I love Maremma in September, but how I adore Maremma in October.
The first few days of October are blissfully hot - too hot sometimes (so for the more delicate skinned of you, you will still need your sunscreen even if the locals that bother to use such a thing have long since put theirs away for the year) - with poolside temperatures that just call out for you to take a dip.
The grapes are all but harvested and the leaves on the vines are just beginning to change colour: green one day and autumnal reds and browns the next.
The winemakers are busy in their "cantine" - cellars - crushing their grapes and singing: the perfume that emanates form the crush is intoxicating and would make even the most hardened of folk break into song! But we are in Maremma and wine making is a time of rejoicing. No one is glum.
Neighbours in the know on the good hunting grounds, are already out with their baskets foraging in the chestnut woods for porcini mushrooms.
And it is white truffle time too... Oh, how Maremma food comes into its own in the autumn :)
As the month progresses, it becomes the turn of the olive to take centre stage and the arm-breaking harvest by hand will begin. Some early varieties have already been picked and cold-pressed at the local "frantoio", and word gets out where. For tasting the "olio nuovo" is one of life's greatest joys.
Whether it be poured from a bottle of your own oil, one that a neighbour has given you as a gift, or from one that you purchase down the road, the first taste of the golden green elixir when the flavour explodes in your mouth, lights-up faces with smiles like cats smitten with a saucer of cream.
And soon, very soon, the new wine of the year - light and jolly - will be uncorked and glasses filled in the company of friends, if not the whole village :)
Oh, how I love the autumn in Maremma: rural Tuscany at its very best.
The colour of Maremma in October... And we eat these too!
What to do in Maremma in October?
Maremma in October is visiting a Morellino di Scansano winery in blazing sunshine. Walking through its gardens being told the sad love story of the Marquis who originally owned it. Picking unusual fruits from the trees and munching them as you walk and talk. Smelling an exotic and oh so wonderfully sweet perfume in the air of an exotic tree in bloom. Touching the thick bark of an ancient oak and then hearing in the distance joyful singing as you approach the wine cellar.
Being told that it is coming from two of the wineries workers who are crushing the grapes, and that they have probably been sipping too much of the black liquid - only joking they say ;) - rather "allegra" from the intoxicating scent that emanates form the production room. Walking down to laugh with them as they clear away the grape skins. And tasting the wines, of course!
And then taking the short trip up the hill to the walled hill town of Montemerano - that has to its name the award of one of the most beautiful towns in Italy - and having it all to yourself. So much so, that taking photographs of its Piazza di Castello - one of the most photographed squares in Tuscany - with no one in it isn't difficult at all. As well as its tiny, passable only on foot, medieval side streets.
If you happen to visit at the very end of the month - or even on the 1 November - you will get to see this lovely Maremma hill town in all together another light than every day rural and oh so tranquil living.
For its inhabitants, especially its children will all be in costume, and its streets lined with witches food and magic potions!
The Festa delle Streghe - the Witches' Festival - starts at 19:30 on the evening of 31 October in the shadows between the lamps... spooky :)
Magic fire and live music from wizards and demons, and in the Piazza del Castello that I mentioned "surreal" rock with a famous Tuscan DJ.
The night of 1 November 2014 follows suit with even more spooky goings on: opening at 19:30 with a "Parata della Paura" - a Parade of Fear! and an acrobatic and magic fire show, sorceress DJ and singers. Culminating in a "Danza delle Streghe" - Dance of the Witches - show.
Going? Sophia and I am!
You will find all of the events in Maremma in October in this page.
Explore some more...