October is a great month for Italian food festivals, especially mushrooms, chestnuts, chocolate, and truffles. On October weekends, you'll find fall food festivals and wine harvest celebrations all over Italy. Slow Food's big International Food Event is in October and World Pasta Day is the fourth Sunday in October.
Although Halloween is not such a big celebration in Italy, it's becoming more popular and you may find Halloween or All Saints Eve events, especially in the larger cities.
Truffle Fairs and Food Festivals
Alba White Truffle Festival takes place on weekends throughout October in the Piedmont town of Alba (Piedmont map). This is one of the biggest truffle festivals in Italy. One of the events is a donkey race.
Fall Truffle Fairs in Italy - Some of the biggest truffle festivals in Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche, and Emilia Romagna regions during October and November.
Boccaccesca - A gastronomic fair the first two weekends of October is held in Certaldo Alto, Tuscany.
Torrone Festival - Cremona claims to be the birthplace of torrone, Italian nougat.
A document from October 25, 1441, indicates that torrone was made for a wedding banquet in Cremona. During the festival, the fourth weekend in October, the historic wedding is re-enacted and there's plenty of torrone.
Cultural and Entertainment Festivals
Maschera di Ferro, a festival that celebrates the legend of the man in the iron mask, takes place in the Piedmont region the first weekend of October.
Rome Film Festival, in late October, includes international movie premieres, a competition, and lots of events.
International Accordion Festival is a huge gathering of accordion players and includes concerts and workshops. It's held in mid-October in Castelfidardo, known as the city of accordions, in the Ancona province of the Marche. Accordion Festival Information
Barcolana Regatta in Trieste is the largest gathering of boats in the Mediterranean Sea. All manner of boats will be racing and there are illuminated night races. There's music, food, and wine, too. Usually the second weekend in October.
Palio dei Rioni, iron horse race, takes place in Lodi, south of Milan, the first Sunday in October. Lodi's 5 neighborhoods and 3 nearby villages compete in this race pulling iron horses on wheels to win the trophy El Baston de S. Bassan.
Sagra del Tordo, Feast of the Thrush, is a medieval reenactment of an archery tournament. The Festival takes place in Montalcino in Tuscany the last weekend of October and is a competition between the four neighborhoods of Montalcino.
Other Festivals and Celebrations
In addition to international balloon teams, the festival includes a food, music, performing and visual arts events in Matera and the surrounding towns.
All Saints Eve or Halloween is becoming a popular time for costume parties. Urban Trekking offers special All Saints Eve treks in several cities, too. And of course, Italy has displays of mummies and bones that make chilling Halloween destinations.