From September to December, Tuscany offers a myriad of events showcasing top seasonal foods: fresh olive oil, mushrooms, chestnuts, white truffles, dried figs and squids! Here are some of the best events scheduled for this autumn in Tuscany, with their 2016 dates.
53rd Chestnut festival in Marradi (Firenze area) – October 9, 16, 23 and 30
Street bands and plenty of food including local delicacies such as ravioli, cakes, jams, marrons glacés, and roasted chestnuts. Lovers of steam trains can also arrive in the old train that connects Florence to Marradi. More info (in Italian) in the website of the local association promoting culture and tourism.
Crastatone festival in Piancastagnaio (Siena area) – October 28 to November 1st
The Monte Amiata area offers an extensive calendar of chestnut festivals. The oldest is the Crastatone, held from October 28 to November 1 in Piancastagnaio, which is filled with traditional dishes, music and dancing in the streets, reliving the atmosphere of an authentic rural village.
The festival takes place within the town’s medieval city walls, the Rocca Aldobrandesca, which encircle the old town centre. Food stalls are set up in the streets and alleyways, serving food made from chestnuts. Visit the website of Piancastagnaio’s association promoting local culture.
Chestnut festival in Caprese Michelangelo (Arezzo area) – October 15-16 and 22-23
Caprese Michelangelo, the birthplace of Michelangelo Buonarroti, will host the Chestnut Festival on October 15, 16 and 22, 23. On the streets of the old town and in the square of the Castle overlooking the village, visitors can taste and buy roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, donuts, jams and sweet chestnut polenta. More info about the Chestnut festival in Caprese Michelangelo, here.
Volterragusto (Volterra), October 22-23, October 29 to November 1st
At Volterragusto you can taste and buy not only local white truffles, but also wine, oil, meats, cheeses and crafts. A very interesting cheese rolling race called the Palio dei Caci Volterrani is held beyond the market, where contestants will attempt to tumble a wheel of cheese down the slope of a street in the shortest amount of time possible. Visit the website of Volterragusto.
Mostra Mercato Nazionale Tartufo Bianco di San Miniato (Pisa area), November 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27
San Miniato gears up to host the annual white truffle fair. Here the total annual harvest is about 80 tons annually (25% of the national total annual harvest). Find out here more info about the White truffle fair in San Miniato (Pisa).
Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco delle Crete Senesi (San Giovanni d’Asso), November 12,13 – 19, 20
On the second and third week end of November San Giovanni d’Asso will host the famous White Truffle Fair. You will find kiosks and restaurants selling countless specialties made with truffles and accompanied by the best wines: from Brunello di Montalcino to Champagne. The programme includes also cooking shows, a Pecorino cheese competition, special dinners and many many tastings. Find out here more info about the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco.
Boccaccesca 2016 in Certaldo (Florence area) – October 7, 8 and 9
A festival to honour the famous poet Giovanni Boccaccio, with cooking shows, street food, markets, wine tastings and educational children’s workshops on the streets of one of Italy’s most beautiful towns. More info about Boccaccesca 2016 on the official website.
Dried fig fest or Benvenuto Fico Secco in Carmignano (Prato area), October 16
Sweet and soft with a slight taste of anise, dried fig from Carmignano is famous across the country for its organoleptic attributes and its ancestral and natural drying technique. Since December 1, 2001, Dried Fig from Carmignano has become a Slow Food “Presidia.” The official public opening of sales of Carmignano’s dried figs is celebrated with a big festival called Benvenuto Fico Secco, during which there will be cooking shows, contests, markets and workshops in the charming town. Have a look on the website of Carmignano’s tourist information office for more info.
The Squid fest in Capraia or Sagra del Totano (Capraia island), on October 29-31
On Capraia Island, summer season ends in November with the squid fest (Sagra del Totano). Hundreds of people land on the island to taste the specialty squid-based foods, such as pasta, polenta, crêpes and much more. More info here.
Il Desco (Lucca), from November 19 to December 11
A rich program of events, tastings, recipes, culinary traditions, art and meetings to explore the foods and traditions of Lucca. Find out here more info about Desco 2016.
Christmas market in Piazza del campo or Mercato nel campo (Siena), December 3 and 4
Every year, on the first weekend of December, Siena hosts a great Christmas market in Piazza del Campo with more than 100 stalls selling the best local foods and crafts. Hope to see you there!
Have you ever tasted fresh extra virgin olive oil? Every year, big feasts to celebrate the olive harvest are held in some Tuscan towns. Here you can enjoy good music, join organised excursions and taste fresh extra virgin olive oil on a crunchy bruschetta or with some Tuscan food specialties. Here are some of the main events:
Festa dell’olio in Reggello (Firenze area), October 29 to November 1st
This year Reggello’s olive oil feast and its degustations, live music and street markets reach the 43rd edition: a good time is guaranteed.
Festa dell’Olio in Montemurlo (Prato area), November 13 and 18-20
The olive oil feast taking place in Montemurlo is held every year on the third sunday of November within the medieval fortress of Montemurlo. It’s definitely worth a visit! Visit Montemurlo’s olive oil feast official website here.
WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
AmiatAutunno – Different towns in the area of Monte Amiata (Siena and Grosseto areas) – November
Check out the calendar of food-related events of AmiatAutunno, happening this autumn in Montegiovi, Bagnolo, Arcidosso and other towns in the area of Monte Amiata.
Cover image credit: Michela Simoncini