Fall is a great time to visit Italy as crowds start to thin out and temperatures drop. Hotel prices drop too, especially on the coast.
All Saints Day on November 1 and Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 are holidays in Italy. Many stores and some sites and museums may be closed or have shorter hours so check in advance but there may be special events and festivities.
Foodies will enjoy wild mushrooms and truffles and there are many festivals devoted to these foods as well as to chestnuts, wine, and chocolate. Fall colors are beautiful in the vineyards and mountains of northern and central Italy, too.
Truffles, Top Fall Food
The prized white truffles are found in the regions of Piemonte, Emilia Romagna,Tuscany, Umbria, Le Marche, and Molise. Truffle fairs are good places to enjoy dishes made with fresh truffles and there are vendors selling truffles and other local foods. There’s often entertainment too.
- Italy’s top truffle fair is the Alba White Truffle Fair, held on weekends from early October through November. Smaller truffle fairs are held in several other Piemonte towns.
- In le Marche, the town of Acqualagna calls itself the truffle capital. It holds a white truffle fair on weekends from late October through mid-November. Sant Angelo in Vado’s truffle fair is held for several weekends in October.
- Tuscany’s truffles come mainly from the San Miniato area and the tiny hill town holds a big festival, Mostra Mercato Nazionale del Tartufo Bianco, 3 weekends in November.
- In Umbria, Gubbio holds a truffle fair the last weekend of October.
- For a top truffle experience, eat at a restaurant owned by a truffle hunter. We like Tra Arte e Querce in the village of Monchiero, in Piemonte’s Langhe wine region. Stay in one of their rooms where the scent of truffles permeates the air and eat fresh truffle grated over an egg for breakfast. See Langhe wine and truffle towns.
- More white truffle festivals
More Italy Fall Festivals
- In Naples, the festival for the Feast Day of San Gennaro is one of the city’s most important events. The miracle of the liquefying of San Gennaro’s blood is celebrated on September 19 in the Cathedral, followed by processions and celebrations lasting for 8 days (going into the beginning of fall).
- In Rome, Roma Europa puts on a variety of music, drama, and dance performances in venues all around the city. The Rome Film Festival runs from late October through early November, too.
- The Barcolana Regatta, the biggest gathering of boats in the Mediterranean Sea, is held in the northeastern city of Trieste. A number of different races are held, including illuminated night races. The festival, usually the second weekend of October, also includes music, food, and wine.
- One of Italy’s top chocolate festivals, Eurochocolate, is held in Perugia, the Umbrian town famous for Perugina Baci chocolates. Besides chocolate, there’s music, wine, and food demonstrations.
- Although not traditionally celebrated in Italy, Halloween is becoming more popular, especially with younger people. Some restaurants, bars, and towns have special events. Calling itself the Italian Capital of Halloween, the medieval town of Corinaldo, in Le Marche region, holds the festa delle Streghe (witches) the last week of October. The festival includes entertainment, spooky attractions, and taverns, ending on Halloween night with a special show of music, fire, and lights.
- Festa della Madonna della Salute, one of Venice’s most important celebrations, is held on November 21. For this beautiful festival, a temporary bridge across the Grand Canal to the Santa Maria della Salute Church is made from boats. Thousands of people cross the bridge to light a candle for the Madonna.
2021 note: Some fall festivals may be cancelled or smaller than usual.
Autunno in Barbagia on the Island of Sardinia
Each weekend in fall, two or three of Sardinia’s Barbagia mountain villages hold an open house highlighting traditional crafts, foods, culture, and archaeological sites. Going to one or two of these events is fabulous experience and a great introduction to traditional Sardinian life. Here’s what to expect at Autunno in Barbagia and a guide to Barbagia Mountain Villages around the city of Nuoro. Read more about our experience at Autunno in Barbagia, 2017.
Autumn Weather and Climate
Although nights start to get chilly, there are usually still plenty of warm, sunny days in early autumn. November is the rainiest month in most of Italy. While coast temperatures remain fairly mild, inland can bet pretty cold toward the end of fall with snow in some places.
- Check Italy’s typical weather in the places you want to visit.
Tips for Visiting Italy in Fall
- Many museums and sites have shorter hours than in summer. Away from tourist areas they may only be open on weekends.
- Seaside resorts and camping areas start closing in late fall and there’s usually less nightlife.
- Snow chains or tires are required in many parts of Italy starting November 15.
- Opera and theater season starts in fall.
- In Venice, acqua alta (high tides) sometimes cause flooding in fall. See Venice weather for more about acqua alta.
- Christmas markets often start on December 8, or even earlier in some places.
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