A sagra is a festival, usually centered around a local delicacy. You can have sagre for porcini mushrooms, gnocchi, beer, lavender… but the sagra I most wanted to go near Rome is the sagra della fragole- the Nemi strawberry festival.
With a fearless (and manual-transmission trained) fellow explorer, we navigated the strange world of Italian car rentals and were soon on our way to Nemi, in the Castelli Romani.
Nemi has long been famous for its wild strawberries. And perched overlooking Nemi lake, formed in an ancient volcanic crater, it’s an idyllic scene to while away the hours eating strawberries.
The town itself is typical Italian adorable, decked out with flags and fruit-themed streamers to celebrate the Nemi strawberry festival.
I wasted no time getting into the spirit, devouring strawberry pizza and a wild strawberry tart in quick succession.
In addition to lots of strawberry deliciousness, there is also a flower show.
The Nemi strawberry festival always takes place in late May and early June. We went on the 2nd of June, which also happens to be Festa della Republica (a national holiday), so the Italian flags were out in full force. As were the adorable, I repeat, ADORABLE fiat campers filled with flowers.
Just one more and then I will spare you the 20+ additional pictures I may have taken of the same van.
After lunch, we lugged our crates of strawberries back to the rental car and set off to explore some of the other towns in Castelli Romani.
If you would like to attend the Nemi Strawberry festival in 2018, it runs through 3 June, and the Comune di Nemi website (but good luck navigating the creative web design). If you can’t make it this weekend, keep an eye out next year in late May, when the festival usually begins.
Even without a sagra, Nemi is an easy day trip from Rome. It is located about 30 km, or a 45-minute drive, from the center. The town is small and cute. It won’t take all day to explore, leaving you time to check out Frascati, Castel Gandolfo of Genzano on the same day.
Just remember to wear your comfortable shoes.