Enjoy the fish festivals: eat eels in Comacchio and blue fish in Cesenatico

Even if Emilia Romagna is famous for tortellini and Parma ham, you are wrong if you think that is all about it. The region is so wide and varied that you can find many culinary secrets well worth to be uncovered. Read on to see how strong is the fishing tradition in Emilia Romagna and how many gourmet events you shouldn’t miss.

Emilia Delizia selected for you the Sagra dell’Anguilla celebrating the eel fishing tradition in the town of Comacchio and the Fish Festival of Cesenatico, a nice tourist destination featuring the typical fish of the Adriatic Sea every year.


Eel Festival in Comacchio

This autumn, let be tempted by the sinuous queen of the lagoons, the European Eel whose image of Comacchio is ofter associated with. This town characterized by charming canals in the town centre, practices the eel fishing from ancient times and it has been the main source of income for centuries.

Situated in the Valli di Comacchio, this area of wetlands is formed by brackish lagoons which are part of the Regional Park of the Po Delta. We recommend to book a tour aboard boats to learn more about the eel and the fishing activity traditionally run in the typical “Casoni”.

From 1999 Comacchio celebrates the eel, delicious protagonist of many typical dishes, at the annual Eel Festival – Sagra dell’Anguilla. This event is part of the Wine & Food Festival Emilia Romagna and gives you the opportunity to taste not only the eel but other gourmet fishes such as sea bass, gilt head bream and other products of the region in the first two weekends of October.

To taste the deep flavour of eel, order a dish of eel soup – accompanied by polenta – or grilled eel when you have dinner at a typical restaurant.

Fish Festival in Cesenatico

If you would like to combine a gastronomic tour with a stroll in a relaxing harbour, head to Cesenatico, about one hour drive from Bologna. This is a perfect place to enjoy the gentle Adriatic Sea breeze and enter in a typical restaurant to taste the “poor” fish, the traditional food eaten by locals for centuries.

Being already famous among summer travelers for its great beaches and numerous seaside resorts, Cesenatico is more than a summer destination. The town holds a strong gastronomic tradition celebrated during the Fish Festival in autumn, usually organized between the end of October and the beginning of November.

The festival, named “Il Pesce fa Festa” in Italian, features about 80 stalls promoting food and wine of the area, a fish market, tasting tours along the Canal Port and the quaint town centre. This event is the right occasion to enjoy the so-called “blue fish” of the Adriatic Sea, well known for its important organoleptic qualities and unique taste.

To visit

If you love to learn more about the fishing tradition of the Adriatic coast, you should schedule a visit to the Museo del Carico della Nave Romana, the Manifattura dei Marinati – located in Comacchio – and the Museo della Marineria dell’Alto e Medio Adriatico – based in Cesenatico.