Autumn has finally arrived. As the days are getting shorter and temperatures are slowly dropping, there’s nothing better than a food experience out of town to taste the best typical products of Emilia-Romagna – a region that boasts the largest number of PDO and PGI products in Italy.
Here’s a chronological overview of the food and wine festivals you cannot miss in October, and there’s something for everyone!
Over the weekends at the beginning of October (30 September – 1 October, 7-8 and 14-15 October 2023), Comacchio, the town on the water, is hosting a famous festival dedicated to the Queen of the Valleys: the eel.
The programme includes markets, concerts and shows for all ages, literary presentations, cultural events, trips in the valleys, guided tours of the town and naturally a tasting of delicious dishes based on eel and fish.
The National Porcini Mushroom Festival of Albareto – a village in the Parma Apennines considered one of the homelands of the porcini mushrooms – returns on 29-30 September and 1 October 2023.
Twinned with the International Alba White Truffle Fair, the festival offers a rich programme of events. In addition to the food and wine market and its exquisite mountain products, at the kiosks you can taste one of the gourmets’ favourite delicacies, fried and grilled mushrooms.
Traditionally, the highlight of the weekend is the rite of cooking the must in the open air inside the ‘paioli’, which are slow-cooked by the masters of the Consorteria.
Also not to be missed are the guided Balsamic tastings held by the masters themselves, as well as the must market.
The event is organised by the Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in collaboration with the City of Spilamberto and the Consorteria dell’Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena.
On Sunday, 1 October 2023, the charming medieval village of Castell’Arquato hosts the traditional Festa delle Castagne e dei Ricordi (Chestnuts and Memories Festival), a day to experience the atmosphere and flavours of the the local farming tradition.
The event features markets, re-enactments of old trades, a tractor carousel along the streets, and live entertainment.
On Sunday 1 October, the Mushrooms and Truffles Fair and Grape Festival return to the village of Bobbio in the Trebbia Valley – one of Italy’s most beautiful villages and a Touring Club Orange Flag – as it does every autumn.
From early morning, the village hosts a typical local products and wines market, while themed menus are offered in the restaurants.
Throughout the day a stand shows how to recognise mushrooms; the programme also includes activities such as a walk in the vineyard and grape crushing.
Sant'Agata Feltria (Rimini)
Every Sunday in October (1 – 8 – 15 – 22 – 29 October 2023), the streets of the picturesque village of Sant’Agata Feltria host the National Fine White Truffle Fair, dedicated to the precious local tuber or, as defined by Pico in 1788, the Tuber Magnatum (‘tuber of the magnates’).
The event programme includes markets, craftsmen at work, travelling shows, competitions and prize-giving ceremonies.
Bagno di Romagna (Forlì-Cesena)
On all Sundays in October and the first Sunday in November, the spa town of Bagno di Romagna livens up with a calendar of festivals dedicated to local recipes and products, as well as markets selling typical products, entertainment, music, and street performers.
Here’s the list of the events:
1 October 2023 – Polenta Festival
8 October 2023 – Fried ‘schiaccina’ Festival
15 October 2023 – Festival of Tortelli alla Lastra and Fried Tortelli
22 October 2023 – Chestnut Festival
29 October 2023 – Zambudello and Sausage Festival
5 November 2023 – Fair of Saints and Leftovers
Montefiore Conca (Rimini)
According to tradition, October Sundays (1 – 8 – 15 – 22 – 29 October 2023) in Montefiore Conca are dedicated to the chestnut, the quintessential autumn fruit.
Montefiore is considered the mediaeval capital of the Conca Valley and one of the most fascinating and best-preserved Malatesta towns.
In addition to food stands and markets, the Festival is also the perfect opportunity to discover its imposing fortress.
The typical Romagna wine festival pays tribute to the Cagnina novella, a fresh and fruity wine, and to other wines of Romagna, primarily Sangiovese and Trebbiano. It takes place from Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 October 2023 in Cotignola, a town in the hinterland of Ravenna built along the banks of the Senio river.
The programme features concerts, folk dancing, the ritual of crushing the grapes barefoot, as well as the opportunity to taste the local specialities and the most typical dishes of Romagna cuisine.
Casola Valsenio (Ravenna)
On the weekends of 7-8 and 14-15 October 2023, the Festival of Forgotten Fruits (Festa dei Frutti Dimenticati) returns in Casola Valsenio, a charming village in the province of Ravenna.
The programme is entirely dedicated to the rural life of the past and local farming traditions, including tastings, exhibitions, and workshops about ancient fruits of the area.
Riolo Terme (Ravenna)
Borgo Rivola, a village near Riolo Terme in the province of Ravenna, hosts a festival dedicated to various types of pumpkin and bacarona grapes, a type of red table grape ripening in October.
On the second weekend of October (7-8 October 2023) you can taste typical local dishes such as pumpkin, chestnut and potato tortelli, as well as roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, while listening to the music and attending events.
On Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October 2023 the lovely village of Novafeltria in the Marecchia Valley celebrates autumn and wine with the Grape Harvest and Autumn Fruit Festival. Local cellars will present their wines, and you will be able to purchase typical products at the food market.
Visitors can rediscover the ancient crafts of the past and the wine production cycle, play old-fashioned games and stroll among the stalls.
On Sundays in October (8-15- 22- 29 October 2023), the mountain village of Zocca near Modena traditionally hosts the Chestnut Festival. Numerous food stands selling roasted chestnuts and mulled wine and a craft market are set up along the streets of the centre, with music and entertainment for young and old.
This festival emphasises the link between Zocca and the production of chestnuts, a precious woodland fruit that has always been important for the Apennines. This connection is also highlighted by the presence of a centuries-old chestnut tree and of the Chestnut Museum.
Castel del Rio (Bologna)
Every Sunday from 8 October until the end of the month (8 – 15 – 22 – 29 October 2023), the traditional Chestnut Festival returns to Castel del Rio.
Castel del Rio is a mountain village located in the Bologna Apennines, surrounded by woods and centuries-old chestnut groves.
During the festival you can browse among the market stalls selling typical products and taste the local chestnut dishes both at the stands and in the restaurants, such as castagnaccio cake, chestnut flour polenta, bruciati, capaltaz pasta, fritters and chestnut truffles.
Tartufesta is the traditional event organised by the villages of the Bologna Apennines in October and November with markets, themed menus and many events that focus on the prized white truffle of the Bologna Hills.
A fun way to spend a day or a weekend experiencing the unforgettable scents and flavours of the local food and wine tradition.
Here is the programme for 2023:
- 8 and 15 October 2023 – Tartufesta in Monzuno
- 14-15 October 2023 – Tartufesta in Pianoro
- 15 October 2023 – Tartufesta in Castiglione dei Pepoli
- 21-22 October 2023 – Tartufesta in Lizzano in Belvedere
- 22 October 2023 – Tartufesta in San Benedetto Val di Sambro
- 28-29 October, 1 and 4-5 November 2023 – Tartufesta in Sasso Marconi
- 28-29 October and 1, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 November 2023 – Tartufesta in Savigno
- 29 October 2023 – Tartufesta in Loiano
- 29 October 2023 – Tartufesta in Grizzana Morandi Campolo
- 1 November 2023 – Tartufesta in Grizzana Morandi
- 1 November 2023 – Tartufesta in Monghidoro
- 6 November 2023 – Tartufesta in Camugnano
- 12 November 2023 – Tartufesta in Castel di Casio
On Sundays 8 – 15 – 22 and October 2023, the hamlet of Marola in the municipality of Carpineti (Reggio Emilia) hosts the traditional Chestnut Festival, dating back to October 1964.
The Marola festival was the first chestnut festival to take place in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and one of the first ones in Italy. Its aim is rediscovering and promoting a typical product of the forest that until a few decades ago was the basis of the local diet.
The programme includes guided tours through chestnut groves, orienteering, roast chestnuts with mulled wine tasting and many activities for children.
From Friday 13 to Sunday 15 October 2023 the festival of taste and typical Modenese products La Bonissima returns to the unique and evocative setting of Modena‘s Piazza Grande.
As they do every year, gourmets can discover exclusive products and buy them directly from the producers, but also taste special dishes prepared on the spot, such as fried gnocco, chestnut ciacci, tigelle, borlenghi and more.
On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October 2023, the traditional Ste Sroden Festival (meaning this autumn in Modenese dialect) returns in Fanano.
During the festival, stands serving seasonal dishes based on mushrooms, chestnuts, pumpkin and much more, from first course to dessert, are set up in this lovely village in the Modena Apennines.
Sunday 15 October 2023 sees the return of The Scent of Cooked Must festival in Soliera, celebrating the local food and wine traditions, as well as the rural culture.
The programme includes markets, traditional dishes, reenactment of ancient crafts, guided tours, shows, and events for children.
On Sunday 15 October 2023, the picturesque village of Talamello in ValMarecchia (Rimini) hosts a fair dedicated to the Montefeltro chestnut, a prized variety cultivated in the area since medieval times.
During the festival you can taste the ballotte (chestnuts boiled in water) and the caldarroste (chestnuts cooked on the grill using the traditional perforated pan), but also cakes and focaccias, as well as first and second courses based on this autumn product.
On Sunday 15 and 22 October 2023, the Chestnut Festival celebrating autumn’s tastiest fruit returns to Alfero.
Food stands, sales points and refreshment areas are set up along the town’s main street, where you can taste typical chestnut-based products.
Make sure not to miss the castagnaccio cake and the roasted chestnuts to be washed down with the local Cagnina wine.
The Fragno Black Truffle Fair is scheduled every Sunday from 15 October to 19 November 2023 in Calestano.
In addition to the unmissable stands with typical autumn products, there’s plenty of activities planned every Sunday. During the festival you can also taste traditional dishes based on the local truffle in local restaurants.
On the last two weekends of October (21-22- and 28-29 October 2023), the Truffle Fair is back in Bedonia: it’s the perfect opportunity to discover the black truffle of the Ceno Valley.
The programme includes a food and wine market of local producers, themed menus in the restaurants of the Ceno Valley, and many events dedicated to the precious local tuber.
On Sundays 22 and 29 October 2023, two festivals dedicated to local products will be held in the picturesque village of Brisighella, nestled in the hills of Faenza.
The programme includes food stands with themed menus, a market of typical products, entertainment and music.
On the last weekend of October (28-29 October 2023) Montecreto hosts the Chestnut Festival, an unmissable event in the Modenese Apennines.
The festival takes place in the main street of the village and in the lovely Parco dei Castagni park, one of Montecreto’s landmarks, where some trees seem to date back to the time of Matilde di Canossa.
The programme includes food stands, music and entertainment for children, as well as the opportunity to try local specialities such as chestnut ciacci.
Social Media Manager for @inEmiliaRomagna and full-time mom.
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