John Bensalhia welcomes in an eclectic selection of Italian festivals and events for this October

October 2017 sees a big bundle of interesting and varied events which range across the whole spectrum of enjoyment. Italy can always be guaranteed to put on a good food and drink show, and some of the entries for this month are no exception. There are also events for all the family to enjoy, whether you like pets, vintage toys or even the wonders of science. So, let's Einstein a go go!

We're Loud Fest

Naples, 6th - 8th October 2017

If you like your music on the loud side, then you won't go wrong with... We're Loud Fest!

The Slovenly Rock 'n' Roll Bar is back with a vengeance, and what better way to celebrate than with pizza, Limoncello, Mozzarella, and of course, music? Over the course of three days, We're Loud Fest has secured an impressive line-up from all around the world. The acts booked so far include California's Shannon and the Clams, Canadian band Demon's Claws and Switzerland's Reverend Beat-Man.

There are many more acts scheduled to appear at this enjoyable event, and there are also plenty of international DJs and surprises in store!

Great Gala of Tortél Dóls

Colorno, 7th - 8th October 2017

This month sees the 10th anniversary of the Great Gala of Tortél Dóls.

The culinary and cultural event is located in the main square of Colorno, and is set to be an event to remember, having first appeared in 2008. More than 100 exhibitors will be around to showcase their food goodies. Among those appearing are journalists and chefs, along with cooks, artists and students, who will be taking part in a series of special events.

So what is Tortél Dóls? Well, I'll tell you. It's the archetypal dish of Colorno: a ravioli that contains a unique, bittersweet stuffing. Tradition says that the dish is said to have originated at around the time of the early 19th century. Napoleon's second wife, the Duchess of Parma, Empress Marie-Louise of France, was said to provide the boatmen of Sacca di Colorno with this very dish (essentially sweet tortelli).

A popular element of this festival is the competition among the five local towns of Parma in which housewives from Mezzani, Sissa, Torrile, Trecasali, and Colorno take part in Gara delle Rezdòre. It's one of the many highlights of this acclaimed show, so if you're in the region, why not come and sample its charms?

Verona Vintage Toys Fair

8th October 2017

Far from gathering dust in the attic, vintage toys continue to be all the rage today. Not only is there monetary value in the toys that we all enjoyed as youngsters (if those toys are in good nick!), there is also a sentimental value that continues forever.

Events such as the Verona Vintage Toys Fair tap into this universal appeal, as visitors come to see a wide and impressive collection of toys made between the 1800s and the 1960s. All kinds of toy dolls, cars, puppets, trains and soldiers and much more can be seen and enjoyed. Forget your easy-reach online video games, this is how kids used to have fun.

Entrance is free from 10am on the Sunday at VeronaFiere (Salone Margherita), and the 65th edition of this much-loved event promises to be another wonderful step back in time through the toy box.

Eurochocolate

Perugia, 13th - 22nd October 2017

The theme for this year's biggest chocolate show in town takes on a musical twist. All Other Music is the concept for Eurochocolate 2017 (13th - 22nd October), and will manifest itself in an abundance of tuneful ways from a piano made of chocolate to a selection of good-time games relating to music.

President Eugenio Guarducci explains that the event will aim to animate live music with a greater number of urban spaces for street artists and musicians to showcase an “ever more welcoming and fun city”.

“Our goal is to blend musical notes with the notes of sweetness that always spread to Perugia, with the intention of involving different musical ambitions to reach the varied people of Eurochocolate. All this in one cities like Perugia, where music and chocolate are home.”

Bologna Beer Festival

14th - 16th and 21st - 23rd October 2017

With the Summer season over, at least you can console yourself with a cheeky pint. And where better to do so than the Bologna Beer Festival?

The Bologna Beer Festival is essentially four events for the price of one. This year's festival comprises Irish, Country, October and Worldwide Beer/Restaurant Festivals. The entire shebang isn't a matter of beer guzzling, but a celebration of different cultures and traditions that take you on a worldwide tour. You can learn about Irish folklore, Celtic traditions, and also country dancing! Games, handicrafts, exhibitions and much more combine to provide an insightful, informative and entertaining tour of the world: not to mention some of the finest beers to sample from locations far and wide as Ireland, Brazil and Argentina!

Pets Festival

Emilia Romagna, 21st – 22nd October 2017

We all love pets, so whether your friend is canine, feline, reptilian, or something else, the Pets Festival at Emilia Romagna is the place for you this October.

Now in its fifth edition, the Pets Festival caters for all kinds of animals, with separate sectors for each one. These include the Dog Area, in which industry professionals, breeders and retailers will be around to provide more information on all things bow wow. Likewise, for cats, there will be a special area reserved for acquiring extra knowledge on feline friends. It should be pointed out that dogs and cats will not be for sale, but for interested parties, it is possible to reserve a puppy from the breeders of adopted dogs living in kennels.

There are also special areas concentrating on animals such as guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, reptiles, and even horses. There will also be a lush green area that offers a wide range of plants, water plants, orchids and bonsai trees (and yes, these will be on sale). All in all, it's the perfect place to visit this October if, like me, you're a keen animal fan.

Chestnut and Black Truffle Festival

Bagnoli Irpino, 21st - 22nd and 27th - 29th October 2017

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year is Campania's Chestnut and Black Truffle Festival. It's a milestone that will be celebrated with plenty of style and atmosphere as the streets and shop windows of Bagnoli Irpino are decorated to mark the festival.

A great selection of chestnuts and truffles will be available for visitors to sample. They can also enjoy other local foods and drinks, meet local artisans and producers and experience special guided tours. Furthermore, they can also do some chestnut picking and truffle hunting of their own in the local woods!

This year's landmark event takes place over the last two weekends of October, with an extra Friday thrown in for good measure on the 27th.

Genoa Science Festival

26th October - 5th November 2017

Sometimes, these events and festival pages are just as much about educating the mind. A far cry from those old school days of test tubes, Bunsen burners and chemistry classes, the Genoa Science Festival is the real deal.

As well as schools, families, researchers and general fans of science can come along to this large-scale event which starts at the end of October. Scientific principles, theories and futures are talked about, debated and explored through a number of methods including meetings, conferences, workshops and shows. The up-to-the-minute scientific issues and concepts are explored in great detail at this global event, which boasts national and international guests from the world of science. Come and meet them and other like-minded science fans at this universally acclaimed event this Autumn.