Ottobre*

* (that means “October” in Italian)

It’s my absolute favorite month for many reasons! Here are the top ones:

  • Halloween
  • my birthday
  • cold “snuggle” weather that’s not quite as bone-chilling as winter

Luckily, I can enjoy these three things living in Italy just as much as I did when I lived in America. There are, however, some things that I really do miss about being in America, especially in New England, during the month of October.

This year in Italy we had the warmest September in the last 150 years. It’s true! If you don’t believe me check out the story from the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. It’s in Italian though, so if you don’t speak Italian, you’re just going to have to go ahead and trust me on this one. Anyways, it was crazily warm here! I was going around in shorts and sleeping with the windows open until about two weeks ago. Even though this year was warmer than usual, autumn in general is less chilly than in Boston. I’m not sure if it’s because of the warmer temperature or different types of trees between The USA and Italy or even a combo of the both, but leaves here don’t put on that same spectacular show of changing into beautiful shades of red, yellow, and orange like they do in Massachusetts. The leaves in Italy seem to go from green to brown overnight and then just drop to the ground without any fanfare. The leaves changing color is something that I really miss! Not only because it’s always cool to see, but because it was also a sort of “signal” for me that October was here and that my two favorite holidays are coming up. (Yes, I consider my birthday a private holiday).

Another thing that I really miss is cinnamon flavored Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, candy apples, and pumpkin spice anything (latte, cookie, pancakes …). I love all autumny-spiced foods!  Every time I see an American friend’s Facebook status say something like “Having a hot pumpkin chai! Yum!” or see a picture they posted of them and their boyfriend/girlfriend making candy apples from the apples that they went and picked that weekend, I always think “That must be fun … insensitive jerk!”.

That said, there are some things that Italian October offers that American October doesn’t. One main thing, as I talked about in last year’s Halloween blog post, is the fact that the day after Halloween is a national holiday here, so you always have the day afterwards to rest up after your crazy Halloween party. Another thing is that you can find pumpkin ravioli and fried pumpkin flowers, which are both really delicious. Also, many small mountain towns in Italy have festivals in October where you can spend the day in the mountains wine-tasting and eating warm polenta. In fact, this year I went with my boyfriend and a couple of our friends to Morbegno for a fun wine-tasting where you get to go right into the cellars and sample the local wine accompanied by some brown breads and cheeses.

fried pumpkin flowers

So, it’s not a complete loss. There are plenty of ways to celebrate October right here in Italy, and fried pumpkin flowers are almost good enough to forget about the leaves not changing colors!

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21 thoughts on “Ottobre*

  1. Many happy returns to the birthday boy. It was mine a few days ago. The whole Holloween thing isn’t that big in Blighty (and nowhere to be seen in Moslem Turkey, obviously). It’s too close to Guy Fawke’s Night (Nov 5) with all its bonfires, fireworks, mulled wine and sweet pastries. Trick or treat has caught on in some rough areas of London though. But it’s called mugging.

  2. Sorry G – I had to go with “other”, as the US Holiday on 10/24 – “Bethany’s Bitchin Birthday ” is clearly #1 (babes? Bongs? Boogie? YUCK). Though I miss the days of our “Birthday Week”…we’ve had LOTs of Octoberfests here in B-town…and I am LOVING the Cisco Brewery’s Pumpkin Brew “Pumple Drumpkin”. Oh hippies naming beer…

  3. I am really enjoying your blog and it is lovely for an Italian living in Italy to hear good things about my country. I just wanted to say that I agree that most trees in Italy don’t have the lovely shades that you get in the US, but I have seen quite a few that do have them…it’s probably just not the majority therefore the challenge is to look for them. Thanks again for your great blog.

  4. I voted for the leaves (but Happy Birthday by the way!) because I’m from Florida where summer lasts all year…. so I love walking through Parco Lambro and seeing the leaves change color….

  5. Hey Garrett! Why didn’t you mention risotto alla zucca that is even better than ravioli..?
    If you have never eaten it, well it’s time to; it’s simply fantastic 😉 Ciao, silvia

      • Johnna makes a butternut squash lasagna that would BLOW-YOUR-MIND. It’s one of my fall favorites…that and making peace with Native Americans, then stealing their land…oh wait – that’s a November activity here in MA…

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