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When the chestnut husks changed colour and started to split, the people of Magnano in Riviera would know that it was time to gather them. Their tools were a long ladder, two poles four or five metres long, and another pole approximately 3 metres long. These were made at home from chestnut wood, or bought at the market in Tarcento, where craftsmen coming mainly from Nimis brought them for sale.  It was a time of festa, of celebration, with dancing and merry-making to the promise of a bountiful crop, part of which would be sold or bartered, and some used in local chestnut-based dishes known as balotis, mòncjs and buèriis. Known locally as galete de montagne (the silk cocoons of the mountains), chestnuts were an important source of income for Riviera, their sale (just like in the case of silkworm breeding) helping to supplement tight household budgets. Nowadays the tasty chestnut is celebrated in the Festa Sapori di Castagna (chestnut flavours festival) at Magnano in Riviera, and in the Festa delle Castagne e del Miele di Castagno (chestnuts and chestnut honey festival) at Valle di Soffumbergo di Faedis.


Le castagne

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