The autumnal magic of the Castelli Romani wood park comes from the thousand leaves of the chestnut trees which take on shades from orange to deep red from green.
Going to take pictures, pick mushrooms or simply walk with the nose up is one of the favorite experiences of the Romans who have always spent the weekend immersed in the nature of the regional park.
In October there is one more opportunity to enjoy this show: the traditional chestnut festival of Rocca di Papa which perfumes the entire historic center of the town.
The chestnut is an autumn fruit that in this period is also widely used in the kitchen with recipes based on porcini mushrooms and chestnuts or added to pumpkin soups that reproduce the magic of the colors of the forest.
The chestnuts of Rocca di Papa are very small and are called Rocchigianelle. Following the tradition, the woods of the roman castles were planted after the little glaciation of the late eighteenth - early nineteenth century and for many centuries the entire economy of the area revolved around chestnuts. From feeding people thanks to the nutritious chestnut flour to use and wood processing (also used in barrels).
During the festival you can taste the traditional roasted chestnuts cooked in 8 different points of the city, each entrusted to a local association with people wearing historical clothes, or inserted in traditional dishes in the premises of the center such as Il Cantinone, Pepe Verde or Il Gusto.
But the experience of the festival does not stop at the taste and expands into the woods with guided tours that lead you to learn about the trades and activities that take place around the chestnut woods.
And for lovers of outdoor sports, the week after the festival takes place the Chestnut Marathon along a route of about 9.8 km. Meeting on Sunday 23 October at 7.30 am from the Campi di Annibale - but you must register at the following address http://www.atleticaroccadipapa.com.
The preparation of the festival begins many months earlier, according to the councilor for culture and sport Francesco de Santis: "the chestnut festival is now an identity event for Rocca di Papa capable of involving all citizens. This year we have added new weekends dedicated to chestnuts with sporting events that can directly enjoy the incredible beauty of our nature and our villages. We are waiting for you to surprise you with the taste of the Rocchigianelle, with the sight of our landscapes and with the scents of wine and chestnuts that flood the historic center ".
Also not to be missed is the famous Ciambella degli Sposi – Wedding Donuts, a biscuit that was donated by the spouses to relatives and friends as a modern wedding favor and that was brought by children who in exchange received gratuities.
Perhaps you will not receive any gratuities but it is the right conclusion of the visit to the Chestnut Festival of Rocca di Papa.