When I first saw a “giuggiola”, I thought it was kind of a nut until I did a research on Google and found out that the “giuggiola” or “Jujube” is nothing else than a chinese date (also called red date): And what has a chinese date to do with Italy you’re asking? Well, the red dates (imported by the Romans) are nowadays part of the Italian culture and so, every autumn, the “Jujube Festival” takes place in Arquà Petrarca (in the province of Padua)…and this year I saw it too!
After a 40 minutes-or-so drive (from Venice) we arrived in Arquà Petrarca and started our search for a parking lot: Not that easy considering the masses of tourists and visitors, but in the end we found one for €3/day, just a 5 minutes walk away from the main square, on a field that was transformed into a parking lot that day (just opposite the official one).
The performances already started when we arrived at about 3.30 pm and so we were lucky enough to immediately admire the flag throwers from Montagnana on the main square (near the church and the tomb of Petrarca): it’s just incredible how skilled those “sbandieratori” are, juggling with 5 (!) flags at once!
Afterwards, we decided to start our culinary journey through Arquà Petrarca at the Enoteca di Arquà, where I tried – as I love sweet wines – the Malvasia Moscato Fior d’Arancio (€3,50) and a dessert that … well … was interesting to taste: sweet potatoes with pomegranate sauce. After this “spuntino” with view over Arquà Petrarca, we continued our “tasting tour” with the degustation of the brodo/crema di giuggiole: The brodo remembered me of the Montenegro; the creme was a bit sweeter (means, totally my thing). One “sample” costs €1: brodo di giuggiole, crema di giuggiole or even the Malvasia Fior d’Arancio (and yes I admit it, I got another Malvasia on my way).
Apart from the fruit of the day, you can also have a look at different stands that sell hand made products (made of wood, clay, metal, cloth) in the shadow of the Jujube trees and the last residence of the famous poet Petrarca (admission fee: €2 children, €4 adults).