If you are not fond of hot days and you love the beautiful mild sunny days, when the sun gently caresses your skin and senses, inviting you to spend time in the open air, why don’t you take the chance of a holiday in Marche in Autumn?
Here are 9 reasons to go to Marche in Autumn.
1. The Scent of the Grape Harvest
Especially in the first part of autumn, the scents of the grape harvest invade the Marche hills. With must they make the typical, soft donuts that you can find in many local bakeries, must biscuits, perfect to be served with “vino cotto” (literally “cooked wine”) and “sughetti” (a kind of polenta made of must, corn flour and walnuts).
When the must is cooked for a long time, sapa is produced: it is a sweet and sticky ingredient perfect for seasoning polenta and making cavallucci (a typical local biscuit).
In Montecassiano the festival of sughitti is held during the last week of September.
The oldest Sagra dell’Uva (wine festival) in Italy is held in Cupramontana at the beginning of October: it’s a festival with food, music, dances and, of course, Sir Wine.
2. Olive Harvest & Olive Oil
One of the most magical moments in Marche, and in Italy in general, happens at the end of October / beginning of November: this is the month of the olive harvest, when you will see many people working around the olive trees to pick the precious fruit. Do not hesitate: the new oil, with its intense green color, is immediately ready to be tasted and purchased.
If you have friends who have a farmhouse in the countryside with olive grove, ask them to invite you for the harvest: it will be a beautiful moment to share with your friends and then you can bring the olives to the mill and attend to the production of your own olive oil.
3. The Foliage of Canfaito Beech Forest
If you want to make an experience of colours, then you can’t miss the Canfaito beech forest: every year you can enjoy the same and always different show of the beech leaves changing colours. You’ll feel like under a golden dome made of yellow, orange and red leaves.
Just enjoy a relaxing walk under the beech trees and don’t forget to stop by Elcito, a tiny untouched village, where you can breathe an atmosphere of old times, when shepherds woke up at dawn, spent the whole day out with their animals, longing to go back home and find some warmth in front of the fireplace with their families.
4. Medieval Villages
Visiting the numerous Medieval villages spotted all around Marche may be quite a challenge under the August sun, but doing it in Autumn, when the air is still warm and sun lights up the stones that make up the town walls, has a totally different appeal.
Stroll through the narrow streets of the Marchigiano towns, where a beautiful panorama awaits you at every corner. Difficult to recommend a village: just switch off your satellite navigator, follow a less traveled road and certainly you will find a quiet and nice village waiting to welcome you.
5. Chestnut Festivals
The good and sweet smell of roasted chestnuts is one of the nicest in autumn. You can go yourself to look for chestunts and then cook them at your place or, if you are not sporty enough, there are many chestnut festivals in October, especially in the Sibillini area, where people roast chestunts along the roads and you can buy a cone.
The most famous chestnut festivals in Marche are in Smerillo and Montemonaco. Smerillo is particularly famous also for being one of the balconies of Marche: thanks to its elevated position, you can admire wide open views, stretching from the Sibillini mountains to the sea, passing through the rolling hills and medieval villages.
Autumn also offers another delicious, sought-after and highly appreciated product: truffles. Two are the most important events in Marche dedicated to truffles: the National Fair of White Truffle in Acqualagna and Diamanti a Tavola in Amandola, dedicated to the precious white truffles of the Sibillini.
7. The Conero Area in Peace
Ok the temperature is not suitable for a swim but the Conero without the crowds of summer allows you to make many experiences, from cycling to walking (we especially recommend two trips: the viewpoint up to Passo del Lupo, and that from the Belvedere) as well as visiting the villages of Sirolo and Numana.
8. Art Cities
The 5 provincial capitals are perfect to be discovered in an autumn weekend, as you can enjoy art, discover museums and combine food and wine. Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, Fermo, Ascoli Piceno, are close but very different from each other, that’s why each one deserves at least one weekend to be known and appreciated.
Urbino is famous for being the cradle of Reinassance (that’s where Raffaello was born); Ancona is appreciated for its neoclassical buildings, especially the Mole Vanvitelliana; Macerata and its open air arena (sferisterio) are famous all over the world; Fermo has a thousand-year old history, testified by Roman tanks and roman remains in some private homes; Ascoli Piceno and its amazing Piazza del Popolo will take your breathe away.
9. Shopping, Shopping!
And if your passion is shoes, then you can’t miss a stop in the shoe district (Civitanova Marche, Porto Sant’Elpidio and Montegranaro). Here you can find plenty of outlets and factory stores, where you can buy shoes from the most famous brands.
Cover photo credits: Fabio Mini