When collecting chestnuts is a crime

October time for chestnuts ! And in Italy there are so many: from Piedmont to Campania, passing through Trentino, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Basilicata. Everywhere this is the time for the good taste of chestnuts, roasted chestnuts, chestnuts and burnt. But if we like to go for chestnuts, how should we regulate ourselves?

In fact, harvesting these fruits is not the same in all places nor is it taken for granted: in most of the Italian territories that have these crops, we speak not only of tradition and landscape to be preserved, but also and above all of private property economic resources .

In short, what you have to do before going in search of chestnuts is to find out if it can be done and contact the local tourist organizations to find out when, how and where it is possible to go and collect them in the woods.

Going through the woods to collect chestnuts, therefore, is beautiful but it must be done (or not done) following the right rules .

As recalled by the local Police of the Giudicarie, in Trentino, “the collection is regulated by the penal code which in art. 624 provides for a penalty ranging from six months to three years and with a fine from one hundred and fifty-four euros to five hundred and sixteen euros for those who take possession of other people’s belongings. If the collection has already started, art. 626 of the Criminal Code which provides for imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to two hundred and six euros for those who glean, rake or scrape in the funds of others, not yet entirely stripped of the harvest “.

What is also true is that no prohibition signs are needed, since it would be the collector who would have to inform himself if the forest is owned and used for different purposes from the municipal woods. So, know that – unless otherwise specified – collecting chestnuts in the woods is a crime : ” all the fruits fallen on the land belong to the owner of the land and therefore their collection can be prefigured as a ‘theft ‘”, they write from the Touring Club .

In summary …

  • Once you have decided to dedicate yourself to the do-it-yourself chestnut harvest, check that the wood or chestnut grove you “targeted” is not privately owned, as well as the limit of chestnuts that you can collect per person
  • appropriate clothing and gloves, remember that the ripe fruits are already on the ground, it is not necessary to detach the hedgehogs from the plants, and that inside each hedgehog you will find two or three chestnuts
  • remember that chestnuts are fruits that rot quickly. For this it is necessary to collect and consume them in a short time


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