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Festivals And Events in Italy - October, November and December 2018

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Festival of the Thrush – Montalcino – October 27th - 28th
Locally known as the Sagra del Tordo, this annual festival celebrates the regions hunting heritage and the opening of the hunting season. It's a very lively and colourful festival which is alway set on the last weekend of October. Proceeding really get going on the Saturday with a singing and dancing followed by a spectacular drum parade with all the participants dressed in colourful medieval costumes. There are so many thing to see an do including archery and shooting. There are tournaments to watch and plenty of food and drink to enjoy. On the Sunday the parades are followed by a ceremonial dinner. This is usually invitation only but there are no shortage places to enjoy the local cuisine

Feast of the Dead – Sicily – November 2nd

Celebrated on All Souls Day, the Fair of the Dead or Festa dei Morti is an ancient festival commemorate their dearly departed loved ones. It was once believed that on this day the dead returned to spend time with the living, bringing with them gifts made of sugar for the children of their families. For this religious and superstitious community it is a day of celebration and a time to exchange gifts and think about lost loved ones. It is celebrated all over Sicily with streets decorated and fairs held. Most of the gifts on display are aimed at children such as toys and traditional painted models made of sugar called Pupi ri Zuccaru. A delicacy particularly seen in Palermo are the Frutta di Martorana which are beautifully modelled fruit of all descriptions that are made with marzipan which are then painted. They are deceptively realistic and delicious.

Truffle Fair – San Miniato – November 10th - 25th
San Miniato is an enchanting medieval hilltop town that is situated between Pisa and Florence and every year they hold this culinary fair that celebrates the white truffle which this area is renowned for. This gourmet festival is set in the various piazza's of the town and is perfect for food lovers where you can buy and taste the king of truffles and enjoy many of the truffle based dishes on offer. You can even arrange a truffle hunt with one of the local experts. 

Fortunately Chiarugi, which one of our main suppliers, is based close by so I can't wait to make this small diversion on our next visit. 

Oh Bej! Oh Bej! – Milan – December 7th - 10th
Christmas shopping doesn't need to be a chore. The Oh Bej! Oh Bej! festival is set over a weekend so why not take a short break to Milan to do a little shopping and enjoy the sights and sounds of this traditional street market. Oh Bej! Oh Bej! very roughly translates to Oh Beautiful Oh Beautiful and is in celebration of Milan's patron saint St. Ambrose.

The market is set in the streets surrounding the magnificent Castello Sforzesco and this beautiful setting gives you plenty of space to mooch and enjoy the sights and sounds of this very popular event. The stalls are filled with artisan arts and crafts so a good place to find some unique Christmas gifts. Don't forget to make regular stops at the many food stalls and maybe enjoy a coffee and panettone.

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