Autumn has started, and even if not with a strong force, the first leaves fall, the colors change and nature responds to the natural call of the change of season.
Autumn in Tuscany is synonymous with harvesting, and harvesting in Tuscany means of various kinds, Olives, Mushrooms, Chestnuts.
The harvest is now behind us, now it’s time for the olives.
In some places the harvest has already started, in others it will start shortly, the best period for the olive harvest in Tuscany goes from October and can even continue until the beginning of December, the time frame is long enough and allows us to decide when it is more appropriate for our olives to pick them to get the best result.
But autumn in Tuscany is also a bath of colours, our countryside is tinged with red, yellow, orange, it is the time of year with the most beautiful sunsets, which will accompany us until November.
Tuscany is tinged with unusual colors and those famous routes that are green and dry in summer, become fresh and warm in autumn.
But let’s see some unmissable activities this autumn in Tuscany.
The Via Francigena
This is the best time of the year to walk the Via Francigena in the part of Tuscany.
380 kilometers immersed in nature, in the united colors of Tuscany, over 1000 accommodation facilities and 38 municipalities crossed starting from the Cisa and arriving at Acquapendente.
A fantastic itinerary that can be done on foot or by bicycle, just last June the Tuscan regional council approved a decree which assigned funds to Local Authorities for the signage of the cycle-tourist route, an important step for the culture and promotion of our territory.
Historically, the Francigena was the road that led from northern European countries (England, Belgium, France) to Rome.
Someone argues that the continuation of this road is in Puglia and that it led towards Jerusalem, but there is no certified historical evidence of this theory.
The fact is, that the landscapes encountered along these routes are breathtaking.
Discovering the Casentino
A beautiful valley, one of the most important in Tuscany, together with Mugello, Garfagnana, Valdelsa, Valdarno and Val di Chiana.
It is located in the province of Arezzo and covers an area of about 820.00 square kilometers, it is crossed by the Arno river which then finds its most important stretch crossing Florence and Pisa.
Casentino has about 40,000 inhabitants and is made up of 12 municipalities.
These municipalities, very small and characteristic, make this valley special.
Stia and Pratovecchio places that still carry the flavor of peasant history and Poppi which is part of the club of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”.
There are thousands of routes to do in the Casentino and they are all interesting, you just have to be spoiled for choice, just let yourself go and you will not be disappointed.
Castles still intact and visible such as the Castle of Poppi, we talked about it in our article dedicated to Tuscan castles, or the castle of Romena, in short, a valley to be discovered.
Not to mention the culinary part, which culminates with dishes that have become typical of Tuscan cuisine such as Scottiglia, a stew of meat of various kinds, served with bread, which for this reason is also called the “cacciucco di terra” recalling the famous cacciucco Livornese.
A beautiful place to be discovered.
Hunting for chestnuts
Here also the chestnuts make their rightful entry into the imported things of the Tuscan Autumn.
The Chestnut is a fruit, and even if in front of the word fruit only one colorful and juicy thing comes to mind, the Chestnut is a fruit to all intents and purposes, it is the fruit of the Chestnut tree, unlike the Chestnut of the Horse Chestnut which instead is a seed.
There are many varieties of chestnuts, but Tuscany boasts the PGI brand for Marrone del Mugello, which are large and crunchy with white flesh and a very sweet flavour.
They are located in Mugello, but are spread throughout the Falterona area, the Dicomano side to understand each other and not just the Casentino side.
A town in that area takes its name from this fruit, Castagno d’Andrea about 7 km from the municipality of San Godenzo, a town at about 700 meters above sea level.
Here, the search for chestnuts is an activity to do in this period, just think that in Marradi, a small town in the Mugello there is the Chestnut Festival every Sunday in October, which now has a history of over fifty years .
It must also be said that the chestnut harvest is an important economic resource for many inhabitants of the upper Mugello areas and therefore before venturing at random into privately owned fields, it is best to contact a local tourist office to be told where, how and when to show up to pick this delicious fruit without running into some furious farmer.
Once the fruits have been harvested and we have returned home with our beautiful chestnuts, we just have to create the most famous Tuscan recipes.
The first Tuscan recipe, which is also the most famous, takes the name of “Ballotte”, that is, taking the chestnuts and boiling them in their skins.
This is an ancient recipe, poor but typical of the Tuscan peasants who used it in the autumn moments to warm up and to fight the pangs of hunger that were often only fought with chestnuts.
Then there is the castagnaccio, a typical sweet, made with chestnut flour, rosemary and pine nuts, or an easy recipe is what in Florence is called making the “roasted chestnuts” that is, take the chestnut, carve the in the oven (or in a special pan with holes) and as soon as they are roasted they are ready, put them in a cloth to keep them hot, and peeling them away they are eaten, sipping a good red wine. This is Tuscan pleasure!
In short, Tuscany also offers beautiful nature in autumn, sometimes uncontaminated with festivals and traditions that still tell us about a land full of desire to keep its typical flavours, tastes and smells unaltered.
Autumn takes away the hot summer but takes us on a beautiful journey through strong colors and unique sunsets that we can only admire in this period.
Tuscany in this period is beautiful and if you really have to choose a moment to relax and really enjoy this land, this is that moment.
We are waiting for you.