Every May, the Festa dell’Asparago di Bosco, del Radicchio di Montagna, e dei Funghi di Primavera is held in the hilltop hamlet of Piano d’Arta in Italy’s Carnia mountains. Celebrating all the local bounties of spring—wild asparagus, mountain radicchio, and spring mushrooms—the festival kicks off with a full weekend of tasting menus at several local restaurants.
The main event is the Sunday street fair, where the roads are lined with tables displaying all sorts of arts and crafts: hand-knit scarves, animal figures carved from the volcanic rock of Mt. Etna, copper kitchen utensils, and lavender-scented soap and potpourri. Wildflowers seem to be a particularly common theme, appearing on hand-painted ceramic plates, beaded ornaments, and wooden plaques for the home.
The festival’s food stands are naturally the biggest attraction. To the tunes of a live band, visitors can indulge in such local specialties as herb fritters, frico (crispy fried cheese), frittatas made with wild asparagus and mushrooms, grilled sausages, and a sweet, cinnamon-laced ravioli called “cjarsòns.”