While Halloween is less of a big deal in Italy that it is in some other countries, that's not to say it isn't celebrated at all.
Its popularity has increased in recent years, even if some politicians and other public figures criticise the holiday for being an American import, too commercial, or not fittng with the country's strong Catholic beliefs.
Of course, in October 2020, public celebrations an gatherings are not allowed due to Covid-19 restrictions and things are going to look very different everywhere this year.
But here's a look at how Italy feels about the holiday, and how it's usually marked.
Trick or treat
Unsurprisingly, Italian children have really taken to the idea of roaming their neighbourhood in creepy costumes demanding sugary treats.
So while it's not as ubiquitous as it is in the USA, you may find you get a few mini ghouls or witches knocking on your door come October 31st, shouting “dolcetto o scherzetto!“ (trick or treat).
Adult celebrations mainly involve halloween-themed dinners. Restaurants across the country are increasingly putting on special Halloween dinner menus – which are more about seasonal produce than anything spooky.
Many members of The Local Italy's Facebook group told us the holiday here is mainly for children, with shops giving out sweets and villages putting up spooky displays in the piazza.
A Halloween menu being advertised at an osteria in Arezzo, Tuscany. Photo: Clare Speak/The Local
One place you may find more raucous halloween parties is the city of Florence, which has a sizeable American population.
Italian supermarkets generally stock some Halloween decorations, costumes and candy, and while they'll no doubt be full of pumpkins at ths time of year, the majority of Italians are buying them to cook, not carve.
One exception is the Fucacoste and Cocce Priatorje or “bonfire and heads of purgatory” – a bonfire, feast, and pumpkin-carving competition held on November 1st in Orsara di Puglia, in the southern region of Puglia.
This event, which looks more than a little similar to the western-style Halloween celebrations we're more familiar with, is centuries old.
The good news is that Italians do celebrate the season in much more practical way – by having a day off work.
November 1st, All Saints Day, known as ognissanti or tutti i santi in Italian, is an official bank holiday.
There are absolutely no spooky goings-on, though.
In the south of Italy, where onomastici or saints' name days are observed, November 1st is everyone's name day at once, and so you're supposed to say auguri (congratulations) to everyone you know. Here, many families mark the day with – what else? – a big lunch.
In 2020 the day falls on a Sunday however, so there's no day off – and the family Sunday lunches are currently not allowed under coronavirus rules.
Festa dei Morti
As in many Christian countries, November 2nd is when Italians mark their own All Souls' Day, or Festa dei Morti, the “Day of the Dead”.
Visitors to Rome's Verano cemetery. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP.
The festival of the dead on October 31, which has Celtic roots, was celebrated in some parts of Italy long ago. But in 1000 A.D. the Catholic Church created All Souls' Day on November 2 in an attempt to replace the Celtic festival with a similar. but church-approved, tradition.
Although the date and name was changed, plenty of fascinating old traditions stuck in various parts of the country.
But this isn't a chance to don a scary costume, either.
Here in Italy, it's a much calmer day of remembrance, mainly celebrated with prayers, flowers and, of course, food.