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What changes in Italy in November 2021?

From food festivals and a day off work to the start of the ski season, there's plenty to look forward to in Italy this November.

Autumn leaves changing colour in Italy.
The colours of the leaves aren't the only thing changing this month in Italy. Photo: OLIVIER MORIN/AFP

All Saints and All Souls Days

Halloween may not be such a big deal in Italy, but don’t forget the day after is a public holiday – and this time it falls on a Monday.

November 1st, All Saints Day, known as ognissanti or tutti i santi in Italian, is an official bank holiday. It’s also seen as a special occasion in many parts of the country.

In the more religious south of Italy, where onomastici or saints’ name days are observed, November 1st is everyone’s name day at once. On this day, you’re supposed to say auguri (congratulations) to everyone you know and many families mark the occasion with – what else? – a big lunch.

READ ALSO: The Italian holiday calendar for 2021

And November 2nd is All Souls Day. This is not a public holiday, but it’s another special occasion. This time, people take flowers to cemeteries to honour their relatives who have passed away.

Over these widely celebrated two days, you’ll also find music and cultural festivals, and a host of other events.

While there may not be as many on the calendar as in previous years, such events are now allowed to go ahead again in Italy – with ‘green pass’ requirements in place.

Sagre season kicks off

At this time of year, towns and villages across the country host their traditional sagre, or local fairs showcasing a particular type of prized produce. We missed out on these much-loved events last year due to pandemic restrictions but many are back in 2021.

READ ALSO: Pumpkin risotto and the great wardrobe switch: How life in Italy changes when autumn arrives

Each sagra could celebate anything from truffle (tartufo) or pumpkin (zucca) to steak (bistecca) depending on the part of Italy you’re in. Larger fairs will showcase multiple types of produce from the area and perhaps further afield. Find a list of local food events here.

There are also some major Italian wine and food events this month including the long-awaited Vinitaly wine fair in Verona, while the famed Alba white truffle fair kicks off on October 9th, running until December 5th.

White truffle grated over potato gnocchetti with Castelmagno cheese – just one example of the dishes to try at Italian food fairs this season. Photo: Miguel MEDINA/AFP

Winter sports season begins 

Ski resorts remained closed across most of Europe during last year’s pandemic shutdown. But this year’s season is much more promising, especially in Italy where some slopes are already open and operators are using the Covid ‘green pass’ health certificate and other measures in the hope of avoiding new closures this year.

Find more details of the Covid rules on Italian slopes this winter here, plus a look at how rules compare across Europe.

Tax deadline

Italy’s main deadline for filing tax returns is on November 30th. Find out more about who has to pay tax in Italy and when here.

PayPal business fees for UK will rise 

One for businesses to keep in mind: PayPal is introducing new fees for payments between businesses in the UK and those in the rest of Europe following Brexit. From November 10th, payments between the European Economic Area (EEA) and British Businesses will be charged a 1.29 percent fee. 

The current rate is around 0.5 percent. That has remained unchanged since before the UK left the EU Customs Union and Single Market. But PayPal said it was now facing extra costs, such as the rise in interchange fees between the UK and EEA.

Payments between EU and associated state countries and countries outside the EU are charged a 1.99 percent fee. Within the EU the fee for businesses is 0.5 percent. 

Bargains for shoppers

If you fancy some retail therapy, don’t forget that Black Friday and Cyber Monday is approaching. Retailers are set to offer lots of discounts. Black Friday is on November 26th and Cyber Monday is on November 29th. 

Large Italian retailers planning to participate include Mediaworld, Euronics, Unieuro and others – look out for volantini (flyers) outside stores in the coming weeks. And if you’ve got your eye on a new TV don’t forget you can also apply for a €100 discount from the government.

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