Sagre in Calabria: The Bountiful Chestnut Harvest

There is just something about the fall season with its fresh scents, crispy breezes, changing colors, cozy sweaters and delicious comfort foods that make it a favorite season for so many people.

One of the things we love most about this season has to be the many sagre that take place to celebrate the harvest of so many important types of produce that will make their way into southern Italian kitchens in the coming weeks and months.

One of these special treats are chestnuts or “castagne“!


During the month of October, you’ll find many sagre that highlight the chestnut harvest and its deeply rooted traditions.

Here are just a few sagre that you can find in Calabria:

October 22-23 ~ Carpanzano (CS)
October 22-23 ~ Marano Marchesato (CS)
October 29 ~ Angoli di Serrastretta (CZ)
October 30-November 1 ~ Serra Pedace (CS)

And, if you attend a sagra in Calabria or other parts of southern Italy, you’ll most certainly find chestnuts prepared in these three delicious ways:

Pane alle Castagne (Chestnut Bread)
Different versions of this traditional bread made with chestnut flour can be found in many parts of Italy. Here in Calabria, it was most commonly found in mountainous towns and that were often left isolated during the winter months and in turn making it difficult to obtain regular flour. Bread made from chestnuts is usually smaller in size and a bit sweeter than regular Italian bread. We suggest a slice of this bread with a light layer of your favorite jam on top. Delicious!


Caldarroste (Roasted Chestnuts)
These is something so inviting about the smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Whether freshly roasted by the local street vendor, over the hot flames of your fireplace or heated up to perfection in your oven or on your stove, roasted chestnuts are a warm and comforting fall treat that are irresistible. Go ahead, try and have just one!

Calzoni di Castagne
Calzoni di Castagne are a typical sweet you’ll find in Basilicata. They are deep fried pockets (usually square or half-moon shaped) stuffed with a filling made from chickpeas, chestnuts, cocoa and cinnamon powder, and a dash of liquor. Once they’ve been fried, the calzoni are sprinkled with powdered sugar and are ready to be served.

Do you love chestnuts just as much as we do? Let us know on the My Bella Vita Facebook Page!

Image Credit: Razzairpina