On the agenda: What's happening in Italy this week

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On the agenda: What's happening in Italy this week
You might not see many carved pumpkins in Italy this week, but we do get a day off work. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

From Halloween celebrations to changing Covid health measures, here's a look at the key events in Italy this week you should know about.



Halloween celebrations – While Halloween is less of a big deal in Italy than it is in some other countries, that’s not to say it isn’t celebrated at all.

Unsurprisingly, Italian children have really taken to the idea of roaming their neighbourhood in spooky costumes demanding sugary treats.

So, while celebrations are not as ubiquitous as they are elsewhere, a few mini ghouls or witches might come knocking on your door and shout “dolcetto o scherzetto!” (trick or treat) on October 31st.


Adult celebrations mainly involve eating out, with restaurants across the country putting on special Halloween-themed dinner menus.

As for pumpkins, Italian supermarkets will have no shortage of them at this time of year, though they're more likely to be destined for a delicious risotto than for any complex carving exercises.

READ ALSO: Five scary Italian horror movies to watch at Halloween


End of Covid mask rules in healthcare?

The requirement to wear face masks in hospitals, care homes and other healthcare facilities expires on October 31st.

The government will meet on Monday to decide whether to extend the measure, and to discuss plans to end the vaccination obligation for healthcare staff, which is currently in place until December.

All Saints' Day

November 1st is Ognissanti’ or ‘giorno di tutti i Santi’ in Italian and it is a national bank holiday in Italy.

As suggested by the name, Ognissanti is a solemn celebration of all the Catholic saints, even those that haven't been formally canonised.

READ ALSO: The Italian holiday calendar for 2022

On the day, most people are home from work and tend to spend time with their families.

In many Italian regions, soup is the traditional Ognissanti dish - though with temperatures still well above seasonal average some might pick a different starter this time around. 

Wednesday, 2nd

All Souls’ Day – As in other Christian countries, November 2nd is All Souls’ Day, or ‘Festa dei Morti’.

Italy's Festa dei Morti is a religious day of remembrance, marked with prayers, flowers and, of course, more food.

Celebrations are usually very sombre, though in many parts of Italy families prepare sweets (usually biscuits) collectively known as ‘dolci dei morti’.

Friday, 4th

National Unity Day

November 4th is another national holiday - one you’ve quite possibly never heard of.

And you don’t get a day off work for this one, either.

National Unity Day, or to give it its full title, the Giornata dell'Unità Nazionale e delle Forze Armate ('Day of National Unity and the Armed Forces'), commemorates the end of World War I for Italy.

It's celebrated on November 4th, the day an armistice ended the fighting between Italian forces and the battered Austro-Hungarian Army in 1918. Read more about it here.

A pastry chef shows a piece of rolled dough during the making of a traditional Panettone, a brioche-style dessert from the Lombardy region. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP



Three-day food festival in Ferrara – The Ferrara Food Festival will start on Friday, November 4th, bringing entertainment and array of food- and wine-sampling sessions to the Emilian city spread over three days.

The programme for this year’s edition is available here.

Panettone World Cup in Milan – The third edition of the Panettone World Cup – yes, you read that right – will take place in Milan over the weekend. 

The event will give the public the opportunity to meet the world's most skilled makers of the iconic Christmas dessert, watch them work and ultimately sample their creations.  

Panettone fans can grab a ticket here.

READ ALSO: The one dessert you have to try in each of Italy’s regions


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