Things to Do in October in Venice, Italy

Plan Your October Trip to Venice, Italy Around These Events

Gondolier Heads into the Sunset Along Venice's Grand Canal (Sunset)
Ian.CuiYi / Getty Images

Anytime is a good time to visit the intriguing, romantic, and unique city of Venice, Italy, but if you'll be there in October, there are several events you want to miss on your trip this year.

Throughout the month, you can see an opera (Italy's cultural gift to the world), relax with some wine at Festa del Mosto, compete in a marathon, or attend one of the world's best contemporary arts festivals. However, while many events like these happen annually, the city will host several one-time parties and celebrations this year.

October is also a great time of the year to visit because there are fewer tourists and cheaper hotel rates. Make sure you book your accommodations and flights in advance to save on your trip as you'll likely be spending more on attractions since you won't have to wait in long lines as you would during the busier summer months.

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Opera at the Teatro de Fenice

The Teatro la Fenice of Venice
Axel Fassio/Getty Images
Campo S. Fantin, 1965, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Phone +39 041 786654

Italy is the birthplace of opera, and Venice's famous opera house Teatro La Fenice is a great place to see one even if you're not an aficionado of the artform.

If you plan to attend this one-of-a-kind experience on your trip, you'll also want to remember to dress the part, so don't forget to pack something nice to wear. Opening night etiquette requires a dark suit for men and an elegant dress for women, and you may be refused service if you fail to adhere to these guidelines. For other evening events, nice jeans and a collared shirt are permitted. The dress code for afternoon events is more casual, but shorts and tank tops are never permitted.

Schedules and tickets are available on the Teatro La Fenice.

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Festa del Mosto

Grapes on Sant'Erasmo

Cultura RM Exclusive/Philip Lee Harvey/GettyImages

On the first weekend of October, the Venetians spend a day in the country on Sant’Erasmo, the biggest island in Venice's lagoon. Sant’Erasmo is where the first wine pressing occurs in the country and also where much of the area's produce is grown.

Activities of Festo del Mosto include tasting new products, watching the co-ed rowing regatta, and listening to local musicians. You'll get to see first-hand how Venetians eat, drink, and relax, but make sure to book accommodations well in advance if you plan to attend more than one day of the festivities.

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Venice Marathon

Venice Marathon

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What started as a race from the Brenta River at Stra to Campo Santi Apostoli in the Cannaregio district in 1986 is now an annual tradition in Venice that turns parts of the city along the Marathon route into a day-long festival of sports and fitness.

The Venice Marathon takes place on the fourth Sunday in October and both starts and concludes in the famous Saint Mark's Square. The route includes Ponte della Libertà (Bridge of Liberty), the bridge that connects Venice to the mainland, and Parco San Giuliano, a large urban park overlooking the lagoon of Venice.

Along with the marathon, 10K and family fun runs are held, and the Venice Marathon also features an Expo Village where runners can pick up their bibs and race packs and sports enthusiasts can learn about retailers, products, running organizations, and star athletes from around the world. The Expo Village is located in San Giuliano Park.

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Halloween in Venice

People in costume during Venice's Halloween Celebration

Courtesy of Halloween Celebration

Venice may not come to mind in when you think of Halloween, but the city's eery and mysterious vibe certainly increase the spook factor this time of year. Although Halloween is not an Italian holiday, it has become popular, especially among young adults.

You'll see Halloween decorations in shop windows, and you may find costume parties in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs on the trendy Lido sandbar. For something a little creepy, you might consider the Doge's Palace Secret Itineraries Tour, where you'll see the palace's secret passageways, prisons, torture chamber, and interrogation rooms. Another option is visiting San Michele Island, where Venice's dead are buried.

Alternatively, you could head to Borgo a Mozzano (north of Lucca) to attend Italy's longest-running and largest holiday party, the Halloween Celebration at the Devil's Bridge. Events for the 25th edition of the Halloween Celebration will take place from October 27 to 31, 2018.

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Venice Biennale

Lorenzo Quinn's Building Bridges, Venice Biennale 2019
Dave Benett/Getty Images for Halcyon Art International / Getty Images

From June through November each year, various festivals for the Venice Biennale take over venues throughout the city for prestigious showcases of international artists' work from a variety of mediums. The biggest event, Art Biennale, takes place during odd-numbered years, but events for cinema, music, dance, theater, and architecture may occur on even-numbered years.

Along with the separate festivals for each artform, the Venice Biennale organization also offers educational programs for hopeful students and artists in each field. The biannual Venice Art Biennale is one of the biggest festivals in the region for contemporary artists, and over half a million international enthusiasts visit the event every time it occurs.

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October Events in Venice