Fall is in the air, in the morning breeze and in cooler evenings. The green of the mountain has been oxygenated and refreshed throughout last hot summer and now, before our eyes, it gives way to the countless shades of autumn.
On the Monte Amiata the scent of mushrooms and chestnuts will be everywhere. Just follow your nose to get to the festive villages.
Every weekend is animated and the festivals, which have now become traditional, are unmissable events to taste mushroom and chestnut specialities, as well as buy porcini mushrooms, chestnuts and chestnut-based deserts, as well as jams and other typical products from the Amiata region.
The festivities kick off on October 12 with the Autumn Festival of Abbadia San Salvatore, which runs throughout that weekend and also the next, where in the historic centre the flavors of the past mingle with the crackling of fire, mouth-watering food, chattering people, with lit braziers and historic games. Local artists host exhibits, craftsmen will be working in their shops, and the wine cellars will be open for visitors as they are every year.
Sunday October 14 at Vivo d'Orcia the Mushroom and Chestnut festival begins, a festival which will also continue the following weekend. In addition to traditional and succulent gastronomic events along a nature trail, there will be a mycological exhibition, and you will also be able to discover the history of the chestnut.
Sunday October 21, at the heart of the festival, one of the most original games of skill inspired by the ancient craft of the woodsmen will animate the medieval village of Eremo where the two districts of Caselle and Pian delle Mura will compete for the Palio del Boscaiolo.
Sunday, October 28 is the Festa Del Marrone at Campiglia d’Orcia. ‘Marrone’ is the most valuable type of chestnut. The festival is unique in that its organization sees the involvement of the entire population. The town is divided into three districts - Agitati, Borgassero and Dentro - which complete with each other, choosing a theme and decorating the most characteristic streets of their neighborhoods. It is always a very traditional and distinctive festival.
The streets and alleys of the town will fill with picturesque scenes, as costumed characters tell ancient legends and sing folk songs. The feeling of travelling back into the past to a simpler age. The tourist-visitor then takes centre- stage, calling for a vote to choose the best district. The Festa del Marrone cup is won by whoever gets the most votes from both a classic jury and from the people.
The Crastatone festival at Piancastagnaio, now in its 46th edition, is the oldest chestnut event on Monte Amiata and among the oldest ever. It takes place from October 31 to November 1, celebrating the end of the chestnut harvest and the beginning of winter.
The first Crastatone festival started from the idea of a group of friends to celebrate the precious chestnut, an important resource for the inhabitants of Monte Amiata. "Crastata" is the word which is given to the festival; in dialect it means hot roast. Within the walls of the mighty fortress of Rocca Aldobrandesca, the four quarters of Piancastagnaio, Borgo, Castello, Coro and Voltaia, will hold stands with typical products made from chestnuts. New wine, with its classic sour smell, will be brought from the cellars, and the first pressing of the olive oil becomes a time of celebration for everyone.
Even the vintage railcars of the Treno Natura are set in motion by the chestnut flavors of Mount Amiata. Through the fascinating region of Siena you can take a ride in the steam locomotive which runs in conjunction with the celebrations. On October 14 you can take the train to the Festa del Fungo and Festa della Castangna di Vivo d’Orcia, and on November 4 to Crastatone in Piancastagnaio.