Festa della Lavanda

June 28, 2013 / Events
Castelnuovo di Assisi, Umbria

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June in central Italy is a sensory paradise: nonstop birdsong, bees buzzing, the aroma of jasmine, the flicker of fireflies at night and butterflies in the morning, and best of all there is the pervasive scent of lavender.

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In the tiny town of Castelnuovo di Assisi, warmed by both the sun and the benevolent gaze of the hometown of St. Francis, is Il Lavandeto, a lavender and herb farm. It is here that the Festa Della Lavanda, the Lavender Festival 2013, will be held on the weekends of June 22-23 and 29-30, as well as July 6-7.

lavender3The place is abuzz, as all is made ready for the hundreds of visitors who will come to see the five-acre campo (field) filled with lavender plants ranging from white to pink to lavender to the deepest purple. Firmly identifying the postcard view as Umbria is the sight of the creamy stones of Assisi in the distance.

There will be plants to admire (and buy), not only lavender, but aromatic herbs, such as lemon thyme, purple basil, rosemary, yellow and purple sage. Small specialty growers and artisans from around the area will bring their best plants and lavender products, ceramics, artwork, and foods. There will be classes on making herbal infusions and other lavender-based products, and a dinner centered around herbs. Buonissimo!

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Sharri Whiting

by Sharri Whiting

Sharri writes about food, wine and international travel from Umbria, where she and her husband grow olives. In addition to articles, she writes a blog,  UmbriaBella. Her app, Olive Oil IQ is a portable encyclopedia for foodies and culinary travelers (iTunes & Android). Follow her on Twitter: @umbriabella and @oliveoiliq. Facebook: www.facebook.com/UmbriaBella, and www.facebook.com/oliveoiliq

5 Responses to “Festa della Lavanda”

  1. Anne Robichaud

    Heading there tomorrow with tour guests, Shari (and just wrote about this festa for my blog, too…)…thanks for “getting out the word” ! For those in Umbria after the festival, drop in on the family store – sellling lavender and more – opposite the HOtel Sole in Corso Mazzinni

    Reply
  2. Evanne Brandon-Diner

    Thanks so much for this, Sharri. For a dozen years or so, I’ve hosted a lavender lunch at our home in Central Italy to honor women friends of mine at the end of June, when our fifty lavender plants have bloomed in profusion, sharing our harvested fresh lavender and seasonal delicious treats with guests. I’ve chosen to honor these women, as in Italy it is usually the men or the children that take center stage. Lavender is one of those lovely plants that blossom beautifully each June, and their perfume has been used throughout centuries to bring a fresh scent to the home. The lavender is lovely all year long, when dried, especially during winter months when flowers to brighten the home are at a minimum. Happy Lavender Harvest, dear women of the world.

    Reply
  3. Ginny Siggia

    Does anything match lavender for pure beauty and fragrance? Boston’s growing season pales in comparison to most in Italy, so my herb garden has to optimize sensory and culinary pleasure within a fairly small plot. If it doesn’t smell wonderful, it doesn’t go in. Lavender, in as many varieties as I can find, is highest priority. Ditto basil. Of course rosemary. Tarragon and lemon balm, dried and crumbled together, make a lovely gentle sachet. One great shopping delight was found in Les Halles, the market in Paris, where lavender in every form was for sale. In a farmer’s market I bought a large bag (filled a 1-Q jar!) of Herbes de Provence, for a mere 5 Euros. Just the smell of herbs can be curative. Add some lazy time in the sun feel the knots unkink.

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  4. Paula (Giangreco) Cullison

    Oh how I wish I were there now! We are having the usual heat wave in Phoenix, AZ (112*-118*).
    Your article is refreshing … I can ‘smell’ the lavender from here. Grazie!

    Reply
  5. Herb Klinker

    We went today and brought home three beautiful lavender plants and some fresh cut lavender to place at the windows to deter insects. While quite small. the fields of lavender with Assisi as a backdrop made for a wondrous setting. Thanks for the heads-up, we never would have found it if not for ItalianNotebook!

    Reply

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