Rome Travel Guide

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Celebrating the Berry... Nemi's Strawberry Festa

[new pix of 2010 poster, btw]
Sagre e feste – annual feasts of patron saints and general festivities. They’re everywhere in Italy, celebrating almost anything – from artichokes to martyrs. On any given weekend, there are a dozen or more to choose from in a day trip from Rome. One of our favorites is Nemi’s Feste delle Fragole - the Strawberry Festival. It’s the first Sunday in June; so you can head out there next Sunday, June 6.

[And a reminder that Sabina's in-place art starts this weekend too. See our post of September 4 last year. ]

We like Nemi because it’s a lovely medieval town perched above the smaller of the Colli Albani volcanic lakes, complete with trails from the town down to the lake, ruins of a temple to Diana (so ruined and unmarked we missed it our first time), and a naval museum built in the Fascist era that once housed Caligula’s famous boat of pleasure (raised from the bottom of the lake in the modern era, but then unfortunately bombed to smithereens by the allies in WWII).

Here are some pix and videos from last year’s Nemi Strawberry fest, complete with strawberry pizza (that's our slice), strawberry liqueurs, strawberry desserts, just about strawberry anything (rivaling Circleville Ohio’s Pumpkin Show, complete with pumpkin burgers).

The obligatory Ariccia porchetta truck is there, as are the folk costumes, dances, and music (through the streets, on stage, wandering musicians). There are also a flower show, art show, and medieval costume display in the old tower.

But we’ll take the people watching any day.



Eleonora Baldwin said...

I'll be there! Ciao

Dianne Bennett and William Graebner said...

Our friend,Rome expert (his guide, in Swedish, in its 6th edition), and guest blogger, Bo Lundin, challenged (appropriately) lawyer Dianne's history and reports as follows:
A quick look at the Wikpedia site gives this (not totally reliable, of course):
The ships were destroyed in World War II on the night of 31 May 1944, when they were burned by a fire. There are conflicting views on which side was responsible for the destruction:
At that time, Allied forces were pursuing the retreating German army northward through the Alban Hills toward Rome. On May 28, a German artillery post was established within 400 feet (120 m) of the museum … An official report filed in Rome later that year described the tragedy as a willful act on the part of the German soldiers. A German editorial blamed the destruction on American artillery fire. The true story of what happened that night will probably never be known.