Sagra (festival)

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In Italy, a sagra (plural: sagre) is a local festival, very often involving food, and frequently a historical pageant and sporting events: when the sporting event is a historical recreation as well, such as a joust or a horse race in costume or armour, it is called a palio.

The various sagre almost always have their origins in old country fairs or similar entertainments, but many of them now aim at visitors or even foreign tourists, and some, like the Quintana of Foligno, had lapsed for many years but have been recently revived.

A sagra is often dedicated to some specific local food, and the name of the sagra includes that food; the array of gastronomic specialties covered across Italy is amazing: for example, we find a Festival delle Sagre astigiane, a Sagra della Rana (frog) at Casteldilago near Arrone, a Sagra della Cipolla (onion) at Cannara, a Sagra della Melanzana ripiena (stuffed eggplant) at Savona, a Sagra della Polenta at Perticara di Novafeltria, and so on. Among the most common sagre are those celebrating olive oil, wine, pasta and pastry of various kinds, chestnuts, and cheese.

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