From September until the middle of November is the best time to go to Italy and catch the harvest season before it ends. In Italy, there are many regions that are harvesting different produce at the same time; the main items include grapes (for wine), truffles (for cooking and oil), and olives (for oil and cooking). Why not try a different Italy travel experience?
Some dates to look to are:
- National Pasta Day in Italy (October 25, 2017)
- Eurochocolate Festival in Perugia, Umbria (October 13-22, 2017)
Grape stomping and wine festivals
There are over 350 types of grapes produced in Italy, more than half of the regions participating in the grape harvest annually. From September to October, grapes are harvested and vineyards open their doors to eager taste-testers and wine enthusiasts. Also look for grape stomping, an activity many vineyards have during the season.
Boccaccesca is an annual wine and food festival held in Certaldo Alto, Tuscany during the first or second week of October. At the festival, Tuscan wine is highlighted and complemented by other Tuscan foods such as rosemary bread, common soups, and meats. Like most festivals, most products are open to taste and buy.
There are two kinds of truffles: black and white. To find these hidden mushrooms, hunters use dogs to sniff them out from above ground. Pigs are also used to hunt but they are known to eat the product after sniffing them out! Black truffles are found in the regions of Umbria and Piedmont while rare white truffles are found in Piedmont, Marche, and Tuscany; many of these regions have day trip truffle hunting excursions if you are in for an adventure.
In il Cortile della Maddalena, Alba, Italy is the Alba White Truffle World Market. Annually, this market makes its appearance between October and mid-November allowing travel lovers and locals to purchase the delicacy on the weekends when the market is open. Inside the market are also wines, cheeses, and other products that you can sample and buy.
The first olives are to be picked the first week of November until the middle of December in regions such as Lazio, Marche, and Umbria. Olives are normally picked through nets and baskets or with bare hands. Nets are also placed underneath the large trees to collect the olives that have fallen and can be collected for sale or use.
The production of olive oil, next to the production of wine, is an important product to the economy. When you plan your Italy travel, consider going to a farm and picking olives (some places will even squeeze them and give you the oil instead!). And though there are not any festivals solely for olives, they are sure to make an appearance at every market and festival.
We hope you enjoy a different Italy travel experience during harvest season!