The Festa della castagna at Caprese Michelangelo takes place 14-15 October and 21-22 October. Michelangelo's birthplace, Caprese Michelangelo, is only two and half hours away from Lucca in the province of Arezzo, nestled in the Val Tiberina and 700 meters above sea level. The famous artist was born here on March 6, 1475, in the castle. His father was "podesta" and his house (photo above) is now a museum. You can also see the small stone church where he was baptised. Caprese Michelangelo is a picturesque village of 1400 inhabitants, a number which doubles in October with the famous Chestnut festival. Chestnuts and chestnut flour have always been staple foods of this area, and fed the locals in the Middle Ages in the place of grain. During the festival, you can discover the stunning area and taste the delicious local chestnuts called marroni. The festival offers many chestnut products, such as chestnut flour and sweet dishes, alongside all sorts of local food stalls, plus artisans displaying and selling their crafts. The highlight is to try one of the chestnut based menus on the various food stalls. The marrone is a large type of chestnut, typical here and known for its sweet flavour. It dates back to Roman times and was cultivated by the Benedictine monks in the Middle Ages. One of my favourite dishes is the monte bianco dessert made with meringue, cream, and chestnuts. Monte Bianco Make the meringue beforehand
800g chestnuts (marroni) 100g sugar 500ml milk
35g cocoa powder a little rum
fresh cream (needs to be whipped)
Cook chestnuts in a pan wit water (make a slit in them) for 35 minutes.
When cooked , peel them and put in bowl with milk , rum and cocoa powder.
Places spoons of mixture in a glass or bowl and cover with whipped cream and decorate with whole chestnuts . You can also place mixture and cream on a ready made meringue nest.