From chestnuts to chocolate, Italy is the place to be in autumn for specialised food festivals, where celebrating the season's bounty takes to the streets.
Italy is a wonderful place to welcome in the autumn. From chestnuts and pumpkins to the prized white truffle of Alba it's a country with a wealth of autumnal produce that knows how to both appreciate and celebrate the season's bounty to the fullest.
From small regional 'sagre' to city-wide festivals, these are our pick of the most unmissable Italian autumn food fairs for a taste of Italy.
For a lively and typical celebration after the harvest head to the small picturesque hilltop village of Calosso for an authentic evening of wine and regional dishes paired with DOC and DOCG wines from the 25 local winemakers belonging to the Crota ‘d Calos Association.
If autmun says 'truffles' to you head to the internationally renowned Alba White Truffle World Market in Alba, which boasts the largest international exhibition of truffles coming from the Piedmontese hills. Quality is assured, as each truffle is checked by the specific "Quality Commission"and most are sold by the truffle hunter who found them. Also on offer are world class Piedmont wines and local delicacies like hazelnuts and cheeses.
3. Festa della Zucca, Mantova8 September to 8 December, 2016
Not only can uou enjoy the pumpkin in a thousand different ways, but you can discover exhibitions with the many colours of pumpkins, and participate in many activities such as cooking classes, vegetable carving lessons, festivals, and farmers markets. In the days of the pumpkin you can also buy directly from producers and learn the secrets to recognise a good pumpkin.
Olive oil is one of Italy's prized delicacies and no more so than in Umbria. This is a fair where you get the chance to go direct to the producers and see inside the process, and undoubtedly stock up on your new found favourites, as well as meandering through the olive groves from where your oil originated.
Get your chestnut fix at this unique fair showcasing the ancient traditions of the province of Cuneo. Visitors can experience the best of local foods from their delicious aromas to tastings. Hundreds of carefully selected exhibitors fill the historic centre of Cuneo for three days, allowing you to taste the best products of Italy and Europe.
The home of Perugina Baci is a fitting location for the annual celebration of everything chocolate, which claims to be the largest in Europe, welcoming nearly a million visitors to events across the city. Don't miss out on the spectuacular market place with over 6,000 chocolate products expected to be on sale.
Eurochocolate offers a variety of activities, including chocolate art displays, experimental chocolate tastings, street performances, and chocolate sculpting. In recent years, an igloo has been constructed out of 3,600 kilograms of chocolate bricks.