Best Places to visit in Italy in November

November starts with All Saints’ Day and it’s a common habit to bring a bunch of chrysanthemums to the cemetery to celebrate the deceased members of the family. Another popular custom consists of eating and sharing the typical desserts of this feast that vary according to the different regions of the Country. Among the most popular ones, there is the “Bread of the Dead” in Lombardia (cookies made with dried fruits and cinnamon) and the “Wheat of the Dead” in Puglia (boiled wheat seasoned with cooked wine, chocolate, pomegranate, walnuts, and cinnamon).

In the Northern Regions, you’ll find some beautiful early winter landscapes creating an evocative atmosphere, especially in nature and close to water where a fine mist is very common. In the Southern Regions, you’ll probably find mild weather and a spring-like atmosphere instead.

Several fairs and food&wine events take place during this time of the year and you can easily bump into some international chefs and “food celebrities”!

November is the perfect month for tasting the best specialties of Italian gastronomy in a beautiful setting

Things to do in Italy in November

1. Enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of the Venetian mists (Veneto)

What: a fine mist rises up the canals of Venice and the lagoon itself creating a mysterious and fairy atmosphere. Venice is considered a very romantic city and it offers some unforgettable views and many picturesque corners in any season.

What to see: the main canal is named Canal Grande and you cannot miss a boat tour there (either by vaporetto or gondola). Other than for its canals, Venice is famous for its many bridges and the most beautiful ones are: Rialto (the oldest one), the Bridge of Sighs (it takes its name from the sighs of the condemned that crossed it before being executed) and Calatrava (the most modern one, made of glass and steel).

How long: 4-5 days

Why November: to enjoy the special late Autumn atmosphere and to experience a quieter city

Weather: the average temperature is 9°C with frequent rainfalls

Practical tips: from November to March, you can frequently encounter the typical Venetian high tide called “acqua alta”. It depends on the winds blocking the water flow of the canals and partially flooding the city. This phenomenon lasts for about 4-6 hours and there are many elevated footbridges to be used to walk around.

2. Take a wine tour in the Langhe area (Piemonte)

What: this hilly countryside area is famous for its vineyards and for producing some of the best Italian wines like Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, and Nebbiolo. This area is also renowned for its excellent gastronomy.

What to see: local wines take their name from some picturesque villages like Barolo with its medieval castle or Barbaresco with its many wineries and cellars. If you like medieval castles don’t miss the one located in Grinzane Cavour housing an interesting ethnographic museum about the rural lifestyle of Piemonte.

How long: 1 weekend

Why November: because the harvest is done and it’s the best period to taste local wines and food

Weather: the average temperature is 7°C with an alternation of sun and clouds

Practical tips: visit some of the main vineyards and wineries with a themed guided tour 

3. Attend the International White Truffle Fair in Alba (Piemonte)

What: This international fair is all about one of the most prized gastronomic products of Piemonte, which is the white truffle growing there. During the local auction, truffles can reach a really astronomical price and all the best chefs and restaurants want to buy some!

What to see: Alba is a nice town full of interesting monuments like the gothic S. Lorenzo Cathedral, the baroque Maddalena Church, the City Hall with its frescoes and its many medieval towers. If you still have some time, take also the guided tour in the undergrounds to discover Alba’s ancient Roman heritage.

How long: 1day trip from Turin

Why November: to attend the truffle fair

Weather: the average temperature is 7°C with an alternation of sun and clouds

Practical tips: visit here to learn more about this international event

4. Discover the quiet elegance of Cuneo (Piemonte)

What: Cuneo takes its name (“wedge”) from its geographical position located on top of a plateau surrounded by mountains and rivers. That caused the city to remain a bit isolated throughout the centuries and even today, despite the railway connecting it to Turin and to France.

What to see: simply walk along the quiet Old Town streets and admire its many Renaissance buildings and the elegant Liberty villas. The heart of the city is Galimberti Square with its arcades and its neoclassical buildings. Another unmissable stop is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Angels with its beautiful frescoes. If it’s a sunny day, have a walk in the River Park Gesso and Stura to enjoy some Autumn landscapes.

How long: 1day trip from Turin

Why November: to relax in an elegant and quiet setting and spend some time far from the busy everyday life

Weather: the average temperature is 7°C with frequent rainfalls

Practical tips: during your visit you should taste the local sweet treat called “cuneesi al rum”, that is rum chocolates!

5. Attend the Wine Festival in Merano (Trentino Alto Adige)

What: This international event takes place at the beginning of November and it attracts wine and food lovers from all around Europe. It started in 1992 with 50 exhibitors and today there are more than 300 sellers!

What to see: take a wine tour in the mountains to discover the vineyards just outside the town and to taste some of the best local specialties. Another activity you cannot miss is spending an afternoon at the local thermal baths to warm up in one of the 13 indoor pools. Don’t forget to have a walk under the medieval arcades of the Old Town where you can find the best local shops and enjoy a typical aperitivo.

How long: 1 weekend

Why November: to attend the local Wine Festival

Weather: the average temperature is 10°C with clouds and some rain

Practical tips: visit here to learn more about this international event

6. Attend the Torrone Fair in Cremona (Lombardia)

What: this fair was set up in 2000 to celebrate a local specialty called torrone, which is a confectionery product made of sugar, honey, egg white, vanilla, almonds, and candied fruits. On this occasion, the marriage between Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza is also commemorated with a costume parade because the legend says that this sweet treat was invented on that special day.

What to see: start your visit from the main square where you’ll immediately notice the beautiful Romanic Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the iconic Torrazzo, that is its belfry, offering a great view. Another unmissable stop is the Violin Museum: Cremona has always been famous for the craft production of precious violins and Stradivari himself was born there!  

How long: 1day trip from Milan, Mantova, Parma, Modena or Bologna

Why November: to combine your sightseeing with a gourmet event

Weather: the average temperature is 9°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: when visiting Cremona, you should also taste another specialty called “marubini”, that is a local pasta shape (similar to tortellini) stuffed with beef marinated in red wine and veggies and served in meat broth.

7. Walk along the water in Mantova (Lombardia)

What: Mantova is a nice Renaissance town crossed by the Mincio River and surrounded by 3 lakes. It is usually neglected by mass tourism but it’s especially worth a visit in Autumn for the fairy atmosphere created by its water stretches.

What to see: the main point of interest is the Duke Palace, which is the former residence of the Gonzaga family who ruled Mantova from the XIV to the XVIII century. Another large mansion belonging to this family is the luxurious Te Palace which houses many precious paintings. Of course, you should have a walk along the Mincio River in the beautiful natural park on its banks!

How long: 1 weekend

Why November: to enjoy the Autumn atmosphere along the river and the lakes

Weather: the average temperature is 9°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: on a bright sunny day, you should rent a bike and spend a couple of hours on the Mincio cycling path that is 45Km long and reaches Garda Lake.

8. Discover the huge artistic heritage of Naples (Campania)

What: Naples is one of the main Italian cities of art and it attracts many tourists all year long thanks to its artistic, architectural and cultural heritage but also thanks to its mild climate. If you stay in the city center, you’ll have all the main attractions within walking distance to enjoy the Southern sun during your sightseeing.

What to see: if you like the rich Baroque style, you should visit the Spanish Palace dating back to the XVII century and displaying a monumental staircase. If you prefer to admire an artistic fountain, search for the Giant one in Partenopea street to see some statues by Bernini. An unmissable stop of every trip to Naples is the Sansevero Chapel, with its beautiful statue of the Veiled Christ.  

How long: 4-5 days

Why November: to escape cold weather and enjoy an eternal spring

Weather: the average temperature is 16°C with sunny days

Practical tips: when in Naples, you cannot miss a visit to Pompei! If you only have a weekend available, choose at least a half-day tour to include this location in your itinerary! 

9. Taste the best Italian recipes in Bologna (Emilia Romagna)

What: Bologna is the capital of Emilia Romagna and it is also considered the gastronomic capital of Italy. Food is an important part of the local lifestyle and every family has its own recipes and ways of preparing the main Italian dishes.

What to see: if you are a food lover go to FICO, the largest agri-food park in the world displaying the best Italian products and offering several tastings and practical workshops. If you prefer some sightseeing, start in Maggiore Square, that is the heart of the city where you can admire the famous Neptune Fountain. Don’t miss a visit to S. Petronio Basilica before heading to the Old Town to enjoy some local street food!

How long: 1 weekend

Why November: cold weather will make you feel like staying indoor in restaurants and cafés!

Weather: the average temperature is 9°C with an alternation of sun and clouds

Practical tips: you cannot leave Bologna without tasting the famous Bolognese sauce, which is a sauce made of ground beef and tomatoes and used to season pasta, lasagne, and tortellini.

10. Discover Modena’s architectural richness (Emilia Romagna)

What: Modena is not frequently visited by tourists, but it offers many architectural beauties and 3 monuments that are part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage List (the Cathedral, the Ghirlandina Tower and Piazza Grande).

What to see: the Romanic Cathedral was built in 1000 A.D. and it is definitely worth a visit together with its belfry named Ghirlandina and showing a graceful and evanescent shape. From there, you’ll enjoy a great view of Piazza Grande, the heart of the town, and the elegant City Hall dating back to the XVII century. Visit also the Estense Museum to learn something more about the Estense Family who ruled Modena for 500 years.

How long: 1day trip from Bologna or Florence

Why November: to add an unusual day trip to the visit of one of the main Italian cities of art

Weather: the average temperature is 9°C with an alternation of sun and clouds

Practical tips: Modena is very well connected to the main Italian cities by train and the railway station is close to the Old Town, so it’s the perfect destination for a day trip! It can be visited in about 4 or 5 hours.

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