Delicious fruit and berries. I live on apples, figs and grapes this time of year! Even my dog goes and helps himself to grapes from the vine in the garden or a few overly ripe figs fallen off the trees that I have growing here.
Colours. Dull greens, rusty-browns, bright yellows are set against the blue sky that is not summer azure any more. It is autumn blue, diluted by rains and fogs. With so many forests, Italy offers spectacular displays of colours for lovers of fall foliage walks.
Cooler days for hiking. Autumn is fantastic for hiking and I can take my dog Modigliani with me because it is not sizzling hot anymore. There are plenty of puddles around to quench his thirst and we can keep going long distances.
Preparations for winter. Many houses in rural areas of Italy still use wood stoves for cooking and heating, so if you go around small villages now, you will see tractors and ubiquitous old Ape motorcycles with trailers carrying piles of firewood. It is chopped and stalked up neatly near houses. As colder days roll in the air fills with homely warm smell of burning wood and smoke hangs like a delicate veil over villages.
Olive harvest is starting and Italian oil mills will be busy for the next few weeks churning out tons of delicious olive oil. It also means that there will be many fresh oil tastings around and decisions to be made on which oil we will buy this year to keep us going until next harvest.