Best Places to visit in Italy in October

October is the heart of Autumn and it is the best period to admire the beautiful foliage in the Italian mountains and hills. Weather can vary according to the different Regions and it goes from 20-22°C in the South to 14-15°C in the North of the Country. Weather is also very unstable, combining sunny and mild days with clouds and rainfalls.

Italians don’t usually go on vacation in October, so the main cities of art are quieter and it is a great period to visit them and enjoy a calmer and slower atmosphere. Halloween is mostly celebrated by kids and you can find many parties and special events in all the main cities.

October is the perfect month for sightseeing and discovering Italian historic and artistic heritage

Things to do in Italy in October

1. Dive into the Greek era in the Temple Valley (Sicily)

What: the so-called “Temple Valley” is a large archeological park located near Agrigento. Here you can admire 10 ancient Greek temples dating back to a period going from the VI to the II century B.C. It is one of the most visited archeological parks in Europe and it is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

What to see: the Temple of Jupiter (with the last giant statue of Atlas supporting the heavenly vault), the Temple of Concordia (the best-preserved temple of the valley), the Temple of the Dioscuri (it is the symbol of the city of Agrigento) and the Kolymbethra Garden with its mix of Mediterranean nature and ancient ruins.

How long: 1day trip from Agrigento, Palermo or Trapani. You’ll need about 3 hours to visit the entire archeological park.

Why October: because of its mild weather suitable to wander long hours under the sun (there is no shade there!)

Weather: the average temperature is 20°C with sunny days

Practical tips: this place is full of history and the best way to learn everything about it is by taking a guided tour.

2. Lose yourself in the alleys of Ortigia island in Siracusa (Sicily)

What: Ortigia is the Old Town of Siracusa. It is its most picturesque district located on an island that is only connected to the mainland by two bridges. The main points of interest in Siracusa are here!

What to see: one of the best attractions of Ortigia is the impressive Maniace Castle overlooking the sea. Don’t miss the romantic Aretusa Spring with its famous legend nor the majestic baroque Cathedral with its rich decorations!

How long: 1 weekend

Why October: because you’ll find fewer tourists than usual

Weather: the average temperature is 21°C with sunny days

Practical tips: even if summer is officially over, you’ll still have the chance to spend a couple of hours on the beach in the middle of the day!

You might also want to check out: Things to do in Ortigia. 

3. Enjoy the wild landscapes of Maddalena Island (Sardinia)

What: Maddalena island is the main island of the homonymous archipelago located off the Northern coast of Sardinia. It attracts many tourists searching for some pristine nature and a wild landscape made of sand, rocks and crystal-clear water.

What to see: the best way to enjoy the many natural beauties of the island is by driving or cycling along its panoramic road. You’ll take the best pictures at Tegge Beach (with its rocks emerging from the sea) and at the French Cove (with its pink granite rocks).  

How long: 3-4 days

Why October: because all the vacationers have gone and the landscapes are lonely and quiet

Weather: the average temperature is 18°C with sunny days

Practical tips: Maddalena Island can only be reached by ferry from the town of Palau. Check out the schedule here.

4. Admire the Autumn colors on the hills of Turin (Piemonte)

What: the districts located on the right bank of the Po River are built on the hills and nature takes over with woods and parks. This is one of the best places in town to relax in nature and to go walking or biking all year long.

What to see: the most scenic part of this area is called Maddalena and it is located on top of the homonymous hill. From there, you’ll enjoy a great view of the city below. Another popular park is the one located on top of Superga hill with its famous sanctuary. Don’t miss a visit to the “Villa of the Queen”, that is the former residence of Queen Ludovica with its beautiful Italian-style garden.

How long: 1day trip from Turin. If you’ve never been to Turin before, save at least 3-4 days for your visit

Why October: to admire the beautiful foliage

Weather: the average temperature is 14°C with sunny days

Practical tips: if you just have a couple of days for your visit, stay in the city center and go to Valentino Park to admire the fall colors of its 1800 trees.

5. Go shopping in Milan (Lombardia)

What: Milan is the Italian capital of fashion and shopping with thousands of shops for all tastes and budgets.

What to see: the most popular shopping district is the area close to the Cathedral in the heart of the city, especially the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery. Here you’ll also find some low-cost clothing stores and the best mall in Milan named Rinascente. If you want to see some glamour, head to Montenapoleone street and to Della Spiga Street where you’ll find the main luxury brands and you’ll probably spot some celebrities too.

How long: 1 weekend

Why October: because you’ll never get bored in Milan, even on the rainiest day!

Weather: the average temperature is 15°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: the subway reaches every corner of the city and it’s the best option to get around in Milan. This way, you’ll be able to visit all the main shopping districts on the same day. Download the subway map here.

You might want to check out: How to spend one day in Milan. 

6. Celebrate Halloween in Triora, the Village of the Witches (Liguria)

What: Triora is a medieval village located in the mountains which is famous for its legends involving the presence of witches. They actually stem from a real historical event: in the XVI century, some local women were accused of witchcraft and consequently processed and condemned.

What to see: the main attraction of the village is its Folklore Museum telling the story of the Triora witches and showing the local mountain lifestyle, which is so different from what you would expect to find in Liguria. On a sunny day, you cannot miss the trekking trail called “Alpine Path” and connecting Italy to France.

How long: 1day trip from Imperia or Sanremo but also from France (Nice, Menton or Monaco).

Why October: to celebrate Halloween in a themed location and to enjoy the many events for children

Weather: the average temperature is 16°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: the only way to reach Triora is by car. There are many curves, so it’s not an easy drive for people suffering from motion sickness!

7. Learn the history of the Aragonese domination in Ostuni (Puglia)

What: Ostuni is also called “The White City” for its typical white buildings and it is a very popular city of art attracting many tourists all year long. Its golden period was under the Aragonese domination and you can still see many traces of that era in its picturesque Old Town.

What to see: the main feature of the town (together with its white color) consists in its majestic walls built by the Aragonese Kings. A couple of other unmissable stops are the gothic Cathedral with its huge rose window and the rich diocesan museum.

How long: 1 weekend

Why October: you’ll find mild weather and fewer tourists than in Summer and Spring

Weather: the average temperature is 19°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: Autumn is the perfect season to enjoy some bike tours in the countryside nearby. Check out the best local cycling trails here. 

You might also like my post: Things to do in Puglia. 

8. Attend Rome’s Film Festival (Lazio)

What: the local Film Festival was created in 2006 and it takes place in the Auditorium Parco della Musica during the central days of October. It is an international festival attracting movie lovers from all around Europe. The winner is chosen by the general public among the new proposals of the season.

What to see: the Festival is held in the Flaminio district, which is one of the most modern and contemporary areas of Rome. There are several art museums there and the most important one is the MAXXI, which is the National Museum of the XXI Century Art. Here you can also visit the famous Milvio Bridge and see its many padlocks left there by lovers.

How long: 1 weekend to attend the Film Festival but at least 5 days if it’s your first time in Rome

Why October: it’s the best period to visit Rome for all the movie lovers!

Weather: the average temperature is 18°C with sunny days

Practical tips: learn more about the Film Festival visiting its official website here

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9. Lose yourself in the many museums of Florence (Tuscany)

What: Florence is considered the home of Italian art and the cradle of the Renaissance period. Here you can find several worldwide famous museums and it is a city beloved by every art lover!

What to see: Uffizi is the most iconic and the most visited museum in Florence.  Another important stop of your art tour is Galleria dell’ Accademia housing the famous David by Michelangelo. A couple of other interesting museums are Palazzo Vecchio and the Archeological Museum with its Etruscan collection.

How long: 4-5 days

Why October: because you can go sightseeing indoor and it’s the perfect solution for any rainy Autumn day!

Weather: the average temperature is 15°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: if you only have a couple of days to see everything, choose a combined tour of Uffizi and Galleria dell’ Accademia.

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10. Attend Lucca’s Comics and Games Convention (Tuscany)

What: it is the main European comics and videogames convention and it takes place in Lucca on the last weekend of October. It attracts comics and manga lovers from all around Europe and the town gets crowded with cosplayers!

What to see: there are many themed exhibitions everywhere, but most designers and illustrators display their works in the so-called Illustration Palace. During this weekend, the city walls become the scenery of a fantasy live-action role play! Another interesting location is the temporary Japan Town, which is a corner of the city turned into a Japanese district and displaying local art, mangas, traditions, and food.

How long: 1 weekend

Why October: to combine your sightseeing with an engaging event

Weather: the average temperature is 15°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: see here to learn more about this event and to plan your visit.

11. Dive into the Middle Ages in Salerno (Campania)

What: Salerno is the second main city of Campania Region (after Naples) and it is an important harbor on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is exactly halfway between the Amalfi Coast and the Cilento area, so it’s both a city of art and a seaside location.

What to see: have a walk in the picturesque Old Town dating back to the time of the Longboard and Norman domination. Visit the Arechi Castle and its archaeological museum and enjoy the view of the sea from there. Of course, you cannot miss the beautiful S. Matteo Cathedral!

How long: 1 weekend

Why October: to enjoy your sightseeing without suffering from hot summer weather

Weather: the average temperature is 21°C with sunny days

Practical tips: local public transports are very efficient and cheap and you can easily reach the Amalfi Coast for a day trip! 

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