June 1, 2012 / Events
San Terenziano, Umbria

La porchetta, (pronounced por-KET-ta) noble street food of Umbria and central Italy in general, stars in the Porchettiamo festival. Best translated as “Let us roast suckling pig”, your Italian/English dictionary won’t have a translation: just head to San Terenziano to experience it, trust us!

Porchetta (roasted on the spit, generously seasoned with garlic, rosemary, sage and wild fennel) and panini thereof draw the crowds at every traditional outdoor Umbrian market on a saint’s feast day (or the day before or after).

The town of San Terenziano however, fêtes la porchetta itself, in late May when the small piazza leading to the fortified 16th-century city gate becomes “la Piazza della Porchetta“. Perfect timing: after all, the Romans called pig maialis, after the goddess Maia to whom it was dedicated. Every town, city, and region della porchetta is invited to San Terenziano to offer their product to critical visitors, who come to enjoy un panino di porchetta con un bicchiere di vino rosso locale.

The more critical palates savor small tastes of different porchetta types while families and young couples share sandwiches and others browse the booths. Some families enjoy a “pig-nic” served to them on the lawn behind town walls and young people enjoy live music played throughout the three days of Porchettiamo.

On the final day of Porchettiamo in nearby medieval Grutti – home for centuries to skilled porchettai – young people in medieval costumes slice woodfire, spit-roasted porchetta (the best we had!) in front of the town’s ancient tower, while nearby, a porchettaio in a hooded jute tunic shovels coals under a roasting porchetta, turning on the spit, just as in the Middle Ages.

Time seems to stand still… until you notice that the porchettaio is puffing on a cigarette. Pazienza! A concession made to a modern vice. And in any case, the anachronism can’t alter the flavor of that irresistbile porchetta.

More info over at Porchettiamo.

Anne Robichaud

by Anne Robichaud

An authorized Umbrian tour guide, Anne and her husband Pino worked the land for many years in the 1970’s so rural life, rural people, rural cuisine are una passione for her. See Umbria from “the inside”: join her May 2017 ten-day tour centered on discovering Umbria, Anne’s Umbria.

See www.annesitaly.com for more on her Umbria tours. Do see www.stayassisi.com for news on the Assisi apartment – and Assisi countryside guest house – she and Pino now rent out.

Anne writes frequently on Umbria and other areas of Italy. Read about her annual U.S. Feb/Mar cooking classes and lectures, as well as her numerous Italy insights on her blog.

14 Responses to “Porchettiamo”

  1. Yumm! Porchetta makes the best panino ever with it’s succulent flavour, the crackling and the herbs. Ask for some of the scrapings on the cutting board. So Good!

  2. Thank you for the article, great pictures and especially, the pronunciation guide. So “ch” in Italian = “k” in American English. Please help with more: what does “cc” in Italian sound like? What about “cch”? And “sf” and “gl”??? Many thanks!

  3. Gian Banchero

    Yikes, the photo of the “monk” seemingly stoking the fires of the Underworld is making me realize that it’s time I do a little repenting!!! Thanks Anne, delicious article.

  4. Marc Schermerhorn

    This looks fab. Thank you for the info, and I can’t wait to read more at Porchettiamo.

  5. All I can say is “YUM”! There is nothing better than the smell of crispy porchetta roasting on a spit…except eating it after-thanks for sharing!

  6. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    Loved the note, can you inform us as to when we might be there ?

  7. Maria Semprini-DeMartino

    Hi anyone have a good porchetta recipe. Grazie

  8. Tom Weber

    Porchetta is also a staple up in the Colli Romani, like in/around Frascati.

  9. Bunny Mudd

    You are such a wonderful writer.  I always enjoy your articles…your soul is so drenched in Umbria and in Italy.  It just pours through in all of your articles and your website. Lovely! Hope u and family are well. Baci,

  10. Mary Cappiello

    Loved the pictures that illustrate Anne’s article. As usual, the writing and pictures cannot be beat! It made my mouth water and reminded me of the wonderful Porchetta on the menu at Cafe Spiaggia in Chicago. I’m sure it’s better in Umbria though! I’d love to be there for this feast alone!

  11. Janet

    Mi ci piacerebbe andare per una esperienza così. Grazie Anna e per la gente che abita in Italia o studia italiano vi potete scrivere in Italiano ogni tanto?
    Janet MacLeod

  12. Anne Robichaud

    Thanks, Mary, Bunny,Rosemary for your notes…e Gianna, parli ora benissimo italiano! Cerco di scrivere piu’ spesso in italiano!


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