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Nuts about chestnuts? Visit the Ascona chestnut festival!
As the title states: if you are nuts about chestnuts, there is no way around visiting Switzerland's main chestnut festival in Ascona!
Clearly, the main act of the daylong Ascona Chestnut Festival is the sweet chestnut. The locals call it marroni, and the people roasting them over the open fire are referred to as maronatts in Ticino dialect. The lakeside town of Ascona offers a particularly nice setting for a castagnata. (You guessed it: that's the Italian word for chestnut festival.)
What to expect at the Ascona chestnut festival
Without a doubt, Ticino is the perfect place in Switzerland to enjoy autumn. The October air is crisp, the sun is soft and precipitation is rare. Along the Ascona lakefront, market booths will be lined up hawking locally produced gifts. From handmade jewelry and wooden kitchen utensils to toys and clothing, there is something for everyone.
Chestnut delicacies from honey to jam and from bread to cakes will be omnipresent in Ascona.
They make for great souvenirs for those friends of yours who are also nuts about chestnuts... During the day, no less than two tons of locally collected chestnuts are expected to be roasted. (Pop-up concerts by folk bands will help us shorten the wait time because the queues for freshly roasted marron can get long.) And those with an appetite for polenta, deli meat, or cheese will not have to worry: there will be plenty of food stalls.
Finally, don't forget: when you take that first bite out of chestnut, make a wish for the upcoming season!
(Feature photograph copyright Ticino Tourism/MaggiorepiX)