Autumn may not be the most popular time to visit Italy, but is, in fact, one of the best times to come, especially if you are a lover of Italian cuisine and culture.
The cities may be a little emptier, the lines at famous museums a little shorter, and the beaches more quiet.
And this is the time of the year for food harvesting with delicious fall festivals taking place in various locations throughout the country showcasing Italy’s culinary delights.
If you want to try the rare, exquisite taste of Tuscan olive oil, November is ideal. Harvesting begins in October and the new olive oil produced in November, “olio nuovo,” is intense green in color and almost spicy in flavor. One of the highlights of traveling through Tuscany this time of year is stopping at the many villages to sample the fine olive oil at festivals.
If you’re a wine lover then this is the time to see the hard work that goes into your favorite bottle. Italy's famous grape harvest officially begins in August and ends in late October. Most regions in Italy begin their harvest in September, but it also depends upon how ripe the grapes are. To experience Italian wines at their peak, then come in the fall.
Mushrooms, Including Truffles
Few gourmet foods are treasured as much as truffles, especially white truffles. The exotic truffle is in great demand and they can cost $850 a pound, which is because truffle-sniffing dogs are used to find the truffles underground. Nobody in the world takes truffle harvesting as seriously as those in northern Italy. Truffle festivals are held all throughout Italy every autumn.
One of the most famous is in Alba from October to November. The white winter truffle of Alba cannot be cultivated by farmers and thus goes for $2,500 a pound.
Mushroom harvesting is also popular this time of year and many different types are adored. Central Italy is popular for mushroom harvesting.
A few of our favorites:
If you visit Tuscany in the fall, try a delicious mushroom dish with homemade pasta.
During the month of October, chestnut harvesting is in full swing. Check out one of the multiple chestnut harvesting festivals throughout Italy. However, the most popular tends to be in Treviso with numerous festivals being held there every year.
If you’ve already been to Italy in the warmer months, you may want to give fall a try. With high tourist season over, you can have a relaxing gastronomic adventure sampling all the enchanting tastes and traditions Italy has to offer this season.