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Aritzo is a small center of Sardinia, which lies at the foot of Mount Gennargentu, in Barbagia di Belvì. Renowned for mountain holidays, it is particularly known for its Chestnut Festival, an event that takes place in the last weekend of October. An event sees the arrival of 50,000 visitors every year over the course of two days. One of those traditions in Italy that can’t help but attract families, and it’s great to share it with the big and small alike.
A must-see event from 28th to 29th October
This year, the 47th edition of the Festival will be held from 28th to 29th October, with the usual free distribution of chestnuts watered down with wine.
The first day, Saturday, begins in Piazza Bau Ponte, with guided hikes to Geratzia’s centuries-old chestnut groves, and with the opening of the agro-food and craft stores. Following programme is the opening of paintings and sculpture exhibitions, and shows of the traveling polyphonic choir “Bachis Sulis”. On Sunday, the local music band and local folk groups and the Santa Lucia of Iglesias flag wavers will take their show through the town. In the evening, there will be ethnic, musical and cabaret shows.
In the occasion of the event, bus services are also active to reach the resort location more easily, 800 meters above sea level. Starting from Cagliari, there are also intermediate stops along the way to and from Aritzo.
To taste the local dishes…
Aritzo’s chestnut is particularly well-known and used in a variety of local dishes, including the excellent chestnut soup. A particularly appreciated recipe, a must among the traditions in Italy, that sees the exquisite chestnuts cooked with lard, onion, olive oil and soup pasta. A typical dish to taste, then followed by the “carapigna”, a dessert like fresh snow flavoured with lemon, which refers to the local tradition of vìnevicultura. At one time, sorbets were made thanks to the Gennargentu snow kept in cool, sun-sheltered locations.
To visit the town
The moment of the Sagra is also an opportunity to visit the town for Italian families, rich in history and characterized by its schist stone houses with characteristic wooden balconies. To see, among other things, the main architectural and artistic attractions. Beginning with the sixteenth-century church of San Michele Arcangelo, and continuing with the Spanish Prisons, Casa Devilla, the Neo-Gothic Castle of Arangino. And the Ethnographic Museum, dedicated to the ancient and profound agro-pastoral traditions of this beautiful and green corner of Barbagia.
Another attraction of the place is the water. The whole area, in fact, is rich in springs and fountains. And Aritzo is also one: there are two springs in the town: “Is Alinos” and “Funtana de Sant’Antoni”. Not forgetting the memory of the gesture of Bachis Sulis, the poet bandit, whose gestures still hover over Aritzo and the surrounding countryside. Why not make it one of the traditions in Italy to experience with your loved ones?