What Was The Genoa Pesto Festival?

The Pesto Festival Logo

Short answer
The Pesto Festival (the Sagra del Pesto) was organised by the CNGEI scout and guide group and held annually at the Polisportiva SOMS la Fratellanza in the north of Genoa.

Long answer
Billed as the ultimate celebration of pesto, the Pesto Festival was held annually at Polisportiva SOMS, a venue about 10 miles north of Genoa City Airport.

Organised by CNGEI (a scouting and guiding association), the festival attracted foodies from all over the region and returned for its 15th outing in 2019. For obvious reasons, it couldn't take place in 2020, and sadly, we don't know when or whether it will ever return.

Naturally, pesto was the star of the show, and visitors got to enjoy it with traditional Ligurian pasta shapes like trenette, testaroli, and gnocchi. The pasta courses were followed by a selection of grilled meat, all washed down with a selection of great local wines. Visitors also got to enjoy a host of other regional specialties like taggiasca olives, chestnut liqueur, and Pandolce Genovese, a cake very similar to Milan's famous panettone.

Entertainment was geared to all ages and included karaoke, ballroom dancing, a lottery with prizes, and a cirulla tournament (a traditional Ligurian card game).