While still not recognized as a national holiday in Italy, Halloween is becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon throughout the country. Traditionally, Italians celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. However, over the past few decades they have begun embracing spooky season and fall festivities around All Hollows’ Eve. Descend into the murky depths of the Rome Catacombs or uncover the corpses laid to rest in the Vatican crypts with this guide to celebrating Halloween in Italy.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Italy this Halloween, then you’ll be sure to find creepy costumes and decorations adorning shop windows. On the 31st of October, children celebrate with costume parties, held in schools or friends’ houses, during the day. In the early evening, they go from door-to-door for a spot of dolcetto-scherzetto, or as we call it trick-or-treating. If you’re staying near a city on your Italian vacation, be sure to head down to the city’s historic center where shops hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. Yum!
If you’re hoping to immerse yourself in the spooky celebrations during your visit to Italy, keep an eye out for adverts for Halloween themed parties for adults in the city’s nightclubs, bars, and restaurants.
Although, Halloween is not as widely celebrated in Italy as it might be in other countries, namely the U.S., there is still plenty of terrifying tours you can enjoy during your spooky sabbatical. Give yourself a scare this Halloween with this guide to Italy’s ghoulish traditions and events.
The Capital of Halloween
Discover Italy’s macabre medieval times at the walled town of Corinaldo, in Italy’s northern Le March region, this Halloween. This town refers to itself as the Capital of Halloween, so you know it’s got to be good! Throughout the last week of October, the town hosts a deliciously ghostly festival named festa delle Streghe, the festival of the witches. Embracing all things spooky, this festival features chilling entertainment, spooky amusements, and taverns serving ghoulish food and drink. The highlight of the week is Halloween night, when town locals celebrate with a show of music and fireworks. If this doesn’t sound like the perfect Halloween experience, then we don’t know what is.
A City of Witches
Located approximately three and a half hours from Milan's city center lies the city of Triora, or as it's commonly known - the City of Witches. This inland village, to the northwest of Italy and close to the French border, is famous for its 16-Century witch trials. Revisit the harrowing events that haunted this remote village during the Inquisition on a spooktacular visit to its annual Halloween fest.
The Roman Catacombs
If you’re planning on visiting Rome during the Halloween season, then you’re sure in for a scare on a tour of the Rome Catacombs. Descend into the city’s dark underbelly as you venture off the beaten track on a Rome Crypts and Catacombs tour.
The Catacombs of Rome are one of the most fascinating sights you’ll visit on your tour of Italy, and the perfect addition to your harrowing Halloween vacation. Less crowded than the Vatican or the Colosseum, descend into Rome’s murky past on a visit to its city of the dead.
This intricate series of underground tunnels were used as a place of Christian burial between the 2nd and 5th century. Christians, at the time, condemned the pagan tradition of burning the corpses of their dead. Believing that a traditional burial was the only way to secure eternal life, they went on the hunt for ample open space to bury their dead. Due to high land prices and a lack of unoccupied space, officials settled on developing their Catacombs on the outskirts of the city, next to a quarry.
A trip to Rome’s underworld will convince you that this incredible city is just as fascinating below ground as it is above. Visit the descendants of the city of Rome, a Bone Chapel decorated with the skulls of 4,000 friars and seemingly haunted ancient Basilica on your Crypts and Catacombs tour.
When we think of the Vatican we think of religion, art and opulence, but what about the chilling crypts that lie below it? In fact, the Vatican is just as spellbinding below ground as it is above. Get under the skin of the Vatican and reveal its sinister secrets on select Vatican tours. A number of history's most renowned popes are laid to rest underneath St. Peter’s Basilica. With crypts dating as far back as the 6-century, descend into these somber tombs to explore this unusual, facet of Rome.
Italy’s Spooky Past
Italy is world-famous as the home of great wine, mouth-watering cuisine and culture. But just like every country with a rich and captivating history, Italy is also home to plenty of monsters, murders and mysterious. If ghost tours are on your agenda this Halloween, then you’re in for a treat when vacationing in Italy.
With gripping ghoulish ghost tours in Rome and Florence, give yourself a scare with these night walking tours. Unravel a completely different perspective of these ancient metropolises as you discover them after dark. On our Rome ghost tours, you’ll hear how one of the city’s most beautiful bridges is the setting where a ghost carriage races after dark, with numerous eyewitnesses insisting that they have seen this frequent phantom experience. Rumor has it that the carriage is driven by the sinister spirit of a controversial female pope. Witnesses say they see her racing away from the Vatican with all of the gold she stole from it.
Immerse yourself in the history, customs and traditions of Italy this Halloween. From shivering ghost tales to the world-famous Roman Catacombs, visit Italy but make it scary this All Hollows' Eve!