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 Veneto region of northeastern Italy borders on the Gulf of Venice. This lovely region has a lot of sights to see in addition to the unforgettable city of Venice. Here summer is really summer so you may prefer an October vacation. Be warned, it may get chilly, especially at night and in the hilly areas. In the city of Conegliano, home to 35 thousand, Octoberís first Saturday launches a traditional festival known as Fiaccole e Tamburi (Torches and Drums) in which the townspeople honor the Dama Vivente (Grand Noblewoman) by pushing a giant float of her and her grand horseman up to the castle. In the historical city center all lights are extinguished and with a lone tambourine breaking the silence a parade of torchbearers descends to the convent of San Francesco. On Sunday, the elaborate procession pays homage to Enrico the 3rd, King of France and a historic battle from the year 1241. The first Sunday of the month the village of Galzignano Terme, home to some 4400, hosts its Rosario Festival and Donkeys Palio, with a historical Parade commemorating the battle of Lepanto. For those who donít remember, a Palio is a costumed race pitting neighborhoods against one another. Palios usually are on horseback. The winners get a pennant.
Depending on the weather from the middle of Octoberís first week through the following weekend the city of San Zeno di Cassola, population 13 thousand, hosts the Raasm Park Trophy International Balloon Festival. Another great choice for kids of all ages is restricted to October weekends; Gardaland, Italyís Disneyland is open from about 9:30 AM until 6:30 PM in Peschiera del Garda, a city of some 8500. Thereís a nearby Medieval Times restaurant, where the meals are accompanied by jousting, sword fighting knights in full armor, but eating utensils are nowhere to be found.
On the second Saturday of October the city of Verona, population over 250 thousand, presents its Antique Toy Market with over 300 exhibitors. This great event is said to attract toy lovers from all over Europe. Look for it in the Teatrotenda Estravagario di Verona (near the Fiera). If you havenít been to one yet, the town of Teolo, population on the short side of 9 thousand, hosts a Chestnut Festival on the following day.
There are lots and lots of reasons to go to Venezia, whose historic center is home to 60 thousand. On the fourth Sunday of the month you can watch or participate in the Venice Marathon that includes a breathtaking stretch on a special 400 foot (about 120 meters) long pontoon bridge over the Grand Canal. The organizers suggest that you dress warmly. The last weekend of October the village of San Mauro di Saline, population less than 600 hosts its Feast of the Chestnuts. The last Sunday of every month the city of Piazzola sul Brenta, home to 11 thousand, presents one of the largest and liveliest antique shows in Italy attracting 500 exhibitors.
And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Veneto 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 Veneto