Obviously winter is the season of serious eating, and in November and December, Lucca has the perfect showcase for everything local that is good to eat and drink. The sixth edition of Il Desco opens on 20 November at the Real Collegio (see article opposite) and runs through successive weekends until 12 December.
This food fair, to which entry is free, has established itself as a wonderful way to sample the very best that lucchesia has to offer-indeed, there are those who have been known to give up making lunch at home enterely for severl weekends, and settle instead for a gentle graze around these fabulous food stalls.
This year, although the entire range of products will be available over the full run of the fair, one product will be available over the full run of the fair, one product in particular will be highlighted each weekend; on 20-21 November it will be fagioli followed on 27-28 November by farro.
Chestnuts have pride of place on 4-5 December, and connoisseurs of oil and bread should head for the Desco on 11-12 December.
In addition on 8 December, which is of course a national holiday in Italy, and the day on which pre-Christmas preparations officially get under way, there will be a special session devoted to chocolate and cigars – just how wicked can you get?
Each weekend, there will be a forum of experts debating the merits and ssalient features of each highlighted product, and discussing how best to cook them.
And look out for local alimentari and restaurants joining in the fun. There will be no escape!