Carloforte, May 11 - The 15th edition of the Girotonno tuna festival is set to take place from June 22-25 in the town of Carloforte, on tiny San Pietro Island just off the southwestern coast of Sardinia, where concerts and live cooking demos will be held alongside the festival's renowned International Tuna Competition.
This year's festival, themed "Men, History and Flavours on the Tuna Route", includes live concerts by Nek on June 22 and Fiorella Mannoia on June 23, as well as cooking challenges, sport entertainment, children's games and guided tours of the town and surrounding areas.
The highlight of the festival, however, is the International Tuna Competition, where well-known international chefs battle it out to showcase their culinary skills with tuna.
Among those competing at this year's festival are chefs from Italy and Norway as well as competition winners from the past two years: Japanese chef Haruo Hichikawa (2015) and Peruvian chef Rafael Rodriguez (2016).
There will also be live cooking shows to demonstrate gourmet dishes based on tuna, with famed chefs such as Filippo La Mantia, arguably the most famous Sardinian chef in Italy, resident at Milan's Oste e Cuoco; as well as Stefano De Gregorio, originally from Busto Arsizio in Varese, now leading the way at Saporie Lab in Milan.
Their demonstrations will allow visitors to learn directly from the masters about the art and skill involved in preparing and serving these fish, which have been swimming in the coastal waters off Sardinia for centuries.
Radio and TV host Federico Quaranta will lead the festivities from the stage each evening.
The festival is also an opportunity to discover the small island of San Pietro, an island-in-an-island, where the local community has Ligurian linguistic roots and speaks a Genoese-variant dialect known as Tabarchino.
Carloforte Mayor Marco Simeone said the four days of the festival give visitors a chance to "experience the identity and the soul of the place and the people who live there".
A trip to Carloforte during Girotonno is an unforgettable experience, where the streets and the boardwalk are pulsing with life.
Carloforte remains one of the few ancient tuna fishing villages still active in the Mediterranean, with its unpolluted waters that have hosted schools of tuna during their migrations for hundreds and hundreds of years.
"Planning a holiday during the days of the festival, you'll be surprised by at least one of the numerous tourist attractions: enchanting landscapes, breathtaking beaches and coves, unpolluted seabeds for fishing or scuba diving to admire the valuable coral, dishes with local specialities to taste," said Simeone.
And the list goes on: excursions to explore some of the most beautiful villages in Italy, walking itineraries to discover the small streets known as "caruggi" and the architecture of the historic centre with its pastel-coloured houses, staircases and tiny alleys where the scent of seafood drifts through the air, as well as the charm of the view from the tiny port and the shorefront.
It's a picture-perfect view, in the right season of the year.
There's everything you need for an unforgettable experience.