In view of the current situation linked to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 edition of ‘Aria di Festa’ planned for the end of June has been cancelled. After the stop to the 2020 edition, this year too, ‘Aria di Festa’, the traditional event dedicated to the homonymous Prosciutto, celebrated since 1985, will not take place.
The persistence of the current circumstances with the ongoing pandemic makes it inadvisable to hold an event with such high attendance as the ‘Aria di Festa’ in just over a month and a half: therefore, prudence and common sense have led to the cancellation of the ‘Aria di Festa’ 2021 edition in June. This was the decision taken by the Board of Directors of the Prosciutto di San Daniele Consortium in strict agreement with the city of San Daniele.
The assumption for 2021
However, in order to keep the event alive in the memory of guests and enthusiasts alike, the Consortium and the Municipality are working together with the event’s other partners to organise some activities related to the tradition of the ‘Aria di Festa’ within the time frame of this summer, as a preview of the 2022 edition.
There are plans to organise a specific weekend dedicated to promoting the City and its prosciutto. At the moment, only visits to the production plants and educational tasting courses with limited numbers can be planned. But, if it should be possible, we may be able to also proceed with the organisation of a more ‘open’ event, with a greater number of participants. The initiative will also be accompanied by activities to promote the event on a long-term basis, with incoming presences reserved to journalists, influencers and tour operators to present some of the main aspects of the event. All activities – if carried out in public – will of course be planned with the relevant security protocols and reservation systems for users.
Despite the persistence of the uncertainties dictated by the pandemic, work continues in San Daniele to cover the promotional activities of 2021, but already looking ahead at 2022, with the hope of being able to meet again for an occasion of celebration and conviviality, which will bring everyone back to the normal and natural flow of life.
The celebration of prosciutto at San Daniele
For more than thirty-five years, ‘Aria di Festa’ has been celebrating the deep connection that unites Prosciutto di San Daniele and its territory of origin. The historical event dedicated to Prosciutto di San Daniele PDO animates the homonymous town in the heart of Friuli-Venezia Giulia for four full days.
During the festival, the restaurants, bars and prosciutto factories open to visitors transform the Friuli village into a food and wine trail to discover Prosciutto di San Daniele PDO, with the aim of making people experience first-hand the deep link between this Italian excellence and the territory in which it is produced and offer them a unique and 360-degree sensory experience. On the occasion of the traditional inauguration ceremony in the historical centre, an exceptional godmother opens the event with the famous cut of the first slice of prosciutto, to kick off four days packed with events dedicated to gastronomy, music and the territory of origin of prosciutto.
Every year, numerous itineraries are planned to provide in-depth knowledge of the territory and landscape from an environmental and cultural point of view, accompanying visitors on their discovery of the historical centre and treasures of San Daniele such as the old Guarneriana library. The scenic vocation of the hilly Friuli territory has allowed naturalistic-environmental excursions and numerous experiences to be planned during the last editions, among which canoe excursions, rafting on the river Tagliamento, the discovery while canyoning of the Val d’Arzino springs and carriage tours.
The positive combination of ham and regional wines has always been strong, taking advantage of the significant influx of guests, who take part in the ‘Aria di Festa’ event and who come, as well as from all over the regional territory, from other areas of Italy as well as from Austria and Slovenia. For this reason, ‘Aria di Festa’ has always been a good time to convey content and information on the main regional wine and food delights as well as on San Daniele PDO. In fact, in the last editions, numerous courses and workshops were organised, which teach how to enhance the properties of San Daniele and enjoy the magic of its combinations to the fullest. Every year there are numerous cooking shows which the public can attend free of charge. In the last edition, celebrated in 2019, ‘Aria di Festa’ hosted some important chefs, including Bruno Barbieri, Alessandro Borghese and Antonia Klugmann.
The educational, gastronomic and entertainment offer is always enriched by the open prosciutto factories which, during all the 35 editions held until now, have organised guided visits to the production sites, tastings and menus dedicated to Prosciutto di San Daniele and other typical regional products. The Master prosciutto makers of San Daniele answer questions by accompanying the guests whilst telling them and showing them how much care and passion it takes to create a quality product.
In the streets and squares of the historical centre and in the Castle Park, the gastronomic stands have always been set up, in collaboration with local operators and producers, to taste the Prosciutto di San Daniele. Since 2015, the programme has been expanded during the four days of the event by the presence of cultural events, shows and entertainment.