Please note that many events for 2021 are postponed due to Covid.
A sagra (plural sagre) is a food-related festival usually held over a weekend, and is a great way to experience Italian culture, music, and of course, food. If you see one, I encourage you to try it out!
Carnevale di Fano - Over 3 weekends before Lent. Fano’s Carnevale, the oldest in the Marche, dates to 1347 so they know how to throw a party! Over three weekends the city hosts parties, live music, DJs, dancing, parades, art exhibitions, children’s events, a masquerade, and much more!
Diamanti a Tavola - Amandola. In March, Amandola pays homage to it’s black truffle. It’s a scaled-down version of November’s show but has cooking shows, markets, restaurant tastings, and much more.
Fritto Misto all’Italiana - Ascoli Piceno celebrates all things fried the last week in April. Chefs come from all over Italy and beyond to prepare special dinners and fry regional specialties in the numerous food stands that are set up in the Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Arringo. Not just the famous fried Olive Ascolane and typical local dishes, but you can try seafood, arancini, cannoli, South American tacos, empanadas, burritos, fish and chips from England, and Brazilian foods.
Sagra del Carciofo - in Montelupone the first or second weekend in May.
Montelupone’s artichokes are renowned and have been celebrated for 58 years in an annual festival featuring artichoke-themed foods, parades, folklore performances, and other entertainment in this borghi più belli.
Camerino’s Corsa alla Spada is at the end of May through the beginning of June. http://www.corsaspada.it/Home.aspxThe Corso celebrates Camerino’s patron Saint Venanzio and begins with a huge bonfire. The three districts compete in horse-mounted jousting, crossbow shooting, and race to reach a sword, among others. Group dinners, dances, shows, parades, markets, and live music accompany this historic event.
Festa dell’Europa in Macerata begins around May 8-9th and lasts at least 4 days. Flags of European countries indicate where you can sample aperitivi and snacks inspired by that country at many locations throughout the city. A variety of events, cooking shows, and games are held.
Cantine Aperte is the last weekend in May. Wineries across the region open their doors for open tours and tastings. Buy a glass at the first winery and bring it to all of those that participate. Often the wineries will have food and music. It’s a casual, fun time, and a great opportunity to try a variety of local wines.
Palio dei Castelli- San Severino Marche is usually the second week in June.The beautiful town of San Severino Marche celebrates the town’s patron saint with medieval parades, battle reenactments, live music, archers, medieval shows, and the traditional palio. Local restaurants offer period food served by waitstaff in period attire.
Infiorata Montefiore dell’Aso- http://infioratamontefiore.it/index.php/it/
The region’s most celebrated flower festival is held in this aptly named village. On Saturday night, the Centro Storico is closed so that overnight, numerous artisans can create an elaborate “carpet” of flowers that extends 2,000 meters-long using flowers and other natural ingredients. Each year has a theme and apart of the length of the designs, Montefiore’s festival is unusual in that typically the artisans do not sketch out their design on the ground, and build it. They build it directly on the ground.
Fabriano’s Palio- https://www.fabrianopalio.it
Check the site for dates and events, it lasts throughout the month.
This palio is a little different in not only its length but also the activities. The city’s four quarters compete in events, as normal in a palio, but they also host different interactive events. Among the highlights, in addition to the usual parade, competitive jousting, and games, is the Sfida del Maglio on June 24th when 4 blacksmiths representing their quarters compete to make a functional key from an iron bar. In early June a flower-carpet making contest decorates the Centro Storico. Throughout the event, taverns hold Medieval themed dinners where costumed waiters serve ancient food and minstrels play music and tell stories.
Musicultura - at the Sferisterio in Macerata
In an Italian singing-songwriting contest, the finalists perform live in Macerata’s atmospheric open-air theater. Italian and international guest musicians also perform.
La Fioritura di Castelluccio di Norcia - This fantastic display of blooming wildflowers that carpet three plains in the Sibillini starts in May but usually peaks around late June to the beginning of July. You can consult current conditions on a webcam.
Macerata Opera Festival- www.sferisterio.it July-August, check site for dates and tickets
The Macerata Opera Festival, held at the atmospheric Sferisterio, stages three operas every summer on a variety of dates under an annual theme. Many weekend evening performances are followed by free parties on the stage or the arena floor. Tickets may be available on short notice.
Colmurano Artistrada - https://www.facebook.com/artistrada/ 11-14 July, 2019
A Buskers festival of street art, music, shows, markets, performances, and fun!
San Serverino Blues all summer long in San Severino Marche. http://www.sanseverinoblues.com/site/
International blues musicians perform under the stars.
La Quintana Ascoli Piceno - July and first Sunday in August - http://www.quintanadiascoli.it/en/
The city’s six districts compete in an unusual horseback jousting match. Hundreds of medievally-dressed citizens parade. Also music and gaming competitions.
RisorgiMarche- July and August https://risorgimarche.it & https://www.facebook.com/risorgimarche/
RisorgiMarche is a “solidarity festival for the revival of communities affected by the earthquake.” 2021 will be the fifth annual and the idea is to get back to nature and connect with the people in this area in a positive way. Concerts are held in villages and archeological sites throughout the area, and collaborative excursions are offered.
Medievalia Palio San Ginesio - August 10-15 Five days of historical reenactments that begin with the Battaglia della Fornarina, which occurred in 1377 when a young baker on her way to start the ovens discovered the city was about to be attacked by Fermo and sounded the alarm. Largely thanks to her, the city was able to fend off the would-be attackers. The four districts of the village compete in archery, crossbow, jousting, and other Medieval contests, with the highlight being two palio horse races. Period costumes, dances, and food all highlight San Ginesio’s most prestigious event.
Ascoliva Festival in Ascoli Piceno- http://www.ascoliva.it
Ten days of celebrating the famous stuffed and fried Ascolane olive. The city hosts a huge festival with a White Night, performances, cooking demonstrations, music, shows, and other events.
Rossini Opera Festival- Pesaro https://www.rossinioperafestival.it/en/
The composer Gioachino Rossini was born in Pesaro and every year since 1980 Pesaro has held a festival that features not only his famous operas but his lesser-known works.
Sagra del Vin Cotto - Loro Piceno - https://www.facebook.com/FestivaldelvinocottoLoroP...
Loro Piceno is famous for its Vino Cotto and they celebrate it every August with a weekend-long celebration. Vino cotto tastings, a food and local products market, live music, shows, museum visits, and children’s activities are all on the menu.
Biennale Internazionale di Umorismo nell’Arte. In odd-numbered years, exhibitions, screenings, and events that celebrate humor in art.
Tolentino’s Dono dei Ceri a San Nicola is the last week in August-first of September. A historical reenactment from the 1400s including races, archery contests, and tug of war. Held at the Piazza della Libertà where local companies donate wax candles and an elaborate banner to San Nicola.
Tolentino’s Sul Ponte del Diavolo is the end of August-early September. Jugglers, dancers, archers and others demonstrate in the piazza, a jousting contest is held on the bridge, and a festive communal outdoor dinner takes place at the end.
Vita Vita in Civitanova Marche http://www.vitavita.info at the end of August and the beginning of September is an international art festival held throughout the old town with performances, music, dance, poetry, exhibits, free of charge.
Sagra della Vernaccia- the beginning to middle of August, before Ferragosto (the 15th)
Just check out the photos on Facebook. This sleepy village is anything but on this weekend of markets, wine and food, shows, and live music.
Castrum Sarnani in Sarnano. Postponed until 2021. The medieval ages return to this borghi più belli d'Italia for a week of festivities, music, costumes, parades, magicians, shows, markets, food, fun, and children's activities.
Festa San Nicola- Sept. 10 is the feast day of Tolentino’s patron saint, San Nicola. Events are held over two weekends in Tolentino. The first weekend is mostly religious. The second is a fun festival with live music; shows; and a food, wine, and local products market.
Ancona Opera Season is Sept. & October. https://www.fondazionemuse.org
I Primi d'Italia - This unique festival that celebrates i primi piatti brings visitors from all over Italy to Foligno, in nearby Umbria. Four days of pasta, rice, soup, gnocchi, and polenta tastings; cooking lessons; chef demonstrations; free concerts and shows; and a children's festival highlight the events that take place in Foligno's beautiful historic center.
Cupramontana’s Sagra dell’Uva is the oldest celebration of the grape harvest in Le Marche and held at the end of September or the beginning of October.
Live music in the piazza accompanies wine and food tasting tables. Museums display exhibitions, parades, demonstrations and shows are performed.
San Severino Marche holds a Sagra della Porchetta, usually the first weekend in October with live music and DJs in addition to all the porchetta you can imagine!
Agricoltura in Festa, at the lovely Abbadia di Fiastra. Usually the first weekend in October. Food stands, a market of local products, a children’s play area, nature walks, yoga, discussions, and live music are just some of the highlights of this local festival.
Macerata hosts a weekend-long street food festival featuring international foods, beer and wine, live music, and dancing. Usually in the beginning of October.
Borgo in Festa in Colmurano celebrates Castagnata and Polentone around the third weekend in October. Roasted chestnuts and polentone are featured but other items are available from the food stalls. Live music, a market, children’s events, and other activities that change annually make this a da non perdere.
Montemonaco in the Sibillini is known for its chestnuts, and in the end of October they host a Sagra Mercato della Castagna: two days of food stands, live music, chestnut collecting hikes, and more!
Appassimenti Aperti in Serrapetrona. On the second and third Sundays in November, the cantine in Serrapetrona open their doors to visitors who can tour freely and see grapes hanging in rows to dry. In the town square, the festivities continue with a market, food and wines, and music.
Diamanti a Tavola - Amandola. The first week in November Amandola pays homage to its white truffle with a truffle fair, truffle hunts, loads of organized outdoor activities, like hikes, mountain bike rides, photography tours, markets, shows, restaurant tastings, and much more.
Festa di San Martino on the 11th of November is celebrated throughout Italy’s agricultural areas and the Marche is no exception. Expect to find some festivals and sagre to celebrate new wine, autumn foods, and the end of a harvest season. Caldarola puts on a weekend long festival with photowalks, live music, shows, food and wine stands, and more.
Sarnano in Botte - Scheduled to coincide with Festa di San Martino, Sarnano’s centro storico hosts a wine festival featuring new wine from this harvest. Stands are set up with local gastronomic delights to try as well as wines, crafts, and shows.