Festa del Nodo d'Amore - the feast of the love knot
In the south of Lake Garda in the small town of Valeggio sul Mincio, they celebrate the legendary "Feast of the Node of Love" or Festa del Nodo d'Amore every year. In 2022, this culinary festival take place on 21 June!
It celebrates the tortellino, which according to the Valeggians has its origins here. These small, extra thin meat or vegetable-filled pasta bags look like knotted silk scarves. Behind them and their extraordinary form is a fantastic story...once upon a time, in the waters of the Mincio River, lived beautiful nymphs who loved to go ashore. However, they were cursed, so they could only go on land in the form of ugly witches. The captain of Visconti troops Malco, spotted these creatures one evening and followed them full of wonder. On the way, the nymph Silvia lost her witches cover, and Malco saw her in her true nature. The two fell into a passionate love affair and in parting, Silvia gave her lover a golden knotted silk scarf as a sign of her love.
The following evening, a lavish feast took place in which, Malco, to his surprise, saw his Silvia among the dancers. Love had defeated the curse. Their luck did not last long, however, because the cousin of the Visconti Prince, Isabella, was in love with Malco and denounced Silvia out of jealousy. Malco managed to help Silvia escape, but they threw him in prison. Later that same night, Silvia crept up to him, and in desperation, the two of them decided to turn their backs on the human world forever. So they disappeared in the depths of the river Mincio and lived happily together in the realm of the nymphs. The knotted silk scarf remained behind as a witness of their eternal love.
In 1993, when the jubilee for the construction of the bridge Ponte Visconti celebrated its 600th anniversary, in Valeggio sul Mincio, the "Feast of the love knot" was observed for the first time. Since then, every year in mid-June, the 600-metre long table is set, serving 600,000 tortellini, prepared by 140 cooks out of about 500 kg of Parmesan cheese, 10,000 eggs and about 800 kg of flour. The Valeggians contribute to the medieval atmosphere with their traditional costumes and the symbolic giant tortellino. Wine and Prosecco flow to the finish with big fireworks so if you would like to attend this unique event not far from Lake Garda, book early, as the 4,000 tickets are usually sold out nine months before.
At the beginning of September, Valeggio sul Mincio hosts another festival dedicated to tortellini: Tortellini e Dintorni. For more information on this three-day celebration of music and the legendary little bags of dough, visit www.tortelliniedintorni.net.