Autumn in Emilia-Romagna

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Autumn in Emilia-Romagna

Of all the times to visit Italy, I always recommend that people visit in the fall. There are a few reasons for that: the weather isn’t as meltingly hot, there aren’t as many tourist crowds, and fall is prime season for enjoying the bountiful harvest.

Beyond those obvious reasons, though, there’s something that I love about Italy in the fall. Maybe it’s that fall is the new year for fashion and no nationality dresses better overall than the Italians. But in a region as food-crazy as Emilia-Romagna, fall is about food festivals, and lots of them.

The first time I visited Emilia-Romagna in October, two years ago, it was cold — far colder than England at the time. I cursed myself for not bringing a winter jacket, instead needing to resort to my not-stylish-nor-passable-in-Italy-whatsoever fleece. At least it was black.

This time around, I lucked out majorly — the weather was fantastic. Though I was dreading having to buy a coat I would only need for two weeks, I never had to wear anything heavier than a blazer with a scarf, and some days were so warm, I could go jacket-free.

As a result, I had a wonderful time, and that is reflected in my photos. Here is the best of autumn in Emilia-Romagna.

Warm Autumn Day

Is there anything better than a crisp autumn day with a bright blue sky?

Yellow Trees

Especially when it looks so good against those yellow leaves.


In Bologna, the centerpieces change seasonally. Summer’s fresh flowers get replaced by various gourds in the fall. (And yes, my blogger friends and I did the smartphone challenge, putting our phones underneath the gourd to make sure we’d actually talk to each other.)

Truffle Hunting

Fall, of course, is truffle season. Look at the size of that black truffle!

Lea the Truffle Dog

Lea the dog was our fearless truffle-hunter. She was rewarded with cheese. A dog after my own heart.

Sant'Agata Feltria Truffle Festival

On Sundays in October, the town of Sant’Agata Feltria turns into a giant truffle festival.

Sant'Agata Feltria Truffle Festival

Here you’ll find people of all ages joining in the fun.

Sant'Agata Feltria Truffle Festival

And truffles worth hundreds of dollars. This one was the biggest one I saw anywhere.

Sant'Agata Feltria Truffle Festival

Vendors who swear up and down that their product — in this case, honey — is the very best!

Sant'Agata Feltria Truffle Festival

And fresh produce, bright and colorful at this time of year.

Sant'Agata Feltria Truffle Festival

You’ll find bearded cheese-loving hipsters…

Sant'Agata Feltria Truffle Festival

Along with bearded mushroom-loving hipsters…

Sant'Agata Feltria Truffle Festival

And the odd crowd of Scotsmen. (I asked these local guys why they dressed up as Scotsmen for the truffle festival. “Perche no?” one of them told me. Why not, indeed! Makes perfect sense!)

Italian Craft Beer

Tartufesta, the truffle festival in the town of Sasso Marconi, offered up something different — craft beer.

Chestnut Man

But the most entertaining thing was watching this man roast his skillet of chestnuts!

But if you’d rather get away from the festival crowds, the fall is a wonderful time to enjoy the great outdoors. Take a stroll through the Emilia-Romagna countryside with your friends and it looks like something out of the Renaissance.

Dog in a car

Alternately, take a ride with your best friend!

Gray Fall Day

Sometimes those gray fall days are just as beautiful as their blue-skyed counterparts.

Secret Passageway

And when paired with a trail through a forest, it takes on a spooky effect.

Until you meet the creature that dwells in this forest…

Grumpy Cat II

THIS. CAT. This is probably the closest I’ve ever been to kidnapping someone’s pet. This cat looks like a more portly version of Grumpy Cat (actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ate Grumpy Cat), but it was wonderfully sweet and wanted lots of cuddles and scratches. I LOVE YOU, FAT KITTY!

Annual Wine Harvest

Fall means it’s time to taste the newest vintage at your local winery or agriturismo, which I did at Isola del Sasso. And by that, I mean all of the wines. I mean, any winery owner will encourage you to sampling everything they have…

Wine at Night

Which leads to the end of a typical autumn evening in Emilia-Romagna — after a multi-course meal served over the span of several hours, the restaurant offering only one dinner seating, a few bottles of every single wine poured for the table, finishing up just before midnight with a final glass of white enjoyed outdoors beneath a full moon. Perfection.

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Which photo is your favorite?

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30 thoughts on “Autumn in Emilia-Romagna”

  1. Autumn in Emilia-Romagna sounds heavenly! Lately, I’ve become convinced lover of traveling in Europe in fall — fewer crowds, cheaper accommodation, better light for photography. But this post adds a whole new aspect to all the autumn advantages: Food!! It looks mind-blowingly delicious! I’m so going to make a trip to Emilia-Romagna happen in the fall of 2014!

  2. Oh my goodness, I love these photos in the market! There is something wonderful about capturing a place like that- some where everyone ends up going in their daily lives – that helps readers really get the feel of it.

    And, of course, I am jealous of your truffle-sniffing dog, that could be a sound monetary investment.

  3. Wow, those are quality porcini mushrooms. Once again, this post is total food p00rn for me, and there’s always that appeal of Italy, but people wearing actual clothes, LAYERS even, is a bit disconcerting for me. That’s what 10 months in Russia are for ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Great photos ! I will be trying Emilia Romagna in winter, this january, with a weekend in Bologna and Modena. Hope to experience the gastronomy and dolce vita !

  5. All the photographs are interesting and beautiful. I agree autumn is the best time to visit any place. I am sure Romagna is even more charming during this season.

  6. I love everything about Italy and have visited several times but have yet to make it to this region. I’ll definitely have to add it to my list! Love the pics too!

  7. My favourite photo is the one of the giant truffle, because I just want to get involved in that!

    On another note, though – I agree that Italy in Autumn is lovely. I visited Verona in October and took a day trip to Sirmione on Lake Garda. It was so peaceful there, and surprisingly cheap outside of the peak season! I’d definitely revisit Italy at that time of year (Emilia Romagna perhaps?). It also suits my ridiculously fair skin to avoid the height of summer!

  8. I’ve only ever visited Italy in the spring and summer, and now you’ve totally convinced me that I’m missing out big time. Would love to take a trip there in the autumn!

  9. I couldn’t stop staring at the photo of the wine glass! Such perfect light. Ahhh now to dream up a way to get to Italy this year!

  10. Oh yes, Italiaaaaaa!

    I really like Italy. I especially like your market photos. I love going to the local markets of new places. You get to see so much of the culture in their food, presentation and what the people are like.
    And for a fact, pretty much anywhere in Europe, in the autumn, is gold.
    Nice one!

  11. This is a great post ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like to visit place at, let’s say unusual, times. It is less crowded with tourists and you experience the destination in a totally different ways.

  12. First of all, LOVE the cat! Poor thing needs some strong diet pills, but overweight pets are always adorable. I’m yet to visit Emilia Romagna, but you’re doing a great job of persuading me I have to go.

  13. Love your blog!! I also agree with you! fall is my favorite time of year in Italy too! I am glad that SOMEONE agrees with me! My husband is Italian and of course he HATES fall because it means the summer is over! The end of summer is like death for an Italian. Anyway…..once again…love your blog!

  14. That is so cool! The only time I’ve been to Italy was during the heat wave of summer 2003! SO boiling! We could barely drag ourselves around the Vatican before retreating back to the haven of our air conditioned hotel room. But your photos look gorgeous! I’d love to go truffle hunting!

  15. I’ve only ever been to this part of Italy in the summer but would love to see it in Autumn, when it’s less crowded and a little cooler! And I’ve heard it’s a great time for food festivals – would love to go to that truffle festival one year.

  16. The photographs especially are amazing…they do justice to the place and the moment. The cat is probably the highlight of the story and a great reason to visit Emilia-Romagna any time of the year. I will be heading to Bologna in autumn and hope to discover an equally charming Italy…

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