As the leaves on trees start turning golden and flame-red, the aroma of roasted chestnuts begins to float in the air. For centuries, the woods across Abruzzo were famous for a variety of castagne. In the Teramo Province, they are big and fleshy, in the Roveto Valley, in the L’Aquila Province, chestnuts are smaller and sweeter. Visit some of these chestnut festivals in Abruzzo this year to sample delicious local foods and gorge on roasted chestnuts washed down with young red wine.

Chestnut festivals in Canistro

When: October 15 and October 28-29

Canistro was built among chestnut groves which have provided food and income to local families for centuries. Chestnuts are loved so much here that there is not one, but two festivals in October! Sapori d’Autunno is celebrated in the old part of town, Canistro Superiore in mid-October and the Sagra della Castagna Roscetta – in the new town, Canistro Inferiore at the end of October.

Both festivals are dedicated to the Roscetta, a local chestnut variety that is known for its sweet taste. Sapori d’Autunno is organised by a local women’s association who cook up a feast from the morning to the evening sold at food stand along the town’s medieval streets.  

La Sagra della Castagna Roscetta in Canistro Inferiore is celebrated for two days, during which you can visit chestnut groves, enjoy live music and loads of good food.   For more information and full programmes, visit the festivals Facebook pages: Sapori d’Autunno and La Sagra della Castagna Roscetta.

Sagra della Castagna in Sante Marie

When: October 28-29

This festival is one of the oldest and most popular chestnut festivals in Abruzzo, reaching its 50th edition in 2023. It is held in the picturesque village of Sante Marie in the province of L’Aquila at the end of October. You can sample various types of chestnuts, such as Marrone, Bastarda Rossa and Cecio, as well as other typical products of the area. Enjoy live folk music, dances, traditional costumes, and food stands. For more information, check out the organisers’ Facebook page.

chestnut festivals in abruzzo

Lungo Le Antiche Rue in Civitella Roveto

When: October 20-23

One of the biggest and most colourful autumn celebrations, the festival is a must for Abruzzo lovers. Over the course of three days, the town’s picturesque centre fills with a buzz and the aroma of roasted chestnuts and sizzling fritters, enticing locals and tourists alike. The medieval village is bedecked with colourful decorations, and tables are set up in the squares, inviting everyone to gather and enjoy the festivities. This remarkable event is meticulously organized by the local ProLoco in collaboration with the municipality, weaving its way through the charming labyrinth of ancient “rue” that wind through the splendid medieval heart of Civitella Roveto. The festival commences on Friday afternoon and continues its merriment throughout the weekend. The town’s many ancient cellars are transformed into tavernas, serving up traditional local dishes, accompanied by live music and historical re-enactments. The full programme is published in the festivals Facebook group.

chestnut festivals in abruzzo

Festa della Castagna in Senarica di Crognaleto

When: to be confirmed

This festival is organized by the municipality of Crognaleto, in the province of Teramo. You can taste chestnuts cooked in different ways, such as roasted, boiled or fried, as well as other specialties made with chestnuts, such as bread, pasta and desserts. For this year’s dates keep an eye on the organisers’ Facebook page.

chestnut festivals in abruzzo

Sagra della Castagna e della patata in Valle Castellana

When: October 21-22

As tradition dictates, the stars of this two-day extravaganza will be none other than the town’s cherished treasures: Marroni chestnuts and potatoes. Visitors from Abruzzo and Marche join the festivities every year to gorge on the local delicacies and explore the beauty of Valle Castellana with its charming hamlets and 700 hectares of chestnut groves. You can also join two guided walks to the historic “Piantone di Nardò,” a chestnut tree believed to be 400 years old. The festival starts at 6pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday. Further details are available on the festival’s page.

These are other, smaller chestnut festivals in Abruzzo that are worth a visit (click on the links for details):

Sagra della Castagna in Rendinara (AQ)

Sagra della Castagna in Leofara (TE)

Sagra della Castagna di San Felice d’Ocre (AQ)

Sagra della Castagna a Cesaproba (AQ)

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