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 October 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 regions of Val d’Aosta, Piedmont, and Liguria are in northeastern Italy. Val d’Aosta is a tiny mountainous Alpine enclave on the French and Swiss border. It’s bilingual. Piedmont is the center of the Italian automobile industry. Liguria forms the Italian Riviera. Obviously the weather here varies but don’t expect summer temperatures in late October. You might start the month in Liguria’s capital Genova, a Mediterranean port city of 600 thousand at its International Boat Show. This major show boasts 1400 exhibitors, running for some 9 days starting in very early October. You’ll find nearly everything related to water. Don’t miss the Millevele sailboat regatta on the closing Saturday.
On the first weekend the small town of Gressan, Val d’Aosta, population about 3000 holds an apple festival. Hop over to similarly sized Donnas, for its grape festival. If you are in The Piedmont that Sunday why not visit the village of Cocconato, home to over 1500 for its Vintage Wine and Donkey Festival? Other Piedmont choices that very day include Montiglio, (home to 2000) Truffle Festival, the half as big village of Piozzo’s Exposizione della Zucce (Pumpkin Exhibition), and a antique show in the medieval city of Moncalieri, population 60 thousand, which has become a suburb of Turin. The city of Alba, Piedmont, home to 35 thousand people and many fine wines, hosts a Donkey Palio, Jousting Tournament of the 100 Towers and Truffle Festival. A Palio is a costumed Italian inter-neighborhood competion, usually involving horses. Activities start on October’s first Sunday and run until the first weekend of November.
October’s second Sunday is quite busy, especially in The Piedmont. Your choices include the Grandfather Vintage and Truffles Sale in the village of Castagnole Monferrato, population 1300; a major antique show in the regional capital of Turin, home to 900 thousand; and the Day of the Truffle in the small town of Mombercelli, population 2300. Or you could visit the Ligurian port city of Sarzana port, population 20 thousand, for its flea market, A Sunday in the Attic. On the second and third Sundays of the month, the small town of Moncalvo, Piedmont, population 3300, holds a truffle fair with a different twist. The finder of the heaviest truffle gets a golden trophy.
Towards the end of October (24th to 28th) Turin hosts its Salone Del Gusto (Hall of Taste) a food fair attracting over 100 thousand visitors. The expresso is free but you’ll have to pay $1 to $3 a glass for the 2500 wines from 24 countries. The renegade Italian gourmet, Carlo Petrini, inspirer of this event is the founder of the Slow Food movement now boasting over 40 thousand members in 35 countries. Finish the month (about October 26 to November 4) by viewing Italian Job - a scenic jaunt across Europe from Brighton, England to Liguria and back. More than 2 thousand drivers of mini-cars follow this 2 thousand mile (over 3 thousand kilometer course) to raise money for children’s charities.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Liguria, Piedmont, And Val d'Aosta 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 Liguria, Piedmont, And Val d'Aosta