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October in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

October (Ottobre) is one of the best months to be in Italy. Tourist traffic is light and the weather is typically sunny and mild. Look for lots of local food and wine festivals during this month.

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October in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

Early October – Festival Verdi

Giuseppe Verdi, who was born in the province of Parma, in Emilia Romagna, is honored each October with a festival featuring his most famous and lesser known works. Throughout the city of Parma and in Busseto, the town of Verdi’s birth, there will be staged operas, concerts and other events. The events often start in late September and run for a few weeks in October. More info is available from the Teatro Regio Parma website.

Mid-October – La Barcolana Sailing Contest, Trieste

“The largest regatta in the world” takes place in the Gulf of Trieste on October 11. Prepare to be awed by the sight of more than 2,000 sailboats competing against one another on a 16 nautical mile course. See www.barcolana.it for more info.

Mid- to Late October – Eurochocolate, Perugia

The chocolate extravaganza known as Eurochocolate takes place yearly in the Umbrian capital of Perugia. The event is a chance to taste some of the world’s best chocolate, learn new cooking methods, and more.

October 31 – Halloween

Though Halloween’s origins developed from both ancient Roman (Feralia) and early Christian traditions, the holiday is not celebrated in Italy the way that it is in the United States. Thanks, or no thanks, to the commercialization of the holiday, Italians are aware of the traditions of Halloween, such as dressing up in a costume, trick-or-treating, etc., but you won’t see this aspect of the holiday, save for at clubs and bars that want to get in on the pagan fun. The fact that November 1, also known as All Saints’ Day, is a public holiday in Italy has helped Halloween’s popularity increase over the years. If you’re looking for spooky sites, consider this post on Halloween in Rome.

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