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.
Trentino-Alto Adige, sometimes called Trentino, is a highly mountainous region of northeastern Italy bordering on Switzerland and Austria. Parts of this region include a high proportion of German speakers and many of its cities sport two names. Expect chilly October nights although you may get some warm days. The city of Merano (Meran in German), home to about 35 thousand, is known for its spas. Every Saturday of the year it hosts a quaint, traditional market called the Bauernmarkte (Farmerís Market). On the first Saturday of October the town of Mori, home to 9 thousand, hosts a Grape Palio. You can find traditional delicacies in the front yards, alleys, and homes of the local residents. There is wine tasting, music, theatrical skits, and lots of handicrafts for sale. That same day the provincial capital Bolzano (Bozen), a city of 100 thousand hosts one of Italyís largest antique shows, as it does at the beginning of every month. Youíll get a chance to practice your German.
Another chance for German is at the Sagra dell'Uva in Merano (Merano Grape Festival) on Octoberís second weekend. It is said that Austrians come here to escape Austria and Italians come here to escape Italy. This century-old festival celebrates the harvest. Among the floats you are sure to see an ancient winepress. There are almost 200 bands, most of them playing oom-pah-pah and polkas. Enjoy the handicraft and fashion exhibition. That weekend the medieval town of Arco, population 16 thousand, and neighboring villages at the northern end of Lake Garda host the Cura dell'uva (Grape Cure). Spend the afternoons visiting local wineries and the evenings tasting local food and wine. Another choice is the Festival of the Court held in the Castle of Caldonazzo, a town of some 2700. Youíll see plenty of traditional costumes and taste local foods and wines. Enjoy the buggy rides and dancing in the piazza in the evening.
Since the monthís third weekend doesnít seem to be monopolized by a festival why not go to the little village of Santa Massenza di Vezzano, population about 150, at the foot of the Italian Alps distills Grappa from mid-September to early December? In case you didnít know, Grappa is an Italian cordial made from grape skins, stems and seeds. If you ask me, itís almost as good as fine Italian wine.
You might want to spend the final weekend of the month in the small town of Roncegno, population 2500, whose Chestnut Festival is said to date from Roman times. Enjoy a wide variety of chestnut treats with the local vin brule. Or stop by Bolzano which holds an Agricultural Alps Fair during the final week of October.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Trentino Alto-Adige 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 Trentino Alto-Adige