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Seven events to look forward to in Italy in October 2023

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Seven events to look forward to in Italy in October 2023
The town of Grinzane Cavour near Alba, whose White Truffle Festival takes place every October. Photo by paola capelletto on Unsplash

From film festivals to Halloween celebrations, there's a lot to look forward to in Italy this month.


Sagre - various dates and locations

Starting in September and really gathering steam in October, Italy's sagre harvest food festivals are one of the country's main attractions over the autumn period.

They take place in small towns and villages all across the country, showcasing and celebrating local agricultural produce from truffles and mushrooms to chestnuts, artichokes, wines and more.

See more in our (non-exhaustive) list of some of the best sagre coming up in Italy this month.

Alba White Truffle Fair - Oct 7th-Dec 3rd

One of the world's best-known truffle festivals, the Alba White Truffle Fair is held every year in the lush northwestern Italian region of Piedmont.

At the festival's heart is the White Truffle World Market, where buyers have the opportunity to sample and buy the iconic truffle directly from traders based in the surrounding Langhe, Monferrato and Roero areas.

READ ALSO: Six reasons autumn is the best time to visit Italy

But the event offers much more than this; there's also a cooking show on weekends, where top-rated chefs cook up their dishes before an audience to whom they serve tasting plates; historical parades and reenactments; and culinary classes, among other activities.

A batch of white truffles on display at the fair's 2022 edition.
A batch of white truffles on display at the fair's 2022 edition. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP.


Perugia Eurochocolate - Oct 13th-22nd

Held twice a year in the medieval hilltop town of Perugia in Umbria, the autumn edition of the Eurochocolate international chocolate fair runs for a week in mid-October, and is the fulfilment of any chocolate lover's dreams.

'Chocolate sommeliers' offer lessons on sharpening your tastebuds in the Chocolab portion of the festival, while the Cooking Show area gives spectators the chance to watch chocolatiers in action and taste their creations.

READ ALSO: Sagra: The best Italian food festivals to visit in October

Once you've bought your ticket, admission to many of the events is free while spots last - so make sure to book ahead if you've got your eye on anything in particular.

Rome Film Festival - Oct 18th-29th

Now in its 18th edition, this year's Rome Film Festival will be held as usual at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on the outskirts of the city centre.

The selection includes the French film Anatomy of a Fall (Anatomie d'une chute), Past Lives, and the new Alice Rohrwacher film La Chimera. Isabella Rossellini, who stars in the latter, is set to receive a lifetime achievement award at the festival.

Keep checking the site for the programme, which organisers say will be released about one week before the start date; this is also when tickets will become available for purchase.

Angelina Jolie arrives with her daughters at the 2021 edition of the Rome Film Festival.

Angelina Jolie arrives with her daughters at the 2021 edition of the Rome Film Festival. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.


Venice Biennale and Marathon - throughout the month, Oct 22nd

If there's one Italian city that you can bet has some major cultural event going on at any given time of year, it's Venice - and October is no exception.

The 2023 Architecture Biennale, which opened in May, runs throughout the month and on to the end of November; while this year's Music Biennale is scheduled to take place from October 16th-29th.

READ ALSO: Nine alternative places to visit in Italy in 2023

If sports are more your thing, you can cheer on the athletes participating in the Venice Marathon on October 22nd (if you're feeling ambitious, you can still sign up for the 42k run at the time of this article's publication!).

Visitors view the installation "Threads" by Kate Otten Architects at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice on May 18, 2023. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP.

Bronte Pistachio Fair - Oct 13th-22nd

The Sicilian town of Bronte, at the feet of Mount Etna, is famed for its pistachios (if you've visited more than a couple of Italian gelaterie, chances are you've seen Pistacchio di Bronte gelato behind the counter) - and there's nowhere they'll be fresher than at the town's annual sagra, days after being harvested.


The Bronte Pistachio Fair starts at 6pm on the 13th and will run from 10am-11.30pm every other day; from pistachio pastries and ice cream to lasagne and ravioli, you won't leave without having had your fill of the delicacy.

The 2023 edition of the festival was postponed by two weeks after this year's long and hot summer delayed the harvest; Bronte's mayor said recently the town's farmers would have to learn to adapt to climate change.

A man sells a pistachio dessert in Bronte, Sicily.

A man sells a pistachio dessert in Bronte, Sicily. Photo by Egor Myznik on Unsplash

Halloween - Oct 31st-Nov 1st

Halloween isn't as widely celebrated in most of Italy as it is in North America, but there are a couple of towns that have decided to go all in on the spooky festival.

One is Triora in Liguria, which has styled itself as Italy's Paese Delle Streghe ('Village of the Witches') due to the large number of 'witches' that were apparently burned there in medieval times. 

According to the event's Facebook page, the town will put on children's workshops, magic shows, costume and pumpkin competitions, and a bonfire and fireworks display on the 31st, with further workshops and presentations offered on the 1st.

A "Super Blood Moon" rises behind the castle of the village of Castiglione Falletto in northwestern. Italy.

A "Super Blood Moon" rises behind the castle of the village of Castiglione Falletto in northwestern Italy, where Spooky Season is approaching. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP.
Meanwhile Corinaldo in the Marche region is set to hold its annual Festa delle Streghe or Witches' Festival, first started in 1998, from October 27th-31st.
This year's programme has not yet been published, but if previous editions are anything to go by there will be music and dancing, food stalls, workshops, and costumed children's entertainment.


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