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 neighboring regions of Campania, Basilicata, and Calabria form the shin, instep, and foot of the Italian boot. With the exception of parts of Campania that are home away from home to the jet set, this is traditional Italy. Here summer is really summer; so if you arenít a fan of hot, hot weather you may prefer an October vacation. The terrain is quite varied, as can be the weather. By late October it can be chilly, especially in the hills and mountains. Start the month in the small town of Moliterno, Basilicata, home to about 4500 people at their Pecorino cheese Festival held on the first of the month. The classic wine pairing for this cheese is Amarone from Veneto in northeastern Italy.
Crotone, Calabria, population about 60 thousand, sits on the Ionian Sea. On the 9th and 10th of October this city honors its patron Saint Dionigi with a parade and blessing of the seeds for a good and rich harvest. On the second Sunday you may choose between Marsico Nuovo, Basilicataís Autumn Festival in which the 5 thousand residents celebrate the grape, and Summonte, Campaniaís Sagra della Castagna, Chestnut Festival celebrated by this village of 1600 with live music, dancing, and lots of wine.
On the fifteenth of October Montemurro, Basilicata, a village of 1400 holds a Grape Festival with displays of local handicrafts. The following day the village of Materdomini, Campania, home to 700 holds its version of the blessing of the seeds, a traditional religious celebration at the Sanctuary of Saint Gerardo Maiella which is at least thirteen hundred years old. Its specially decorated stage holds tons of grain that are divided into bags. The bishop blesses the seeds and then the bags are distributed to the faithful.
Napoli is the capital and biggest city in Campania. This Tyrrhenian Sea port is home to almost a million. The third Sunday of the month (and the preceding Saturday) it hosts an Antique show in the Parco Villa Communale with about one hundred exhibitors. On the 23rd of the month Capistrano, Calalbria, a village of about 1100, hosts a Feast Day for its Patron Saint, St. John of Capistrano. This is a truly traditional religious celebration.
Finish the month with chestnuts. Melfi, Basilicata, a city of about 17 thousand at the foot of Mount Vulture hosts the Varola Festival with sweets made of chestnuts on the fourth weekend of October. Mount Vulture is known for pretty good wine, but I canít promise you that the local wines and chestnut pastries are a marriage made in heaven. That Sunday the village of Campora, Campania, population 800, holds its Festa del Marrone (Chestnut Festival) complete with live music, dancing, food and drink, and displays by local artists.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Basilicata, Calabria, and Campania 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 Basilicata, Calabria, And Campania