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.
Sicily is a large Mediterranean island just off the coast of Calabria, the foot of the Italian boot. This is southern Italy and you may enjoy warm weather even in October. Donít be surprised if the nights are chilly. Start the month in the small town of Sortino, home to some 9 thousand people on the southeastern coast of the island. The first weekend in October is their Celebration of Sicilian Honey. In addition to the sticky, sweet stuff youíll find a market, open-air restaurants, and lots of wine and song. On the first Sunday of the month stop by the northern coastal town of Porticello Santa Flavia, population 10 thousand, for a maritime religious festival including fishing boat races, swimming and sailing competitions, food, and, in the evening a parade of boats illuminated by flaming torches, that transport an image of Maria, Holiest of the Light, to be blessed in the sea. That same day Ventimiglia di Sicilia, home to 2 thousand, honors its Patron Saint with festivities that include a major livestock fair, musical shows, and an evocative parade in the evening.
For several days in early October (for example from the 6th to the 11th in 2009) the little resort town of Mondello Beach near the capital, Palermo, hosts the World Festival On The Beach. This event features windsurfing competitions and all kinds of water sports, plus the New Jazz on the Beach festivities. For about 4 days in the second week of October the eastern coastal town of Taormina, population about 11 thousand, hosts the Sinopoli Festival to honor of the popular conductor and composer Giuseppe Sinopoli. The historic center of Ragusa Ibla, a city of over 70 thousand on Sicilyís southern coast, boasts an international street theatre and artists' feast starting a 8 pm for several evenings in early October. This is busking at its best. The second Sunday of October the town of Militello, home to 8 thousand, hosts its Festival of Indian Figs and Mustard. Real quick now, which wine goes with figs and mustard?
The following Sunday why not visit the city of Caltagirone, population 40 thousand, and its Mercatino dell'Antiqariato 'a Truvatura (Antique Market)? In addition to the one hundred exhibitiors youíll enjoy the live classical music, wandering minstrels, or a carriage ride along the historic streets. This area is known for its ceramics. (By the way, this Mercatino is held the third Sunday of every month.)
On the last weekend of October you might go to the town of Vizzini, home to fewer than 9 thousand in the Hyblaean Mountains, for its Fiera dei Morti (Festival of the Dead) showcasing the ancient lifestyle and the Seventeenth Century palace of the Verga family in Piazza Umberto I. That final Sunday the northeastern coastal village of Montagnareale, population 1800, hosts a Chestnut Fair with a Majorettes Parade.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Sicily 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 Sicily