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 region of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy lies on the Adriatic coast. It is considered by many to be gourmet-central. Here summer is really summer; so if you arenít a fan of hot, hot weather you may prefer an October vacation. By late October it can be chilly, especially in the hills. You may start the month in the gastronomic city of Parma, population about 200 thousand, at its Fiera di Parma Antique Exposition featuring over a thousand exhibitors. It runs from the last weekend in September through the first weekend in October. From October 2nd until the 9th of January the city of Ferrara, population about 130 thousand, hosts the Dinner with the Prince in the majestic medieval Castle Estense. Top of the line chefs compete for 100 nights. Each week the theme changes. There are only 100 seats so reserve early. Activities on the first Sunday of October include a Peasant Festival, complete with music, dancing, plenty of food (especially salami) and wine featuring a grape stomping in the village of Sasso Morelli, population 900, and the Mercato del Fungo e del Tartufo (Mushroom and Chestnut market) in the small town of Bobbio, home to fewer than 4 thousand, held in its central piazza in front of the Duomo. At this day-long celebration make sure to taste the local macaroni made by hand with the aid of knitting needles.
The small town of Casola Valsenio, population less than 3 thousand, holds its Festival of Forgotten Fruit during the second weekend of the month. The ancient city of Modena, population 180 thousand, is famous for its sports cars and balsamic vinegar. For ten days up until the third Sunday of the month its historic center boasts an Autumn Festival with live concerts, dance, photographic and art exhibitions, fashion shows, street theater, antique, artisan and flea markets, and lots of food and wine. Note to amateur and professional astronomers, on the second Sunday the city of San Giovanni in Persiceto, population about 25 thousand, hosts the Meeting of Italian Planetarians in the local planetarium. That same day the Marathon of Italy Memorial Enzo Ferrari (as in the famous sports car) goes from Carpi (67 thousand) to Maranello (17 thousand).
The small town of Zocca, population under 5 thousand, hosts a Chestnut Festival on the second and third Sunday of October and the first Sunday of November. Besides eating them you can gather your own and visit a chestnut museum. The ancient town of Fontanellato, home to some 6600, near the regional capital of Parma hosts a giant antique market (more than 300 dealers) third Sunday of the month (and the preceding Saturday.)
The city of Bologna, population about 375 thousand, is a gastronomical capital despite the unimpressive sandwich meat that carries its name. On the fourth weekend of October including the previous Friday it hosts a Tattoo Expo that attracts 25 thousand attendees. Youíll find ethnic dancing and a body-piercing exhibition as well. More up my alley is the Festival of the Black Truffle held in the village of Calestano, population, less than 2 thousand, held on Octoberís last Saturday. The following day the small town of Vergato, home to under 7 thousand. hosts its Tartufesta, honoring the white truffle. Or you could return to Modena for an antique show in the Parco Novisad during the monthís final weekend. All-night Halloween choices include a Celtic party and parade in the small town of Riolo Terme, population 5500, and a party in Bologna. Bring your costume and tattoos.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Emilia-Romagna 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 Emilia-Romagna