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  • Polenta Festival

Every year takes place in Vernio the "Festa della polenta" or "Pulendina". The origins of the celebrations are part history and part legend. It is said that, in the 16th century, the people of the valley were stripped of everything they had after mercenary troops from Barberino passing through on their way to Prato. So serious was the famine that Count Bardi, lord and feudatory of Vernio, was overcome with pity for his unfortunate subjects and, on Ash Wednesday of an unspecified year, ordered the free distribution of polenta made with chestnut flour, herrings and stockfish. The Count's magnanimous gesture is still commemorated, the first Sunday in Lent. Expert polenta-makers distribute large quantities of chestnut polenta which all those present can eat with the herrings and salt cod provided by the Società della Miseria, the association that preserves and repeats the tradition every year.