The autumn has begun on the Dolomites. The green grasslands leave behind a contrasting landscape. In the valleys the red and yellow leaves begin to fall, the top of the mountain seems wither and the sky turns to an intense blue. The autumn is the perfect moment to enjoy a vacation in the mountain and many are the reasons to spent a few days on the Dolomites, before the first snow falls and the first skiing begin. In this season there’s a lot to see and to do like hiking, bike rides and cultural activities.
But the autumn is also the time of the crop and the return of the cattle from the pasture. The farmers see the result of their hard work. In Trentino and especially in South-Tyrol the bond with the earth and tradition is still strong and it is not a coincidence that from September till the end of November many festivals, markets and folk-festivals will take place in many areas and localities. These are dedicated to the grapes, wines, chestnuts, apples and the traditional transhumance.
Why do you go to the mountain in autumn?
- After the excitement and hustle of July and August, the mountain finds its most natural dimension, the best-known paths and itineraries are no longer crowded.
- The days are long enough to enjoy the last hikes and bike rides
- It’s not too cold outside, so you can get close to nature enjoying the lukewarm sun
- The forest is full of mushrooms, with which you can enjoy delicious food
- In some areas of South-Tyrol the fall foliage is really a show not to be missed.
- Waiting for the Christmas Markets, you can dedicate yourself to urban trekking, museums, Baroque churches and castles.
- It’s the time of chestnuts and Törggelen
- it’s the period of harvest and the new wine tastings
- You can go shopping in the shops of the center which offer many occasions.
- There are so many delicious events that are not to be missed
Autumn: time of chestnuts and Törggelen
Really well known and appreciated is the tradition of Törggelen in South Tyrol, an ancient tradition from the Middle Ages, which bring to gather after a nice walk in the stube or in the farmsteads, the Buschenschank, and to taste the delicious specialties of the South – Tyrolean traditional such as cheese dumplings, sauerkraut, the ravioli filled with spinach and obviously the roasted chestnut, all accompanied with a fresh red wine and Suser, a grape must of the fermentation.
This year, to enhance this strong tradition, the Original Törggelen takes place in 23 farms, which are located along the Chestnut Trail in Isarco Valley and in the areas of wine production, which meet certain requirements, as well as the wine own produce and 30% of the offered products. The Keschtenfeuer, the fire of the chestnuts, takes place officially from the 7th October till the 19th October, where you can only participate with reservation.
Always related to the chestnuts, there are numerous events that are dedicated to this fruit, like the Chestnut Weeks in San Genesio Atesino, the Chestnuts Days in Foiana-Tesino, the Törggelen in Castelbello-Ciardes, the Törggelen Festival in Chiusa, the weeks of chestnuts in Velturno, and the Chestnuts Festival in Castione of Brentonico or in Roncegno Terme.
Gourmet in the Dolomites: apples, grapes and farmers’ traditions
Apart from the chestnuts, in the Dolomites other important fruits as such as apples and grapes, which are used to make excellent wines and are celebrated in various traditional festivals and events, are produced and collected.
For the lovers of grape and wine, the following dates are a must to remember, the VinoCulti – Taste The Wine in Tyrol, the Merano WineFestival and the Merano Grape Festival at Merano, DivinOctober on the Piné plateau and Valley of Cembra, the Riesling Festival in Naturno, the Harvest and Festival in Appiano, the Autochtona in Bolzano, to name a few.
October is also the month of the apples, another fruit from which Trentino and South Tyrol are rich with: the most famous are for sure the apples of Val Venosta and these from Valle di Non. Among the events there is also the Apple Week in Naz-Sciaves and Pomaria in Cles.
Always related to the specialites, famers and culinary traditions, we find the South Tyrolean Bread and Strudel Market in Bressanone, the South Tyrolean SpeckFestival in Funes Valley, the The Kuchlkastl in Fié in Fié at Sciliar, the Thanksgiving Festival in Bolzano, the Old delights in Valle di Non, the “Sagra della Ciuiga” at St. Laurentius in Banale, the Nut Festival in Bleggio Superiore.
A moment of celebration and sharing in whole South Tyrol is also the return of the cattle from the summer pastures with regard to the winter. The sounds of the cowbells and sweet animals are being prepared for the celebration and farmers and malgari are dressed in traditional clothes: it is the moment of the transhumance that passionate every year more and more tourists, such as that at Ridanna where it takes place the Transhumance Festival, the Transhumance in Predazzo or the that of sheep in Aldino.