It seems that once, before the city of Sarzana was founded, its plain was covered with hazel trees. From here, the tradition of the Fiera della Nocciola or “Nizèa” celebrates the Lunigiana fruit.
The hazelnut, together with the chestnut, was once preserved after the autumn harvest to offer a simple but tasty sweet snack on the long winter evenings spent in front of the fireplace with the rituals conversations and laughter that animate even the poorest houses.
What remained at the onset of Palm Sunday, “the rest of the Hazelnut“, was given to the girlfriends and children in the form of hazel necklaces carried as trophies, the longest possible, ringed with skill for the occasion. Only in the evening, at the end of a day characterized by the joy that inevitably brings with it the arrival of spring, it was possible to munch the hazelnuts.
Hence the Fair of Hazelnut in Sarzana, which always arrives two Sundays before Easter, to announce the arrival of spring, today not only with the necklaces of hazelnuts (which however can not be missed) but with a beautiful serpentine of stalls that they sell nougats, crispy, roast pork, toys, clothing and products for hobbyists.
This year, the Fair of Hazelnut is celebrated from 7 to 9 April (moved the appointment of 10-12 March due to bad weather)
The 295 stalls will be located along the streets and squares of the center but also in via Falcinello and Villefranche for all three days. For the occasion, all the shops will be open.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)