The bright lights of the luna park (also known as the amusement park for us English-speaking folk) have been up in Vicenza's Campo Marzio for a week now, signaling the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.
I don't know exactly what the correlation is between amusement park rides and sugary fried foods and autumn, but these things pop up all across Northern Italy right around this time of the year. Maybe it is to soothe the depression that usually sets in when the warmth slowly recedes to be replaced by the cold of winter. Or maybe because the nights are more pleasant than those awful muggy summer nights. Or maybe because it gives Italian students a reason to look forward to the beginning of school year. But whatever the reason, going to one is always a blast. Although I'm not particularly keen on getting my adrenaline artificially pumped up to 11, the lights and excitement are just an added treat to what would just be yet another night of passeggiata.
And although it is not a sagra in a sense that there really is no one special food to come for, luna parks have a cuisine of their own: popcorn, granita, hotdogs, cotton candy, ice cream, and crepes. But the best and surely most satisfying is the frittelle, which is apparently called "elephant ears" in the U.S. I guess that is one more reason to enjoy the luna park: Italian and American cuisines finally see eye-to-eye on something--fried dough bathe in sugar!