If you are thinking about visiting Italy, and in particular Abruzzo, in Autumn, we can confirm it’s a great idea: September, October and November offer fabulous opportunities to discover the region for several reasons.
First all of, the weather.
The summer heat has disappeared, making way for some of the loveliest days you could experience all year long. You will fill a refreshing chill in the air, especially during the night: in Rome, for example, temperatures begin to drop around the beginning of October until mid-November, providing pleasant days, perfect for sightseeing.
Abruzzo has pretty much the same weather. In the first part of the season, you could easily be able to enjoy some time at the beach.
Then, the colors.
Nature probably shows its best colors and panoramas during fall. Trees turn gold, orange, and red, leaves begin to fall, and you could spot the first snow on the mountains peaks or even catch the start of ski season.
Finally, the lower prices (and smaller crowds).
Italy as you might know is a popular destination all year round, but the high season is still considered summer and Christmas. If you plan a visit during autumn, you can take advantage of cheaper flights, lower accomodation prices and smaller crowds. This is true especially if you travel off-the-beaten-path areas (here you can find some tips for Central Southern Italy).
If these reasons are relevant for the whole country, let’s now dig into what you can specifically experience in Abruzzo.
- Grape harvest
Just to give you an idea of how an Abruzzese feels about the local wine (and with local we mean, in most cases, his wine), consider that it’s not uncommon, at the end of the summer season, to drink it together with gassosa (a type of soda): this way it simply lasts longer! And it makes the wait for the grape harvest (vendemmia, in Italian) and the new wine (vino novello) a bit softer.
Some wineries allow visitors to help picking grapes and visit the winery while it transforms them to wine. We organize a specific tour to let you experience this slice of traditional culture with the entire family.
- Olive harvest
We also have a tour that covers another typical activity of the season: olive harvest. From mid-October (although this can vary) you could spend the day among the groves and pick olives, visit the mills to see the pressing process so that you can bring at home your own extra – virgin olive oil.
- Truffle hunting
Many people don’t know that Abruzzo is one of the leading suppliers of Italian truffles. As the territory offers a great variety of products, truffle hunters are busy almost all year around, including autumn. This can be a great adventure that will take you across beautiful landscapes, while witnessing the power of a dog’s nose and eventually eating the best foods at the end of it. If you would like to see how it works, start taking a look at this tour and get in touch with us!
- Mushroom peaking
You could also have fun looking for wild mushrooms. In most areas, however, you need a special license to gather them, so the best solution is probably to team up with a local guide.
- Foliage spotting
Abruzzo is the perfect place to admire the fall foliage. Imagine walking through mountains, hills and reaching the seaside while watching the magical chromatic changes that occur during the season…
During autumn, there is a another very authentic way to discover Abruzzo: they are called sagre, or festivals celebrating local foods or wines.
In particular, you can’t miss one of the many Olio nuovo and Vino novello (new olive oil and wine) food festivals. We would like to mention a few of them, such as:
- “Castrum diVino” (Casalbordino, first weekend of November)
- “Polu Uthar – Memorie e sapori contadini” (Pollutri, last weekend of November)
- “Sagra del Tacchino alla Neretese, delle caldarroste e del vino novello” (Nereto, second weekend of November)
- “Le Candin’Apérte” (San Valentino in Abruzzo Citeriore, third weekend of November)
The local production of oil and wine is also celebrated within the four walls. Friends and relatives get together to taste the oil on toasted bread in front of the fireplace, drinking wine and eating chestnuts.
It’s common to take a seat around more than one table, as every family has its own oil to show off. It’s also a way to celebrate the results of a tiring activity that, in most cases, lasts for many days and involves many family members, including kids. Just to give you an idea of how important the olive harvest is, consider that taking time off work to support the family is not unusual at all!
If you go to the local market during Autumn, you might hear everyone talking about the year, especially for the oil production, wondering what’s the output: for example, if someone says “lu quinnc”, it means that 100 kg of olives have turned into 15lt of oil. This might change depending the location and climate to 10, 12, 20, and so on.
Another important event of the season is called “Rassegna dei Cuochi” and takes place in Villa Santa Maria during the second weekend of October since 1977. This little town is known for a long tradition of great chefs (cuochi means chefs in Italian) and for its Hotel Institute, also known as the “School of Chefs”.
On the sweet side of these festivals, you can’t miss “Regina di miele”, the most important Abruzzese event dedicated to honey and apiculture. It is organized in Tornareccio in the second half of September.
Finally, our base Vasto hosts its own Patron Saint’s Festival (San Michele Arcangelo) on September 29, which is a great occasion to join religious, food and music events during a deeply felt three-days-celebration, that ends with a fireworks show with the Adriatic sea on the background.
These are only some of the great reasons to organize your holidays to Italy in October and take the chance to discover Abruzzo. If you want to do it as a local, we can help you plan your trip by sharing our knowledge and passion for our region. Simply contact us, we will take care of the rest!