In 2018, in an online magazine, I saw an article about a big strawberry festival in a small town near Rome . From the bright pictures it smelled by strawberries. It turned out that this town (Nemi) is the strawberry capital of Italy and has been hosting festivals of this berry for more than 80 years. Of course, I began to look for opportunities to visit this holiday.
The Strawberry Festival or Sagra della Fragola takes place in Nemi every year, on the first weekend of summer. In 2019, 86 (!) Festival was held. Your travel route to Italy I built taking into account the date of the festival. Of course, ideally attending such events by car (we rented in Florence ), but you can get in other ways.
How to get to Nemi from Rome.
Distance Rome – Nemi – about 32 kilometers. There is no direct communication between cities. Knowing how public transport runs in Italy (this is especially true for some small remote towns), I would not go by public transport. But if you want to try, here is a solution from http://youngandcreative.ru/nemi-italiya-rome/:
- “Drive to the last Roma Anagnina metro station (line A), take the direct Cotral bus to Genzano di Roma (journey time will be approximately 45 minutes), then from fans of Genzano di Roma to Nemi you can walk (3 km) or take 5 minutes by bus. “
The fare on each of the buses should be within 1.5 euros (but this is not accurate).
The second option for those who do not drive cars: excursions from Rome.
Third option: rent a car with a driver. Now such a service can be ordered on kiwi-taxi, which I repeatedly talked about in the blog . The cost of an hour is from 36 euros. The road to Nemi will take about an hour, another hour – back, and a couple of hours to walk in the city. For 4 hours of rent pay from 144 euros.
If you still arrive by car, keep in mind that during the festival there are huge traffic jams at the entrance to the city, there is not enough parking space, therefore, everyone parks on the sidelines near the forest. This is normal and quite safe, no one will take you away on a tow truck, most importantly, think not only about yourself, but also about others. By the way, there are buses from the parking lot (about 1.5 euros), but they run about once every half an hour. We waited, waited, but did not wait, we went on foot. Kilometer – one and a half, be prepared to walk on foot in any case (unless, of course, you arrive early in the morning and take up a parking space right in the city).
Sights of Nemi and strawberry festival
There are no major sights in Nemi, except for the central street with many shops, lovely houses and a gorgeous view of the lake of the same name (which, for some reason, is considered mystical). Well, the fountain of the Medusa Gorgon, the palace of Ruspoli (Palazzo Ruspoli – a fortress built in the 10th century), the statue of the goddess Diana and the Church of Santa Maria del Pozzo.
The main attraction is strawberries and strawberries (there is forest, but there is a garden grown here on the shores of Lake Nemi), as well as all kinds of products from it. Jams, tinctures, liquors, pastries (insanely delicious tartlets with strawberries!), Muffins and a popular local product – risotto with strawberries.
During the festival, carnival processions take place, locals dress up in costumes, the city is beautifully decorated.
Honestly, my first impression was: crowded and rather boring. And it looks like a standard city day.
But then somehow this impression passed, and a very pleasant festive aftertaste remained. Happy people, dressed in national costumes, local adults and kids, strawberry flavors, insanely delicious (I think I wrote about this already?) Tartlets and tons of strawberries.
But, as they say, instead of a thousand words … See my photos from the 86th Sagra della fragola festival.
That’s all! I hope I was able to immerse you in the atmosphere of the strawberry kingdom! And, if you are in Italy on the first weekend of summer, I recommend you to visit this festival and plunge into the aromas and tastes of strawberries!