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Italy in October 2012 for Weather, Events and Italian Festivals

Italy in October is perfect for so many reasons. Firstly, the crowds have gone home, secondly the weather is fairly good in most places, and finally, this is harvest time in Italy. It is the time therefore when last year's wine comes out and the truffle, chocolate and chestnut festivals are held. It is also the month when the International Slow Food Festival is held.

October in Italy is also the beginning of the shoulder season and so there are slightly cheaper offers on accommodation in Italy than in the high season. However, this is not always felt in the cities like Rome, Florence and Venice and the much visited region of Tuscany.

However, shop around and see if you can get some travel deals on your hotel accommodation and your plane tickets should also be cheaper during  the month of October.

October Weather in Italy

Although September would be a better time to travel to Italy if you wanted to avoid the crowds, October is still good although you can expect more rain during this month than September. So if you are coming pack an umbrella. You will definitely get some use out of it during this month. And if you are planning a beach holiday this is really not the month to come to Italy as the temperatures have started to drop. Although nights are now cool you can still enjoy dry, sunny days.

The best thing about Italy in October is that the oppressive heat that cities like Rome and Florence usually experience during the summer is no longer the case. I would suggest that if you are going to visit either Rome or Florence when you travel to Italy then September or October would be a better bet.

If you are traveling to
Southern Italy then you can expect average temperatures during October to be  65-75��F (18-24��C).  This makes traveling around this area of the country still very pleasant and the south of Italy has a lower rainfall than the rest of Italy.

Central Italy , which includes Tuscany can be nippy in the early mornings and in the evenings. Average temperatures for Italy in October here range from 55-70��F (13-21��C).

Finally, it is in
Northern Italy that you can really feel the difference in temperatures, and they can drop as much as 10 degrees between September and October in this region.  

Having said all that, you can never really be certain what the weather will be like in Italy in October. In the north you could have a flurry of early snow, and then you may not another year. Or Tuscany could be lovely and sunny one year and inundated with rain and deluge the next.

Check the weather forecasts just before you go so that you know what to pack and what to expect.

Tuscan Food Festival 2012

Boccaccesca-Certaldo Alta there is a food festival this October. Dates: 6, 7, 13, & 14 October. Here you can enjoy the annual festival where you can learn so much about Tuscan food through food tastings, demonstrations and cookery lessons.The food is sold from food stalls thoughtout the streets, piazzas and gardens of Boccaccesca, a medieval hill top top above Certaldo, famous for its onions.

If you would like to take part in this food festival then you will need to secure tickets. The tickets are Euro 5 for adults and all children over 12. Open from 11:00 a.m. - 10 P.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. For more information visit

Truffle Festivals 2012:

Alba, Piedmont is the kingdom of truffles and every year this culinary delight is celbrated with a lot of pomp and ceremony in the Piedmontese town. This is the major event in tuffle fairs. This year the food festival will run from 6 October - 18 November. The truffle fair will be taking place at the Palazzo Mostre e Congressi. If you want to learn about the history of the truffle, attend a truffle tasting class or even buy some truffles at the Truffle Market, then you won't be disappointed. However, you can also do some wine tasting here too, at the wine festival that is held at the same time.

However, there is far more going on at this fair that there is space for here. Just to give you some indication, there are also medieval processions through the town's streets, a Palio Race for Donkeys, an historic fistball competition in medieval costume, etc. The best way to enjoy this fabulous food fair is to grab yourself a hotel room for the duration of the competition so that you don't miss out one minute of what Alba has to offer.

Volterra,  Truffle Festival: Dates for 2012 October 20, 21, 27, 28, 31 - If you thought only Alba in Piedmont is the place for truffles, and truffle fairs, think again. Volterra is holding their own annual Voterragusto, a food festival that celebrates the white truffle and it's a big affair. Pop down to the Piazza XX Settembre and enjoy the exhibitions, the lectures and of course tasting the many dishes that will be prepared for you by the locals of Volterra. Enjoy local homemade cheese, wine, chocolates and of course the center of attention - the white truffles themselves.

Open from 11:45 a.m. - 7:45 p.m.
For more information visit the Volterragusto official website.

Pietralunga also have their truffle fair:
Mostra Mercato del Tartufo, Trade fair of Truffles. Held this year 12 - 14 October. A truffle fair that centers around local products, wine and the white truffle. The fair takes place in the Piazza Fiorucci. Be there on Sunday morning for the race between the truffle hunting dogs.

Open Friday: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Porcini / Mushroom Festivals 2012

The Porcini Festival at Vivo d'Orcia is for all you mushroom lovers out there. If you have never tasted the Tuscan porcinil, known in English as the Penny Bun, you are in for a real treat. Forget those insipid mushrooms in your grocery aisles. Come and taste the real deal! If you haven't tasted Chestnuts, then this is the time to do so, as chestnuts are also on offer.

Held over 3 Sundays of the month: 7, 14, 21 October. If you want to join a guided hike into the chestnut groves with information on mushrooms along the away these kick off at 3:00 p.m. And finally there will be a show-down between competitors with the
Woodsman's Palio which concludes the food festival on the 21st October.

Chestnut Festivals 2012

If you like roast chestnuts and other chestnut products then you will be wanting to visit the number of Chestnut food fairs in Italy this October. For the kids, and also not forgetting the big kids who are into steam trains there will be an opportunity to take a ride on the steam train that has been brought in for the occasion.

Marradi, Emilia Romagna is holding their Sagre delle Castagn e on 7, 14, 21, 28 October. Located in the upper Mugello this is the Chestnut to visit. Open 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Sariano, Lazio is host to one of the oldest chestnut festivals the Sagra della Castagna  just a few kilometers out of Rome.  This year it will take place from 3 - 14 October.  Taste roasted chestnuts, jams and cakes as well as see historical events, street processions of over 500 townsmen and women dressed in medieval costume along with flag bearers and musicians. Visit the medieval markets, the Orsini Castle which is the center of events and the much awaited Palio delle Contrade di Soriano a competition involving archers and jousters. 

Chocolate Fairs 2012

For those chocoholics out there, and lovers of Perugian made Baci, Eurochocolate is the Italian chocolate fair of the year that you don't want to miss. From 19 - 28 October 2012, you can indulge yourself completely. You cannot miss the fair as 5 of the main piazzas in Perugia are taken up with chocolate stalls selling their sweet delights. There are also stalls by some of the best known chocolate manufactures too, so you will have lots to chose from. There will also be fun activities for the kids too, so a perfect activity to do with a family.

In Gubbio there is another chocolate festival, this time Altrociccolato 15 - 17 October.

Wine Fairs 2012

In Marino, Lazio a hill top town 40 minutes out of Rome there is the Sagra del Vino Marino , a wine festival which celebrates the harvest with wine, street parades and floats dedicated to wine, music, dances and processions in medieval costume. The wine festival takes place this year from 1 -5 October.

Come and join the party, enjoy the floats and have some free wine from the fountain of the Four Moors that pumps wine, instead of water for a short time. If you have children it is advisable to leave fairly early after the fountain opens as with the locals and tourists getting stuck into the free wine, things can get a little out of hand at times as the evening wears on.

Merano, Trentino-Alto Adige there is a 3-day grape festival held over the 3rd weekend in October called Festa dell'Uva Merano. Lots of fun here with float processions, musicians and bands, local food specialities and lots of wine.

Impruneta Fair of Saint Luke 2012

Saturday 13 - Sun 21 October Impruneta is holding their annual Fair of Saint Luke , an old cattle fair that has been held every year for more than a 1000 years! Certainly lots is going on here at this fair, besides the cattle and chicken competitions. In the piazza you will be able to do some early Christmas shopping as there will be a craft fair that will run every day for the week. Look out for a bargain or two, particularly for some ceramics or olive oil, for which Impruneta is known for.

There are also some fun races involving donkeys and horses, food tastings with local cheese, wine and other food products and lots of firework displays to help celebrate this important fair.

There are some events that will take place on only certain days. On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. the
Palio di San Luca will take place which is a horse race. And at 9:30 p.m. on Friday night the townsmen will take part in a tug-of-war.

Other Festivals in Italy 2012

In Pinerolo,  Piedmont there is a festival that is held in the first week of October to celebrate the Man in the Iron Mask . This festival is locally known as the Maschera di Ferro and is a reinactment of the famous story where legend has it that it was here in the fortress that the man was held for 11 year. Each year the town picks someone new to take the part of the Man in the mask and the story is acted out with the spectators trying to guess who it is who is behind the mask. It is only after the event that the mask is removed to reveal his identity.

At this festival there are is an historic street procession, towns people dress up in period costume all weekend and there are also other street performances that make up this entertaining festival.

Barcolana, Trieste there is the Barcolana Regatta . Dates 6 October - 14 October 2012, entrance is free. This is an important festival that now attracts so many participants from around the world that it has become the largest sailing competition in Europe with more than 2000 participants. On the final day of the festival the big regatta takes place where boats of every description take place to try and win the regattta. However, before that, there are various other categories for sailors to take part. On shore, before the big day there is a nautical fair, book fair, exhibitions, jazz and music concerts and other celebrations. See the Barcolana website for more details.

Lodi , south of Milan, on the first Sunday in October is the Palio dei Rioni , iron horse race. Here 5 Lodi neighborhoods and 3 nearby villages compete by pulling iron horses on wheels through the town.

Montalcino, Tuscany there is the Sagra del Tordo ,  The Feast of the Thrush Bird. The 4 sestieri or neighborhoods, are in fierce competition with archery contests, Medieval feasts, pageantry and processions including costumed participants and the white Tuscan Chianina cattle. Held over the last weekend of October.

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