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.
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…
(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.
(Photo by chita2009)
Then, I would have to add the shades of yellow, orange and 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.
(Photo by Autumn85)
(Photo by renzodionigi)
The mix of yellow and green leaves on chestnut trees and vines is so pretty!
(Photo by Sandy2451)
If you want to see some orange, the trees in Lucca are quite spectacular in the fall.
(Photo by mirod)
(Photo by Astro1088)
We get some red too, but mostly on wild berries and on some types of vines.
(Photo by onaxir)
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.
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.
Shades of lilac and pastel pink color the sky at sunset and tinge the mists in the morning.
(Photo by rgarrigus)
And pretty shades of hot pink feature on seasonal flowers like heather and cyclamens and of delightful pomegranates!
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.
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!
(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
This 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“: