Celebrating food, wine and dramatic entertainment, festivals in autumn are a must-do for all tourists. Because let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to witness an event dedicated to cheese?
Alba White Truffle Festival
Alba (Piedmont) • October-November
The Alba White Truffle Festival is one of the best truffle fairs in Italy. In addition to locally-made traditional dishes, the fair has live music, auctions, tours and even a donkey race.
Boccaccesca Food and Wine Festival
Certaldo (Tuscany) • October
Taking place in the narrow streets of Certaldo, Tuscany, this food and wine extravaganza features demonstrations from local chefs, wine tastings and medieval reenactments.
Bra Cheese Festival
Bra (Piedmont) • September
Established as a way to promote local food producers, the annual Bra Cheese Festival compiles the most quality collection of cheeses from around the world. This celebration of all things food draws almost 150,000 people each year.
New Olive Oil Festival
There are several Tuscan cities and villages that celebrate olive oil — a symbol of Italy’s food, history and culture. Festivals typically include live music performances and olive oil and wine tastings.
Bologna (Emilia-Romagna) • September
This festival annually catches the attention of approximately 90 restaurants and 40 chefs from around Italy to celebrate Bologna’s self-proclaimed “best potatoes” with lots of food and wine.
Trieste • October
Sail boats from all over the world gather in the Mediterranean Sea for this 15-mile international sailing race located in northeast Italy. While spectators watch from the Trieste seafront, they can enjoy concerts, wine and food.
Foligno (Umbria) • September
The Primi d’Italia is a national festival mostly celebrated in Foligno. The fair is dedicated to celebrating first dishes only, like pasta, polenta and rice. Chefs from all over the country gather to give visitors a taste of new recipes they’ve created for a first dish.
The International Eurochocolate Festival
Perugia (Umbria) • October
One of the largest chocolate festivals in Italy, the Eurochocolate Festival in Perugia’s town square has just about every type of chocolate snack you can think of. This year, the fair will feature its new installation of the “Chocolate Selfie Stick,” two new chocolate exhibitions and a photo contest.
Festival of the Thrush
Proloco di Montalcino (Tuscany) • October
The historic Festival of the Thrush celebrates Italy’s hunting tradition. The city is divided into four regional teams for an archery competition, which symbolizes the city’s love of hunting. Locals decorate the streets, houses and restaurants for this two-day festival.
Lucca Comics and Games International Convention
Lucca (Tuscany) • October
The Lucca Comics and Games event is a dream-come-true for lovers of video games, comics and cartoons. With exhibitions, games and historic reenactments, this festival is one of the most unique in all of Italy.
Garfagnana (Tuscany) • October
Garfagnana, a village in the northwest corner of Tuscany and north of Lucca, hosts the largest Halloween celebration in Italy. Over 40 thousand people gather to watch spooky reenactments, such as “Night of the Lucida,” which is a theatrical representation of Lucida Mansi, a wealthy businesswoman whose husbands always mysteriously disappeared. The night is capped off with a dramatic fireworks show.
Marino (Lazio) • October
Also known as “The Festival of the Grape,” this event has become increasingly popular for both locals and tourists in Marino, a town 13 miles southeast of Rome. With grape desserts and lots of wine, the Sagra dell’Uva is a must-do for all tourists.