Summer is over, officially! But don’t be sad, as Autumn in October is still lively.
Temperature has dropped and the weather is cooler. But for the ocean lovers, although it is now too cold to swim, it is still warm enough to lay on the beach for a sunny afternoon; for those are gelato addicted, it is still fine to have one or two per week; for those who likes wearing shorts and dresses, it is still hot enough during the day to show off your tanned skins, and by adding an extra layer of jacket, you transfer the summer dresses into an autumn outfit. It is cooler now, and it is cool!
With all that said, Autumn in the month of October gives me the highest expectations for weekends. I always plan in mind how should I pass the up-coming weekend in this golden season that full of food festivals, foliage, and good companies.
Tour with view and wine in Montepulciano
Locating in the south Tuscany, Montepulciano, together with the other middle-sized towns in the Valdichiana senese, is the most enchanted part in the region.
Besides the classic rolling hills that bedded by vineyards and olive trees, which is used by the whole region as a trump card to attract tourists, Montepulciano and the other Sienese towns around also have many local flavors to offer: pici pasta, chianina meat, pecorino cheese, and, not to be forgotten, Vino Nobile!
Vino Nobile is the first Italian wine that is labeled DOCG on the bottle. It requires minimum 70% Sangiovese grape (locally known as Prugnolo gentile), and aging for 2 years. Coming to the vineyard for a Vino Nobile tasting, with the enchanted grape fields in front, helps to forget (temporarily) the problems at work.
La Braccesca vineyard locates in the boarder of Tuscany and Umbria, where three provinces (Siena, Arezzo, Perugia) meet. This geographic position provides an unique micro-climate to the land, so that to construct their wine in a characteristic way.
If you are a pici lover like me, do get your hands dirty by joining a pici class in the cantina La Braccesca. It is not one of those “cooking class”, where you go into the kitchen and watch the cook making everything. Instead you really have the opportunity to put on an apron, mix the flour and water together with bare hands, and roll up each string yourself.
Roll up some pici pasta over a glass of vino nobile is for sure a no-regret choice.
Cantina La Braccesca:
More themed tours in Montepulciano:
A chestnuts themed feast in Lunigiana
October is the month for celebrating harvest in Tuscany. Many kinds of seasonal food are taken down from where they grow, and then put into our stomach. One of them being the chestnuts.
I went on a trip to Lunigiana, north Tuscany, and was lucky to experience a chestnut themed tour by Montagna Verde in the ancient village Apella.
Montagna Verde, owned by the Maffei family, has been efforting in pursuing sustainable tourism and organic agriculture, as well protecting the village of Apella, since 1995. Nowadays run by Barbara Maffei and her brother Luca Maffei, Montagna Verde has successfully turned this aged village into an agriturismo. Besides, they keep working hard on maintaining the surrounding agricultural landscape, running the biopark and fattoria, offering km0 food in their restaurant.
One of their best quality products is the chestnuts, so as the chestnut flour and chestnut flower honey. I was lucky to taste a table of local cuisine made of chestnuts (somehow).
Chestnuts wrapped with lardo (a type of salumi made by cured fatback), and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Other appetizers including pickled chestnuts; tagliatelle made of chestnut flour
More information for the agricultural tourism experience by Montagna Verde:
Gathering with friends in a Tuscany farm house
Good company matters, especially in weekend gathering. Have some friends over, or find a farm house in the countryside where caters guests; eat outdoor under the Tuscan sun, or next to a fireplace during a rainy day… such cozy and casual celebration makes a simple weekend lovely and memorable.
EaTravel, founded by Maria and Tania, organizes creative gatherings and events. I’ve been to their gatherings in the countryside twice and every time I ended up full with food in my tummy, satisfactions, and photos in my camera. The two girls are very good in creating the vibes. By adding simple decorations, they manage to turn the table into a place, where you do not want to leave!
And if you can’t join their events, simply DIY at home by taking out some of your favorite places, adding candles and flowers to the table. It is gonna be an unforgettable occasion for both you and your guests.
Details of more events by EaTravel:
Wish everyone of you a memorable October. And happy Autumn days!