Imagine the enchantment of autumn in the Pavia countryside: a real journey through the vineyards, tastings, handcraft events and all the best of this amazing land!

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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

Find out more about the typical wines of the Oltrepo Pavese

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

Charles Baudelaire

Autunno Pavese Wine Tour 2021: all enogastronomic events...

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There is no better way to discover the secrets of this magical land than to take part in the Autunno Pavese Wine Tour 2021: the event consists of over 50 events including tastings, guided tours and themed dinners organised by 32 local companies.

This year, with regard to gastronomic events, there is something for all: in September, you can attend the event Saffron in the field and in the kitchen where, in addition to the delicious product, you will be able to taste a series of wines carefully matched to each recipe, and the event Snail in Oltrepo in Verrua Po' where you can taste this typical dish and visit the breeding farm.

Autumn in Cascina with risotto: what better occasion to taste typical local risotto with mushrooms and nettles? Don't miss the Sentieri e Sentori event in Casteggio, which features an itinerant tasting at sunset in a perfect combination of wine, music, art, dance and colours.

In October in Mortara you can take part in the tasty meeting Il riso incontra l'Oca (Rice meets Goose) while in Valle Lomellina you can taste a rich seasonal menu and rediscover the beauty of the village cinema at the Agriturismo Il Cinema.

During the 9 and 10 October, don't miss the event L'anno del colore, tonalità ed emozioni in tavola (The year of colour, colours and emotions on the table) in Rovescala or book at Ristorante Ottocento to taste Pavia's excellent Riso Lomello and Buttafuoco Storico.

The following weekend, gourmets won't want to miss the Pomella genovese event (pomella is an ancient apple typical of the area), not miss the Pane Vino e Oca in Mortara neither the Picnic Degustazione tra i vigneti (Picnic Tasting among the Vineyards) organised in Santa Maria della Versa.

Between 22 and 24 October at the famous restaurant Le Robinie del Po you will have the opportunity to take part in the event La Corte in Tavola where you will taste typical local dishes.

Please note that a green pass is required for all these events.

Further info about Autunno Pavese

...and wine tours.

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Between September and October, the Autunno Pavese Wine Tour 2021 will offer the possibility to all wine lovers to take part in events aimed at discovering the region's typical labels. During all weekends it will be possible to take part in tastings guided by the best sommeliers and visit vineyards and cellars.

Some examples of these events are: Scollinando con i Vignaioli del Buttafuoco Storico in Canneto Pavese, Versa e Gusta where children can participate directly in the grape harvest while adults can follow the tastings; during the Bollicine che Passione event you will have the opportunity to taste Riesling, Pinot Noir and Metodo Classico.

In Montù Beccaria you can take part at the event Per le antiche stanze (For the ancient rooms), which includes a wine tasting at the Vercesi winery and a visit to Castellazzo.

Here are all the events

SuaMaestria: widespread craftsmanship

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This year the SuaMaestria exhibition dedicated to Artistic Craftsmanship joins the Autunno Pavese and takes on a new itinerant guise, abandoning its historic "home" at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Pavia. The artisans from Pavia will take part in the initiative: they are artists who work with textiles, ceramics, wood, gold and other valuable materials, treasuring ancient knowledge and re-proposing it in a modern key. While you taste some of the finest Italian wines and savour the typical products of this ancient land, you can admire the artisans at work who, thanks to the magic of their hands, work raw materials to give life to beauty, in the footsteps of a traditional knowledge that has never been forgotten.

To find out which artists are exhibiting

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