Autumn leaves and chestnuts

IMG_20151018_123257Autumn has finally settled here. Not as cold as it should be for the season but we are enjoying chilly air in the morning at last. Autumn colors are everywhere to find: yellow and reddish leaves outside the window (The falling leaves drift by the window/The autumn leaves of red and gold…), the first acorns are falling on my parked car down in the street, olives are ripening on the trees in the surroundings and… it’s finally time for chestnuts!

Last Sunday our family headed to Sant’Agata Feltria (about one hour and a half from Pesaro) to pick chestnuts at Monte Pincio in the heart of Valmarecchia. You may have heard of the magic of this land so full of history and unforgettable landscapes. I wrote about Valmarecchia and its treasures a few years ago when this land still belonged to our province of Pesaro and Urbino (Amarcord – I remember: the land of Federico Fellini).

It was our first time in a chestnut wood and it was an amazing experience. First of all, in the wood at Monte Pincio you still may come across a few trees dating back to the 16th century (unbelievable, isn’t it?) Secondly it is 20 ha. large. I guess we could have easily got lost there if it weren’t for our little Costanza who always detected us with her binoculars (!).IMG_1756

Have you ever picked chestnuts? Well, I’ve always loved roasted chestnuts but I had never picked them before last Sunday. I hadn’t had so much fun in a while. However, nobody told me to bring gloves with me… Chestnuts spines are extremely sharp indeed (oops!). Anway, there were so many chestnuts outside their shell and as far as the good looking ones still inside… well, I just stepped gently over them until they slipped outside (field tricks!).

We roasted them that very evening and looking at the pictures we took that day as I’m writing this post makes me want to go back and start that day all over again (using gloves this time!)


    • Grazie, Rasma. I see in your blog that you write about Germany… I remember being in the magic Schwarzwald in Freiburg once and… getting lost! Did you know my blog comes from Goethe’s words ‘kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühen’ (‘where lemons blossom’?).
      Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  1. I spent an hour in a small city park near our house yesterday and took some photos of the autumnal trees here in south Wales (sadly, we don’t have olive trees up here). The pics are on my blog if you’d like to have a look. Do children in Italy have ‘conker’ fights like children in Wales? The chestnuts are pickled in vinegar until hard, attached to a short piece of string, and smacked together until one of them breaks.

    • Hi Spencer. I did visit your blog. Congratulations for the idea (I loved the ‘about’ page!). I think Wales is one of my next travel destinations… who knows? Maybe next Summer! No, I never heard about ‘conker’ fights. That’s unfortunate. The game sounds fun (I am fond of vinegar… when I was a child I used to drink it, unseen, from the bottle…)

          • Grazie, Spencer. It would be an honour for us to have such a brilliant guide! Of course, if you ever come to Marche, I’d be more than happy to show you and your family around 🙂

      • Hard to believe, but many schools here have now banned conker fights in the playground on “health and safety” grounds in case the children are hit by their opponent’s conker! While I was a lad, ‘accidentally’ rapping your conker across the other boy’s knuckles was part of the tactics. Nobody got to own a champion conker without putting up with a few grazed knuckles along the way.

        • Unbelieveable… I mean, they should ban soccer too then (have you ever been kicked on your shin with a soccer shoe?). Anyway, the game with chestnuts made me think of ‘ruzzola’, the looney Italian game where adults (yes, adults!) run down a slope pushing a cheese wheel with a stick!?! Still pretty popular around here during country feasts 😉

  2. Such a lovely day!!! The surroundings are gorgeous! These are majical memories you will handily pass down to your children and their children for generations to come because of your awesome blog! Very sweet.

    • Grazie mille! I just hope that reading my post makes someone want to take a walk into the woods… Nature can be so inspiring and being in a wood, alone or with your friends, is something we should experience every now and then to get in touch with our ‘real selves’ 🙂

  3. We roasted chestnuts last night. They are from the tree behind our house in Pontelandolfo (BN). I love the smell of them roasting in the oven and the magic of the curling shell that reveals the tender white tasty cooked nut. Thanks for sharing the chestnut woods with us.

  4. What a perfect day out– being productive (mostly!) in a beautiful place. The only chestnut trees I’ve seen were in the parks when we lived in Spain. So tall and majestic. Loved your pictures– the yellow-red leaves were my favorite. thanks!

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