Discover the wonders of Italian festivals in autumn: unique colours, flavours and traditions await you
There is no single answer to the question 'What is the best time to visit Italy?', but autumn certainly has a lot to offer in every region, bar none. The significant influx of summer holidaymakers is now behind us, and the villages and towns are returning to their everyday lives, revealing themselves to visitors in a truly authentic way.
It is the ideal time to take a tour of Italy and discover italian festivals to taste authentic products cooked with original recipes or revisited with a modern twist.
Tastes recall smells and take you back to places. It is the magic of certain dishes.
Discovering Italian festivals in autumn, a journey of colours, flavours and emotions.
In autumn, the whole world around us changes colour: nature is tinged with a thousand warm hues ranging from red to yellow to brown, and typical seasonal products appear on the tables of the various regions, each one different in its offer of local foods and dishes. Precisely in order to exalt these first fruits and vegetables, Italian festivals in autumn and numerous events scattered throughout the peninsula have sprung up over time that can help us experience this season at its most 'tasty'. Here is a selection of some of the most Italian festivals in autumn in 2023.
10. Pomaria, the Val di Non PDO apple festival among Italian festivals in autumn
Let's start our discovery of Italian festivals in autumn from the northern mountains in Trentino Alto Adige, more precisely from Val di Non and Val di Sole. Here, the forbidden fruit of Eden is famous and much loved: this is why a festival dedicated to it was a must, and so Pomaria was born, a festival dedicated to the world of apples that will take place from 13 to 15 October 2023 in Casez to celebrate the arrival of autumn and the end of the harvest.
Also this year, 'Pomaria on the road' returns, which from 29 September to 15 October will feature various villages and realities linked to the 'Road of apples and flavours of the Valli di Non e di Sole'. Here, walks and events dedicated to apples but also to pears, cheese, honey and other delicious local products await you.
9. International Fair of the White Truffle of Alba
The White Truffle of Alba is renowned excellence of Piedmont. From 7 October to 3 December 2023 in Alba, in the province of Cuneo, the 93rd edition of the event dedicated to the Tuber Magnatum Pico will be staged.
The calendar of the festival is packed with events, such as cooking shows by great chefs of national and international cuisine, historical re-enactments of the millenary culture of Alba, 'Unusual Dinners' in unusual locations, cooking courses in the prestigious setting of the Castle of Roddi, and much more.
However, the historic heart of the 'Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba' (International Fair of the White Truffle of Alba) is the Alba White Truffle World Market, an elegant open-air setting of over 2,000 square metres in the 'Cortile della Maddalena' in Alba's historic centre. The market is the ideal place to buy magnificent specimens of Tuber Magnatum Pico under the supervision and support of the Quality Commission. Here you can also buy the best local food products and fine wines from Langhe Monferrato and Roero.
8. Pizzocchero d'Oro and Weekend del Gusto in Teglio: traditions at Italian festivals in autumn
The Valtellina is an Alpine region located in the province of Sondrio in Lombardy. It is the perfect destination for lovers of nature, mountains and good food. One of the most famous typical dishes here is 'pizzoccheri', a variety of pasta in the shape of an elongated rectangle made with buckwheat flour mixed with other flours. The town of Teglio is considered the home of this culinary speciality. In the last months of the year, it offers numerous weekends to savour the 'pizzoccheri' of the Accademia del Pizzocchero and other tasty local dishes. It is one of the events not to be missed among the Italian festivals in autumn.
Here is the 2022 calendar: every weekend in September, the Pizzocchero d'Oro Festival will be staged; 30 September-1 October / 9-10 / 14-15 October 2023, the Mushroom Weekend; 21-22 / 28-29 October / 4-5 November 2023 the Wild Game Weekend; 11-12 /18-19 and 25-26 November 2023 the Autumn Flavours Weekend.
7. Imperia New Oil Festival
The city of Imperia, in Liguria, has a long history of oil excellence. Since the 7th century, its hills and the entire western Ligurian region have been rich in olive trees producing 'olive taggiasche' (Taggiasca olives are a particular variety of olive tree typical of this area). This precious fruit has always influenced life, the economy, and cuisine. To celebrate the extra virgin olive oil, Imperia hosts every year 'Olioliva'. This great event offers the best of local gastronomy but also various moments dedicated to entertainment and culture.
From 3 to 5 November 2022, the historic centre of Oneglia, in the province of Imperia, will be transformed into a showcase where local companies will propose Ligurian agrifood excellence. The programme includes visits to farms and oil mills, tastings and tours, and many cultural meetings, exhibitions, cooking workshops and entertainment for young and old.
6. Talamello Fossa Cheese Fair
On the heights of Romagna is a charming medieval village called Talamello which, in addition to the beauty of the historic centre, offers the opportunity to take beautiful walks to discover the surrounding nature. The hamlet is famous for producing 'formaggio di fossa'(pit cheese), a delicacy that derives from a tradition introduced in the Middle Ages. The name of this typical cheese product derives from the fact that, during August, the cheese is placed in underground pits dug into the rock and then pulled out in November, when it has finished maturing, precisely on the occasion of the 'Fiera del Formaggio di Fossa' (Fossa Cheese Fair).
During these days, the village's streets will come alive with food stands offering typical quality products from all over Italy and, for the curious, it will be possible to watch the 'sfossatura' of the cheese (the moment when it is dug out). In 2023, the event will be held on 12 and 19 November.
5. Chianni Wild Boar Festival: taste and tradition at Italian festivals in autumn
The village of Chianni lies in the province of Pisa, in an area surrounded by low mountains and chestnut woods. Wild boar hunting is widespread in these forests, and since 1976 one of the most popular festivals in Tuscany has been celebrated every year in November. The Sagra del Cinghiale (Wild Boar Festival) includes a series of lunches and dinners to highlight the Chianni area and its cuisine linked to hunting and agriculture. These days, traditional flavours, folkloric parades and live music will enliven the village streets. The festival will be held from 9 to 13 November 2023 and from 16 to 19 November.
4. Cremona Nougat Festival
Cremona is a city in Lombardy with a beautiful old town centre. It is famous for its violin-making tradition (the Stradivari collection at the Violin Museum is very important, testifying to the city's cultural heritage) and for its 'torrone' production.
The 'Festa del Torrone' (Nougat Festival) is one of the most popular festivals of the year and is dedicated to this iconic regional delicacy, that is one of the most classic Christmas sweets, made with almonds, honey, sugar and egg whites. On this occasion, from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 November 2023, masters and producers from all over Italy will perform in a week t full of appointments, gastronomic challenges, guided tastings and much more. Not to be missed are the maxi Nougat Constructions, the Golden Nougat, the Historical Re-enactment of the Marriage between Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza, and the Final Show.
3. Porcino and Chianina Autumn Festival in Castelfranco di Sotto
Let's return to Tuscany, this time in the municipality of Castelfranco di Sotto in the province of Pisa. The Chianina is an Italian cattle breed typical of specific areas of Tuscany, renowned for the excellent quality of its meat. The famous local 'Sagra del Porcino e della Chianina' (Porcini Mushroom and Chianina Meat Festival) was born to safeguard gastronomic traditions in an area where the industrial vocation is becoming more and more established.
There is no better occasion to taste delicious traditional dishes, almost all based on Chianina, such as fresh tortelli (a type of stuffed pasta with a rectangular or square shape) and various types of pasta with Chianina meat sauce, Chianina hamburger, Chianina roast beef and numerous dishes based on porcini mushrooms. In 2023 it will be held from 7 October to 5 November.
2 . Bagna Cauda Day in Asti
Bagna cauda is a gastronomic speciality of Piedmont whose name translates as 'hot sauce'. It is a typical autumn and winter dish, prepared with garlic and desalted and boned anchovies. It is simmered in olive oil and becomes a sauce eaten by dipping various types of raw and cooked seasonal vegetables.
In Asti, Bagna Cauda Day takes place during the autumn. It is an event that, in 2022, will be held in 2023 it will take place from 24 to 26 November and 1 to 3 December. These days, the streets of the city centre come alive with enthusiasts of the tasty culinary speciality and numerous initiatives. Still, the event does not stop there: it is as if thousands of people in different locations in Italy and the rest of the world were symbolically eating together.
1. Cologna Veneta Mandorlato Festival
Cologna Veneta is a municipality in the province of Verona in the Veneto region, known in Italy and abroad for its 'mandorlato', a refined Christmas cake whose origins date back to the first half of the 19th century. Its invention is due to an apothecary who, around 1840, had the intuition to mix honey, sugar, egg white and peeled almonds. The recipe, processing times and techniques are still the same today as they were then, and in recent years several soft sweets enriched with different flavours have been added to the almond cake.
Cologna Veneta celebrates its most famous sweet with the 'Festa del Mandorlato' (Mandorlato Festival). In addition to this refined delicacy, the event will also feature other typical local products such as potatoes and red radicchio. Still, there will also be crafts, music and shows for young and old. It will take place on 8, 9 and 10 December 2023.
The history of cooking is the history of the world.