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.
Lombardy is in the north of Italy, partly on the border with Switzerland so I donít have to tell you about the mountains. There are several lakes to enjoy. Here summer is really summer, so if you arenít a fan of hot, hot weather you may prefer a September vacation. Lombardy boasts lots and lots of September activities; we have selected some of the best.
The city of Monza, population about 120,000, hosts Italyís top Formula One Grand Prix during the first week of September. Over a quarter million people attend the spectacle. Thereís a lot more happening during this special week. For quite a different experience on the first weekend go to Lainate, population about 24 thousand, for their Festival of San Rocco, which recalls its medieval birth. Many residents dress in authentic epoch costumes. Take a guided tour of the beautiful historical Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month. This Sixteenth Century palazzo includes huge, well maintained gardens and an exquisite ďNynohaemĒ or Water Palace. On the first Sunday the small town of Valle Lomellina, population about 2000, hosts a Mosquito Slaughter Fest. The champion male and female each get a prize of a golden mosquito pin. There is also live music and food.
The little town of Novedrate, population about 3000, holds a Mostra Internazionale del Pizzo (International Lace Exhibition) in the town hall on the second weekend. A Palio is an inter-neighborhood competition, usually a horserace. The village of Isola Dovarese, population about 1200, holds a Palio delle Contrade starting on the second Friday of the month. It starts when neighborhoods present their music and poetry. Saturday people tour the local taverns to taste spiced wines. Then comes the banquet where each course is introduced by music, dancing and performances. On Sunday morning they reenact a 1322 wedding. Make your purchases with florins (reproductions of the ancient money previously coined here). That Sunday the medieval looking village of Brinzio, population under a thousand, holds its annual Sagra del Fungo (Mushroom Festival). The little village is located inside of the Parco Naturale del Campo dei Fiori State Park that is said to brim with mushrooms.
Starting the following Friday the walled city of Palazzolo sull'Oglio, population about 20 thousand, hosts La Sagra delle Mura (Celebration of the Wall) with period costumes, wandering minstrels, freshly minted ancient money, and lots more. That weekend until Monday the small town of Brivio, population about 4000 hosts the religious festival Madonna Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows), a religious festival honoring its protectress. There is a livestock show, live music, dancing, fire-eaters, jugglers, and a merry-go-round. The fireworks show tries to set the local bridge on fire. That Sunday the city of Chiavenna, population about 7 thousand hosts the Sagra dei Crotti (Festival of the Grottoes), a music, food, and dancing festival that all takes place in the caves.
On the last Sunday of the month you may choose among a Grape Festival with all the trimmings at Trescore Balneario, an Autumn Festival with street actors and more in Desenzano del Garda, a Pumpkin Festival in Bozeno, a historical parade with 300 costumed participants in Nerviano, a Goose Food Festival in Mortara, with players dressed in Renaissance costumes move about a life-sized playing board only after archers hit a target, and a Grape and New Wine Festival in San Colombano al Lambro.
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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September events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in Lombardy