Fair – Italy

La Faggiolata

La Faggiolata is a fair which lasts for a week. It is a tradition practiced in the south of Rome in the city of Frascati, which is surrounded by country side. The downtown streets of the city are closed and long tables are built so that people have a place to sit. Each family that attends the fair must bring a dish from home to share with all the other people there. Typically, people eat faggioli. Faggioli is a stew made with tripe and tomato. The purpose of the fair is to meet new people. People purposely sit next to those they do not know in order to make new friends. She attended this fair in the mid 80s when she lived there.

She believes that the faggioli, which the fair is named after, is of peasant origin since the dish is not refined and because the dish was made fun of by those in higher social classes. She has attended this fair while she lived in Frascati, but did not mention whether she liked the tradition dish of faggioli.

I believe that this tradition might have started as something the peasant had to do. The sharing of the food seems like a way of giving to those less fortunate within the community. After people began to be better off, it became more a social gathering. Where women could show off their recipes, man could talk, and children could play with others.