Autumn Traditions in Italy–The Summer of San Martino

Legend has it that San Martino became a monk after serving as a Roman soldier.  On a cold rainy day in  November, Martino was traveling on horseback, and came across aSan Martino gives half his cloak to a beggar half-naked beggar.  Seeing that the poor beggar was shivering from the cold, Martino took pity on him, and cut his own cloak in half, giving one half to the beggar.  As soon as Martino set off again on his journey, the sun came out and the temperature became warm.  From this we get the "Estate di San Martino" – the Summer of San Martino. 

That night, Martino dreamt of Jesus wearing his cloak, and woke up with his own cloak intact.   This sign made him rush off to be baptized and become a Christian.

Besides bringing us this wonderful warm November weather, San Martino has many chores as a patron saint of horseman and horses, of tailors and beggars, of the poor and injured, of barrel makers and drunks, of cured alcoholics, of betrayed husbands – I leave it to the reader to find a thread here. 

And last but not least, San Martino is the patron saint of winemakers, grape pickers Vino novello new wine November Italyand sommeliers, because on the occasion of San Martino’s feast day on Novembre 11, we drink vino novello, the new wine. 

So whenever you taste the season’s new wine, raise your glass in a toast to San Martino.

Read about the Torggellen new wine festival

2 Responses to “ Autumn Traditions in Italy–The Summer of San Martino ”

This is a good story of a man in faith with action… but it is good to drink a new wine with praise and thanksgiving to God who is the giver of everything that we have.

[…] Here at Castelfalfi we are currently enjoying the delights of an Italian Indian summer. Known as a summer of San Martino, the name given to these warm conditions experienced at this time of year dates back to an ancient legend about Saint Martin. […]


By submitting this comment you agree that your personal information will be made public.

four × one =

Italian Culture & Customs
Italy Travel Guide