Yes, autumn has arrived and that means it’s getting colder, but it’s also still sunny most of the time, so why not head out to one of Tuscany’s cute little hamlets and dig in! All the local specialties they have on offer are absolutely mouth-watering from chestnuts, to truffles and from new wine to old cheese. Get your culture shot while visiting the historic city centres and sneak into a church or museum or two while you’re at it. This month has five weekends so make sure you get your agenda and fill it up with tons of Tuscan delight!
Knight warmeth me up
Let’s start off with one of the must-see towns of Tuscany San Gimignano. Knights of Santa Fina will welcome you there this November ‘warming your hearts and hands ‘(swoon) when handing out roasted chestnuts and vino novo, or new wine, that’s been made out of the freshly harvested grapes. Your knight with shining wine bottle will be found in booths set up at the Loggia del Comune di Piazza del Duomo from morning until late afternoon, every Sunday of November. Cheers!
November is all about truffle hunting and San Miniato is the absolute number one when it comes to this sport. The San Miniato truffle sniffer dogs manage to dig up about 80 tons of truffles annually which makes up 25% of the national total annual harvest. We’re talking about the more precious type here, the white truffle, which will be celebrated during the annual fair in the pretty Tuscan town during the last three weekends of November. Looking for even more truffle fun? The Crete Senesi’s white truffles will be the main ingredient during the famous market fair of San Giovanni d’Asso for the coming weekends (8-9 and 15-16 November).
If you’re looking for traditionally Tuscan food don’t miss the Sagra del Cinghiale di Chianni. The Wild boar festival of Chianni has been held since 1976 and this year it’s on from November 6th to 9th and the weekend after that from 13th to 16th.
Get your oil checked at the olive oil festival in Montemurlo, Prato. Join one of the organized excursions, listen so some slick music and, of course, taste super fresh extra virgin olive oil. Heaven! The green gold is ready for your tasting from November 9 to 17.
Love cooking and/or eating? Then make sure you check out Il Desco 2014 in Lucca every weekend from November 15 to December 8. A highly caloric programme chockfull of events, tastings, culinary traditions, recipes, art and meetings to explore the foods and traditions of Lucca. Tip: Wear, loose comfortable clothes in order not to show the extra kilos.
More food and fun at the Festa di San Martino e dei Bringoli in Anghiari the 8th and 9th of November. This festival is especially famous for the local specialty, which is a sort of handmade spaghetti prepared with water and wheat and served with a mushrooms or tomato sauce called bringoli. Bring it on!
Sweet teeth unite in Pisa at the pastry-making and haute patisserie fair Dolcemente Pisa held on the 22nd and 23rd of November at the Stazione Leopolda. Think food workshops, patisserie lessons, competitions, tastings and guided tours around Pisa allowing you to bite a chunk off the Leaning Tower. This is a joke of course and we highly recommend you not to set your teeth in the tower as to do so would lead to serious dental damage.
More sweet sensations at the chocolate event in Vaiano called Cioccolato e Dintorni on the 15th of November and in Certaldo at the Chocolate Fair on November 15th and 16th. In Empoli you can try the best desserts from Tuscany at GiroGoloso on November 22nd and 23rd. Who cares about calories anyway?
Go and taste Tuscany at Tuscana Gustando in Montepulciano on the 8th and 9th of November where a culinary itinerary will guide you through the discovery of traditional local restaurants and wineries. Very tempting indeed. The fun doesn’t stop there since Montepulciano will also host the Festa del Cibo di Strada, the Street Food Festival, a culinary fair dedicated to street and fast food on the 15th and 16th of November. Authentic, genuine and simple dishes of local traditions and recipes are waiting to be savoured by you.
If you’ll be in Florence this month, don’t miss the Food and Wine Biennale running from November 10th to 30th. Twenty-one days of events, tastings and workshops in Florence!
Screw your diet and enjoy Tuscany at its best; through food!