September is for Foodies: Top Italian Food and Wine Events

Fall in Italy is when food gets serious.

Both in terms of work load—it’s wine harvest time!—and in terms of flavors.

The richest produce that comes out of Italy, from olive oil to truffles to figs to the deep purple grapes that flavor schiacciata, makes its appearance in the fall.

So it’s little surprise that some of the most important food festivals on the Italian calendar fall at the same time.

Douja d’Or in Asti

VinItaly is often considered by foreigners to be the biggest Italian wine event, but the early September Douja d’Or in sparkling wine capital Asti is the national wine exhibition, complete with the "oscars" of Italian wine awards.

The two-week festival is aimed at consumers and includes both brief and intensive seminars on wine. But besides the wine, the highlight is the Asti palio, which coincides with the wine festivities. More than 3,000 Asti residents don medieval garb for an oxen-, horse- and goat-powered parade.

Showcased wines don’t just stick to the excellent local Asti Spumante. At the Douja d’Or, you can taste all of the finest Italian grapes, from Barbera to Moscato, from award-winning wineries around the country.

Cheese 2013 by Slow Food

Don’t let its simple name fool you. Slow Food’s biennial formaggio-focused event brings together the best in the business to share their knowledge.

With a strong highlight on artisanal production, traditional varieties, and raw milk production—not that you’d expect anything less from Slow Food—Cheese takes over the streets of Bra, the birthplace and headquarters of the Slow Food movement.

Outdoor events, including tastings, a cheese library and educational sessions, are free, but you can also visit the Great Hall of Cheese Enoteca and have dinner dates with cheese producers.

World Pizza Making Championship in Naples

If there were any extra tomatoes in southern Italy at the end of the summer, this is where they would go.

For two weeks in the middle of September, Naples plays host to “PizzaFest.” Festivities begin with the Pizza Village, an array of 45 wood-fired ovens that cook enough pizzas to serve the hungry guests crowding into the village’s more than 4,000 seats.

If you’re more interested in learning than eating, watch the masters face off in the Pizzaiuolo World Championship or sign up for workshops with top pizzaiuoli.

Ready to plan your Italian culinary getaway for next fall?

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