It seems that the Amiata Fall foliage is one of the most beautiful in the world. If you tell one of us, we can shrug our shoulders, open our palms and open our eyes, “Oh, what do I have to tell you?” we would reply: “Didn’t you know that?”
Lapalissian, therefore. The sweetness of Amiata perhaps reaches its peak in autumn. Beech and chestnut trees change infinite variations of colors every day. They enhance one another through a counterpoint of colors. Walking, head up, through the woods, the amazement of the eyes gives way to the crackling of dry branches, which break under the feet. And the show continues on the ground, precious fruits are hidden under the golden mantle of foliage.
The porcini mushrooms of Monte Amiata
Walking in the woods you will happen to see here and there brown heads, with different shades depending on the light they have seen. They are porcini, Boletus edulis, to speak like mycologists. The hamlet of Bagnolo dedicates a festival to this fruit, the Amiata mushroom festival, with a very interesting mycological exhibition. But from the Feast of San Michele onwards, life from the fields and from the village moves to the woods. To look for mushrooms, to collect chestnuts. The chestnut groves, cleaned of the curls and leaves of the previous year, are ready to welcome the chestnuts.
Chestnuts: the Marrone chestnut from Santa Fiora
The Chestnut from Santa Fiora (Marrone Santafiorese) is a sweet, smooth, light brown fruit. From early October onwards, after the first rains, the dance of the fruits that fall from the tree begins. And the consequent collection, screening, choice. Depending on the size, larger or smaller, they are chosen to be eaten or turned into flour. But this further on at the end of the collection. Now the chestnuts are collected, with the desire to arrive in the evening, light the fireplace and make the first “castrata” (roasted chestnuts). Taste the new wine, and think that we are lucky to live up here, close to such easy happiness.