Monday, May 30, 2011

Gastro-tourism at Vetralla's Cene in Cantina

 the cooks at Emergency's  cantina 

For the past  18 years the town of Vetralla, 65 km northeast of Rome and a short drive inland from Civitavecchia port, has been celebrating the beginning of summer with  Fiori in Finestra, Cene in Cantina (Flowers in the window,  dinner in the cantina) festival.

Opening  the festivities are oxen  and horsemen  
antiques & handicrafts   galore 
Piazza S. Egidio  is always beautiful
 On  two successive  mid-June weekends (17,18,19  and 24,25,26 )  local cooks show off their skills and the town is hopping  with happenings to please young and old: parades, magicians, music and   tiny shops with local handicrafts.

 The piazzas and balconies   are decked  with flowers while  in May  blossoms are used to decorate the cobblestones for  several religious processions.

The main focus of the Cene in Cantina festival is of course the  eight cool cantinas beneath the town's historic palaces which are opened up and filled with long communal tables for   lunch and dinner during the two weekends.

stone steps lead down to a cantina

inexpensive  home made food in  a "cool" cantina

Vetralla's best cooks  compete to produce tasty four-course meals  with flavors of the past.Check the menus  written in dialect   on the  website of the proloco  and call to book your table.
 The traditional dishes include truffles, pork, hand-made pasta  all cooked using Vetralla's excellent extra virgin olive oil and washed down with abundant local wine. All profits benefit  local volunteer associations.


  1. Looks like fun! I'm going to see if we can make it. Any day better than any other (especially meaning, less crowded?).

  2. This sounds absolutely fantastic. Wish I could be there :(

  3. Diane, fewer people show up for lunch time which is best for those coming from out of town. For those of us who live in centro its so nice to see the town pedestrianized, full of people and small shops and artisans.

  4. Hi. I just found your comment dated back in April. Please forgive me! I didn't even know how to get to comment, let alone respnd.
    Ferenc, who I did not meet(very reclusive--esp. w/deadline), and Candace were very inviting. I still correspond with her usually with Facebook--they are both there.

    The first email address i found was:

    P.S.: I am so glad I found your Blog--50 years in Italy. I want to read it all. I would hope I could be at least 30 years in Italy...
    David B. Jones

  5. Help, I am trying to find a statuary antique store in Rome, where for about a half hour drive out of town you can go pick up your statue. I am under the impression that it is some kind of garden and I want to photograph it for it suggestion of multiples and decay. See my link for examples of my art work. Someone told me about this when I was in NYC and they had no other information to give me. I am writing a proposal so I can come to Italy to make this work. Thank you Mary Jane.
    Blessings to you,
    Any help would be greatly appreciated