by Giulio Saturnini
55th edition at Marradi
For some, Marradi is just a delightful hamlet in higher Mugello, at the extreme north-eastern border of Tuscany. For others, it is the birthplace of the great poet Dino Campana. For all, Marradi is synonym with chestnuts.
It has been so for at least 55 years, that is since the first “Sagra del marron buono” was organized. A date attracting visitors from every part of the region (and not only!) and even this year it will be held on the four Sundays of October: 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th are the days to mark on the calendar.
The whole town takes part in the festival which takes place along the streets and in the squares of Marradi. Stealing the show, of course, is the “marrone mugellano” (Mugello chestnut), a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) brand acknowledged at a European level. It is found on sale on the various stalls of the festival and made in the most varied forms and guises, all to be tasted: from chestnut flour biscuits to castagnaccio, from jams to chestnut cakes and even tortelli, from marron glacé to chestnut beer as well as other products of the woods of Mugello and typical local crafts.
The streets of Marradi come alive with street artists and musicians, from entertainers for the little ones to various cultural initiatives linked to the area.
Visitors can also re-live the experience of travelling as in times gone by, reaching the festival on board the steam-engine train from Pistoia (passing from Florence) on Sunday, 7th October and from Rimini (Sunday 14th, 21st and 28th).
Alongside the festival, the area of Marradi offers the unique experience of its landscapes full of hills covered especially in chestnut woods. The Strada del Marrone (Chestnut trail) of Mugello, makes its way along these hillsides, one of the most characteristic itineraries of the area. The chestnut trees along the many paths around Marradi are the true emblem of cultural, rural and culinary tradition of the area.
For centuries, ever since the High Middle Ages, the fruits of these trees have fed the people of the area, so much that until a few decades ago the life of every family from Marradi was centred around the extreme care for the chestnut groves all year round leading to the harvest in October. Today, this tradition lives on, especially during the days of the festival!
Info & contacts:
Marradi Tourist Office