During the earlier times it was considered that the month of October in Italy is the beginning of slow season, since the prices use to fall and a large number of tourists used to fly back. Those days have become history in the superior tourist towns. Both April and October are considered as one of busiest ones in Italy and one should not assume that these two months there will be quiet; on arriving you will be surprised to know that tourists are still present during that time.
June or July will have more tourists compared to October, however crowds are attracted to the pleasant weather of the country and this weather is throughout the country during the month of October, relatively the prices for hotels and for flights drop, so it becomes a perfect combination of great weather and inexpensive prices. This is one of the reasons it's getting more favorable to visit Italy during the month of October.
Above Alba white Truffle fair in October
Weather in October
October is one of the best months of all to visit Rome and major towns. There are plenty of sunny days in October all over the country which are known locally as "ottobrate romane". In October, the temperatures start getting low, especially at night in Northern Italy due to the higher altitudes. In comparison to June and July, the tourist season is comparatively lower in Italy in October, though there would definitely be tourists in the larger cities. In October, autumn is in full swing in Italy and do expect a lot of wet days and sudden showers, especially in northern and central Italian regions. However, southern Italy would be still warmer so those who are looking for a few warm days can head to the beaches and the sea side resorts where the days would still be warmer compared to northern Italy.
Northern Italy the temperature climbs down quite steeply in October. In Milan and other parts of Northern Italy, the average temperature would remain between 7 and 18 degrees Celsius (44 to 64 degree Fahrenheit). In October, there will be many wet days and the nights tend to be much colder.
In Central Italy including cities like Rome the temperature climbs down by a notch, approximately between 13 to 23 degrees Celsius (56 to 71 degree Fahrenheit). In October, there are plenty of rainy days in comparison to the past few months so it's best to be equipped.
In Southern Italy and the seaside resorts, including Palermo, the temperatures begin to climb down but the days are still quite warm. In October, the temperatures remain between 19 to 23 degrees Celsius (66 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit). Even in Southern Italy, there are quite a lot of rainy days in October.
In October, throughout Italy precipitation is quite common.
Where to Visit in October
Depending on the interests and likings, visitors can choose their destinations for travel in Italy in October. While October is Italy is mainly famous for its many amazing food festivals, those who are not particularly interested in these festivals can visit central Italy or southern Italy, especially Sicily in October, since these would still be a bit warmer.The beaches in Sicily offer many good options for those who love water sports or just want to spend a day swimming. Northern regions would be much cooler, though there wouldn't be enough snow in order to enjoy skiing, so it's best to not visit Piedmont or the Dolomites in October. Central Italy is also a good option, but you should be ready to face a lot of tourists in the larger cities even in October.
Festivals in October
October will be the best month for food festivals in Italy, particularly chestnuts, chocolates, mushrooms and truffles. You will find wine harvest celebrations and food festivals through out the country on the weekends of October. Big International Food Event of Slow food's is the months of October; also the fourth Sunday of October month is celebrated as World Pasta Day.
Alba White Truffle Festival: This festival is one of the biggest truffle festivals celebrated in Italy, it is celebrated on weekends throughout October at the Piedmont town of Alba. Donkey race is also one of the events during this month.
Fall Truffle Fairs in Italy: In October and November the biggest truffle festivals are held in Tuscany, Piedmont, Le March, Umbria, and Emilia Romagna.
Boccaccesca: Certaldo, Tuscany and Alto are known for a cooking fair which takes place during the first two weekends in the month of October.
October is also a great month for food festivals in Italy, especially in the region of Umbria. In October, the Umbria fall food festival is widely celebrated where there are plenty of smaller festivals that center around products like chocolates, chestnuts and truffles. The festival has been celebrated in the region since 2006.
Apart from that food festivals are also celebrated in many other regions of the country.
Mashera di Ferro: This festival is celebrated in Piedmont region during the first weekend of October; Maschera di Ferro is celebrated in the name of the legend of the man in the iron mask.
Barcolana Regatta: This festival occurs generally in the second week of October, and takes place in Trieste. During this festival you will see the biggest gathering of boats in Mediterranean Sea. You will find all kinds of boats racing, even night races take place. You will get good food, music and wine as well.
Palio di Rioni: This festival occurs during the first Sunday of October and is held in Lodi which is in the southern region of Milan. This festival is known as iron race horse, where Lodi's three nearby villages and five neighborhoods try to win the race by pulling the iron horses on wheels and succeed in winning the trophy El Bastan de S. Bassan.
Rome Film Festival: This happens in the midst of the month of October; it has competitions, lot of events and also has premiers of international movies.
International Accordion Festival: During this festival there is a big get to gather for the accordion players, this festival has workshops and concerts. This festival occurs in the midst of October at Castelfidardo, which is also called the city of accordions. Castelfidardo is in Ancona province of Marche.
Eurochocolate: This is a paradise of chocolate lovers, it's a big chocolate festival which takes place in Perugia. This place is popular for Perugina Baci chocolates and this festival is celebrated during mid October.
Sarga del Tordo: This is celebrated as a medieval modernization of an archery contest. This festival is celebrated in Montalcino which is in Tuscany during the last weekend of October, it's a tournament among the 4 neighborhoods of Montalcino.
Torrone Festival: It is said that Torrone (Italian nougat) was born in Cremona. An article date on 25th October 1441 shows that torrone was prepared for a marriage ceremony Feast in Cremona. The famous wedding is enacted and you will find ample amount of torrone, this is celebrated during the fourth weekend of October.
Sagra della Castagna: there are actually many festivals dedicated to chestnuts in Italy in october. One of the most ancient and known is the Sagra della Castagna of Soriano, in Lazio, a few kilometers north of Rome. Another popular one os the chestnut festival of Marradi, in Emilia Romagna. In southern Italy is worth mentioning the festival held in Summonte, near Avellino.
Halloween: Halloween is becoming famous in Italy for costume parties. See http://www.lifeinitaly.com/culture/halloween.asp
Suggestions for October from one of our readers:
We were in Italy in October and it was very warm. We had to buy lighter clothes, since the clothes we packed were too heavy. I learned to travel in dresses, as does my daughter. OR, t-shirts and skirts or light pants. Bring less than you think you will need, because you will have many chances to buy clothing in Italy. I had to buy an extra suitcase to bring home the extra clothes and gifts. Don't worry about a jacket, bring or plan on buying a wrap or light weight sweater that you can wrap around your shoulders. Also, you can buy very beautiful leather sneakers that look like a walking shoe while in Italy. If you are in Rome especially, you will want a flat comfortable shoe because you will be walking on cobblestones. Hope this helps! By Karolin Di Fiori