It may be 100 degrees here in Southeastern Arizona, but it’s autumn half a world away in Italy. The climate there is not too much unlike our own, but temperatures dip into the 70s and 80s across the country as the calendar rolls into October.

That’s great news for travelers, because it’s the perfect weather to be outdoors celebrating one of the best things about Italy: food! From the fall harvest to food festivals and seasonal dishes, here are just a few reasons why fall is for foodies in the boot-shaped peninsula.

Harvest Season
It’s harvest season here, too, but the regional specialties of Italy are a real treat. September and October are the months when “seasonal eating” means indulging in Italian-grown almonds, arugula, broccoli, chestnuts, potatoes, white truffles, and zucchini.
The recent rise in agritourism means visitors can find their way to the countryside to sample these local treats close to the soil where they were grown. Restaurants and stores also stock up on what’s being harvested now, with autumn menus and fresh, seasonal fare.

Festivals
Just eating freshly harvested food isn’t enough for Italians. Autumn is a time to celebrate the fruits of the earth.
That makes fall sagre season. Sagre is the Italian word for festival, and just about everything being harvested has its own sagre in small villages and towns across the country. There are sagres for fish, polenta, porcini mushrooms, and even potatoes, but especially for wine and truffles.
Much as you might expect, sagres are where you can purchase the thing being celebrated, eat it prepared in many different ways, see it used as a decoration, buy themed objects depicting it, and also just have a reason to eat, drink, and be merry.

Fall Weather
It may be almost as warm as it is here in the Italian October, but the countryside still manages to impress with fall foliage to rival that of the best four-season clime. Cooler night temperatures alongside the mild day temperatures make for pleasant evenings to sit on a terrace and enjoy that wine you’re celebrating—or celebrating with.

Seasonal Eating
Not only are Italians indulging in the harvest’s freshest fruits or the myriad sagres during their pleasant days and crisp nights; they’re also starting to dig into the season’s finest meals.
Truffles, porcini mushrooms, and young wine wouldn’t be the same without the meats starting to show up on Italian tables at this time. Think wild game—like duck, pheasant, quail, goose, hare, and especially boar.
Ragu, pappardelle, and polenta are commonly dished up with a healthy serving of these roasted meats. And of course, no meal would be complete without some freshly pressed olive oil—another seasonal treat.

Italians truly do seem to have all the luck when it comes to autumn. They’ve got the best weather, the finest delicacies, and the spirit to celebrate it all.

Meanwhile back in the Arizona dessert, we can drool over Google image searches for sagre and dream. And if we’re not busy booking October travel tickets to Italy, there’s always the indulgence of some delicious Neapolitan cuisine at Vero Amore.