Things to Do in October in Venice, Italy

The Teatro la Fenice of Venice
••• Axel Fassio/Getty Images

Anytime is a good time to visit the intriguing, romantic, and totally unique city of Venice, but if you'll be there in October, then add these events to your must-do list. Most of these events are held each October. 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.

October is a great time of the year to visit because there are fewer tourists and cheaper hotel rates. Even if you can't make it to Venice this year, this list will help when planning for another year. 

Opera at Teatro La Fenice

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. Schedules and tickets are available on the Teatro La Fenice and Select Italy websites. Don't forget to pack something nice to wear to the opera. If you're attending on opening night, a dark suit for men and elegant dress for women are required; otherwise, you may be turned away.

Festa del Mosto

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

Activities include tasting new products, watching the co-ed rowing regatta, and listening to music. You'll get to see first-hand how Venetians eat, drink, and relax.

Venice Marathon

Pack your running shoes for the Venice Marathon, which happens the fourth Sunday every October. This internationally recognized race, which began in 1986, starts on the mainland 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.

Halloween in Venice

Venice may not come to mind in regards to Halloween, but the city's eery and mysterious vibe certainly increase the spooky 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 or restaurants and in 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 room. Another option is visiting San Michele Island, where Venice's dead are buried. Read more about Halloween in Italy.

La Biennale

From June through November during odd-numbered years, the Venice Biennale contemporary arts extravaganza occurs. This prestigious cultural event began in 1895, and it now draws crowds of more than half a million each year to see works by international artists.