from Piozzo, leeks from Cervere, chickpeas from Nucetto, turnips from Alto, beans from Rocca de Baldi and so on.
Frabosa Sottana e Frabosa Soprana well-known for celebrating chestnuts every year will host the event on the second weekend of October and on October 17-18 respectively. Frabosa Soprana will promote its local traditional products from Raschera cheese, to mushroom handpicked in the woods, to maize biscuits and chestnuts. Walking in the streets with roast chestnuts in hand, visitors will enjoy all the different local market stalls.
For more information on chestnut events in the area of Cuneo check this link