Fall in Tuscany means enjoying the products that nature gives us, and here this season it translates into truffles, extra virgin olive oil and chestnuts!
This literally transforms into “food festivals” or as they are called in Italian, sagre, every weekend where one or all of the season’s products are highlighted, savored and sold. There are also international markets or fairs, called “mostre mercato” dedicated to the main product in the area, principally truffles. If you’re coming to Tuscany this season, make note of some of the top places where to head to and when, so that you can enjoy a gourmet meal at very accessible prices.
Chestnuts in Tuscany are very important and grow in specific areas, such as the upper Mugello, the Garfagnana, Casentino and Amiata. There are many sagre in these areas – make sure to check our October and November events pages to find a more detailed list while below I’ve selected to highlight some of the main festivals/markets/exhibitions that are of interest.
Then there are truffles… there are many events on every weekend in October dedicated to truffles where you can taste and buy all sort of products flavored with truffles. Make sure to read our guide on white and black truffles to know what the distinction is!
Marradi Chestnut Festival
October 6, 13, 20, 27 – Marradi, Mugello
One of the most important festivals in the region for celebrating all the flavors of the “marroni di Marradi”, with food stands offering favorites such as tortelli di marroni (chestnut stuff pasta), torta di marroni (chestnut cake), castagnaccio, jams and marmalades with chestnuts, marrons glacés, i bruciati or caldarroste (roasted chestnuts). You can even reach Marradi on a steam engine on October 20 leaving from Pistoia, which stops in Prato and Florence before arriving at Marradi. We did this several years ago and really enjoyed the experience. If you’re interesting in booking the steam engine, check out this page for details.
Market/Fair of White Truffles
October 5-6, all day – Corazzano, near San Miniato
Sagra del Tartufo Bianco e del Fungo di Balconevisi
October 19 – 20, from 8pm – Balconevisi, San Miniato. This one is dedicated to white truffles as well as mushrooms in general.
Sagra del Tartufo
October 26-27 at Ponte a Egola, from 8pm
VolterraGusto: Truffles and Gifts from Nature
22nd edition of the market/Exhibition of White Truffle and Local Products
October 26-27 and November 1-3, from 10am to 8pm – Volterra. Gourmet products, from truffles to cheeses to cold cuts, from wines to sweets, chocolate and much more. Will include demonstrations of how truffles are born and how to find them together with local truffle hunters, shows by the flag-throwers and the historical costume group, a cycling race in the vineyard-covered hills nearby. More the complete program, check out www.volterragusto.com
October 20, 26, 27 – Montaione
This is a market fair dedicated to truffles and local products of the area. October 20th and 26th are “previews”, with limited events outside town and in the area — the actual day of the truffles “festa” is on Sunday, October 27th!
Rassegna dell’Olio extravergine di Oliva di Reggello
October 31 – November 3 – Reggello (Florence)
Opening on the 31st of October, the fair-exhibition dedicated to area’s new extra-virgin Olive Oil for the season will take place over the first weekend in November, from 10am to 9pm every day from Friday through Sunday. It will be a showcase of the area’s olive oil, with tastings, tours and other events. The olive tree, which is the fundamental crop of this area, is a characterising element of the territory, and profoundly marks its landscape.
National Exhibition/Market San Miniato White Truffle
November 9-10, 16-17, and 23-24 – The center of San Miniato Alto turns into the biggest Italian open-air market with tastings, workshops and more. Gourmets and tourist alike meet to appreciate the excellent products in food and wine. For more details, check out the official site http://www.sanminiatopromozione.it/tartufo-bianco
Exhibition/Market of the White Truffle of the Crete Senesi
November 9-10 and 16-17 – San Giovanni d’Asso. In addition to the San Miniato truffles, the area of the Crete Senesi is the second area in Tuscany well known for truffles. How about trying your hand at hunting truffles with a master hunter? You’ll head out for 2 hours and learn the basics of how truffles are hunted. For just €15, book your spot online here.
You can also reach the market on a steam train, departing from Siena at 8.50am, return by 6pm back in Siena. More details on the steam train here.
There are lots of events connected to the international fair in San Giovanni, check out the official site for more details.
Happy fall, tasting the many flavors of the region as you visit Tuscany!
About Lourdes Flores
An American living in Florence for over 10 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this blog and website, particularly offering lots of travel planning help on the Forum!