Roasted, sugared, salted, baked, pureed, on pizzas, in polenta, in pasta, in sausages, and rolled in pork; these are just some of the ways that Tuscany will be offering visitors Chestnuts during the harvest month of October. So, no matter what your preference is, there will be something for you to enjoy!
From the hills near Florence to the sides of Mount Amiata, the Chestnut harvest begins in October and in the most prolific growing areas, it continues on until January!
Such is the importance of the Chestnut in certain areas of Tuscany they have introduced the "Chestnut Trail" to rival the Chianti areas wine trails. There are 6 trails of differing length and difficulty all of which take you through the Chestnut groves and allow you to experience the beautiful scenery of the area.
THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHESTNUT FESTIVAL
Cortona is a beautiful city made famous in the novels "Under the Tuscan Sun" and "Bella Tuscany" by the author Frances Mayes and was the setting for the 2003 film of Under the Tuscan Sun. On 18th October the city is the setting for the Festival of the Grape and the Celebration of the Chestnut Festival where many culinary delights will be available for you to taste and of course you can wash them down with some of the locally produced wines. Frances Mayes is still a resident of the area and you may even manage to spot her amongst the visitors to the Festival!
There are 3 To Tuscany properties a short drive from the Festival:
Rocca di Pierle is 15km from Cortona and is opposite the ruined Pierle Castle whose history is all linked with Cortona; there are three apartments for rent sleeping between 2-4 people. Rocca di Pierle can also be rented as a whole villa sleeping up to 14 people. Breakfasts are also able to be provided at this property.
Only 8km away is the pretty villa Borgo Tra Gli Ulivi which can sleep up to 11 people. There are many things to do locally, including taking a train to Florence from the local station.
20km away is Poggio del Gallo. Another pretty villa with a fantastic outdoor eating area which includes an electric oven, barbeque and pizza oven. Sleeping up to 13 people in 3 self contained studios within the larger villa, this is the perfect place for a group of friends or family groups to gather together for a Tuscan holiday.
THE CULTURE OF THE CHESTNUT FESTIVAL
Arcidossa in the Grossetto area of the South of Tuscany is the setting for "The Culture of the Chestnut Festival" also in October and is a starting point for the Chestnut Trail mentioned above. Local restaurants offer a wide variety of dishes featuring Chestnuts during this time.
The hamlet of Poderone is located only 19km away from Arcidossa amongst the beautiful countryside of this area. There are 6 pretty apartments available for rent sleeping between 2-4 people.
Casa Cerralta is a wonderful villa located within the Val D'Orcia (a World Heritage Site). Its location ensures that you are able to take advantage of all the main sights of the Chianti region but that you can also venture further and enjoy the countryside. The villa can sleep up to 18 people and is just 36km from the Festival.
CHRISTIES ANTIQUE AUCTION:
The prestigious auction house packs up its famous auctioneers, valuers and experts during the month of October and on the third weekend of the month they will be holding an auction of antiques at the Castle of Uzzano in Greve in Chianti. In the week prior to the auction, all three floors of the Castle are open for browsing the items appearing in the auction - previous years have seen vintage Fiat 500's, musical instruments and rare vintage wines from local cellars. Tickets need to be pre-ordered to guarantee entry and catalogues are also available in advance. Telephone: (0039) 06-6863370
To Tuscany properties nearby include the hamlet of Casanuove di Sopra (3 apartments sleeping between 2-7 people) and the private villa and Casa Brogi which sleeps up to 10