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 multicultural region of Fruili-Venezia Giulia (henceforth referred to as Friuli) lies in the northeastern corner of Italy, bordering on Austria, Slovenia, and the Gulf of Venice. Here summer is really summer; but by October the weather definitely gets colder, especially in the mountains. Start the month in the Alpine village of Forni di Sopra, population just over 1 thousand, at its three-day Exposizione della Zucca (Pumpkin Exhibition) that starts on the Friday prior to Octoberís first weekend. There are scads of pumpkin competitions. Or that Sunday go to the competing Pumpkin Festival in Venzone, a small town of some 2 thousand, in which the populace dresses in costumes dating from the early Fifteenth Century. Youíll enjoy the wandering minstrels playing authentic medieval instruments, jousting contests, lots of pumpkin-based dishes, pastries, various pumpkin contests, and the election of a Pumpkin Queen. The small town of Gradisca d'Isonzo, population about 6500, on the Slovenian border, hosts an eau-de-vie exhibition and competition and presents wine-tasting courses during the first half of October.
In Friuli Octoberís second weekend offers you several choices. The little city of Tolmezzo, population slightly more than 10 thousand, near the Austrian border offers its Meladailamela, honoring the town's meats and other agricultural products accompanied by music, dancing, and liquid refreshments. The provincial capital of Udine, population 100 thousand, not far from the Slovenian border celebrates its local wines, foods and products with music in the piazzas, exhibitions by artisans, games and playgrounds for the kids, gastronomic stalls and mobile kitchens. People dress in costumes recalling the end of the first millennium. Friuliís capital Trieste, population 200 thousand, hosts the Barcolana Autumn Cup gathering over 1,500 watercraft (the largest such event on the Mediterranean Sea) and a crowd exceeding 100 thousand. Needless to say, thereís a lot happening on the water and on land starting on Saturday night.
The third Sunday of the month is a lot quieter. The small Slovenian border town of Romans d'Isonzo, home to fewer than 4 thousand, hosts a giant turkey exhibition. The following week, the nearby town of Gradisca d'Isonzo, home to under 7 thousand, presents its regional sparkling wine exhibition and competition also featuring local gastronomic specialties.
Why not finish the month in Triesteís Mostra Mercato dell'Antiquariato, an antique show showcasing specialty glass (art deco, vases, crystal, dishes), silver, walking canes, pocket watches (some of which may date back to the 1800's), stamps, lithographs and many other categories of truly authentic and unique antiques? This event is held at the Centro Congressi Stazione Marittima during the last weekend of October and the following Monday and Tuesday.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Friuli-Venezia Giulia 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 Friuli-Venezia Giulia