A trip to Italy is something to be cherished in any month of the year, with its Renaissance art and museums, antiquities in Rome, gorgeous coastal towns, and yes, some of the best food in all the world. Speaking of food, October is a great month for Italian food festivals, especially for those that feature mushrooms, chestnuts, chocolate, and truffles. On October weekends, you'll find fall food festivals and wine harvest celebrations all over Italy.
World Pasta Day is the fourth Sunday in October, and who wouldn't want to be in Italy for that celebration.
Although Halloween is not a big celebration in Italy, it's becoming more popular, and you might 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. You'll get to taste iconic Tuscan wines like Chianti Classico or Brunello of Montalcino. You'll also find food stalls featuring Tuscany's best products, including its world-renowned bread.
As a bonus, October is a prime time to visit Tuscany. The weather is mild and sunny, the crowds are gone, and the harvests are at their peak. Certaldo is worth visiting itself, with its well-preserved medieval old town of narrow streets. It's also only about 30 miles from Florence and an easy day trip.
Eurochocolate is a chocolate-lovers paradise. This big chocolate festival takes place in Perugia, famous for its Perugina Baci chocolates, in mid-October. Besides all things chocolate, there will be music, wine tastings, and workshops.
Cultural and Entertainment Festivals
Rome Film Festival, in late October, includes international movie premieres, a competition, and lots of events.
Barcolana Regatta in Trieste is the largest gathering of boats in the Mediterranean Sea. All manner of boats will race, and there are illuminated night races. About 2,000 boats converge on Trieste for this special festival. There's music, food, and wine, too. It's usually the second weekend in October.
Sagra del Tordo, or Feast of the Thrush, is a medieval re-enactment of an archery tournament. The festival takes place in Montalcino in Tuscany on the last weekend in October and is a competition among the four neighborhoods of Montalcino.
Other Festivals and Celebrations
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.