Halloween is not yet celebrated in Italy the way that it is in North America, but the holiday is absolutely starting to catch on. You can find spooky decorations, Halloween-themed cookies, and even some events geared towards children. However other traditions like bobbing for apples and even trick or treating are much less common.
Halloween in Italy is October 31st, as it is in other places around the world. The main official holiday in Italy is actually All Saints’ Day on November 1st. All Saints’ Day is a public holiday in Italy and you should expect public offices to be closed. But that simply means you can throw your own Halloween party the night before and not need to worry about waking up early the next day. Then, on November 2nd comes All Souls Day.
While there might not be an official celebration for Halloween in Italy, you can still find plenty of ways to mark the day. Some supermarkets sell pumpkin carving kits (usually Carrefour has them), and some farms are starting to host pumpkin patches! (You can google “giardino delle zucche” to see if there are any near your city).
Of course, kids in Italy love the idea of Halloween and dolcetto o scherzetto which is Italian for “trick or treat.” Going door to door is not something that is done here, but some businesses are getting into the spirit and hosting Halloween evenings for kids to run around dressed up. These tend to be more like carnivals and the trick or treating events are usually held at museums, theme parks, or markets.
The more popular dress-up holiday in Italy is Carnivale, the period before lent. Children often put on costumes and throw confetti. But what kid would miss the chance to dress up again for Halloween? You will see some superheroes and witches playing after school in their costumes in October as well.
And if adults want to dress up? Well, the idea of Halloween here in Italy is still very tied to its spooky origins so the scarier and more gruesome the costume all the better. Don’t expect to see any sexy nurses or funny costumes, if you see any at all.
Want to get into the Halloween spirit? Here are six Italian cemeteries you should visit.