Strawberry Festival in Nemi, Italy

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.


  • Reply Pete June 10, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I’ve been wanting to go to this festival for years and you’re post (and photos) really aren’t helping!! 😉 Great post. Next year, next year….

    • Reply L'americana June 11, 2013 at 12:11 am

      I know the feeling! I’ve also been wanting to go for years. For me, the lack of train access has been the issue. Finally bit the bullet and rented the car. Luckily, Marino’s sagra is train friendly 😉

  • Reply Marybeth June 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I love Nemi! I went there several times while I lived in Zagarolo, but never made the sagra. Not to worry, as they usually seem to have the “wild” strawberries they are famous for, at least through May. Also the yummy tarts. (They’re actually cultivated now, so are not really wild. But they’re still small and full of flavor.) Lago di Nemi sits below the town, and Genzano can be seen across the lake. Genzano is famous for its “infiorata” (flower festival) in June….another event I keep missing! Thanks for the great photos…ed i bei ricordi!

    • Reply L'americana June 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Marybeth! The sagra was really lovely. The town itself is so cute for any visit though. I still need to get down to the lake. Now that it’s getting warm enough!

  • Reply Marybeth June 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    oops, I meant they have strawberries through June….

  • Reply Jackie June 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    GAH! This is the most torturous post on this blog thus far!!

    • Reply L'americana June 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      Love you too! 😉

  • Reply 2013: Mid-year Round Up | An American in Rome June 30, 2013 at 3:52 am

    […] A roadtrip to eat strawberries in Nemi. […]

  • Reply Esra September 14, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Woooww!! This looks cool and jummie!! I’ve been to the Tomatina Festival in Spain a few weeks ago ( you should check it out, if you haven’t been!), but i rather have strawberries than tomatoes!! Haha, def gonna check it out next year!! Like your post 😉

  • Reply ziva langbaum July 25, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    need to know i will be in nemi 17 of august do they still have willed strawberrys ? or tarts in the coffe shops

    • Reply Natalie July 26, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Hi Ziva – I think there should still be some in season and available in the bakeries/shops. However, not nearly as many as during the festival in early June.

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