There’s no bad time to visit Tuscany, but the tail end of the year is particularly appealing. September, October, November, and even December mark Italy’s peak harvest season. Tuscany is of course best known for its wine, but there’s much more to harvest season than just grapes. Inspirato’s service team in Tuscany knows a thing or two about the harvest happenings in the area during this time – and how to make sure Inspirato Members are there to witness it all.
Olive Harvest and Oil Making
Olives are harvested from October to December, though sometimes the harvest can begin as early as the end of September. An early harvest means that the fruit is less ripe and therefore produces less oil, making Tuscan olive oils a bit more rare than others. The less ripe olives also account for the prized peppery taste of Tuscan oil. For an even deeper dive into Italian olive oil traditions, head further south to the Puglia region, considered to be Italy’s olive oil capital.
Inspirato’s team regularly organizes visits to olive mills so members can see how extra virgin olive oil is made. Unlike wine, which needs aging time, the oil can be tasted right away, as soon as it comes out of the machines. Tastings can be organized with bruschetta and other dishes on request.
“We had many memorable moments during our recent visit to Tuscany. The team does a great job in finding unique experiences. One day we went olive oil tasting, then also went to a very old winery in Montepulciano, followed by a lovely dinner that was a very memorable experience. It is not easy to please folks like us that have been to Italy over 30 times but the team is always up for the challenge of finding new and different experiences and most of all we enjoy soaking up the views in the lovely homes.”
–Carol P., Inspirato Member
Truffling in Val d’Orcia
The Tuscan truffle season lasts roughly from September through December. The area around San Giovanni d’Asso produces black truffles as well as the sought-after and costly white truffle. A truffle market fair is held here the second and third weekends of November. San Giovanni d’Asso – located about 50 miles southeast of Florence and about 20 miles southeast of Siena – is an ancient, small village dominated by a large castle which now houses the truffle museum.
For intrepid foodies, Inspirato’s team is happy to organize truffle hunting excursions in the best, locals-only spots around San Giovanni D’Asso. Usually in these excursions, hunters look for black truffles as white truffles are extraordinarily rare. Groups of five or less foragers tend to yield the best results and most outings last about two hours. Truffle hunting can be combined with a private chef reservation to cook truffle-specific dishes! For much easier access, found truffles can be purchased. Prices vary according to the quality, but also to the season and the market offer/demand.
Olive harvest and truffle hunting are just a few of the reasons why Tuscany is one of Inspirato’s most popular destinations. Year-round, there’s always something to do and an expert team ready to make it happen. Explore all of Inspirato’s accommodations in Italy and around the globe – and get inspired for the best vacation of your life.