Autumn is a beautiful season in Tuscia. The colours of the countryside turn to warm red and bright yellow and the leaves on the trees make the ancient buildings in Viterbo and in the nearby villages stand out on the backdrop of an amazing display of different shades of orange.
Autumn is also a very generous season in this part of Italy. Many are the local products that can be enjoyed at this time of the year: mushrooms, wine, cheese…the list could be easily endless, however a mention of honour goes to the local chestnuts.
Famous since ancient times – when they were considered as the “bread of the poor” for representing a valid alternative to the most common and sometimes expensive cereals – chestnuts firstly appeared in Tuscia around the 16th century: farmed in the villages close to the Cimini Mountains, these edible nuts used to be traded in exchange for other types of food. Over time, the role of this fruit became more and more important and nowadays the local production represents almost the 10% of the national one. The most popular varieties are the Marrone dei Monti Cimini and the Marrone di Latera.
Many events to celebrate the fruit of the season
Many are the Sagra della Castagna (chestnut festival) that take place every year all over Tuscia, from the end of September until mid-November. Six different villages, six different ways of celebrating this amazing local product. Soriano nel Cimino, Caprarola, Vallerano, San Martino al Cimino, Canepina and Latera: each one of these villages – all nestled on the Cimini Mountains – organizes its own festival. The local chestnut is served both roasted – as a delicious street food – and as the main ingredient of the food on offer, prepared according to traditional recipes.
These festivals also represent an excellent excuse for locals and tourists alike to explore and discover the pretty mountain villages of the Tuscia area, without the hassle of the Summer crowds. Numerous people are expected this year though, as a couple of festivals are reaching important goals: the one taking place in Soriano nel Cimino celebrates its 50th edition whereas the one in San Martino al Cimino celebrates its 30th.
Mark Autumn as the ideal season to come and visit the Tuscia area: mild temperatures and delicious food on offer. If you cannot make it this year, we can guarantee that the chestnut festivals will be just as impressive next year!