Rice Fair in Isola della Scala
Rice has been grown in the marshlands of the Bassa Veronese since the 15th century.
Compared to the rice giants from Piedmont, production is relatively small on 200 hectares, but the pure meltwater from the Monti Lessini, strict quality criteria, such as the extensive avoidance of chemicals, and a soil-conserving crop rotation make Riso Vialone Nano a treasure.
The centre of production is the small town of Isola della Scala. Already a trading centre on the Via Claudia Augusta in Roman times, it was developed into a fortified town from 1136.
The pretty little town with its Romanesque churches, Renaissance palaces and villas quickly became prosperous through the cultivation and trade of the white grain - and honours the origin-protected rice every autumn with a four-week festival.
Risotto all'isolana" - the classic recipe of the place - is a very tasty risotto with lean veal, pork, cinnamon, rosemary and plenty of freshly grated Grana Padano.
Every year, the 300 chefs distribute around 300,000 risottos to the half a million visitors to the event, but other rice specialities such as the sweet rice cake or a refreshing rice salad are also tasted.
The best recipe and the most interesting rice dish will be determined in a cooking competition.
There is also a highly varied supporting programme of sport, art and culture - sometimes folkloric, sometimes modern.
Local producers present their products or guide visitors along the Strada del Riso to the rice fields, Renaissance castles or historic mills, such as the Pila Vecia from 1650.
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Fiera del Riso in Isola della Scala
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