Polenta, Lamb Chops or Donkey Palio, What’s Your Pick for the 1st 2011 week-end out of Rome?

Polenta, Lamb Chops or Donkey Palio, What’s Your Pick for the 1st 2011 week-end out of Rome?

We are in the middle of winter but the weather in Rome is no longer cold nor rainy. So many of us are already dreaming of the typical day-trips from Rome in the middle of wild nature, old traditions or genuine food!

This week end has much to offer for foodies and lovers of ancient celebrations. Polenta (maize flour cooked in salted water) seems to be the major dish on offer around Rome in this period of the year.

On January 23 in Monticchio (near Sermoneta), in the Centro Civico Square, they’ll start cooking polenta from 7 am but only at 12.30 pm bread and polenta with sausage sauce will be handed out, after being blessed. And from 2pm onwards typical music will please your ears.

In Morolo, the polenta day will start this Sunday at 10:30 am with the local market. Sausages will accompany polenta for lunch while traditional songs will entertain visitors and local residents alike.

And if you dind’t have enough polenta in Monticchio or Morolo for lunch you can always catch up in the evening in Bassano Romano. In the historical center, on Sunday the 23rd starting from 4pm polenta, sausages and porchetta will be available for an afternoon snack or outright dinner. Fireworks will follow. You can get there with the regional bus Cotral, while on your way back you need to go to Viterbo and take a train from there.

For those of you who prefer meat, Camerata Nuova will offer a juicy opportunity with its Lamb Chop Fair on January 23. The 53rd edition of this gastronomic event that marks the 151st anniversary of the fire that destroyed the old town of Camerata will kick off in the town’s main square at 12:30, with the distribution of lamb chops roasted on an enormous grill.
This year’s celebrations will also feature other typical produces: pasta served with lamb sauce, various kinds of side dishes as well as cakes and biscuits, all accompanied by local wine. There’s also a chance to have some fun with group games and dancing in the square where live music will be provided.The feast is an opportunity to savour ancient tastes and counteract the global homologation of food as well as a chance to enjoy the delights of a small town set in the heart of the Simbruini Mountains’ Nature Park. Furthermore, there will be a presentation of the book “Camerata: una Storia durata 1000 anni” examining the 1,000-year history of the old town, written and produced by residents.

But if you are still reeling after the Christmas holiday’s big eats and just want to see rather than chew something traditional, then the Ariccia Donkey Race “Corsa delle Pile” is your destination. The city, very famous for its little restaurants “Fraschette”, providing typical and simple food, will host in the early afternoon of January 23 this sort of Siena-inspired “Palio” with the different boroughs of thew town vying for victory. The donkeys will be blessed in the morning. A folk group and a musical band will also perform for the event. Many buses connect Roma Anagnina -terminus of underground Line A – to Ariccia.