Autumn is in the air and on the mountains the green of the forests has given way to countless shades of yellow, red and orange. It is time for mushrooms and chestnuts, and on Mount Amiata also for festivals dedicated to autumn products, such as roasted chestnuts and porcini mushrooms.
Here are some of the food and wine events that enliven the villages of Amiata from late September to early November.
The Piancastagnaio Crastatone is the oldest event in the Amiata region dedicated to chestnut and is held between late October and early November.
The "crastata" is the word that gives the festival its name and in dialect represents the roast chestnut.
Inside the walls of the mighty Aldobrandesca Fortress, the four contrade set up stands with typical chestnut products, not to mention olive oil and noveau wine, other protagonists of the festival.
On the second and third weekends of October, Abbadia San Salvatore hosts the Autumn Festival. Protagonists are the fruits of the forest - from chestnuts to mushrooms - offered for lunch and dinner at various terzieri in the village.
Also on the agenda are guided hikes on mountain trails to collect chestnuts, as well as markets of antiques, handicrafts and typical products.
Castell'Azzara hosts Festautunno (Autumn Festival) on October 31, an event with craft markets, street food, street bands and, to end on a high note, fireworks display.
In Santa Caterina, a few kilometers from Roccalbegna, a very ancient tradition is renewed every year that has spanned the centuries and remains unchanged to this day: on the evening of November 24, that is, on the eve of the birth of St. Catherine of Alexandria, on the top of a hill, the inhabitants of the village gather around a trunk of turkey oak - called a stollo - and wrapped in faggots - focarazza - to which a fire is set. As the flames flare up, a contest also begins in which each person tries to get the stollo and carry it inside their contrada, thus sanctioning their victory and ending the competition.