From Cattolica to the discovery of Romagna’s chestnut groves

Autumn in Cattolica has never been so beautiful!Once the beach umbrella is closed, put away to await next spring, the autumn season arrives in Romagna too, the pace slows down and the sea shows itself in all its pastel beauty.The mild and still long days allow tourists and locals alike to enjoy the cleared shore for long afternoon walks, visiting the city, the Museum, the shopping streets, sipping tea or an aperitif.But for those who don’t want to give up the autumn palette par excellence, and jump into the warm tones of October foliage, the chestnut groves of the Romagna hinterland are waiting for you!

What to do in Autumn in Cattolica?

Perhaps not everyone knows that even in Cattolica it is possible to organise an autumn day out among the most famous chestnut groves of the hinterland: from Cattolica to hunt for chestnuts among the chestnut groves of Romagna!In fact, just a few kilometres from Cattolica, our Conca Valley, but also the nearby Marecchia Valley, offer a completely different landscape from the seaside-side one, a landscape rich in biodiversity and ecosystems, where, among granaries, mediaeval villages, fortresses and castles, it is not difficult to come across dense woods made up also of chestnut trees.There are many chestnut groves that enrich the flora of the Romagna hills, into which you can go for a walk in search of the autumn fruit.Throughout the months of October and November, it is possible to hike and collect chestnuts.ost of the chestnut groves are open to the public, sometimes with an entrance fee, but it is always a good idea to check with the municipalities in advance so as not to run into any nasty surprises.The chestnut tree has been cultivated for centuries in upper Romagna, not only for its fruit but also for its bark and properties.The ‘bread tree’, as it was called by the inhabitants of the hills and rural communities, as they derived sustenance from its fruits during the long, cold winters.This wonderful, fairytale-like plant only grows if there are certain environmental conditions, such as in the Conca Valley.

3 Chestnut groves in Romagna a must-see starting from Cattolica
The Montefiore Chestnut Grove
One of the best known chestnut groves is certainly the Montefiore Chestnut Grove, located on Mount Faggeto.Within the Monte Faggeto chestnut grove, there are very ancient specimens of chestnut trees, and the entire landscape takes on great value thanks to the particularly rare flora that inhabits it.One of the largest and most important forests in the province extends here.If you decide to go into the Montefiore area in search of chestnuts, an excursion to the Rocca, built during the 14th century by the Malatesta family, and of course to the Chestnut Festival, which takes place for four Sundays in a row right in the village, is a must.Discover also the Conca Valley Natural Park

The Chestnut Jungle

The best-known chestnut grove in the Marecchia Valley is located in Uffogliano di Novafeltria and is known as the Giungla dei Castagni di Novafeltria, a dense wood of chestnut trees, whose fictional name derives precisely from the incredible atmosphere that these trees create: they are centuries-old chestnut trees with twisted branches that fill the environment with their foliage, giving the impression of being in an impassable jungle.Inside the Chestnut Jungle you will also find an old ruin, the ancient castle of Uffogliano, known as ‘castellaccio’.

The Chestnut Grove of Mount Pincio

If you would like to delve a little further into our hinterland, in the municipality of Talamello, on Mount Pincio, you can find beautiful centuries-old chestnut groves, particularly in the Ca’ Francescone area, along the Novafeltria-Talamello-Sant’Agata Feltria provincial road.The Monte Pincio chestnut grove is located in the beautiful Marecchia valley and is characterised by evocative centuries-old trees extending over more than twenty hectares of land.Here too, for the entire month of October and November, it is possible to make excursions and collect chestnuts for families, groups, schools and enthusiasts with the possibility of tasting roasted chestnuts.Admission is free and only the harvested chestnuts are paid for.The Monte Pincio chestnut is a prized variety of chestnut, typical of the Montefeltro region and in particular of the Upper Marecchia Valley, already included in the National List of Traditional Products.Find out more about this chestnut.

These are among the most important and largest chestnut groves in Romagna, but there are just as many more, all to be discovered, such as the chestnut groves of Mount Ercole and Mount Benedetto, planted during the Middle Ages probably by some local monks.From these plants, in addition to sustenance, the local populations drew chestnut wood, one of the most durable woods, to prop up the galleries of the Perticara sulphur mine.In short, these autumn weekends are perfect for going chestnut hunting, even at the seaside: in this period, in fact, the woods of Romagna are a kaleidoscope of colours, scents and enchanting landscapes.Useful advice: wear hiking boots and bring along gardening gloves and a water bottle.But above all, do not miss the opportunity to stop and enjoy the splendid villages that dot the two valleys.