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 September vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, and sometimes sports. Italian fall holidays have several advantages: You won’t 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 Basilicata and Calabria form the calf and the foot of the Italian boot. Here summer is really summer, so if you aren’t a fan of hot, hot weather you may prefer a September vacation. The terrain is quite varied, as can be the weather. Start the month in the town of Cira Marina, Calabria, population about 14 thousand along the Ionian Sea. On September 3rd, the Patron Saint's day, people celebrate by eating special foods including bread made in the form of animals. This area is home to the famous Cirò wine, one of the oldest in the world. On September’s first weekend the little Basilicata town of Filiano, population somewhat over 3 thousand, hosts a regional feast of pecorino cheese and other local dairy products.
On the first Sunday the little town of Viggiano, Basilicata, population slightly more than 3 thousand, hosts the feast of Madonna del Sacro Monte (better known as the Black Madonna). Candles, music, and colorful activities accompany thousands of pilgrims to honor this famous, very sacred statue. There are lots of local specialties to taste. The city of Reggio Calabria, population about 185 thousand is the capital of the province and a short boat ride from Sicily. From the 11th to the 14th of the month it hosts the Festa della Madonna della Consolazione. This traditional festival honors the city’s protectress with religious events including carrying the “vara” (a very heavy wooden structure glorifying her) through the city streets. You will also enjoy symphonic and pop music concerts, art exhibitions, food and games galore, and fireworks.
The small town of Miglionico, Basilicata whose population neighbors 2500 hosts the Sagra dei Fighi Secchi (Dried Fig Festival) on the second Sunday of the month. You’ll enjoy them as food and see them made into garlands and dolls. I cannot promise you dried fig wine, but I’m not sure that you’ll miss it. The small town of Grassano, Basilicata, population about 6 thousand, holds its Sagra dell’Uva e del Granturco (Grape and Corn festival) from the 12th to the 23rd of the month. The village of Soverato Superiore, Calabria, population about 500 holds an Eggplant Festival on September 15.
Finish the month in Ferrandina, Basilicata, a city of about 9 thousand, at the Uggiano Castle, in ruins and abandoned after a terrible earthquake in 1453. But on September 30 it hosts the Sagra del Castello Ferrandina Festival with guided tours, food and wine tasting, an exhibition of locally handcrafted items, a photographic and painting exhibition and a concert of popular music. Make sure to pick up some of Ferrandina’s fine olive oil.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Basilicata and Calabria 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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September events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in Basilicata and Calabria