As autumn paints nature in its warmest colours, Italy prepares to celebrate the season with a series of fascinating festivals. This year, 2023, is no exception. From the mountains of the north to the coasts of the south, cities and towns across the country are preparing to welcome visitors from all over the world to their autumn festivals. In this article, we take you on a journey through the six most captivating autumn festivals of 2023. Get ready to discover unique flavours, centuries-old traditions and the warm hospitality that only Italy can offer.
Here are the six most captivating festivals:
Fiera Tartufo Bianco di Alba
The 93rd International Alba White Truffle Fair, one of the most prestigious events of Italian haute gastronomy, awaits you in Alba, UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy. From 7 October to 3 December 2023, for nine weeks, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of the white gold of the Langhe.
The heart of the event is the Alba White Truffle World Market, located in the historic centre. Here you can taste and purchase the prized truffles from the forests of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato and enjoy fascinating folklore shows.
The event offers a series of fascinating initiatives. You will be able to attend Cooking Shows, where great national and international chefs will prepare gourmet creations combined with Piedmont’s prized bubbles. You will be able to participate in Sensory Analysis of Truffles seminars, wine tastings of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero and cooking courses at the Castle of Roddi.
Festa dell’olio (Olioliva)
Imperia, known as the capital of olive oil, celebrates its connection with this product of excellence every year through the Oil Festival, from 03.11.2023 to 05.11.2023.
The hills surrounding the city have been terraced over the centuries to make room for an expanse of olive trees of the Taggiasca quality, which have characterised western Liguria since the 7th century.
The Taggiasca olive and its fruity, light oil have influenced local life, economy and cuisine, conquering tables all over the world. Even today, thousands of families cultivate, produce and bottle extra virgin olive oil, and many companies have prospered in this sector.
To celebrate this link, Imperia hosts Olioliva every year, a major event dedicated to lovers of oil and gastronomy, as well as culture and entertainment. With over 150 exhibitors offering typical Ligurian delicacies, Olioliva also offers cultural meetings, cooking workshops, exhibitions, games and entertainment for children. An unmissable event to immerse oneself in the culture of olive oil.
Sagra del Porcino e della Chianina
The famous Sagra del Porcino e della Chianina returns to Castelfranco di Sotto (PI) for five consecutive weekends this year: 7-8, 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29 October and 4-5 November 2023. This 11th edition of the event aims to preserve Tuscan gastronomic traditions in a region that has recently developed a strong industrial orientation.
The Circolo ARCI, together with other local associations, has organised this festival in collaboration with local farms that continue to raise Chianina cattle on the Castelfranco Arno plain. The festival menu offers a variety of delicious dishes. Among the first courses, one can enjoy bronze-drawn penne made of 100% Italian wheat, fresh tortelli and egg tagliatelle served with delicious sauces such as the zero-kilometre Chianina meat sauce or porcini mushrooms.
As far as main courses are concerned, steak is the main dish, also to be tried with porcini mushrooms or the Chianina hamburger. There is no shortage of other types of meat such as rosticciana and sausages, accompanied by classic side dishes such as fried porcini mushrooms and beans seasoned with Frantoio Sanminiatese extra virgin olive oil.
The event will be held at the winter marquee of the Circolo ARCI di Castelfranco di Sotto, with entrance at Via Enrico Fermi 1. The food stands will be open on Saturday evening from 7.30 p.m. and on Sunday also for lunch from 12 noon.
find out more Sagra del Porcino e della Chianina
Sagra della Castagna IGP e del Fungo Porcino
Roccamonfina, a charming mountain municipality in the upper Caserta region, is preparing for the 45th edition of the Sagra della Castagna IGP e del Fungo Porcino. This annual event, organised by the town’s Pro Loco, has been so successful that it has attracted thousands of visitors, so much so that it has created organisational ‘problems’. We remember the 2022 edition, which was interrupted for security reasons due to the more than 30,000 attendees.
This year, the event will take place during the weekends between 30 September and 29 October. The festival will offer a variety of attractions: a maxi festival dedicated to chestnuts and mushrooms, a ‘wine volcano’, and an ‘autumn foliage’. The latter event consecrates Roccamonfina as a stop on the international top foliage circuit.
The festival will be held in the central Piazza Nicola Amore, where dozens of kiosks and stands will enliven the day with local gastronomic culture. Visitors will be able to enjoy dishes prepared with chestnuts and mushrooms, accompanied by tastings of local wine. During the festival, guided hikes in the woods and chestnut groves will be organised.
The event will be enriched by cooking shows, round tables, entertainment and musical moments. In addition, there will be markets where you can buy handcrafted souvenirs such as wooden objects and handmade bags. Admission to the event is free of charge and parking areas will be set up at various strategic points in the town.
Roccamonfina is famous not only for the festival, but also for its clean air, gastronomic excellence and a welcoming culture that characterises the town all year round. Whether winter or summer, Roccamonfina is always ready to welcome visitors with its snow, restaurants and craft shops.’
Puglia Wine Fest
This celebration of wine and autumn flavours will take place from 27 to 29 October in the picturesque historic centre of Rutigliano. The fourth edition of the event, organised by APS SensAzioni del Sud in collaboration with Core Live Show and under the patronage of the Rutigliano municipality, promises an unforgettable experience.
Visitors will have the opportunity to stroll among the wine and food stands along a route through the historic streets of the centre, from Piazza XX Settembre to Via Martinelli, passing through fascinating places such as the Cortile del Castello and Piazza Umberto I. While savouring the wines offered by the selected wineries, visitors will be able to admire the charming corners of the village, made even more fascinating by the autumn-themed decorations created by the organisers in collaboration with Lumen Light Design and Contaminazioni d’Arte.
But that’s not all: every evening there will be musical guests to liven up the atmosphere. The Puglia Wine Festival thus offers a perfect mix of wines, gastronomy and good music of the Apulian tradition, promoting the excellence of the heel of Italy.
Sagra della Varola
The Sagra della Varola, a celebration of the flavours of the marroncino del Vulture, is held in Melfi during the penultimate weekend of October each year. This event, organised by the town’s Pro Loco, highlights the delicious flavour of the marroncino, a fruit that is about to receive the I.G.P. mark for its excellent quality.
The festival takes place in the central Piazza Umberto I and along the streets of Melfi’s historic centre. During the festival, the square is transformed into a large forest with stands in the shape of mountain huts, where numerous products based on this fruit are displayed. You can taste chestnut cake, chestnut sweets and ice cream, chestnut beer, pasta made with chestnut flour, and meat seasoned with chestnut cream. And don’t forget the chestnut pizza! All this is accompanied by Aglianico del Vulture, a lush red DOC wine from the area.
The event attracts thousands of tourists and onlookers who flock to Melfi to taste the famous roasted chestnuts and enjoy the performances of musical and popular groups along the streets and squares of the festival. Every year, at least 30,000 people visit Melfi during the two-day festival, coming from all over Italy. Besides enjoying the classic ‘varola’, visitors can explore the markets, exhibitions and visit the many monuments that make Melfi a city rich in history, culture and hospitality.
The six 2023 autumn festivals mentioned in this article are not just events, but experiences that will remain etched in the memory of anyone who experiences them. Each festival, with its uniqueness, offered a taste of Italy’s cultural and gastronomic richness. From the mountains of the north to the coasts of the south, these festivals brought autumn to life, filling the air with inviting aromas and contagious laughter.
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