Summer's over, the days are starting to get shorter, and there's a chill creeping into the air. Happily, just because the seasons are changing, that doesn't mean that the pace of events and festivals in Italy is slowing down. In fact, quite the opposite!
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most important events happening across Italy in Autumn. Hopefully, we'll help you to plan your holiday and really make the most of it.
So, let's check out 6 Italian events that you definitely shouldn't miss this autumn!
1. Venice Film Festival – 28th August – 7th September
2019 marks the 76th Biennial Venice Film Festival, one of the “big three” international film festivals in the world. In case you’re wondering, the other two are Cannes and Berlin. However, Venice is definitely the best one! It’s also the oldest film festival in the world, dating back to 1932. Although the film festival has existed since then, the arts organisation Venice Biennale was conceived in 1895 to celebrate 25 years of King Umberto and Queen Margherita’s marriage.
In the festival’s current incarnation, directors and actors from around the world descend on the gorgeous Venice Lido to enjoy premieres of the cream of new films from around the world. Each of them is hoping to take home a coveted Leone d’Oro (Golden Lion). If you’re in Venice during the festival, keep your eyes peeled for some real A-listers. If you’re lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt, and Joaquin Phoenix, just to name a few!
The Film Festival is a really special time to enjoy one of the most magical cities in the world and make the most of your time in Venice!
2. Milan Fashion Week – 17th – 23rd September
To make sure your outfits are on point for all the other events on this list, head to Milan Fashion Week. It’s one of the four big fashion weeks, along with London, New York, and Paris. But like with Venice film festival, this is the one that you really should visit. Walking around Milan in these days, you will see plenty of models and eccentri outfits!
There are a number of public events where you can see the latest collections from some of the top design houses in Italy and across the world. Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, and Fendi are all regular participants in the show.
- Walking Tour of the Porta Nuova district and the modern Milan
- Walking tour in Milan Fashion District
- Walking Guided city tour around the Secrets of Milan
3. International Alba White Truffle Fair – 5th October - 24th November
The International Alba White Truffle Fair is on every Saturday and Sunday in October and November. So, you really have no excuse not to go! If you’re into Italian cuisine and gastronomy, this should be right up your street. Located a little over an hour south of Turin, Alba is well known for the white truffles that are found in the surrounding hills. There are live chef’s demonstrations, wine tasting, and talks on truffles and their best wine pairings!
This all sounds pretty cool, but what if you’re travelling with the kids? This will probably all go over their heads. It’s a good job there’s other family friendly stuff then! Check out historical re-enactments, folkloric tales about Alba’s history, and even an Alba Kids tent. The perfect even for foodies!
- Guided tour of Porta Palazzo market in Turin, with tastings
- Guided tour of Venaria Royal Palace
- Masterclass in Turin to become a "senior Turin taster"
4. Perugia Eurochocolate – 18th – 27th October
White truffles are delicious and make for delicious strong and savoury flavours. After spending some time at the Alba White Truffle Fair, you might want some sweet relief afterwards. Almost 600km may sound like a long way to go, but what if we were to tell you that at the other end of that journey there was a chocolate festival? Yes, we thought that’d get your attention.
Perugia’s Eurochocolate festival is one of the largest chocolate festivals in Europe and attracts over 1 million tourists to this pretty Umbrian hilltop town each year. The festival has chocolate shows, cooking shows, and plenty of special events. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, get yourself to Perugia’s historic centre this October!
5. Rome Film Festival – 17th – 27th October
The Venice Film Festival is very early in the autumn, and there’s not a lot of time to book time off work and get accommodation and flights. Luckily, there’s another film festival in October. And although it may not be quite as prestigious as the one in Venice, there are lots of reasons to head to Rome, the Eternal City.
The festival is into its 14th year and it has become extremely important on the international stage in recent years. Although it’s an international event, it does have a focus on works from Rome and the surrounding Lazio region too. The Parco della Musica auditorium is the most important venue in the festival. Here, not only can you enjoy the films at the festival, but also expert panels, special events, and master classes. There are a number of other venues across the city showing screenings too.
- Private Full Day Tour of Rome, to Discover "The Great Beauty" Movie Locations
- Enogastronomic tour of Rome
- Small group tour of the squares of Rome at sunset
6. Matera European City of Culture – Ongoing until 31st December
For our final Italian event that you shouldn’t miss this autumn, we’re going for something that’s been going all year. The remaining few months of the year are your last chance to get down to Matera, which has been crowned the European City of Culture for 2019. If you’ve been following the Italy XP blog, you’ll already know everything you need to know about Matera. However, if you’re just stumbling across it now, here’s a quick recap about why it’s so important.
Until the mid 20th century, the residents of Matera were still living in its sassi (caves) without proper sewage and sanitation systems. It was known as the Shame of Italy. However, since then Matera has gone from strength to strength, and is now one of the most unique and incredible destinations in Italy. In fact, those caves are now largely boutique hotels and restaurants!