Donít 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 October vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, and sometimes sports. Italian fall holidays have several advantages: You wonít fight the crowds, hotels and other accommodations are easier and cheaper to find, and every region has its own fall festivals. Start organizing your Italian fall holidays now. Keep reading.
The relatively long, thin region of Apulia lies on the Adriatic Sea in southern Italy. It is quite traditional and so is a fine location to see the ďrealĒ Italy. Here summer is really summer; so if you arenít a fan of hot, hot weather you may prefer an October vacation. As the month proceeds expect colder weather, especially at night and in the mountains. Start the month at Foggia, a city of some 150 thousand, which hosts a series of trade fairs featuring stamps and coins; building technologies; handicrafts, hobbies, arts, and antiques. These fairs actually start the last week in September. The city of Terlizzi, population about 27 thousand, boasts a tower built by the Norman conquerors in the Twelfth Century with the second largest back-lit clock in Europe. Enjoy its Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on the first weekend (Saturday through Monday) of the month.
October is a big food festival month in Apulia. Start with the Tastes in Autumn on the first Saturday in Cassano delle Murge. Or visit the Gustosuono Food Marketing Initiative that day and the next in Andria. About a week later is the Olives Festival in Sannicandro di Bari. Then its on to Foggia for a two-day Grape Festival or a single day Italian Food Festival in Putignano. The Sweets Festival in Galatina charges admission and is directed to the trade. In mid-October Acquaviva delle Fonti hosts a Calzone Festival also offering pizza, panzerotti, and focaccia. Miggiano offers a four-day Expo 2000 food and agriculture conference. Make sure to be there on the Saturday when they serve pork dishes. Minervino Murge holds a two-day Mushroom and Pasta Festival late in the month. Finish the month (about 12 days starting on October 31) at Ortanovaís Chestnut Festival whose highlight is a 15 meter (50 foot stocking) stuffed with sweets for the children.
On the third Sunday of October, Bitonto, a coastal city of 55 thousand, celebrates its patron saints Cosma and Damiano with the procession of the Intorciata in which the faithful carry their statues in a candle-lit procession that culminates in an evening mass in the sanctuary. Many of the devoted faithful arrive in Bitonto on foot, some walk backwards to keep their eyes on the statues of the saints, and still others walk barefoot, holding candles as long as 2 meters (6 feet). Local food specialties and fashionable clothing are available.
On Octoberís final Sunday the medieval walled city of Altamura, home to some 70 thousand, hosts its Sui Sentieri del Fungo Cardoncello, a food festival presenting the mushroom in every form from raw to cured and dried. Visitors may enjoy trips into mushroom fields and harvesting demonstrations. Look for the cardoncelli, king oyster mushrooms that grow near wild thistles.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Apulia or other Italian 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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October events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in Apulia