September, October, the months when summer ends and we prepare for Autumn, are the most popular months for tourists who decide to take a holiday in Puglia.
Nature changes, olive harvest is organized, landscapes are beautiful, typical dishes are different.
But what are the good reasons to visit Puglia in Autumn ?
1. Good weather conditions
The first good reason to visit Puglia in September or October is the climate, among the best of the whole year. During the central hours of the day the temperatures are still very hot but acceptable, while the hours of late afternoon and evening are pleasantly cool.
The maximum temperatures, even at the end of the month, are unlikely to drop below 25 degrees, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful Apulian beaches.
BARRIE & PATRICIA (UK - OCT 2019) ★★★★★
Wonderful weather in mid-October at a lovely tranquil location, our second visit here this year.
2. Uncrowded beaches
Another great reason to visit Puglia in Autumn is that during these months you have the opportunity to enjoy semi-empty beaches.
In September, in fact, the schools start so the children return to school and so most of the workers. Apart from weekends when still quite busy, the beaches are mostly empty in September. Enjoy!
3. Olive harvest time : one of the most interesting and typical time in the region
Puglia is famous all over the world for its precious extra virgin olive oil. Such is the value of this product that it s often nicknamed “The Green Gold“.
In autumn (particularly from mid-October to mid-December), heading through the Apulian countryside you will easily come across farmers or normal landowners who, armed with nets, boxes and tools, gather under the olive trees for the traditional olive harvest in Puglia. But when exactly is it better to pick up the olives and how?
When organizing the olive harvest ?
The olive harvest time is a key factor for the quality of the oil: a too green olive will produce a very low amount of oil, but on the other hand, an overripe olive will give a very acid oil.
In general, the best time for the olive harvest in Puglia runs from October to the end of December but there are many factors that affect the choice of the right time such as the type of olive and, above all, the climate conditions. Depending on the kind of summer and autumn (the most important variables are the intensity of sun and rain) the olives ripen earlier or later.
How to harvest the olives ?
The olive harvest by family producers is a moment that gathers families and it is marked by very specific rituals. It is nice to see how they join their forces so that everyone will have enough supplies of delicious oil for the coming year.
Unless you have hundreds of olive trees, the techniques that small producers use for harvesting are the following:
– Handpicked. This involves placing the nets under the tree and picking the olives by hand or with the help of special rakes. It is a very slow technique (for big olive trees it even takes one day per tree) but surely it is very little aggressive towards the olive that remains intact and doesn’t ferment quickly.
– Harvest with the harvester. This instrument shakes the branches and causes the olives to fall. An undoubtedly faster way but could have some effects on the integrity of the olive and consequently on the quality of the oil.
– Harvest with the shaker. Rarer in the family harvest, it is executed with an arm connected to a tractor that wraps the trunk and shakes it until it causes the olives to fall. This is a very fast but very aggressive method which, if not performed correctly, could also cause the death of the tree.
After harvesting, the people take the olives within 48 hours to the oil mill where they will be pressed;
This specific time is very interesting to observe in Autumn.
4. Slow tourism : Autumn is also the best time to visit beautiful places
No need to say that one of the good reasons to visit Puglia in September or October is the quieter atmosphere that is breathed around compared to the crowded August.
In these months you can enjoy the special privilege of walking in the old villages and often feel like being the only tourists.
You can stop at any trattoria without having to book in advance and enjoy the seasonal delicacies.
But even the locals will be more relaxed and willing to stop, chat and spend some time with you.
PUGLIA is a very fascinating region where in Autumn many advantages are offered.
Do not hesitate to spend even 3 or 4 days to enjoy this period
Traditions are so authentic !!!