Fall is a great time to enjoy the many seasonal harvest festivals that take place throughout Tuscany which celebrate the rich tradition of food and wine.
1 – GREVE: CHIANTI CLASSICO WINE FESTIVAL
This enticing wine festival is held every year in the city of Greve, in the Chianti area, on the second weekend of September. All you need to do is buy a wine glass from the Cassa (cashier) booth (in the range of €10 euros) that allows you to taste up to eight of the wines offered at the stands. In addition to the wine tasting, a variety of events is offered during the four days. [http://www.greve-in-chianti.com/en/2010_wine_festival.htm]
2 – IMPRUNETA: GRAPE FESTIVAL
The Grape Festival is held on last Sunday of September in Impruneta, a nice village in the hills above Florence. It started in 1926 and consists of allegorical carts, built by the four districts of Impruneta, to celebrate the harvest and the grape. During the day of the festival, popular dances, performances, tasting of agricultural products and shows of the local handicraft products are held. It is still a very authentic event and you will enjoy the enthusiastic participation of the folks of Impruneta. [http://www.lafestadelluva.it/?page_id=1603}
3 – SAN MINIATO: THE TRUFFLE FESTIVAL
Every year the town San Miniato, located halfway between Pisa and Florence, celebrates the National Festival of the White Truffle. The protagonist is the extraordinarily perfumed white truffle of San Miniato, together with many other local specialties including wines, extra virgin olive oil, pecorino cheese, honey, hams, salamis, chocolate, bread, focaccia, pickles, preserves, cakes and many other regional and seasonal specialties. On the last 3 consecutive Saturdays and Sundays of November every year you can taste and buy fresh white truffle and browse through the stands discovering innumerable truffle-based products like truffle oil, pastes and sauces, truffle salt and other preserves. It’s also worth it visiting San Miniato and its surroundings, rich in artistic and natural heritage. [www.san-miniato.com]
4 – FIRENZE: THE RIFICOLONA
This annual festival takes place on September 7. The Rificolone, colorful candle-lit paper lanterns , are made for a procession through the streets of Florence ending in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. The origins of this festival date back centuries when an important market fair used be held in the piazza for the Festa della Madonna on September 8. Over time, the lanterns have become objects for display in their own right. A competition is now held for the most original one and workshops are run in the week before the festival, during which children can make their own rificolona. [www.turismo.intoscana.it/site/en/activities/The-Rificolona-Festival-in-Florence]
5 – MONTEMURLO: EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL FESTIVAL
From 14-22 November 2015 in Montemurlo (Prato), a small medieval village about 30 kilometers from Florence. It celebrates the olive harvest on the second weekend of November. Here you can enjoy good music, join organized excursions and taste fresh extra virgin olive oil and other typical, fresh Tuscan products. [www.festadelloliomontemurlo.it]
Photos by Giorgio Montersino, Michela Simoncini, Tuscany Events, and I love Montespertoli under Creative Commons.