AUTUMN IN LIGURIA
Liguria, a captivating coastal region in northwest Italy. With its dramatic cliffs, charming seaside towns, and azure waters, Liguria offers a picturesque retreat along the Italian Riviera. This enchanting destination invites visitors to explore the famous Cinque Terre, a collection of colourful villages perched on cliffs overlooking the sea.
Beyond the iconic coastline, Liguria boasts hidden gems like Genoa, with its rich history and vibrant culture. Indulge in Ligurian cuisine, known for its fresh seafood and fragrant pesto, and immerse yourself in the laid-back coastal lifestyle. Whether you seek breathtaking views, culinary delights, or a tranquil coastal escape, Liguria promises an unforgettable experience.
Cinque Terre, Italy in Autumn
Image and recommendation by Kristin D. from Scotland Less Explored.
Cinque Terre are five villages on the Ligurian coast northwest of Pisa. Each village is an old fishing village that is built on the coast with views out to sea. It is the smallest national park in Italy and no cars are allowed in the area. The only way to get between the villages is by train, boat or on foot.
The region is famous for its pretty villages and beautiful coastal scenery. It is a popular tourist destination which means that it gets very busy during the summer months. In autumn the weather might not be quite as good for lying on the beach but, since walking between the villages is one of the main things to do, the slightly cooler temperatures at this time of year are perfect.
Things to do in autumn;
- Make sure you visit every village from Riomaggiore in the south to Monterrosso in the north. They are all different. For the best views walk or get the boat between them rather than the train.
- Between each village are walking paths with fantastic views of the villages and sea. The most scenic stretch is from Vernazza to Monterosso. It is about 5km and takes 1.5 to 2 hours to walk.
- When you arrive in Monterosso stop by Agriturismo Buranco which produces olive oil, honey and wine. They offer wine tasting, treks through the vineyard and meals.
- Visit Nessum Doma restaurant in Manarola for a drink or a meal and the best views of this village. It is particularly pretty at sunset.
The reason to travel in autumn is that it is the perfect time to hike between the villages. The air is crisp and clear and the vineyards are ready for the harvest.
Manarola, Cinque Terre in fall
Image and recommendation by Pamela from The Directionally Challenged Traveler
Visiting Manarola, Italy in the fall can be a delightful and enchanting experience. The Cinque Terre region is known for its colourful houses among dramatic sea cliffs, and Manarola is no exception.
Manarola stands out among Cinque Terre because of its wineries. You’ll pass through them on your way into town. The town is practically surrounded by vineyards on the hills. During autumn, the vineyards get adorned with vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold. It’s the perfect time to experience (or even participate in) the grape harvest.
The best thing to pair with local wine is local food – and Manarola restaurants are known for their fresh ingredients. In the fall you’ll find mushrooms, chestnuts, and truffles on the menu alongside freshly caught seafood and homemade pasta! It’s a food lover’s dream.
The top things to do in Manarola in the fall are:
- Take a tour of a winery and learn about the traditional methods used to produce wine in the hills here. Learn about harvesting the grapes, or get your hands dirty and help at a vineyard!
- Hike the Vineyard Walk to Corniglia (3 miles/5 kilometers) for breathtaking views. The hike only takes a few hours and showcases the beauty of the region.
- Experience the Festa dell’Uva (Grape Festival) in September. Enjoy parades, live music and traditional dancing during this festival.
Autumn in Manarola is the perfect time to truly experience Manarola’s local customs, traditional food and wine, and its charming atmosphere. Depending on the weather, don’t be afraid to head out on the water for a new perspective of the area.
AUTUMN IN LOMBARDY, ITALY
Lombardy, located in northern Italy, is home to the bustling city of Milan, picturesque lakes, and breathtaking landscapes. This dynamic region offers a diverse and vibrant experience, perfect for a short getaway or for longer exploration.
Lombardy in autumn offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural treasures, and culinary delights. As the leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold, the region’s picturesque landscapes come alive with autumnal charm. Take leisurely walks along the shores of Lake Como or Lake Garda, sprinkled with charming lakeside towns. Hop onto a boat and enjoy the crisp air and stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains. Explore the historic cities of Milan, Bergamo, and Mantua, where ancient architecture and artistic masterpieces await.
Go on a food tour. Savour in Lombardy’s renowned cuisine, enjoying dishes like risotto, polenta, heavenly mountain cheeses and hearty stews paired with local wines.
Autumn in Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Image and recommendation by Georgina of Timeless Travel Steps
Milan, the capital city of Lombardy, transforms into a captivating destination during the autumn season. As the bustling metropolis prepares for cooler temperatures, it offers a blend of cultural riches, fashion-forward streets, and culinary delights.
Autumn in Milan is the perfect time to explore the city’s iconic landmarks, from the majestic Duomo to the exquisite beauty of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper without waiting-in-line and at your own pace. Delve into the world of art and culture at renowned museums like the Pinacoteca di Brera. Wander through the vibrant streets, explore the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and indulge in world-class shopping opportunities. Embrace the mild weather as you sip a perfect cappuccino at a sidewalk café and savour the seasonal flavours of Milanese cuisine. Autumn in Milan promises a delightful blend of art, fashion, gastronomy, and a vibrant urban ambiance that will leave you captivated and inspired.
Autumn activities in Milan:
- Milan Fashion Week: Milan is globally renowned as a fashion capital, and during autumn, it becomes a hub of creativity and style as Fashion Week takes center stage. Experience the excitement of runway shows, discover the latest trends, be inspired by the innovative designs and witness the city come alive with glamorous events and parties.
- La Scala Opera House: Autumn is the perfect time to indulge in the rich cultural offerings of Milan, and a visit to the historic La Scala Opera House is a must. Enjoy spectacular performances of renowned operas, ballets, and concerts in this iconic venue and be spellbound in the grandeur of Italy’s opera tradition.
- Brera Art Gallery: Discover the artistic treasures of Milan at the Brera Art Gallery. This renowned museum houses an impressive collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, including masterpieces by renowned artists such as Caravaggio and Raphael. Stroll through the gallery’s halls, admire the exquisite paintings and sculptures, and gain a deeper appreciation for the rich artistic heritage of Italy.
Milan offers a plethora of things to do throughout the year but these three highlights of Milan during autumn offer a glimpse into the city’s vibrant cultural scene and its dedication to fashion, art, and performance. No matter if you’re a fashion enthusiast, an opera lover, or an art aficionado, Milan’s autumn offerings will captivate and inspire you.
Bellano, Lake Como in Autumn
Image and recommendation by Kiki of RooKiExplorers
Bellano is a small picturesque town on the eastern shores of the acclaimed Lake Como in the Lombardy region of Italy. Due to its more popular neighbouring towns of Varenna and Bellagio, Bellano is often overlooked but is one of the charming towns in this region to enjoy a relaxing and peaceful time. It is also conveniently located to explore the other towns of Lake Como region.
Visiting Bellano during autumn makes it more attractive as the foliage turns to shades of orange, amber, and gold which stands out against the blue waters of Lake Como, making it more scenic than ever. Whether you are taking a relaxing walk along the shores or hiking through the trails up the mountains, you are in for a visual treat. It is also the wine harvest season of this region, which makes it perfect for going on a wine-tasting tour.
Bellano is more than a charming, peaceful town. During your visit to Bellano, don’t miss out on these autumnal must-do things.
- Orrido di Bellano – This natural gorge was created around 15 million years ago by River Pioverna and the Adda Glacier. It is a narrow canyon easily accessible through the wooden footbridges anchored on the rocks overlooking the water. The bridges offer a stunning view of the gorge, and the light falling in through the creeks and the sound of the water crashing the rocks is quite theatrical.
- Hiking Trails – Around the Orrido di Bellano, you can see marked hiking trails, which are easier to access. There are shorter and longer ones to choose from, which offer a more spectacular view of Bellano and Lake Como.
- Church of Saints Nazaro and Celso – This 14th-century church has a beautiful facade made of black and white marble strips, which looks very unique.
Another reason to visit Bellano in Autumn is to enjoy the season’s delicacies. This season brings more unique flavours into the town, which means the cafes and restaurants will already have hearty soups and stews on their menu (perfect for the mild weather). Savouring Italian delicacies, sitting in a cafe or restaurant overlooking the lake watching the sun go down is just the most enjoyable thing to do in Bellano.
AUTUMN IN PIEDMONT, ITALY
Piedmont, nestled in the northwest corner of Italy is known as the land of fine wines and truffles. Piedmont offers a blend of natural beauty, rich history, and culinary delights.
Venture into the charming city of Turin , with its elegant squares and grand architecture, or traverse the picturesque countryside dotted with vineyards and rolling hills. Indulge in Piedmont’s renowned wines, such as Barolo and Barbaresco, and savour the exquisite flavours of local cuisine, including truffles and hazelnuts.
Piedmont’s scenic landscapes, historical wealth and the sumptuous gastronomic experiences await those who wish to be charmed by the region’s pleasures of la dolce vita.
Alba, Piedmont in Autumn
Image and recommendation by Denise Macuk of Chef Denise
If you are looking for an Italian getaway this autumn, look no further than Alba. Alba is a picturesque town situated in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. This beautiful town is a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and superb Italian cuisine.
Alba is known for its centuries-old cathedral, castle, and historical landmarks. The town is home to the massive, ancient tower, Torre dell’Orologio, that boasts stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Much of the countryside is lined with grapevines that are harvested in the fall to produce the luscious Barbera d’Alba wine.
However, Alba is best known for its white truffles. In fact, it is called the “White Truffle Capital of the World,” and the season for white truffles is September through December.
Of course, many fun activities surround grape and truffle harvests. Here are some suggestions for the best ways to enjoy the autumn season in Alba, Italy:
- The International Alba White Truffle Fair, is one of the most popular fall festivals celebrated in Alba. This festival usually takes place between October and November and attracts throngs of tourists from all around the world. During the festival, visitors get to taste and purchase mouth-watering white truffles alongside other local delicacies. If you’re a truffle lover, this festival is not to be missed.
- The Douja d’Or festival in nearby Asti is another famous event held annually in September. It features local wine producers showcasing their best wines.
- If you miss the wine festival, there are plenty of local wineries to visit in the hill and sample their products.
The town of Alba comes alive in the Autumn. If you are a foodie this small town should be at the top of your list to celebrate the bounty of wine and truffles that it’s renown for. Even if you’re not a festival goer, all of the restaurants will be showcasing these amazing local products.
AUTUMN IN SARDINIA, ITALY
Sardinia, an enchanting island gem nestled in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. With its pristine beaches, rugged mountains, and vibrant coastal towns, Sardinia offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. This Mediterranean paradise entices visitors with its crystal-clear waters, ancient ruins, and a captivating blend of Italian and Sardinian traditions. Explore the stunning beaches of Costa Smeralda, immerse yourself in the island’s unique Nuragic civilization, or savour the local delicacies, Sardinia promises an unforgettable escape filled with relaxation, adventure, and the timeless allure of its breathtaking landscapes in the autumn season.
Cagliari in the fall season
Image and recommendation by Claudia Tavani from Strictly Sardinia
Cagliari is the gorgeous capital of Sardinia, the second biggest island of the Mediterranean. Often overlooked by tourists who prefer visiting other more famous destinations in Italy,
Cagliari actually has a lot to offer and most people who visit end up falling in love with it. What’s special about Cagliari is that it’s a hilltop town, but at the same time right on the shores of the Mediterranean, and that it combines incredible (and pristine) natural sites with lots of historical and archeological wonders.
Autumn is just about the perfect time to visit Cagliari. The days are still nice and long, and it’s usually sunny, and as the summer season stretches for quite some time, you can even enjoy a day at the beach (including with a dip in the sea). Furthermore, since the temperatures are a bit milder, you can enjoy hiking too, which is one of the best things to do in Cagliari.
Plan to spend at least three full days in Cagliari to get a feel for what it has to offer. Here are some of the recommended activities:
- Explore the Centro Storico — Cagliari historic centeris made up of four distinctive yet interconnected districts: La Marina and Stampace by the waterfront, Castello on top of one of the hills surmounting the city; and Villanova right next to it. Castello has the highest concentration of attractions: that’s where you will find Cagliari’s Cathedral, the archaeological museum, and the Santa Croce terrace from where you can enjoy stunning sunset views over Stampace.
- Hike the Sella del Diavolo — the trail to the Sella del Diavolo starts behind Calamosca beach and is well-marked. You will be at the top in just one hour and from there you can enjoy stunning views of Poetto beach below, and Molentargius Nature Reserve.
- Go wine tasting in Serdiana — the fall is just about the best time of year for wine tasting experiences. Serdiana is a small village about 20 minutes drive from Cagliari, where you will find several great vineyards that are open for visits. Opt to visit Cantine Argiolas for the best wine tasting experience. Pala and Audarya are also excellent alternatives.
Cagliari glows in the autumn, putting on its best dress for tourists. This is when locals come back to their routine; so you will experience a city that is pleasantly busy but never in a hectic way. It’s also when many festivals take place in Sardinia, and Cagliari is a great base to explore the rest of the island.
Autumn in Villasimius, Sardinia
Image and recommendation by Catrina of 24 Hours Layover
Sardinia is an ideal place to visit in autumn. Villasimius in particular — a charming coastal town located on the southern part of the island, is a great spot during the autumn. It is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, stunning white sandy beaches and its picturesque landscapes, making it a popular destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. In autumn, Villasimius offers a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere compared to the busy summer months, meaning you can really enjoy the natural beauty it has to offer.
Some of the best things to do in Villasimius during the autumn season include:
Explore the idyllic nearby beaches, such as Porto Giunco and Spiaggia del Riso.
- Discover historic sites such as the 17th-century Fortress of Punta Molentis and the Spanish Watchtower.
- Go on a boat tour to explore the nearby marine protected area of Capo Carbonara, full of incredible coves and breathtaking underwater landscapes. Alternatively you can do some water sports such as windsurfing.
- Go hiking along the scenic trails of Capo Carbonara and enjoy the stunning views.
Villasimius is great to visit in autumn as you can experience the annual grape harvest and indulge in the local wine culture! Autumn is the prime season for vineyard visits and wine tastings here, so make sure to add it to your list! In addition, there are several annual food festivals and gastronomic events that occur here in autumn, which showcase the local cuisine and traditional flavors of Sardinia — meaning you can really immerse yourself in the authentic Sardinian culture and cuisine!
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