Tuscany in Autumn
Autumn is one of the best times of the year to see the glorious colours of the Tuscan countryside. As the grape vine leaves turn from green to a sea of reds and yellows in time for the wine harvest and the lush green forest transforms into its autumnal hues, the beauty of the Tuscan landscape comes into its own. The summer sun still lingers in this northern region of Italy, with bright days seeing temperatures as high as 26 degrees, so al-fresco dining, shorts and t-shirts are the norm in October. Ladled on top of the regions famous Indian summers are the delights of autumn offered in Tuscany. Chestnut picking, truffle hunting and the wine harvest all offer a spectacle and an opportunity to sync to the beat of rural Italian life.
Much of Tuscany’s landscape is scattered with vineyards and wine is an intrinsic part of Tuscan life. Autumn is wine harvest time in Tuscany and there are a huge variety of events and activities revolving around this pivotal time of year for the region. As such, getting involved with the spirit of the season is a must. From assisting in the wine production in early autumn to the new wine festivals in November, where the sweet new wines are sampled before full fermentation, there is so much on offer aside from simply drinking.
Autumn is also the season of mushrooms and truffles and the picking and eating of these wild delights is an almost spiritual ritual for Tuscans. Fungi of all varieties are in abundance in autumn and the freshly picked porchini are at their best and on offer in a variety of delicious forms in restaurants across Tuscany. In November the Festival of Truffles at San Miniato, one of the biggest food festivals in Tuscany at this time of year, is well worth a visit.
Another food holy to the Tuscan people in autumn is the chestnut. Again, there are festivals to celebrate the harvest of the nut which draw out locals and tourists alike. The chestnut festival in Marradi runs throughout October and offers ravioli, jams, roast chestnuts, cakes made from chestnut flour and other autumnal delicacies, and the streets are scattered with artists and musicians to lighten the atmosphere further.
From the olive oil festival in Montemurlo to the autumn food festivals in Lucca and Siena, harvests of all foods are celebrated magnificently in Tuscany. Autumn really is the time of year to visit if gastronomic adventure is your thing.
Changing of the seasons
There really is no better destination to see the changing of the seasons in southern Europe. The leaves of the vineyards transform into a cacophony of red and yellow hues and contrast spectacularly with the turning leaves of the trees and the brilliant blue sky. The endless forests, plentiful grape fields and pretty small villages transform into a picturesque autumnal heaven. Additionally, during the autumn months there are far fewer tourists flooding the usual attractions, so the beautiful Etruscan architecture and plentiful art galleries can be enjoyed in peace compared to the summer. Many beautiful holiday apartments throughout the region to suit any budget are on offer from Casamundo.co.uk, so there is no reason not to visit this picturesque region this autumn.
Image by jonasginter, Chris P