John Bensalhia ushers in October with an eclectic range of events and festivals for all ages to enjoy...
As the world continues to face an uncertain future with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, for the moment, there are still a good number of events that continue to go ahead in Italy.
Celebrating the best in film, food, drink, music and more, October's events remain as diverse as ever. Please note that some events have been moved online, and while the events are set to go ahead at the time of writing, these could still change, so refer back to the provided websites for any news.
Viterbo, 1st - 4th October 2020
Originally planned for July, this popular Summer event has been moved back to October. The historical re-enactment is performed in Viterbo's oldest district, San Pellegrino, and while the tradition has been for festivities in Summer, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the event to be put back to the start of October.
With the relevant safety precautions in place, this enjoyable event takes visitors back to the times of the Middle Ages with a selection of period festivities, costumes, music and games. Kids and adults alike will find much to enjoy in this celebration of the 13th century. Following the original battle of Ludika 1243 between the defending Guelphs and the invading Ghibellines, today's re-enactments and games are considerably more benign, with a warm welcome for everyone.
Yoga Festival in Milan
3rd & 4th and 10th & 11th October 2020
2020 has been a challenge, to say the least. For some, the anxiety and worry over the Covid-19 pandemic has and continues to put strain on mental health.
However, there are ways to help, and one of these is yoga. The forthcoming Milan-based Yoga Festival is an ideal solution for those who want to help both mind and body. With the pandemic in mind, this year's edition will be both online and live (at the Milanese Superstudio Più) over the course of the first two weekends in October.
Superstudio Più has a high level of antivirus security in Milan, and over the course of the two weekends, 16 teachers will present a series of live workshops to refresh the body and soul. Select your teacher, day and time, and prepare to re-energise.
Pordenone Silent Film Festival
3rd - 10th October 2020
The advantage of the annual Pordenone Silent Film Festival is that it can be held online. This year's selection of classic silent movies will be able to be seen online, with both shorts and feature length presentations from the days before the talkies.
With the Covid-19 pandemic in mind, many of this year's selections include a range of short travelogues that capture the “desire to return to beloved locales and explore new places”.
Among the shows are 1923's mischievous but endearing nostalgia trip, Penrod And Sam; riotous 1921 Italian comedy La tempesta in un cranio; and four shorts from two masters of silent comedy, Laurel And Hardy.
Marché au Fort
Bard, 10th & 11th October 2020
Combining a picturesque setting with local foods and drinks, Marché au Fort is scheduled for a return this October.
There's nothing quite like the local produce of the Aosta Valley: fresh, flavoursome and very tasty. A group of producers assemble in the medieval village of Bard, showcasing the latest treats to sample or buy. Part exhibition, part market, Marché au Fort has much to offer visitors, whatever their tastes: wines, cheeses, meats, and desserts.
There is also a special points card available, which offers visitors to get a product voucher of 10 euros for every 50 euros spent.
Rome Film Fest
15th - 25th October 2020
The 15th edition of the Rome Film Fest is set to celebrate the best of new and upcoming movie talent with screenings, conferences, talks and a choice of various side events specially organised by the team. The festival includes a non-competitive offering of promising film-making talent, with the winners chosen by the audience.
Movies this year include Max Barbakow's time loop-themed comedy Palm Springs; Pete Docter's opening festival movie, Soul, and Francesco Bruni's closing movie, Cosa sarà. Other highlights due at the festival include a special Cannes-themed event, a retrospective on director and writer Satyajit Ray, and specially restored screenings that allow the movies to be seen in a whole new light.
Milan, 22nd October - 1st November 2020
The JAZZMI festival contains everything you could ever wish to know about jazz music. From its history to its future, and everything in between, the Milan-based festival boasts workshops, exhibitions, panels, masterclasses, unreleased movies, and also special performances.
The fifth edition of the festival is scheduled for the latter part of October, with acts including Balkan Roots; Michael League & Bill Laurence; Sarathy Korwar; Stefano Bollani (who will be performing Piano Variations on Jesus Christ Superstar).
This is a good festival for all the family, with special initiatives designed for children – it's a great way to introduce your kids to this unique musical genre.
Châtillon, 25 October 2020
The delights of Aosta Valley honey are not just enjoyed by the local bees, but to anyone who pays a visit to Châtillon's Honey Festival during the last Sunday of October.
As well as organised tastings and an overview of the region's honey history, it's a great opportunity to showcase the best of local honey. There are also local competitions to find the best kinds of honey, including both light and dark honey, and flavours including rhododendron, chestnut, dandelion and linden.