Monday, September 14, 2015

Harvest in Tuscany: Fall Festivals and Florentine Flavors

In the Tuscan countryside just outside of Florence, autumn falls over the landscape each October like a colorful quilt. As the grapevines yield their bounty, leaves turn from green to gold, from gold to garnet. Indeed, the rich reds of Italys autumn leaves evoke the color of Chianti produced by nearby vineyards, and the verdant greens hint at the color of the olio nuovo being pressed from the just-picked olives. When you are lookingfor Florence Italy apartments, be sure to find one that is free during the stunningly beautiful harvest season in Tuscany.

Tuscanys Fall Festivals

Autumn celebrations in and around Florence are especially magical with the approach of the holiday season. City streets are strung with little white lights, tiny reminders of the warm fires which will soon glow in the hearths of village homes. The sound of gunfire echoes through misty forest valleys as hunters go in search of wild boar, the star ingredient in pappardelle al cinghiale, a quintessential Tuscan dish of long flat noodles topped with a hearty meat ragout.

In Florence and its surrounding villages, fall festivals are the ideal gathering place for people who appreciate good food, wine and art. Most festivals feature a delicious medley of all three, with autumns figs and mushrooms replacing summers apricots and tomatoes. Town squares are enlivened by food stalls and vendors of handmade items like jewelry to warm hearts, and textiles to warm hands and heads during the cold-weather months ahead. It is the perfect time to shop for the luxuriously soft lightweight merino wool goods, such as scarves, sweaters and vests which are dyed myriad jewel-tone colors and make wonderful gifts for the upcoming holidays.

Florences Fall Flavors

Tuscanys fall flavors reveal the ongoing productivity of the earth, long past the spring and summer bounty. In Florence and nearby Tuscan towns, there are festivals highlighting chestnuts, truffles and the new olive oil, typically pressed during October. Truffles, in particular, have the power to draw foodies and tourists with their earthy aroma. They cannot be planted, but rather develop undetected at the roots of oak trees, where they are eventually detected by trained dogs and pigs. Because they are an elusive treasure, with a price tag to match, a little essence of truffle can powerfully flavor oils and cheeses.

One of the best ways to learn the true flavors of fall in Florence is to visit a gelato shop (do not skip the gelato just because summer is over!). The best gelaterias will offer intensely delicious flavors during the cooler months, such as apple, pear and persimmon. If fruit is not your favorite, sample some of the more exotic choices such as chestnut, pine nut, cinnamon or ricotta. Of course, buy some extra to keep at home in your longterm apartment rentals in Florence Italy.

The gold, green and maroon fields of the landscape surrounding Florence are not to be missed during Italys harvest season.

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