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What to expect at our annual festival, from music and dancing to food and culture.  

The countdown is on to the biggest and most fun outdoor festival in the San Daniele del Friuli calendar – summer’s Aria di Festa 2018.

Imagine an event that brings the whole town together, with music, food, dancing, talks and cultural events, and that also welcomes visitors from across the world.  This event also celebrates the product that our town is famous for, Prosciutto di San Daniele, and this year’s Aria di Festa takes place between Friday 22 and Monday 25 June 2018, a wonderful summer weekend to look forward to.

With the historic buildings of our town and town square as a backdrop, and the blue skies of an Italian summer plus the full blooms of native flowers as our canvas, it is difficult to express in words just how good this annual event is – it’s one of those things that is best experienced in person.  But if you can’t join us in San Daniele, then follow the fun on our Facebook page where we’ll have updates and photos of the festival for those who can’t be with us in person.

2018 is going to be the festival’s 34th year and each year it grows bigger and more inclusive.  Each year, the festival is officially launched with the ‘first slice’ ceremony, when celebrities, local dignitaries and producers take to the stage in the town square to cut the first slice from a thigh of Prosciutto di San Daniele.  Last year the honour went to Italian TV presenter, Caterina Balivo, and once the first piece of prosciutto had been sliced on the Friday evening, that was the signal for the festival to officially begin.

The festival celebrates Prosciutto di San Daniele and the 26 families who produce our prosciutto, but it also acts as a way to bring the whole town together and showcase our marvellous community and local produce to the world.

Tens of thousands of people from across Austria, Germany, the UK and further afield attend, all attracted by the opportunity to taste a dazzling array of specialty food and drink products together with Prosciutto di San Daniele.

This year, as ever there will be many different areas and stages hosting different activities and events, as well as the main Piazza Duomo.  Guided producer visits and prosciutto tastings are a highlight of the weekend, along with Friuli wine and cheese sampling, music and entertainment.  Many visitors have their favourite producers and so will go there for an outdoor lunch in the sunshine.

Free tastings, cooking courses and slicing masterclasses are also on offer so that visitors can learn the secrets of Prosciutto di San Daniele, including how to discover the characteristics of our prosciutto, how it is made and how to recognise it, plus advice on preservation and tasting as well as pairings with white wines from Friuli Venezia Giulia region and Bavarian beers.

Cooking courses feature well-known chefs while slicing masterclasses reveal the best way to slice the prosciutto by machine or cut it by hand, while events for children keep the younger family members happy.

Then there are the environmental guided walks, tours of San Daniele del Friuli and the surrounding areas and educational and entertaining talks with a diverse array of journalists and writers, as well as important figures in the world of culture and show business.

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, and in the evening the town is lit with party lights while music, both from live singers and bands, and from DJs, fills the air while aperitifs, cocktails, beer and prosecco flow and people dance the night away either in the large outdoor concert venues or the smaller, more intimate open-air clubs.

It’s a magical weekend of fun and insight into the San Daniele way of life, as well as the secrets that lie behind the making of our wonderful prosciutto.

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