Rimini - In spring, Romagna is filled with the scent of strawberries. From 7 to 13 May, the Strawberry Days event will enhance this irresistible and sweet-flavoured fruit, combining tourism, territory and agriculture with entertainment, vacation and well-being.
Strawberry Days was created by Macfrut, the international trade fair for the fruit and vegetable sector organised by Cesena Fiera, which will be held at the Rimini Expo Centre from 10 to 12 May. It will be a special fringe event dedicated to strawberries, the symbol of rebirth of the Italian fruit and vegetable industry, of the Romagna region and of its agricultural tradition, with strawberries prominently featured as the fruit that represents the hospitality of Romagna’s tourist resorts. Exhibitions and previews, recipes and tasting sessions and, of course, an outstanding soundtrack - the unforgettable hit by the Beatles, which, for the Strawberry Days event, will become a truly special "Strawberry day forever" - are the main ingredients of this spring festival that coincides with the start of the tourist season in the Romagna Riviera and accompanies the 2017 edition of Macfrut.
Strawberries, more than any other fruit, recall an image of freshness and of spring awakening, and will thus be the undisputed star of this long festival and of promotional initiatives aimed at enhancing the wholesome qualities of strawberries, but also irresistible pairings and innovative tastings. Traditionally a strawberry-growing area, Romagna will be the heart of the event, with Cesena and Rimini featuring popular initiatives also involving other provinces with more than 100 major retail outlets focusing on Italian strawberries.
The whole initiative will be accompanied by music, with two tribute concert evenings for the 50th anniversary of the legendary song Strawberry Fields Forever, which will be revived in many different versions, along with the best Beatles songs and a national contest organised under the artistic direction of the Meeting delle Etichette Indipendenti (MEI) of Faenza in collaboration with the Beatlesiani d’Italia Associati (the Beatle People Association of Italy). On 7 May, from 6pm, the Strawberry Fields Forever Day will have a preview in Cesena in Piazza Amendola with Miscellanea Beat from Romagna. A final evening will then be held on 13 May, from 9pm, in Piazza Cavour in Rimini with the best Italian Beatles Bands, and from 2pm exhibitors will display themed merchandising, vinyl records, vintage items and lots of strawberries for everyone. On both occasions there will be performances by currently popular tribute bands of the Liverpool quartet and a selection of contest winners. And the main theme will indeed be Strawberry Fields Forever, the masterpiece single by the Beatles, recorded in 1967 and one of the first examples of psychedelic rock. This year the song, which had been dedicated to the "Strawberry Fields" children’s home in Liverpool, marks its 50th anniversary.
Our hope is that the Strawberry Days initiative will contribute to promoting this wholesome fruit with excellent organoleptic qualities, as well as the land that produces it. In fact, strawberries are deservedly a traditional, locally-grown food product, as well as one of the "Made in Italy" excellent products of Emilia-Romagna, where, in addition to PDO and PGI certified produce, fruit and vegetables also play a key role.
A wealth of produce, experiences and unique Italian food culture accompanied by an equally unique hospitality culture and savoir vivre, which has made this region the hub of Italy's incoming tourism. It is therefore the perfect setting to host the colourful strawberry spring festival, a fresh and appealing welcoming for the opening of the tourist season in the Romagna Riviera.
Strawberry Days was created by Macfrut in collaboration with the Emilia-Romagna Regional Administration, APT Servizi Emilia Romagna, under the patronage of the Municipalities of Cesena and Rimini and with the participation of seven sponsor companies: Almaverde Bio, Bestack, CPR System, Infia, Coop Sole, Solarelli and Valfrutta.
Strawberry-growing in Italy
Strawberries are wholesome fruits with excellent organoleptic qualities thanks to their high concentration of antioxidants, simple sugars and Vitamin C, which make them a prime natural supplement.
Every year, Italy produces approximately 150,000 tonnes of strawberries, more than 100,000 of which are grown in greenhouses and the rest in open fields. Production is concentrated in specific regions such as Basilicata, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont. With its unique geographical characteristics, Italy can now produce strawberries in several months of the year - grown in Sicily and in other areas in the south of Italy starting from January - up to full production, also in open fields in May.
In our region, but not only, strawberries are grown using integrated production techniques (a system designed precisely in Emilia-Romagna more than 30 years ago, which has become a model both in Italy and in Europe), with low environmental impact and always more frequently with organic farming, which in Emilia-Romagna now amounts to 100,000 hectares.
Strawberry consumption is growing throughout Italy, a rising trend not only for retail purchases but also for non-domestic and out-of-season purchases. In fact, today, thanks to the new strawberry varieties selected and to the availability of fresh and fridge-stored plants, excellent strawberries can be enjoyed practically all-year-round.
Strawberry Fields Forever Day, a tribute to the Beatles' masterpiece
Strawberry Fields Forever, one of the best Beatles songs written by John Lennon, which entered the music charts exactly 50 years ago on 13 February 1967, was chosen this year upon proposal of the MEI - Meeting degli Indipendenti together with the Beatlesiani d'Italia Associati, to be sung by all those taking part in the "Strawberry (Fields) Days", which will be held in Rimini on Saturday, 13 May 2017 in Piazza Cavour to conclude the 34th edition of Macfrut, the International Trade Fair for the Fruit and Vegetable Sector.
Piazza Cavour will be filled with stalls selling Beatles memorabilia (records, photos, posters, autographs, etc.), vintage cars and motorbikes, but also strawberries offered in many different ways, for example ice cream and other food and wine delicacies. One of the leading experts on the Beatles and John Lennon will also be present, "Lennonologist" Antonio Taormina, who will hold a meeting together with Rolando Giambelli of Beatlesiani d'Italia Associati.
The event will be opened by a special guest, the famous Rangzen from Rimini, often seen on Italian RAI television paying tribute to the Beatles, who also played in Liverpool and recorded an album at Abbey Road, the legendary Beatles studio in London. The other bands performing are The Beatops from Brescia, who are also known and appreciated internationally, having played on many stages in Liverpool, the Plastic Onion Band from Genoa, who will deliver a dreamy performance, with Davide Canazza, a great performer of John Lennon's hits, as well as the Beat Brothers, BeatleSmania and, from Brescia, the Two of Us, who have played many shows around the world, from Liverpool to New York and, recently, also in San Francisco at the Leonardo Institute. To conclude, the Menlove, the fantastic Beatles tribute band from Bologna formed by four excellent musicians will literally make us "dream" that the Beatles themselves are actually here.
Rimini, 29 March 2017
Macfrut Press Office
(Giulia Fellini - Filippo Fabbri)
Tel. no. +39 3471567681 – +39 0547 26664