Who says that spring is the most lively period of the year, never saw Tuscany in Autumn. As the weather becomes chillier and the leaves start turning yellow and red, a new food season is starting. Fall is the time of grape harvesting to produce the fine new Chianti wine, it’s the good moment for the olive picking and to go around the woods gathering chestnuts and mushroom, along with the beginning of the hunting season.
Slow food Autumn!
Autumn it’s also time to enjoy the company of family and friends at the numerous festivals, celebrations and fairs around the region. Every place during this period celebrates the fine traditional products of Tuscany.
1 – Wine, Tuscany’s red gold
Wine is the most known among Tuscany’s local products and fall is the most important time of the year. Come and visit the Festa delle cantine (Festival of Wine), in Sorano, http://www.soranoinfesta.com/21072015/pagita/start.htm where the doors of each wine cellar will be open to the visitors. Not far from here Movimento del turismo del vino (Wine Tourism Movement) has organized an international event called Cantine aperte in Vendemmia (Open Cellars during harvesting time) http://www.movimentoturismovino.it/it/eventi/4/cantine-aperte-in-vendemmia/ that engages all the wine producers of the region. Everybody is welcome to visit the cellars and to follow the grape harvesting and wine making process, with tasting moments and workshops to celebrate Tuscany and its wine.
2 – With a glass of red wine comes the “fettunta”
The second fruit of Tuscan fall is the olive. One of the most tasty and delicious traditional food is the so called “fettunta”, a slice of garlic bread, toasted and seasoned with some new olive oil. Tuscan people say that this is the best way to taste and appreciate the flavor of their fine olive oil and the events to celebrate it are countless around the region. The most important are the Fest’all’olio (Olive oil Festival) in Vitolini a borough near Vinci (birthplace of Leonardo)and in Montemurlo, http://www.festadelloliomontemurlo.it/. These events are dedicated to the typical olive oil of the surrounding hills and it’s also a good occasion to taste some of the local dishes, as ribollita and farro soup.
3 – Chestnuts around the fireplace
Chestnuts are another ancient product Tuscany can be proud of. Their taste is delicious and they are loved by adults and kids, especially when gathering together around a family fireplace during a winter night.
But did you know that chestnuts also are good for health? They have high nutritional properties and they seem to be good to balance the nerves, as it contains vitamin B and phosphorus. Chestnuts are also good for veins and are a natural tonic and energy providers.
Not to forget their delicious taste: that’s why they are the protagonist of many culinary events taking place in autumn around Tuscany. Just to mention one of them, in October there’s the Sagra delle Castagne (Chestnuts fair), every Sunday in Marradi. http://lnx.pro-marradi.it/
4- If you like mushrooms
You cannot miss Tuscany in autumn! Mushrooms and truffles are the most delicious among the local products and they are fully celebrated during September, October and November.
If you like to spend time in the open air enjoy the mushroom and truffle gathering among the misty Maremma hills during the day and taste them with the typical polenta dishes with the tasty Chianina meat at the Sagra del Porcino e della Chianina (Chianina meat and boletus Fair), in Castelfranco di Sotto, near Pisa, at night. http://www.sagretoscane.com/sagre/pi/castelfranco-di-sotto/sagra-del-porcino-e-della-chianina.html
For the truffle lovers there’s the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco delle Crete Senesi (Siena Tartufo Festival) in November. http://museotartufo.museisenesi.org/eventi/xxix-mostra-mercato-del-tartufo-bianco-delle-crete. Here you will be able to learn about how to look for those precious wood gems, their story and the tradition bond with truffles, with the guides of the San Giovanni d’Asso Museo del Tartufo(Truffle Museum) http://museotartufo.museisenesi.org/
Tuscany is very rich when speaking about food and typical products. Each of its tasty local goods has its own moment of celebrity in autumn, so what are you waiting for? come and discover this unique corner of Italy and its gems!