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.
Lombardy in northern Italy has it all. You can enjoy the Alps, beautiful lakes, and walled Renaissance cities, and savor Milanís world-class fashions. By late October expect chilly weather in many parts of this beautiful region. Start your tour at Fashion Week in Milan, running from the last week of September through the first week of October. About 200 designers display their spring and summer collections. Some 30 thousand buyers and 10 thousand other fashion professionals attend. During the first week of October Milan also hosts SMAU, the International Exhibition of Information and Communications Technology where almost 3 thousand exhibitors vie for the wallets of half a million visitors. For three days it is open to the public. For smaller crowds, visit the town of Villa di Tiranoís Celebration of the Apple and the Grape held the first weekend in October. In Castiglione the first Sunday of the month means the Olonaís Fair of the Cardinal, a small but exclusive antique marketplace along this small townís main street. The lovely city of Pavia holds an antique show in the Piazza della Vittoria on Octoberís first Sunday and Paviantiquaria in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Exhibition Hall) during the first week.
Other activities on Octoberís first Sunday include an inter-neighborhood Fifteenth Century costumed horse race (Palio) in the city of Vigevano, El Baston de San Bassan (Iron Horse Race) in the city of Lodi, a boat parade and fireworks commemorating the Holy Virgin of Rosario in the village of Montodine, Antique Market on the Farm held on a recently restored, 400 year old farm near the small town of Costa di Mezzate, and an antique market and used-goods exhibition in the lake-side city of Desenzano sul Garda.
On the second weekend the city of Lacchiarella holds their Palio dellíOca (Goose Race) pitting about twenty bad-tempered birds against each other. The winning neighborhood gets a beautiful pennant. Thereís plenty of music and beer, wine, and goose sausage. From the second weekend to the third the little Valtellina Valley town of Morbegno near the Swiss border hosts the Rassegna Regionale dei Prodotti della Montagna Lombarda showcasing local wines and foods, especially their famous Bitto Cheese.
Octoberís third Sunday seems a great day for antiques and flea markets. Locations include the walled city of Bergamo, the quaint lakeside town of Iseo, the little city of Lonato del Garda, the small town of Carimate, and the city of Cremona, a fine place for musical instruments, no surprise given its fabulous history of violin production. For a change of pace visit the city of Cantuís Mostra del Merletto (Lace Festival) running until Octoberís last weekend.
On the fourth weekend you might return to Cremona for its delicious Torrone Festival, celebrating this nougat candy already known in 1441. Or go to the small town of Soncinoís Sagra delle Radici (Radicchio Festival) said to attract 50 thousand fans. Perhaps itís the music, food, music, and wine. That last weekend (it may run into early November) the little town of Pizzighettone hosts Sapori di Una Volta (Tastes from Long Ago) that recreates ancient recipes. On October 26 guess which small town commemorates the bloody 1524 Battle of Basiglio fought between Spanish and French forces (both recruited by wealthy Italian families feuding over inheritances. On the last Sunday of the month there is yet another antique show. Itís in Milan (on the Naviglio, grand canal) so you know itís a big one.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Lombardy 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 Lombardy