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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Il Fine Settimana - The Weekend - XXXV Sagra del Latterino - Marta - 29 -30 Maggio 2010


Another weekend, another celebration to attend.

Our nephew and his girlfriend are staying at our little holiday house in Marta at the moment, so along with another couple of friends we decided to attend the Sagra (Festival or Feast) on Saturday evening. We all met up for an aperitivo in one of our favourite local bars The Other Side before later in the evening sampling the latterini.


Here is the story of this festival from the website about the event Sagra del Latterino  please note this is their translation from the website not mine. It is so bad that I decided to leave it as it was, rather than rewrite in my own words. I think what must happen is that the people who set up these websites use computer translators rather than real people, hence the strange but amusing translations one tends to come across. I have also reproduced here the original in Italian as the Italian language speakers amongst my readers, may well find it easier to understand I know I did.

English version

"Sagra del Lattarino" history
Marta is a small town, living from time on the shores of Bolsena's lake, one of the most beautiful and uncontamineted one in Italy. Its citizens(called "martani") are very active; they till the land and they produce some oil and a very appreciated wine called "Cannaiola".
They yield also a fish haul, famous from Dante's age, that they trade and carry with great efficiency.
Thirty years ago a martan friends group ( Giuseppe Fratini, Antonio Lisoni, Costantino Scatarcia, Danilo Paganini helped out by some pro-fisherman like Pepparello, Gigge l'Grosso, l'Draghetto and Giuliano "il bitter"), attentive and sensible, enthusiastic for and aware of the extraordinary landscapes and about the lake gastronomical treasures, established a cultural circle in memory of Alberto Lisoni, and from this it derived a concrete, practical and original action for those times: the "Sagra del Lattarino"
Slowly, little by little, this festival asserts itself and it's became one of the greatest one in the Viterbo province, and it is well-known and appreciated not only in Italy but also in many other european country. A three metres diameter big frying-pan dominates on a pedestal in the park along the shore of the lake.
The little fishes, just catched and covered with flour, are threw in the boiling and odorous oil. The fragrant fry, served on ceramic bowls, it haven't time to cool off itself...Thousands of customers all around are served from a swarm of many white dressed volunteers, boys and girls, they're not waiters but only hospitable friends; the fryers are fishermen and so are the cashiers, all natives that serve you.
The people crunch the fry; the "lattarino" was ate up in its entirety, also the head, enjoying panorama, meeting people, making relationships.
Towards sunset, many cars leave Marta...a well spended time...a remembrance of authentic things made by real people.
If you come here, you'll come back...if you come back, you'll return again.

The Original Version

La storia della Sagra del Lattarino.
Marta, è una piccola città che vive da sempre sulla riva del lago di Bolsena, uno dei più belli e incontaminati d’Italia. I martani sono molto attivi , lavorano la terra , e producono olio e un vino molto apprezzato, la Cannaiola.
Producono un pescato, famoso dai tempi di Dante, che commerciano e trasportano con grande efficienza.
Trent'anni fa un gruppo d'amici martani: Giuseppe Fratini, Antonio Lisoni , Scatarcia Costantino , Danilo Paganini , con l’approvazione di alcuni pescatori di professione, Pepparello , Gige l’Grosso , l’Draghetto, Giuliano il Bitter , attenti e sensibili, entusiasti e consapevoli delle straordinarie le bellezze paesaggistiche, e dei tesori gastronomici del lago, fondarono un circolo culturale alla memoria di Alberto Lisoni, e da questo derivò subito un azione concreta , pratica originale per quei tempi , La Sagra del Lattarino
Per gradi, pian piano, questa manifestazione si è affermata, è diventata una delle più grandi manifestazioni della provincia di Viterbo, ed è conosciuta e apprezzata non soltanto in Italia, ma in molti paese dell'Europa. Una grande padella di tre metri di diametro troneggia su un piedistallo nel parco lungo la riva del lago.
Nell'olio bollente che profuma, vengono lanciati i piccoli lattarini appena pescati e infarinati. Il fritto fragrante, servito su ciotole di ceramica , non ha tempo di raffreddarsi , clienti intorno a migliaia, sono serviti da una schiera di volontari vestiti di bianco , ragazzi e ragazze , non sono camerieri , sono amici che ospitano , i friggitori sono pescatori, e così i cassieri, tutti nativi, che ti servono.
La gente, sgranoccchia la frittura , il lattarino si mangia tutto, compresa la testa , si gode il panorama , s' incotra, si fonde con saluti e conoscenze.
Al tramonto molte auto lasciano Marta, un tempo ben speso , un ricordo di cose autentiche, fatte da gente vera.
Se ci vieni, ci torni, se ci torni , ci ritorni.

There was a very interesting write up of the event yesterday May 31st on Viterbo Oggi   where I learnt that during the two day festa, fifteen tons of latterini were cooked in the giant three metre wide frying pan.

Video of 2010 Sagra del Latterino

An enjoyable evening and we came away with our commemorative platters.


On Sunday evening the six of us got together again to have a BBQ with the last of the lamb that we were given by our neighbours recently.



  1. It looks like a wonderful time was had by all. I see what you mean about the translation, at least it gave me an idea though of what it was all about. Diane

  2. How wonderful and such a brilliant day for you all. I love the fish :-)

  3. Love the photos Linda. We took my Dad to the sagra as well, and he had a great time.

  4. You seem to be enjoying taking in all the events around you. I enjoy your relaying them to us.
    I am taking a few days to catch up on... I guess you could just say, "Stuff." But I will read my favorite blog spots when I grab a little time.

    Looks like you have a lovely place to eat and relax.

  5. What fun, Lindy! I love coming here and getting a dose of life in Italy, sigh! Is that your patio? It looks like a wonderful place for alfresco dinners. :)

  6. Diane - It was just so funny, maybe I should have written an explanatory paragraph myself instead though.
    Anne - The fish are similar to whitebait and delicious.
    Cathy - Thanks Cathy, I like the fact we support each others festas and great your Dad got to experience one.

  7. Mya and Georgianna - I am so pleased that you both enjoy reading about our life here in Italy.
    Our outside living space is undergoing renovations at the moment, it is a great space, soon to be even better.

  8. That English translation is the funniest!

  9. Leanne - It sure is and that is the official version used on the website I listed!

  10. I love very much the places with amazing landscapes and full of historical and cultural sites. L'italia is a heaven from this point of view. I think not only Viterbo but every inch of bella italia is due to invite anyone "Se ci vieni, ci torni, se ci torni, ci ritorni.". Don't you:)

    Great informative article Linda, I've been to many spots but still missing like this one. I need to work so hard;)

  11. Ohhhhh! How I would have loved to attend this! The commemorative platters are wonderful, but it's that fantastic comraderie which makes all the difference.

  12. Nihal - From your recent comments here, I think you would love Italy. :)

    Rowena - It was fun and the useful platters are a bonus :)

  13. Great Blog Lindy! I remember when I lived in Maremma I used to go to this Festa and loved it.I still enjoy swimming in the lake when I can!

  14. ciao Linda, io sono Chiara e vivo a Trieste,ti ho incrociata per caso nel blog di Natasha e sono venuta a curiosare qui da te, è molto interessante questo post! Ho da 4 mesi un blog di cucina e viaggi, passa a trovarmi,mi farà piacere!


  15. Hi. Love the translation!!! It was so good to see you both on Thursday even though your visit to the UK was for sad reasons.


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