A Delicious Tradition

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The region’s biggest celebration of the Italian grape harvest, the da Vinci Society of Delaware’s Vendemmia da Vinci, is back on Sunday, Oct. 9, for its second year at Bellevue State Park.

With fine Italian wines from each region of Italy and an Italian beer garden—featuring Peroni and Moretti brews—the 13th annual event will also include catering by 25 local Italian restaurants, live music, vendors and homemade wine and gravy-making contests. Music will include four hours of opera, classic Italian and contemporary pieces.

The society preserves Italian culture through education and community events, and Vendemmia, which translates to “grape harvest” and has been celebrated in villages throughout Italy each October for centuries, is a nostalgic example. The organization, a nonprofit, donates funds toward Italian language education at schools, and has given scholarship funds to the University of Delaware’s language department for eight years in a row.

Last year alone the da Vinci Society of Delaware awarded more than $30,000 in scholarships, family assistance and cultural programs.

Former da Vinci Society president and current member Larry Giacchino says he is looking forward to the merry crowds.

“It’s a real happy celebration,” he says. “It truly represents first-generation Italian customs as it relates to food, wine and entertainment.”

Last year the crowd went through 800 bottles of wine; this year Giacchino is expecting 3,000 vino-and-food lovers to attend and perhaps top that total.

The festival is from 2-6 p.m. Admission is $50 in advance and $60 at the door. For more information and to order tickets, visit societadavinci.org.

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