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 September 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 northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna lies on the Adriatic Sea. Many claim that itís home to the best food in Italy. Few make the same claim for its wine. Here summer is really summer, so if you arenít a fan of hot, hot weather you may prefer a September vacation. Start the month in the Santa Bianca neighborhood Bodeno, a city of some 15 thousand, at the Frog Festival where on the first September weekend (and also the last weekend in August) you can watch them race and eat them. That Sunday Castel San Pietro Terme, a city of 20 thousand inhabitants, hosts a race in which 95 horses, each representing an Italian province, compete. I havenít asked if they are on the menu.
The village of Montebello di Torriana, population about 1400, holds a Honey Festival on Septemberís first weekend. Youíll learn about its many uses including cosmetics, therapies, and artisan creations. And you wonít go hungry. That Sunday the agricultural small town of Soragna, population about 4500, holds the National Nose Competition, accompanied by wine, local foods and live music. Other festivals on that same day include eating focaccia bread with crackling or grapes in Borgonovo Val Tidone, population 7000, and enjoying fresh and cooked mushrooms in the main square of Berceto, population about 2200.
On the first and second weekend of the month Massa Lombarda, a small city of some 10 thousand, holds a Palio del Timone (Rudder Race). This is like a tug-of-war in which different neighborhoods compete. Then enjoy the food stalls, lots of wine, live music and dancing, exhibitions and artistic displays. On the second weekend Albareto, a village of not many more than 2 thousand, hosts a Porcini Fair to honor those giant, flat mushrooms. Stop by the much larger town of Borgo Val di Taro, population over 7 thousand, to taste their mushrooms. Other festivities held on that Sunday include the gastronomic Braciola Festival in the town of Castel San Pietro Terme and a commemoration of the poet Dante's death in the year 1321 in the Dantesca neighborhood of Ravenna, population 150 thousand. This festival has been held every single year since 1321. Another choice is SANA - the International Exhibition of Natural Nutrition, Health, and the Envoronment held in Bologna, population about 375 thousand, a gastronomic capital despite its name.
On the third weekend of every month Sorbara, population of 15 thousand, hosts a Festa della Lambrusco, honoring its fizzy, sweet red wine. Even if you arenít wild about this libation youíll enjoy the eats and activities including a spectacular fireworks display. On that same weekend the small town of Fontanellato, home to some 6 thousand, hosts an antique show with more than 300 exhibitors and thousands of visitors. The activities occur in the historic town center. Other large antique shows include one in the city of Modena, population over 180 thousand, (also some 300 exhibitors) on the last weekend of every month and an even larger one in Parma, whose population is similar to Modenaís, held from the last weekend in September through the first weekend in October.
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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September events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in Emilia-Romagna