Montaione Truffle
Photo ©Ambito Turistico Empolese Valdelsa e Montalbano
Typical products, festivals, and events
Flavorful holidays in the heart of Tuscany in every season
Empolese Valdelsa e Montalbano
by Empolese Valdelsa e Montalbano /en/authors/toscana-nel-cuore-empolese-valdelsa-montalbano/

The Empolese Valdelsa and Montalbano area is synonymous with genuine flavors, ideal for a holiday dedicated to Tuscan food and wine.

As a matter of fact, there are quite a few typical products in this area, and many are linked to important annual events that make this area, in the heart of Tuscany, a perfect destination for those who love good food.

In springtime from Chianti Montespertoli to the Empoli Artichoke

The awakening of nature coincides with the opportunity to return to explore nature reserves and many outdoor itineraries, but also to taste local flavors, starting with Chianti wine.

Spring is, in fact, the perfect opportunity to visit Montespertoli, one of the capitals of Chianti. Crossed by the Wine Route, Montespertoli has linked its history to the production of Chianti Montespertoli: do not miss a visit to the Museum of Vine and Wine but, above all, the Chianti Exhibition, the great spring fair in which some of the most important producers of Tuscany participate.

If Montespertoli is the home of wine, Montelupo Fiorentino is the home of artistic ceramics, to which the Ceramics Festival is dedicated in early June. However, the manufacture of ceramics is also linked to the production of a special local dessert, Pan Bistugio. Made from sourdough with pine nuts and lemon peel, the dough for this cake is baked twice, like the ceramic dough.

Finally, you cannot miss a stop in Empoli, a city full of important museums and home of the artichoke. Known since the 1800s, the Sagra del carciofo Empolese (Empoli Artichoke Festival) is dedicated to it, and is held between April and May with food stands and special menus.

Summer and the Castelfiorentino Tripe Festival

The end of summer is a good time for a visit to the village of Castelfiorentino, town of the Bego Museum, important villas and castles, and the many itineraries to take on foot or by bicycle. If you are a tripe lover, this is your home.

In fact, Castelfiorentino is the home of tripe, one of the best-known traditional Tuscan dishes. Castelfiorentino tripe is renowned for being the tastiest in all of Tuscany, and there is no better occasion to taste it than the festival dedicated to it every year in early September.

Autumn with Montalbano's PGI extra virgin olive oil and white truffle

September and October are the months of the Chianti Montalbano and Montespertoli grape harvest while, in November, it is the turn of the olive harvest to produce Montalbano's PGI Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, a true delicacy.

During this period, you can travel the Montalbano Wine and Oil Route stopping at the many farms for wine and oil tastings or participate in local festivals.

Autumn is also the ideal season for another typical product, the red onion of Certaldo. The best way to taste it is the famous onion soup that you can find not only on the menus of local restaurants, but especially at Boccaccesca, a food and wine festival organized in October through the streets of Certaldo.

Finally, a visit to Montaione cannot be missed, a delightful village in Valdelsa and home of the prized white truffle. To celebrate it, Montaione organizes the annual Tartufesta, a market at the end of October that involves experts and enthusiasts.

Winter and the Zuccherini di Fucecchio

Finally, Carnival is the right time to visit the village of Fucecchio, along the Via Francigena.

Not only will the Fucecchio Marshes give you splendid glimpses, with floods of water, but this is the time of year dedicated to the Zuccherini di Fucecchio, one of the most typical sweets of the area. These are special ring-shaped dry anise cookies, made since time immemorial at Carnival and kept until Lent.