12 Oct 2011

Fall is my favourite season. Spring is festive, summer is lively, winter is cosy, but the fall is magic. We don’t get the bright shades of red of the North-American foliage, but Tuscany in the fall is just as pretty.

The Colors of the Fall in Tuscany

Fall is my favourite season by far. Spring is festive, summer is lively, winter is cosy, but the fall is magic. We don’t get the bright shades of red of the North-American foliage, so if you are planning a trip to Tuscany in the fall for its colours and you expect that type of landscape, you are in for disappointment. This doesn’t mean that Tuscany in the fall isn’t as pretty. It most certainly is. It’s just different.

If I had to think of color palettes to describe the fall in Tuscany I would have to start with the shades of brown.

shades of brown

Brown is the prevalent color of the Tuscan fall. It ranges from the intense shades of brown that you see on seasonal food such as porcini mushrooms, chestnuts and the delicious wild boar stew

porcini mushrooms


wild boar stew

(Photo by Okapix)

… to paler shades of brown which tinge some trees, and the almost greysh shades of brown of the forgotten hay bales in the fields and the ploughed land.

trees in the fall

forgotten haybale

crete in the fall

(Photo by chita2009)

Then, I would have to add the shades of yellow, orange and red.

yellow, orange, red

Yellows – beside featuring in a steaming hot plate of polenta which perfectly complements the brown of wild boar stew – also color the vineyards and trees along with some shades of orange.

fall in tuscany


(Photo by Autumn85)

yellow vines

(Photo by renzodionigi)

The mix of yellow and green leaves on chestnut trees and vines is so pretty!

chestnut groves

(Photo by Sandy2451)

yellow leaves on vines

If you want to see some orange, the trees in Lucca are quite spectacular in the fall.

Lucca foliage

(Photo by mirod)

Lucca in the fall

(Photo by Astro1088)

We get some red too, but mostly on wild berries and on some types of vines.

red berries

red vineyards

(Photo by onaxir)

red berries

And of course, nothing beats the warm shades of yellow, orange and red of the first fire of the season! Try toasting bread in the fireplace and pour some new olive oil on it… the best bruschetta ever!


(Photo by teldridge + kelbridge)

Yellow and orange color the season of persimmons. They pass from an ochra yellow in October to bright orange in November when they hang from their bare trees like natural Christmas tree ornaments!



(Photo by Piccola Babsi)

Yellow and orange features prominently in chrysanthemums too. They are flowers that we associate with mourning so don’t give them as a present! People buy them to bring them to the cemetery on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 1 and 2), so you will see plenty of vases in front of flower shops and in churches and graveyards.


(Photo by RXecoGRFTO)

Purples and pinks are also prominent colors in the fall.

pink and purple

The fall starts with the reddish or bluish purple shades of grapes that are harvested in September and October and ends with the dark, almost black, purple of the olives that are harvested in November.

grape harvest


Shades of lilac and pastel pink color the sky at sunset and tinge the mists in the morning.

lilac sky


(Photo by rgarrigus)

september dawn in tuscany

And pretty shades of hot pink feature on seasonal flowers like heather and cyclamens and of delightful pomegranates!

fall flowers


As you will have figured, green is still omnipresent in Tuscany, even in the fall. Many of the trees of the mediterranean maquis do not lose their leaves. Olive trees, cypress trees, rosemary and sage are also evergreens.


From afar, the woods look dark green, almost grey, and olive trees seem almost silver, which makes for a nice contrast with the bright green grass which comes out after the first rains in November and the dark green leaves that are still clinging on to the branches of some oak trees.

fall in tuscany

Some olives also remain green, rather than turning purple.


But there is certainly no better green than the bright green of the new olive oil!

new olive oil

(Photo by Chris P.)

The colors of fall in Tuscany are certainly different from what you might be used to, and they change greatly over the months. In September and October the countryside will most likely still look very dry and summer-like, with green leaves on trees and no grass in the fields. The big change usually happens at the end of October and in November, when temperatures drop. By December, the trees and the vines are usually leafless and the fields have turned bright green again.

If you are interested in what you can expect in the various months of the year, please check my new series of post about when to visit Tuscany, but be aware that it is still work in progress!

Italy Blogging Roundtable

italy travel blog roundtableThis is the fifth post in a monthly series called The Italy Blogging Roundtable. Here you can find the posts of the other bloggers who participate in the roundtable. Our topic this month was “the Fall“:

Alexandra (Arttrav) – Fall in Italy: what to wear for midseason weather

Jessica (Italylogue) – Fall Food Festivals & the Almighty White Truffle

Melanie (Italofile) – Falling For Italy: Three Fun Activities to Put on Your Radar

Rebecca (Brigolante) – Italy Roundtable: The Fall Museum Crawl


  1. I am really amazed. These are really beautiful colours.

  2. Omigoodness, this post is BEAUTIFUL, Gloria! I love the fall (anywhere) for its colors, and I love how you’ve gathered them into color groups here. Gorgeous!

    • Thank you Jessica! I’m glad you like it!

  3. Gina Schmitz

    WOW! What a beautiful post!! LOVED it! 🙂

  4. This was absolutely beautiful…great pictures, great groupings.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! I have only been to Italy in the summer….

  6. That was a lovely post, I really enjoyed the pictures.
    I often go to Italy in the fall and it is one of my favorite seasons.
    An equal favorite is May, the Tuscan countryside turns such a vibrant shade of deep green, I think it rivals Ireland.

    • Hi Bobbi, thank you for commenting! I agree, May is also fabulous! The problem is that the vibrant colours last only for a couple of weeks, maybe three, depending on how soon the heat arrives. Contrary to Ireland, which is always green. Well, I’ll have to do another color palette post in the spring! Maybe one per season! The summer one should be easy… LOL

  7. Thank you Gloria, you made me feel really home sick!
    Tuscany is truly beautiful and you have captured some wonderful moments. I love the photo of the hill with the mist and the sheep in the distance. I’d better go back home some time soon. Where do you live? I am from Siena.

    Ciao and hope to meet you soon

    • Ciao Francesca, I am from Civitella Marittima, so not far from Siena anyway! But I spend most of my time in Pisa, because I work there. We are back every weekend and in the summer during the school holidays.
      THanks for stopping by! I need to check your blog!

  8. Simon Law

    And in the far north of Tuscany, in the mountains, it is even more beautiful – and I miss it.

    • Not sure it’s more beautiful but… LOL Thanks for the comment Simon!

  9. I loved this. We have many of the same colors here in N. Calif. because of the persimmon trees, grape vines, etc., but of course it’s not as beautiful as Tuscany. I would love to go there in the fall.

    • Then you have to! November is more likely to have these nice colours than October. especially this year. the landscape is practically starting to change now, because it was so hot up until last week!

  10. Absolutely spectacular! I’m so glad to know about your blog. These photos made my day!

    • Thank you Cynthia! Very sweet!

  11. Ciao Gloria! molto bello! l’ho condiviso sulla pagina di FB di Diario!

    • Grazie Melissa!!!

  12. I just wanted to add a link to a photo essay published on Repubblica online the other day:

    Asciano – the show of the fall in the Crete Senesi

    Don’t expect any green there! Definitely in the brown palette section!

  13. Ollie Vanroekel

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks , Iˇll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

    • Hi Ollie, thank you for your comment. I try to update it as often as I can but it depends on inspiration and how busy I am!

  14. Absolutely stunning photographs.

  15. What gorgeous photographs! Great job with this post!

  16. My family and I will be in Arrezzo/ Cortona in October and can’t wait to experience everything you are writing about!

    One question: how is that region weather wise in October? Should we bring coats, scarves and gloves? Or just sweaters?

    Thank you for sharing…

    • It depends on the time of the month, but usually October is still a very pleasant month. We rarely need heavy coats, scarfs etc other than in late December, January and February. last year we were still in short sleeves until mid October in fact.

  17. Vidya Rao

    HI Gloria
    Fab pictures, remind me of my hometown in Chicago.Missing the fall colors here in Amsterdam now.Have planned a trip with my husband and two kids under 5 to FLorence and Rome leaving in two weeks. Had a question for you. Would be great if you can tell me where were these pictures taken in Tuscany. We wouyld love to see some of the colors- the kids havent seen any at all. Also, if you dont mind, are there any wine tasting or vineyard tours that we can do with kids? Mind you, they are not the well-behaved ones at all. Hence the question.
    Thanks so much. happiness

    • Hi Vidya,

      most of them were taken at my parents’ place in the countryside in the upper Maremma area, on the border between Siena and the Maremma. A nice area for foliage, but expect nothing like Chicago or North America in general, is the Val di Merse (Chiusdino, San Galgano Abbey area). Other photos were taken in Lucca, where the trees along the boulevards around the walls turn yellow at this time of the year. You can take your kids everywhere, so any winerie will allow them in. Of course, their behaviour is up to you… 😉

  18. Your pictures are gorgeous, beautiful, stunning…Thank you for sharing them.

  19. What an extraordinary blog. Stumbled on it looking for information on fall colors in Tuscany. Thanks, Richard

  20. Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired!
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