Title: Chestnut Gathering in the Central Italian Hills
Category: Cultural Experiences on Our Soriano Vacations
Author: Daniele Pintaudi Updated: Jan 30, 2019 Views: 5,165
Tags: central italy tuscia soriano chestnuts

Chestnut Gathering in the Central Italian Hills

Chestnuts are one of Soriano's great prides. In October it is chestnut harvest season, and we will gather some and use them in our cooking classes

Each year in early October, the area of Soriano nel Cimino goes into high gear harvesting the chestnuts found in the local hills. The chestnuts here are exported throughout the world, and they are a source of great local pride. A major medieval festival begins in town to celebrate the harvest, and the trees begin to drop the spiny fruit along the roads.

As you drive in the local hills, there is a sweet smell in the air and a reddish color on the sides of the roads from the chestnuts that have fallen and been run over by cars. All the while the colors of the leaves above are changing as central Italy moves into Autumn.

Along the sides of the roads, you find people walking as they collect fallen chestnuts to bring home, and every once in a while, on a remote mountain road, you will find someone roasting the chestnuts they gathered that morning and offering them for sale to passers-by. There is a romantic feel to it all, as central Italy winds down its harvest season and prepares for the coming winter.

During this season, we try to reorganize some of our weeks so that we can spend a little time in the hills ourselves gathering chestnuts in a local forest. We'll gather a bit, then take them back to the villa, where we will have altered one of our cooking class menus so that we have a chestnut-based recipe or two to make with the prize we just gathered.

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