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Biglar Dec 23rd, 2006 12:14 PM

When is the best time to visit Italy to catch the grapes and olive harvest in full swing- what areas are best to visit during the haverst dates.
My wife and I are trying to establish some time frames to visit Italy. We are planning a 3 or 4 week trip. We are looking at the fall of 08 to travel. Looking at something in either late Sept./October or Oct/Nov. We want to be in italy during the harvest of the grapes and olives.Can someone give us some information for dates when the harvest is in full swing. Also any special harvest festivals we should take part in.THANKS

nessundorma Dec 23rd, 2006 01:48 PM

Wine and olive oil is produced almost everywhere throughout Italy, and there are hundreds of towns and villages that have wine festivals and olive oil festvals (also truffle, mushroom and chestnut festivals).

Did you have an idea about other things you'd like to see in Italy? For instance, if you want to do some sightseeing in Roma, there are festivals you could go to close to Rome. Likewise Venice. There are wineries near Assisi, or Verona, and the region of Piemonte is very famous for its wine.

There are many places in Tuscany, Umbria and Liguria famous for their olive oil.

What is the rest of your trip going to be like, or would you prefer to spend all your time visiting wineries and olive oil mills? Some people do that and are very happy with their choice.

ira Dec 23rd, 2006 02:19 PM

Hi B,

Wine harvest is Sept.

Olives in Nov.


nessundorma Dec 23rd, 2006 03:25 PM


That's not true everywhere in Italy. In Piemonte, one can find grape and harvest festivals in October (Castagnole Monferrato), in Tuscany, near Florence, the "Vendemmia" is often in the first week of October. Likewise Sorrento. The harvest goes on into October in Umbria. (Nebbiolo and Sangiovese in particular run late in Piemonte and Toscana respectively.)

However, bridging both the grape harvest and the new olive oil requires some luck and the willingness to move around. Olive are harvested beginning in the autumn in Liguria, so maybe a trip that tried to see some of the Tuscan grape harvest and the Ligurian olive picking would work.

bobthenavigator Dec 23rd, 2006 03:30 PM

Start in mid Sep and end in mid Oct and include Tuscany, Veneto and Piedmont in your travels. You will miss the olives but hit much of the wine festivities.

bellacqui Dec 23rd, 2006 11:31 PM

Depending how warm/cool and dry/humid the summer was, the white grape harvest in Piedmont can start anytime around the first week in September. Normally you are looking at the second and third weeks for white wine, followed by Dolcetto, Barbera, Barbaresco, and Barolo. Those vendemmie tend to wrap up in mid October. During the entire time, there are small and large wine festivals going on. In Asti, for example, there is the Douja d'Or, which takes place in the month of September as part of the festivities for the Palio there. The tartufo festival takes place during the month of October in Alba. In Acqui Terme, we have the Produtti Locali festival in September, where are the small towns in the area create a street market in downtown acqui, producing local specialities and highlighting local wines.

In all of the hundreds of tiny towns in the Langhe and the Monferrato, there are food and wine festivals celebrating the harvest. I would say, if you come to the region between the middle of Sept. and the middle of Oct., you can't miss. Check with your accomodations for festivals in the area you will be staying, they will be able to lead you in the right direction.

ira Dec 24th, 2006 04:03 AM

Hi all,

Thanks for the clarifications.

I should have added that the exact dates of the harvests can move back and forth by a couple of weeks.

Fresh Porcini mushrooms will be available in Sept/Oct.


nessundorma Dec 24th, 2006 04:58 AM

During the second week in September, Monterosso al Mare in the Cinque Terre has an olive oil and anchovy festival. During a 3-4 week trip, it would not be too much to move from Monterosso al Mare and other parts of Liguria to Piemonte. You might also think about visiting the olive oil museum in Liguria between Genova and the French border, with is also very close to Piemonte. (It's in Oneglia/Imperia.) In addition, there are some very high quality olive oil producers in that region, particularly in the area of Taggia, near the French border.

You might think about spending a few nights at the agriturismo of an olive oil producer.

I believe there is also a mushroom festival in Triora (in Liguria) around that time.

Biglar Jan 4th, 2007 05:14 PM

Thanks to everyone that has responded to this post. Your information has been most helpful. THANKS!

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