As the heat of summer slowly fades and the Mediterranean mellows in its approach to autumn, Italy becomes increasingly alluring. With the country’s harvest season comes an abundance of fresh, seasonal cuisine that makes the most of Italy’s native produce, from plump, meaty olives to sun-ripened tomatoes and sweet, juicy peaches. In Italy’s hilltop towns, vibrant harvest celebrations bring life and colour to otherwise quiet farming communities, and people spend as much time as possible outdoors, soaking up the last of the late summer sun. With so many reasons to visit Italy in September, here are a few of our favourite seasonal highlights.
The Late Summer Sun
Italy in September sees temperatures around the mid-twenties, perfect for sightseeing and soaking up the last of the late summer sun. Savour the sun-soaked days by strolling through the winding streets of Italy’s historic cities and stumbling upon their sun-dappled piazzas.
Explore the great cities of Venice, Florence and Rome on an Italian Holiday and the Grand Italian Experience with Trafalgar.
Long Balmy Evenings
These warms days slip into long balmy evenings, when people gather outdoors for aperitivos with friends and dine alfresco as a family. This is the ideal time to take an evening walk along the shores of Lake Maggiore or a stroll through the streets of Venice as the moon reflects on the Grand Canal.
Visit Venice and the Italian Lakes on the Best of Italy trip with Trafalgar.
The Seasonal Produce
Italy’s reputation for exceptional local cuisine is no secret, making it one of the world’s best locations for gastronomic travel. From the mountains in the north to the Tuscan hills and the country’s southern islands, regional cuisine varies greatly across the country and is defined by its local produce. This regional fare becomes even more enticing with the arrival of harvest season, when olives go to press and the markets are filled with a bountiful fresh crop.
Taste fresh regional cuisine on the Italian Discovery trip with Trafalgar.
The Grape Harvest
Italy in September also welcomes the beginning of Vendemmia, the grape harvest. Across Italy’s wine producing regions, grape gathering begins and celebrations take place to mark the occasion, especially in Tuscany’s small hilltop towns. This custom of making new (or novella) wine in September is one that’s deeply engrained in Tuscan tradition, making it an especially rewarding time to visit.
Visit Tuscany in September on the Rome and Tuscan Highlights trip with Trafalgar.
The Local Festivals
As September comes around, so too does an influx of cultural and culinary festivals. This month is an especially festive time in Sicily due to the island’s unique local produce and wine. One of Sicily’s culinary specialties is arancini (a fried street food snack of risotto filled with meat ragu or mozzarella and ham), a food honoured in September with a three-day festival, the Sagra dell’Arancino. Meanwhile, Festa della Vendemmia marks the end of the month with a showcase of Sicily’s wine-making traditions.
Visit Sicily on the Best of Italy and Sicily trip, or the Southern Italy and Sicily itinerary.
Image Credits: Cover photo of Tuscany in September © iStock / StevanZZ. Manarola © Getty Images. Venice © iStock / franckreporter. September produce © iStock / Guido Vrola. Wine making in September © iStock / Paolo Cipriani.