A guide to all that's best about Sicily in October


Here's a guide to all that's happening in Sicily this October, including some top tips from our local experts.

What's on in September >>
What to eat >>
Our top tips >>

For bespoke, enriching additions that transform a great holiday into a truly unforgettable experience, why not take a look at our Think Experiences?!

See what's on in Sicily in other months >> 

Book a villa in Sicily this October >>

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Festivals and events

Ciclopica: Great Sculpture from Rodin to Giacometti
An 8-month exhibition of sculpture with pieces ranging from a 16th-century head of Buddha from China to examples of Henry Moore's curvaceous masterpieces.

Where? Ex Convento di San Francesco d'Assisi, Syracuse
When? 27th March - 30th October 2019

Le Vie dei Tesori

Hidden churches, lesser-spotted oratorios, unfrequented museums, private aristocratic palaces, art galleries, panoramic terraces, secret gardens and closed courtyards... Originating in Palermo, Le Vie dei Tesori has now expanded to include other cities and towns in Sicily, opening doors to dozens of rarely visited treasures.

Where? Palermo, Catania, Modica and Ragusa
When? 4th October – 3rd November 2019 (Palermo and Catania); 4th – 20th October 2019 (Modica and Ragusa)

Ottobrata Zafferanese
Five Sundays, five sagre, each one dedicated to a classic autumnal speciality produced on Mount Etna: the sagra dell'uva (grapes and wine);  the sagra del miele (honey);  the sagra delle mele (apples); the sagra dei funghi (mushrooms); and the sagra delle castagne (chestnuts).

Where? Zafferana Etnea (Mount Etna)
When? each Sunday in October 2019

Funghi Fest
Autumn in the mountains means it's time for mushrooms. Locals take to the woods to pick the multiple varieties that grow on the slopes of the Madonie Mountains and this bounty is celebrated in Castelbuono.

Where? Castelbuono, in the Madonie Mountains
When? 18th - 20th October 2019

Modica celebrates its more than 400-year tradition of chocolate-making with four days of chocolate goodness/

Where? Modica
When? 31st October - 3rd November 2019

Sagra del Pistacchio
Bronte is known for its Castello di Nelson (yes, that Nelson!) but rather more for its pistachio nuts, widely considered to be amongst the best in the world and protected by a DOP label. Come and try them in all forms - cakes, ice-cream, pasta and much more - at this wonderful tribute a humble but exceedingly tasty and versatile nut!

Where? Bronte (on the western flanks of Mount Etna)
When? 2019 dates not yet confirmed

Ibla Buskers
Three days of street performance, juggling and busking and much more in the delightful baroque surroundings of Ragusa Ibla. 

Where? Ragusa Ibla
When? 2019 dates not yet confirmed

Agrimontana | I Sapori degli Ibeli
The Iblei Mountains rise between Syracuse and Ragusa and are one of Sicily's least explored areas. In October, local specialities, from mushrooms and truffles, to  sausages, cheeses and honey are celebrated over three days.

Where? Palazzolo Acreide
When? usually the middle weekend of October (2019 dates not yet confirmed)

Opunti Ficus Indica Fest
Ever eaten a prickly pear? If you head to the mountains southeast of Palermo in mid-October, you'll be able to try some, either whole, or in jams, conserves and liquor form. Alternatively, if you're on the east coast of Sicily, head to Belpasso, where they too have a love affair with fichi d'india.

Where? Roccapalumba and Belpasso
When? 2019 dates not yet confirmed

Ballaro' Buskers
Two days of street performance and music by buskers from all over the world.

Where? the Ballaro' market, Palermo
When? 2019 dates not yet confirmed 

See what's on in Sicily in September >>

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What to eat in Sicily in October

October in Sicily is time for slightly more hearty dishes. In the mountains, mushrooms take pride of place on most menus, while warming bean, lentil, chick pea and vegetable soups are more in demand, even on the coast. As the grape harvest comes to an end, the olive harvest begins, and aromatic, freshly pressed olive oil is well worth sourcing.

In-season local ingredients

tomatoes (the last ones used to make tomato sauce)
chick peas
squash and pumpkin
Italian chicory
wild boar (in the mountains)

What to order

Funghi al forno (oven-baked mushrooms)
Zuppa di lenticchie (lentil soup)
Minestrone (vegetable soup)
Pasta con i fagioli (pasta with beans)
Pasta con salsiccia, funghi e piselli (pasta with sausage, mushrooms and peas)
Pasta con i broccoli in tegame (pasta with cauliflower, pine kernels, raisins and saffron)
Bocconcini di pesce spada all'umido (a rich swordfish stew)
Calamari ripieni (squid stuffed with breadcrumbs, aromatic herbs, cheese, raisins and pine kernels)
Stuffato di cinghiale (wild boar stew)
Bietola trifolato (chard tossed in olive oil, garlic and chili pepper)
Radicchio grigliato (grilled Italian chicory)
Dolci con i pistacchi (pistachio cakes)
Gelato di pistacchio (delicious Sicilian pistachio ice-cream) 

See our definitive Sicilian recipe page >>


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Our top tips for October in Sicily

1. Take to the mountains for some excellent walking as summer turns to autumn: after a good long walk, you can restore your energies with some excellent mountain fare - roasted mushrooms, lentil soup and grilled lamb or goat.

2. Enjoy the warm sea: most beaches are now empty but the sea still retains the latent warmth of the summer sun and swimming is still a great pleasure.

3. Get out and about: October is a great month for sightseeing and visiting Sicily's plethora of world class archaeological sites and delightful, historic towns.

4. Join in the olive harvest: towards the end of October, the olive harvest begins in earnest. Many of our villas have their own olive plantations so it might be possible to take part in the harvest. It's an age-old tradition and a great way to end the agricultural year. You may even be able to take home so olive oil that you helped make.

5. Rent a villa with a heated pool: while the sea is still warm, pools may be on the chill side. This is not a problem, however, if you book one of our villas with heated pools

See what's on in Sicily in other months >>

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