Imagine the enchantment of autumn in the Pavia countryside: a real journey through vineyards and wine tastings. Let's discover more. 

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Autumn fades away Consumes several days in one day It seems like a lazy game But it quickly burns days that appear slow

Francesco Guccini

When autumn arrives, you want to enjoy rural experiences, tastings and visits particularly focused on food and wine. The province of Pavia is certainly a great opportunity: thanks to the Autunno Pavese event, you can enjoy unique experiences among the wineries, restaurants and farms of Oltrepò Pavese, Lomellina and Pavia.

Autumn in Northern Italy: a wonderful biodiversity

Biodiversity in Northen Italy

Autumn is the most wonderful of all seasons to visit northern Italy and especially Lombardy. Many people know this region mainly thanks to the city of Milan, the capital of fashion and business, but Lombardy is much more than this. For example, the so-called "Oltrepò Pavese" (the area in the south of the Po) is a hilly zone full of charm and beauty, reminiscent of a time when the rhythm of human life was marked by the seasons and the work of the land.

These natural beauties are particularly brightly during the autumn months: the gentle hills of Oltrepo are coloured with the warm colours typical of this season, such as the red and orange of the leaves, the dark red of the bunches of grapes still to be picked, the deep green of the meadows and the brown of the tree trunks as they begin to lose their foliage.

Brown is also the colour of the mushrooms that emerge shyly and fragrantly from the ground after the first rains: hunters and farmers roam the woods to find the best specimens. Brown is also the colour of roast chestnuts, which both young and old persons love. Orange is the colour of pumpkins, which in October herald the arrival of the Festival of the Dead (Halloween).

There are the red foxes and the reddish deer, the light brown hedgehogs, the wild boars that blend in with the dark brown undergrowth, and the hundreds of multicoloured butterflies.

Biodiversity in Northern Italy is exciting, and during the autumn season, it romantically caresses our imaginations and tenderly accompanies us towards memories of childhood and of a contact with nature that often no longer exists for many of us.

Pavia and the Oltrepò Pavese: trips between villages, castles, hills and vineyards

Pavia e Oltrepò

Pavia is a beautiful medieval town lying on the banks of the Ticino river, not far from where this waterway meets the majestic Po river, which gave its name to the Po Valley. Departing from Milan, you can reach this enchanting village in about half an hour by train: Pavia will be an excellent starting point for exploring the fascinating Ticino Park and the naturalistic area of the Oltrepo Pavese.

On a journey to Oltrepò Pavese, you will admire marvellous landscapes and views of moving beauty. The hilly area is dotted with small ancient villages. In Montalto Pavese, you can admire the famous castle "Herat Place" of FAI with its wonderful English garden and secular trees: from here a short walk will take you to the Madonna dei Venti, a panoramic area that offers a spectacular view of the surrounding hills and that from August 2021 hosts the famous yellow Big Bench.

If you are planning an autumn trip to the south of Lombardy, you will have a lot of choices: you can take part in the wonderful activities of the Astronomical Observatory of Cecima, relax in the historic thermal baths of Rivanazzano, visit the ghost town of Rovaiolo and discover Fortunago and Zavattarello, listed among the most beautiful villages in Italy.

The ways of taste: local products and traditional recipes

Bertagnina pumpkin

As you travel through the vineyards, you will come across many small villages whose names are linked to the delicacies of the Oltrepò Pavese. Let's take a quick look at the typical raw materials of the area, the traditional recipes and above all the wonderful wines that you can taste.

Let's start with the village of Varzi, which produces a famous salami with a long maturing period, a sweet and characterised by delicate flavour and a fragrant aroma: this product is exported all over the world and many restaurants include it as a typical starter on their menus with the specific wording "salame di Varzi".

The Bertagnina pumpkin grows luxuriantly around the village of Dorno: the term "bertagnina" seems to derive from the dialect term "bartol", which means beret, referring in particular to the peasants' cap whose richly protuberant shape resembles the base of the pumpkin. This food is widely used for the famous pumpkin risotto, to be enjoyed in its variants with gorgonzola or smoked bacon!

The town of Casteggio is a place of pilgrimage for truffle lovers, who converge on the town in mid-November to savour the white and black gold of gastronomy, cooked in a wide variety of recipes.

In the Lomellina area there is also no lack of goose-based recipes, such as goose-filled tortelli and stuffed goose.

In recent years, the hilly terrain of the area has also welcomed saffron flowers, a new and very welcome guest whose delicate aroma adds flavour to the most appetising risottos, not least the classic Milanese risotto cooked with saffron and marrowbone.

Finally, we cannot fail to mention snails, a typical delicacy of Pavia and of the entire area south of the Po, cooked mainly in stews.

There are recipes that have a history, a secret, a tradition, and depending on the country in which they are cooked, they can change and modify their taste and appearance, while keeping the same name.

Alessandro Borghese

The Oltrepò Pavese wine routes

Red vine

The Oltrepo Pavese is known throughout Italy and the world for its terroir, which is particularly suitable for red grapes and sparkling wines; however, many of the vines in this area produce excellent white grapes that give rise to tasty sparkling wines.

In each of the 78 municipalities that make up the Oltrepo Pavese you will find wineries that produce and sell high-quality wines and that organise guided tastings both in the vineyard and in their cellars so that visitors can experience first-hand the whole magical process that transforms the bunches of grapes into the nectar of the Gods. 

The work makes prosperous some days, the wine makes happy the Sundays

Charles Baudelaire

Autunno Pavese 2022

Autunno Pavese 2022 events

There is no better way to discover the secrets of this magical land than to take part in the Autunno Pavese 2022.

This historic event takes place mainly in the beautiful setting of the city of Pavia. The provincial capital has in fact hosted this event since 1948, at the beautiful Castello Visconteo. At that time, the name of the event was 'Fiera del Regisole', to honour the famous statue in Piazza del Duomo representing an emperor on horseback. 

Later, in the 1960s, the event was moved to the Palazzo Esposizioni area. This new structure was intended to become a reference point for the organisation of events in the city. It remained here until 2015 when, on the occasion of Expo Milano, Pavia Chamber of Commerce decided to return the Autunno Pavese to its historic location at the Castello Visconteo, where it remained for three years.

With the pandemic making gatherings risky, it was decided to give Autunno Pavese a new form, making it an event spread throughout the province. In this way, thanks to the many events organised directly in the places of agrifood production, it was possible to publicise the beauty of Pavia and the entire territory.

The success of this initiative led to the decision to give this edition of the Autunno Pavese a hybrid format, which will be held partly in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Pavia, and partly on a tour of the many agri-food companies in the province. 

Further info about Autunno Pavese

...and wine tours.

Wine Events Pavia

There are many events characterising this edition of the Autunno Pavese. Wine-related activities are one of the main attractions on offer. In September, you can take part in Viva la Vendemmia in Fortunago, or in a fun picnic in the vineyard in Borgo Priolo, or in the unmissable event in Canneto Pavese: "Scollinando con il Buttafuoco Storico" (Sculling with Historical Buttafuoco), or in "Lomellina, tra gusti e sapori" (Lomellina, between tastes and flavors). 

In October, on the other hand, you can play "Indovina il Vino" ("Guess the Wine") in Codevilla and experience a fun "Degustazione Incasinata" (Messy Tasting) in Montecalvo. You will have the opportunity to discover all the wine's secret production methods for which the Oltrepò Pavese is famous worldwide and to visit the historic cellars of the most famous labels.

The events concerning food and traditional recipes are truly exciting! From tasty snail dishes in Verrua Po to events focusing on preparing goose dishes in Lomellina, to the food excellence of Po Riviera. 

Another typical food of this region is rice, which is cooked in the most diverse ways.

During these months, local restaurants offer excellent dishes with an autumnal flavour, from ravioli to game, from mushroom and truffle recipes to typical cold cuts.

Here are all the events

Autunno Pavese comes back to Palazzo Esposizioni

Autunno Pavese at Palazzo Esposizioni

The long-awaited return of the Autunno Pavese in the historic location of Pavia's Palazzo Esposizioni! From 30 September to 3 October, the exhibition centre will host numerous stands dedicated to the major producers of the Oltrepò Pavese area, eager to let you try their latest specialities.

If you would like to taste some of the region's best wines, all you have to do is buy the tasting equipment (glass and bag)  that will allow you to try different products, under the expert guidance of doc winemakers.

Metodo Classico, Pinot Nero and Bonarda: don't miss the opportunity to taste the wines that have made Oltrepò Pavese famous throughout the world!

Every evening in the dining area you will find typical dishes of Pavia's traditions. Each evening you will be offered the best of the typical dishes of the area.

If you don't feel like sitting at the table but prefer something more dynamic, don't worry! There are plenty of exhibitors offering samples of typical products such as cheeses, cold cuts and sweets from the area.

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