Autumn has just arrived and with it the typical fruit of the season, chestnuts. A source of valuable minerals and health benefits, chestnuts have a high energy value and help restore physical strength in autumn and winter. We can collect them in the woods and away from urban pollution.
Harvesting chestnuts is not only an experience that allows us to stock up on these delicious fruits, but it is also a way to spend time in the company of others, discovering nature through direct contact with it, immersed in the beautiful forests of Lombardy. This is in fact an opportunity to have fun with friends and family, as well as a way to socialise and make new friends.
Let's start with one of the most famous and popular cities in Lombardy. In Bergamo there are several woods suitable for chestnut harvesting. Chestnut groves can be found in the woods behind Canto Basso, along path 533. Also near Bergamo, another important place is Albenga, a small village in Almenno San Bartolomeo, where, in addition to collecting chestnuts, you can also visit the beautiful and romantic Rotonda di San Tomè, exquisitely decorated, where you can stop for a good traditional meal after a long day in the woods.
Another place suitable for chestnut picking is near Varese, and the Brinzio forest on the slopes of Monte Martica is highly recommended. A route designed for inexperienced walkers starts here, with a gradient of only 500 metres and a total walking time of 4 hours. Continue downhill towards Bregazzana, as far as Monte Chiusarella, where you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama!
For Alta Brianza, on the other hand, we recommend the Park of Montevecchia and the Curone Valley, where there are several chestnut groves and paths dedicated to chestnut picking. To fully appreciate the unspoilt beauty of nature, we highly recommend a visit to the village of Montevecchia and a stop at the panoramic viewpoints near the Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine del Carmelo.
This really is the ideal place for cycling and chestnut picking enthusiasts. There are numerous paths through the chestnut woods within the Larian Triangle, and it is also possible to go cycling, however it is not just the place that is breathtaking, the amount of chestnuts that can be found in these woods is impressive and they are all of excellent quality, small but firm and are best roasted over an open flame.
After accumulating chestnuts in the woods of Valbrona, head to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Ghisallo, well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Between Lake Como and Switzerland are the woods of San Fedele d'Intelvi and Casasco Intelvi, where you can accompany the chestnut harvest on an easy walk to the beautiful Monte Crocione in the village of Tremezzina. In the woods of San Fedele and Casasco Intelvi there is a path, and a 5-hour walk will take you to Monte Crocione, from where you can enjoy the beautiful panorama of Lake Como and the Grigne Mountains to round off a wonderful day in company after filling baskets with top quality chestnuts.
Moving instead to Lake Iseo, you will find Marone, a suggestive and beautiful place rich in chestnut woods. Moving on to the municipality of Zona, you can admire the so-called Pyramids, which are one of the most beautiful and characteristic landscapes of the entire Val Camonica.
These rocky spires are up to 30 metres high, with a small rock that acts as a hat on the top, formed naturally by the erosion of water on the mountain, evidence of the existence of ancient glaciers.
In Appiano Gentile, the Parco della Pineta is an ideal place to collect chestnuts; starting from Vedano Olona, follow the San Giorgio path. In the Parco della Pineta, in addition to the chestnut trees, you can also enjoy the purest of nature: there are many species of trees here, and there are many animals living in the pine forest, such as dormice, foxes, owls, hares, badgers, owls and many other animals. An excursion suitable for the more adventurous and for those who like to experience nature at 360° and then leave loaded with chestnuts.
Finally, we reach the Valtellina, another area in Lombardy famous for its chestnut harvest. In particular, we recommend the Albaredo area, where you can climb from Morbegno to the San Marco pass.
After harvesting the chestnuts, we highly recommend trying the local delicacies at one of the many local eateries, where you can sample delicious Valtellina specialities, including pizzoccheri, bresaola and sciatt, to refresh yourself.
To conclude, Lombardy is full of fantastic places to gather some of the country's tastiest chestnuts; however, it is advisable to choose a place that also allows us to spend a wonderful day with family or friends surrounded by nature and animals.
In this way we can turn a fruitful day of chestnut picking into something more special, enjoying some of the most unique views in the whole of northern Italy.
Photo by healthonline.healthitalia.it