There are so many things to do in Autumn in Tuscany, that visitors are always in for a treat. It’s a great time for nature lovers, as Tuscany offers beautiful landscapes that offer great spectacles in Autumn. You can hike the countryside, amongst vineyards or olive trees and colourful woods, and foodies can go in search of that perfect chestnut or truffle at one of the many seasonal food festivals.
Things to do in Autumn in Tuscany
- 1 – EXPLORE THE HILLTOP TOWNS IN EASTERN TUSCANY
Enjoy Autumn atmosphere in Eastern Tuscany, a less travelled part of the region and so much more fascinating because of it. You’ll find Medieval hilltop towns like renowned Cortona, Lucignano with its romance-inspiring ‘Tree of Love”, the mighty castle of Poppi, or picturesque Anghiari that – from 1st to 4th November 2018 – hosts the “Centogusti dell’Appennino” Food Festivals, where you can gorge yourself on all kinds of traditional specialities.
2 – FOLLOW THE SCENT OF CHESTNUTS
Marroni are an especially delicious variety of chestnut, that are eaten roasted, boiled or in various treats that are prepared with chestnut flour. To try some, head to the Chestnut Fair in Marradi (every week end in October) in the Mugello area, Caprese Michelangelo (20th-21st e 27th-28th Oct 2018), where Michelangelo Buonarroti was born, or Bagno Vignoni (1st November 2018).
On the slopes of Mount Amiata, Abbadia San Salvadore has a great Festa della Castagna (2nd and 3rd Sunday in October 2018) while Piancastagnaio boasts the most ancient of chestnut festivals, the “Crastatone” (31st October to 4th November 2018).
⇒ See more October events around Tuscany.
3 – WALK AMONGST OLIVE TREES
On the 28th October 2018 various small tows around Tuscany adhere to the National Olive Oil Day and organise hikes in the countryside to discover all the magical beauty of olive trees, one of Tuscany’s signature plants.
You can enjoy the landscape at a time of year when the farmers are getting ready for the olive harvest, and see how olive oil production has shaped this land. (Official site camminatatragliolivi.it). There are also agriturismi where you can take part in the harvest to fully experience the Tuscan countryside.
4 – HIKING IN THE CASENTINO NATIONAL PARK. THE BEST FALL FOLIAGE VIEWING IN TUSCANY
Feel the magic of fall foliage in the Foreste Casentinesi National Park where the Apennines, which are covered in thick beech and chestnut trees woods, take on all the colours of autumn and the scents of the mushrooms growing in the undergrowth. Different trails lead the explorers through a world of silence and unspoiled nature. This surely has to be one of the best things to do in Autumn in Tuscany. For information and itineraries see the official site.
5 – GO TRUFFLE HUNTING
If you love the pungent flavour of truffles you can join a truffle hunting expedition and get your hands dirty, or more simply join one of the Truffle Festivals that takes place in November in various locations around Tuscany. The famous Volterra Gusto (27th -28th October and 1st-4th November 2018) in the lovely town of Volterra, or the Truffle Festivals in San Miniato (last three weekends in November 2018) and San Giovanni d’Asso (10th-11th and 17th-18th November 2018, official site).
6 – SPEND SOME TIME IN WELCOMING LUCCA
Lucca in autumn is a special sight. The massive walls that surround the historic centre form a 4 km round route with trees that take on all the yellow hues of fall. Bring your camera and you’ll find plenty of angles to capture the charm of this town.
Visiting Lucca out of season means that you can really feel like a local, brush up your Italian and practice by ordering some buccellato, the local sweet treat at one of the traditional pasticcerie. For more food experience, see the dates of ‘Lucca al Desco Festival‘ that takes place in the beautiful Real Collegio – 30th November, 1st-2nd December and 7th-8th-9th December 2018).
7 – PHOTOGRAPHING THE CHIANTI REGION
The mellow expanses of orangey-yellow vineyards in the Chianti region make for wonderful photos. Driving around in the early morning with the soft fogs embracing the hills, or in late afternoon when the light caresses the vineyards, offers a wealth of photo opportunities.
For another kind of active experience, don’t forget that the Ecomaratona del Chianti is on (19th-21st Ocrober 2018), full of different trails that allow you to enjoy the countryside while getting fit.
♥ See the best places to visit in the Chianti region.
8 – TAKE A RELAXING BATH AT SATURNIA HOT SPRINGS
Many visit the Saturnia natural spa in the Summer, but we definitely prefer the idea of a 37 degree warm bath when the temperature outside is cooler. Out of season there are fewer people, and this is a great way to relax in the sulphuric water (don’t worry about the smell, you’ll get used to it!) of the Cascate del Mulino where people have been soaking their bones since Roman time. It’s totally free too.
There are other options of course, at one of the many excellent spa resorts that dot this area of southern Tuscany. Whichever option you choose, these waters and the peaceful scenery are sure to relax your body and still your mind.
9 – GET SPIRITUAL
Autumn can be a meditative season, so If what you’re looking for is some spiritual inspiration, visit the Franciscan monasteries of Le Celle near Cortona or La Verna, an enchanting sanctuary immersed in the scenic woods of the Appennines.
10 – TASTE THE NEW OIL
November is the month of the olive harvest, when farmers spread their huge nets at the base of the olive trees and pick their precious fruits. Picked olives are immediately taken to the frantoio (olive mill) for pressing and the result is one of Tuscany’s most prized products. The new olive oil is intense, green and spicy.
Various events are dedicated in November to the new olive oil, from tastings to visits to the mills. See the ones in Montemurlo, near Prato, on 11th and 18th November 2018, or San Quirico d’Orcia (5th – 8th December 2018) and Trequanda (21st October 2018) in the province of Siena.
⇒ Find out What to Wear in Tuscany in Autumn.
⇒ If you’re in Tuscany for Halloween and if you want to get into the spirit, have a look at how we celebrate here. In Italy the 1st November is a public holiday: Ognissanti (All Saints’ Day) and the 2nd Novemebr is known as ‘Giorno dei morti’ (All Soul’s day).