Autumn is a colourful, atmospheric season in Tuscany. And a very good time to delve into its gastronomic traditions. All the Autumn flavours explode around the region, with Autumn Food Festivals where October and November fruits – like chestnuts, mushrooms, truffles and new olive oil– are celebrated in style.
Autumn food festivals in Tuscany are a great way to delve into all the flavours and scents of this tasty season!
Autumn Food Festivals in Tuscany
Chestnut Festivals in October
Various towns around Tuscany celebrate the tasty local chestnuts, also known as “marroni“, with their deliciously sweet and crunchy pulp. If you attend a chestnut festival you can expect to try them in all sort of forms; roasted, as marron glacè, in ravioli or as chestnut flour that goes into cakes. Plus various seasonal local products like mushrooms.
Best areas for chestnuts are: the Mugello – Palazzuolo sul Senio and Marradi host a chestnut festival every Sunday in October, where you can also taste various seasonal dishes – and Mount Amiata, which boasts the oldest festival of all, the “Crastatone” at the very end of October.
Another favourite October destinations for foodies is the small hamlet of Caprese Michelangelo. On the occasion of the “Festa della castagna” visitors have the chance to taste roasted chestnuts, jam, sweet polenta made with chestnut flour, and the typical ‘baldino‘ – a flat cake made with chestnut flour, walnuts and rosemary.
=> Find all the Chestnut Festivals in Tuscany.
Truffle Festivals in November
The highlights of Autumn food festivals in Tuscany. Various Truffle Festivals takes place in November in various locations around Tuscany. On of the most famous ones is held in San Miniato (three weekends in November starting from the second weekend), the hilltop town near Florence celebrates its prised white truffle in great style.
San Giovanni d’Asso hosts a Truffle Festival on the second and third weekend in November, (official site). In this pretty small town of the Crete Senesi you can visit the Truffle Museum too.
The small hamlet of Palaia (near San Miniato) organises a White Truffle, Chestnut and New Wine festival on the last Sunday of October.
If you love the intense flavour of truffles you can join a private truffle hunting expedition and get your hands dirty. A local guide and his dog will lead the search for this prized delicacy, and after the hunt you’ll be able to taste your pickings!
VOLTERRAGUSTO, truffles and much more
One of the ‘classics’ of Tuscan food festivals, ‘Volterragusto’ in Medieval Volterra represents the best of local food and traditions. With a rich program of events (shows, wine and food tastings, workshops for adults and kids). The star of the show is the White Truffle, with tastings and where you can buy some of this excellent product.
This is a perfect opportunity to discover all the highlights of Volterra and immerse yourself in its local traditions, like the Palio dei Caci, a cheese rolling competition in the steep streets of the historic centre. Usually on the last weekend of October- first weekend of November (21st-22nd and 28th-31rd October, 1st November 2023).
Lucca and the Garfagnana (Nov-Dec)
For more Autumn food festivals and experiences, see the program of ‘Lucca al Desco Festival‘ that takes place in the beautiful Real Collegio in the town of Lucca (usually on the last weekend of November). Local producers showcasse their products and share culinary ideas (official site)
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana hosts ‘Tutti i sapori della Garfagnana’ dedicated to street food Garfagnana-style: local specialities like pitonca (similar to polenta), frittelle e cagio, dishes made with chestnuts like mondine, necci and ricotta cheese, local bread and biroldo blood sausage (usually second weekend of November).
Sweet tooth? Head to the hilltop town of Barga, one of the highlights of the Garfagnana region on the second weekend of December (from 8th to 10th December 2023) for a Festival entirely dedicated to Chocolate.
Pisa, “Terre di Pisa Food & Wine” (October)
This festival in Pisa that has reached its 10th edition, aims at promoting the ‘eat local’ philosophy, genuine, good food produced just around the corner. It’s on mid-October (facebook page) with cooking shows, workshops, talks, and plenty of tasting opportunities including an ‘olive oil bar’.
“Centogusti dell’Appennino” in Anghiari (last few days of October – this year from 28th October to 1st November 2023). All the flavours of the Apennines can be found in this popular food festival in the hilltop town of Anghiari, famous for its artisan traditions. The festival is an opportunity to discover local producers that sell their products from pecorino cheese to chocolate, salumi and sweets.
Olive oil Festivals – November
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 (usually on the 3rd Sunday in November), or San Quirico d’Orcia (beginning of December) and Trequanda (usually end of October) in the province of Siena.
Every year, Reggello near Florence hosts an important olive oil festival the first weekend of November.
BOCCACCESCA, CERTALDO – first half of October 2023
Every year in October, the charming hilltop town of Certaldo dedicates three days to food and wine in the name of its most famous son, the Medieval poet Giovanni Boccaccio. The scenic town is filled with food stalls from Tuscany and every corner of Italy, cooking shows, live music, artisanal products and wine tastings. Experience all the tasty surprises in a delightful Medieval setting.
Last update: September 2023