Sagra del Carciofo Romanesco. I repeat: SAGRA DEL CARCIOFO ROMANESCO!

When you visit Italy, do a little googling beforehand to see if there are any Sagre going on near where you are going to be. Because let me tell you, the Sagra del Carciofo Romanesco (festival of a particular type of Roman artichoke), was one of the best, BEST eating experiences I have had in this country in the (altogether counting all trips) 1.5+ years I have spent here.

the two greatest indicators of spring: artichokes and strawberries!
the two greatest indicators of spring: artichokes and strawberries!
straight from the fryer. sweet zombie jebus.
straight from the fryer. sweet zombie jebus.

It took place in the little seaside town of Ladispoli and it was tremendous. There were dozens of stands selling artichokes at the bargain price of 20 for 5euro (I’ve seen them in the market for 1 artichoke for 1euro), there were strawberry stands, fried artichoke sellers, and even sculptures  made out of artichokes:

HABEMUS CYNARA (or something. whatever my latin is terrible)
HABEMUS CYNARAM (or something. whatever my latin is terrible)
first-prize winning artichoke bull, anyone?
first-prize winning artichoke bull, anyone?

But the best, best part of all was the Piazza dei Sapori d’Italia: Square of the Flaovrs of Italy. There were stands representing nearly all the regions of Italy selling their various delicious things, including a Ladispoli stand that sold all manner of artichokes, but we also got mozzarella di bufala from Campania, acciaccata from Umbria, other various meat products, and lots and lots of wine. The food was cheap, so good, and hugely varied.

you could also just translate that as: happiest place on earth
you could also just translate that as: happiest place on earth

And did I mention Ladispoli is on the Tyrrhenian? Not ugly.

you and me, black-sand beach, in about a month. be there or be square
you and me, black-sand beach, in about a month. be there or be square

Despite the charming sunburn that resulted from this (finally, finally) fully sunny spring day, it was magical. If there is a heaven, it’s the Sagra del Carciofo Romanesco.

heaven, I'm in heaven, and my tummy feels so full I can hardly breathe!
heaven, I’m in heaven, and my tummy’s so full I can hardly breathe!
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