Even though Halloween is usually not associated with Italy, this country is no stranger to celebrating All Saints’ Day and All Souls' Day that honour the dead. These holidays are marked on November 1 and November 2 by the Catholic Church, which invented it to replace pagan Celtic celebrations on All Hallows’ Eve. So some traditional autumn celebrations in Italian towns have traits and customs similar to Halloween: pumpkin carving or “Coccalu di muortu”, bonfires or “fucacost,” and trick-or-treating.
Halloween Celebration in Borgo a Mozzano (dates for 2020 TBA)
One of the largest and popular Halloween celebrations in Italy is held in Borgo a Mozzano, a picturesque town in the province of Lucca in northern Tuscany, located on the Serchio River. The festival is held right on the medieval streets of the old town. Its main highlight is a colourful parade inspired by a local legend about Lucida Mansi, a woman who sold her soul to the devil for 30 years of beauty. During the parade, Lucida passes through the town accompanied by the devil, his demons and fire-eaters. At Ponte Della Maddalena, called the Devil's Bridge, Lucida's soul is thrown into the river or underworld. In the evening, the streets of Borgo a Mozzano host the "Passage of Terror," a scary trail with a dozen sets where actors play monsters and other creepy characters.
Halloween in Triora (October 31–November 1, 2020)
Triora is a village in Liguria, located about 100 km (60 mi) southwest of Genoa and some 25 km (15 mi) northwest of Imperia. The village is often called “the town of witches.” So it's not surprising that the most iconic Halloween celebration in Italy takes place here. In the middle ages, Triora witnessed trials where about 200 local women were accused of witchcraft and such crimes as spreading the plague, calling acid rain and cannibalism of newborns. The folklore accounts of these events still live in Triora. Local women dress up as witches, and tourists are welcome to join haunted tours. On the night of October 31, there is plenty of entertainment, pumpkin decorations and costume contests.
Festa Delle Streghe (dates for 2020 TBA)
The ancient town of Corinaldo in the Province of Ancona of central Italy, located about 80 km (50 mi) north of Assisi, also hosts a massive Halloween celebration called Festa Delle Streghe (Festival of the Witches). During the holiday the town transforms into a Halloween-themed amusement park. The streets are dotted with different sets with actors playing witches, skeletons and monsters. There is a haunted house and a Miss Strega (Miss Witch) Contest. Music, dance, performances and great food are guaranteed.