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 Marches region of central Italy lies on the Adriatic Sea. It is relatively unknown among tourists, one more reason to visit this beautiful, mountainous region. Here summer is really summer; so if you arenít a fan of hot, hot weather you may prefer an October vacation. As the month proceeds expect colder weather, especially at night and in the mountains. Start the month in the village of Smerillo, population 400, that hosts its Tutto sulle Castagne (Everything Chestnut) Festival every weekend throughout October and November. Or visit the small town of Cupramontana, home to 5 thousand, and enjoy its Annual Grape Festival with a parade of symbolic floats. Make sure to stop by the unique International Museum of Wine Labels. This festival runs from the last Sunday of September through the first weekend in October.
The coastal city of Grottammare is home to 15 thousand but receives half a million tourists a year . On the second weekend of October it hosts The Attic in the Street antique and artisan fair. During the last three Sundays of October and perhaps Novemberís first Sunday, the small town of Sant'Angelo in Vado, home to 4 thousand, offers a white and black truffle festival accompanied by gastronomic afternoons and traditional folklore exhibits and shows.
On the third weekend of October the village of Rosora, population 1800, boasts the Festa della Sapa. For those whose donít know, Sapa is a thick, sweetly fragrant condiment obtained by slowly boiling red grapes in a copper cauldron. Itís used in traditional cakes and cookies, on polenta, for marinating meats, and in a dressing resembling balsamic vinegar. Other attractions include food, wine, music and dancing. That same weekend the provincial capital of Ascoli Piceno, home to 50 thousand, hosts an Antique Market in the Chiostro di San Francesco and adjacent streets with over a hundred merchants. Make sure to visit the cityís central Renaissance square, Piazza del Popolo (Square of the People), considered one of the most beautiful in Italy.
The small town of Acqualagna, home to 4 thousand, is an international Truffle center. For four Sundays starting towards the end of October it is home to the National Fair of the White Truffle (Tartufo) which attracts 100 exhibitors and an unbelievable 100 thousand visitors. Expect to pay at least $50 for a small portion of white truffles. Some truffle hunters now accept paying observers. This will cost about $70 and $100 for a three-hour hunt. Finish the month in Corinaldo, home to 5 thousand, at its Halloween in Corinaldo. Youíll love Halloween with an Italian touch in a small town that has been designated a European Destination of Excellence.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine The Marches 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 The Marches