Don't think of Italy as only a summer destination. There are plenty of things to do and to see during the Italian spring, fall, and even winter. This series of articles provides ideas for your Italian vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, at any time of year. Off-season Italian holidays have several advantages: You won't fight the crowds, hotels and other accommodations are easier and cheaper to find. Whatever time of year you go, every region has its own special festivals. Plan your Italian holidays now. Keep reading.
San Miniato truffle festival, great eats.
So you are thinking of visiting central Italy in November, but you’re not sure what to see and what to do. Don’t worry; you’ll find lots and lots of special events that simply aren’t available in the good old summertime. Here are a few of them. Get rolling; November is almost upon us. We start our virtual tour in Tuscany and then visit its neighbor to the west, The Marches. The second part of this article visits the rest of central Italy in November.
Florence Noel is well before Christmas.
The Tuscany region of central Italy is famous for wine and food, as well as being one of the greatest art centers in the world. Tuscany is proud of its white truffles, “mushrooms” that are very tasty and quite expensive. One excellent setting is La Sagra del Tartufo Bianco (Festival of the White Truffle) in the medieval hilltop town of San Miniato. This festival runs on the second, third and fourth weekends of November. In addition to the food you’ll enjoy craft displays, theater performances, and marching bands. If you can get a room at the Convento di San Franceso, you’ll have more money to spend on those delicious truffles. The town of San Giovanni d'Asso, near Siena, hosts a truffle festival on the second and third weekends of November. It is also home to a truffle museum open on weekends.
The thousand-year old town of Suvereto holds a ten-day wild boar festival in late November that culminates in a feast on or about December 8. The festival showcases other local products such as honey and olive oil and includes historic reenactments, archery competitions and exhibitions, and other costumed medieval competitions. Tuscany’s Brunello di Montalchino and Barolo from neighboring Piedmont are excellent wines and pair very well with boar.
The Florence Noel celebration starts at the end of November and runs through the first week of December. This family event includes children's activities such as visiting Babbo Natale (Father Christmas). The whole family will enjoy the chocolate, food, music, and nativity village. You’ll find Tuscan Christmas markets in Florence’s Piazza Santa Croce (this one has a German touch), Siena, Lucca’s Piazza San Michele, Arezzo, Montepulciano, and Pisa.
The Marches is also truffle country. The town of Acqualagna calls itself the "truffle capital." It holds a white truffle fair on weekends starting at the end of October through mid-November. For another truffle fair visit Sant'Angelo in Vado on weekends from mid-October through early November. On Saturday nights there is live music as well. Make sure to pay careful attention to the full town name; Italy boasts several Sant’Angelos and to my knowledge the other ones are not truffle territory. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine local wines.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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November events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in central Italy