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Since 1950 the pork festival has become a reference point to enjoy this delicacy that has become the symbol of Ariccia and the Castelli Romani and that today has been recognized with the PGI – Protected Geographical Indication.
A party that is also an opportunity to reiterate the millennial bond that unites Ariccia to the art of treating pork. In fact, here in Ariccia there were the priests who had the task of working the meat that was offered to Jupiter in the famous temple of Monte Cavo.
In Vallericcia two votive statuettes have been found in the temple of the offer of the piglet, sacred animal to the Maia deity, which date back to the III century BC. The two statues represent a female figure, with a crown of ears, and a male figure with a “pig” in his hand. Today these are displayed at the National Roman Museum.
The ritual probably referred to the feast of the Cerealia, dedicated to the goddess Ceres that took place in spring and autumn, when nature awakens and when it rests. Probably the Roman nobles had chosen these areas for their hunting villas also for the fame of the skill in the preparation and cooking of this dish.
The pork festival includes both the part of tastings and a part of live shows and performances and a re-enactment of a procession of Roman maidens with votive offerings that recall the cult of the goddess Ceres.
At the stands and fraschette, everyone is dressed in traditional Ariccia clothes and the producers compete to present their delights. A curiosity: the name “porchetta” derives from the fact that it is used only meat of female pigs, tastier and less fat.


Traveller's Guide to Italy