Fiera del Riso – Rice Festival 2018 in Isola della Scala

The most popular Italian event dedicated to rice and risotto!

From 12 September 2018 to 07 October 2018

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In Isola della Scala, Italy: from September 12th to October 7th, Verona is proud to present one of the most anticipated food events in Veneto: the Festa del Riso at Isola della Scala! The 2018 program combines taste and tradition in a series of unmissable events!

Now at its 52nd edition, the rice festival is the most important fair in Italy dedicated to rice and risotto, which you can find here prepared in a thousand different ways! Chefs from many Italian regions and Risotto experts will delight you with the flavors and aromas of their lands, preparing delicious risottos with the same passion and tradition of when they prepare it for their families. Next to the gastronomic side there is the commercial one, with a trade fair that has over 150 exhibitors... Parades in period costume, sports, conferences and shows will also offer a varied entertainment for all 26 days of the 2018 risotto festival in Verona!

The undisputed protagonist of the event is the famous Vialone Nano Veronese the famous Vialone Nano Veronese rice grown in the plains of Verona, which was the first in Europe to achieve the prestigious brand of Protected Geographical Indication, known by the IGP symbol, in 1996, from the European Union. As required by the regulations, only twenty municipalities in the province of Verona are able to produce this type of semi-fine rice. Ideal for the preparation of risotto, the Vialone Nano grows in areas irrigated with spring water, in the northern part of the catchment area of the river Tartaro.

Which are the origins of the Festa del Riso at Isola della Scala, Verona? The rice festival, which has now become one of the most popular events in the province of Verona, dates back to 1967, when the local people thought about organizing an event designed to promote 'garzega', a centuries-old custom according to which the owner of the rice paddy offered a hearty meal to his workers to celebrate the end of harvest. This ancient tradition is still alive in many areas of the Po Valley, where the end of the hard work of a whole season is celebrated with fairs and festivals.

Initially, the Isola della Scala Fiera del Riso took place on the Sunday after the first Friday of October and included only a small booth where rice dishes and good wine were offered. With the passing of the years, the incredible success of the Verona Rice Festival has led the organization to increase the duration of the event from a weekend to almost a month!

Now the Sagra del Riso has about 500,000 visitors with more than 150 exhibitors: in order to accommodate such a large number of guests, in 2011 the Palariso was inaugurated, a great open-space dedicated to Giorgio Zanotto - economist and politician who dedicated his life to the development of the area - with an original shape of rice grain.
The total exhibition area of the event is about 30,000 square meters and is composed of Palariso, Palarisitaly and some marquees erected for the occasion.

A key feature of the Rice Festival near Verona is the now famous zero kilometre: the rice used during the entire event is sown, cultivated and sold by family farms located in the surrounding areas, some even a few hundred metres from the exhibition itself!

The protagonist dish of the event, which is also the most served dish at Sagra del Riso in Isola della Scala, is the Risotto all'Isolana, invented in 1967 by Knight Pietro Secchiati. In 1985, it became the official recipe of the festival through a resolution of Vittorino Stanzial, at the time mayor of Isola della Scala.

Each year more than a hundred tasty recipes based on rice are prepared by renowned chefs who will also advise visitors on the right combinations with the best wines from Verona: the Rice Festival in Verona 2018 awaits you with paella, croquettes, sushi, pizzas and oven products made with rice flour and other delights that will satisfy even the most discerning palates.

At the Verona Rice Festival 2018 the program is really rich in events, particularly on the section devoted to competitions:

  • 8th Sommelier Risotto Competition, organized by AIS Veneto - Italian Sommelier Association Veneto section - during which 7 dishes prepared by professional chefs will be presented before the attentive eyes of the public and the jury, which will then be combined with a wine… Because as the old saying goes ... ‘Rice comes from the water and dies in wine!?’
  • The Isola della Scala Italy Rice Festival will also host ‘Risotto d'Oro delle Pro Loco Veronesi’ competition, during which some non-professional chefs of the Pro Loco Veronesi, who cook in the food stands set up for celebrations, exhibitions and fairs, will try their hand at preparing Vialone Nano rice in combination with typical vegetables of the area. Appointment on Saturday 22nd September!
  • Isola della Scala also presents the National Competition Chicco d'Oro. Organized by the Association Cuochi Scaligeri, the culinary competition will give 20 professional chefs the chance to create 1 risotto using DPO and IGP products from their region of origin and rice Vialone Nano Veronese IGP. Appointment at the Palarisitaly on Tuesday 2nd October!
  • Spiga d’oro: the most ancient competition of the Verona rice Festival, exclusively reserved to the restaurants of Isola della Scala and dedicated to the famous Risotto all’Isolana.

In recent years the Fair of Riso Isola della Scala - Verona, has proved very active in social work too thanks to the presence of associations working to raise funds to support social, cultural and recreational causes, and to the many events intended to support various projects for charities and solidarity.

The Rice Fair has become one of the most important events in Verona not only for the delicious rice dishes served during its course, but also for the variety of appointments that are proposed: at Risitaly the program ranges from cultural events, such as conventions and exhibitions, to entertaining shows for children and adults. In addition to rice, there will also be the option to purchase gifts from the kitchen and tempting local products.

Among the festivals and fairs in the Veneto region, you should not miss the fantastic Fiera del Riso Verona! From September 12th to October 7th Isola della Scala awaits for you with excellent risottos and tasting of typical products of the Veneto region. There will also spectacular shows, historical parades, sporting events and educational tours for younger visitors!

Between one risotto and another, you could also find a spare moment to discover the beauties of this city and the places along Lake Garda by booking one of our activities in Verona!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff