As an American, I can say we are pretty much obsessed with Halloween in the States. I can see why, it is one of my favorite holidays after all… Who doesn’t love pumpkins, costumes, candy, scary stories, and some good drinks?
Unfortunately, Italy doesn’t share the American passion for Halloween, not yet anyways…
In Italy, Halloween (thankfully) is becoming more and more popular. Italians usually wait to celebrate their carnivale in February, which is their equivalent of Halloween.
Nowadays, in the major cities, you will see small groups of children dressed up in costumes running from store to store, and occasionally buzzing the homes (although it is much more common for them to “Dolce o Scherzo” at stores and bars).
My first year here I felt so guilty because I didn’t have any candy. I knew Halloween wasn’t much celebrated in Italy, so I wasn’t prepared for the buzzing to my apartment that night. It was much to my surprise when I looked out my window and saw a small group of children waiting patiently in their costumes at the stoop.
Of course, when I was prepared my second and third year here, no one buzzed my apartment sadly. Although, I did see children darting in and out of the crowds when I went out that evening.
As for costumes, Italians do not go all out like we do in America. Like I said before, it is becoming more and more popular. They might don a witch hat, or Day of the Dead Skull makeup or a mask, but that is wear it ends. Accessories are key.
In fact, last year my roommate and I were a witch and a vampire. Normal club clothes donned with some makeup effects and a hat.
Luckily, nearly all of the discos do have a Halloween party, so if you are a Halloween lover like I am, there is still fun to be had!
What does the future hold for Halloween in Italy? Let me look into my crystal ball… I see costumes, candy, and fun parties with lots of dancing!
Tips For Doing Halloween in Italy
Dress scary! Italians believe Halloween should be scary, so take the opportunity to do something a bit creepy.
Use accessories. Instead of going all out with a costume, use accessories such as a hat, mask, eye patch, wig, or makeup. Note: You obviously can wear a costume, but don’t expect everyone else to be in one! Italians are fun people, though, so they would probably love it! (As long as you don’t mind the extra attention 🙂 ) In fact, I even brought an old costume back from my most recent trip in the US. Not sure if I’ll wear it for Halloween, but perhaps.
Don’t dress slutty. Hey, I’ve done it in the US. I love an excuse to dress overly sexy and release an inner fantasy. With that being said, I don’t recommend it in Italy. But hey, if you don’t mind evil stares of judgment from Italian girls and a mob of men following you around, then go for it!
Go out. Even though Italy might not embrace the costumes and candy like we do in the States, they do love an excuse to have a party. Many of the discos will throw Halloween parties, and I’ve always had a good time.