The Olive Harvest, Tuscany

The Olive Harvest, Tuscany

is the season for olive harvesting across much of the
Mediterranean, and it can last anytime from mid-October to early
December. I travelled to Tuscany to photograph the event, making my
way from Pisa to Volterra, Montepulciano, Siena and Fiesole before
circling back towards Florence. The picking often starts in the
early morning, and nets are spread under trees while olives are
selected by hand. I photographed the beautiful process of shaking
the trees, gathering the olives and putting them into crates,
impressed by the stamina of those doing the picking, both young and

When I first arrived it was nice to leave the busy roads around
Pisa and head south, my first stop the hilltop town of Volterra,
which is surrounded by glorious undulating landscapes and far
reaching views. It wasn’t only the olives that were in season for
picking, as other crops were being harvested, turning gold in the
autumn light. Cold winds would be a regular weather pattern at all
the hilltop towns I visited, Montepulciano being no different,
perched on top of a hill surrounded by fertile land, much of which
is covered with vineyards. Not far away, Pienza enjoys views of
Tuscan landscape and farmland.

Towards the end of my trip I stayed on an agriturismo farm just
south of Florence called La Casellina and the environment was as
I’d imagined it would be – beautiful olive groves surrounded by a
majestic landscape. The family that owned the farm, which they had
maintained for generations, were welcoming and warm people who fed
me well with ingredients from their land. The rusticity and peace
of the area was in many ways the highlight of my short trip. It
gave me a chance to immerse myself in the olive harvest and while
doing so, spend some intimate time with the family.


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