LIFE/Taylor Allyn: Halloween in Italy

Americans love any excuse to dress up and gorge ourselves on candy. This, of course, is why Halloween is so popular in America. For the entire month of October (and September too), stores are outfitted with spider webs, pumpkins, skeletons, and the like. Everything is orange and black, and everything is spooky. Children and adults alike enjoy dressing up in costumes on Halloween. The tradition of trick-or-treating is very popular among young Americans, and children and teenagers go around collecting candy on the evening of October 31st.  I went trick-or-treating every year until I was about 16 years old, and so did all of my friends.

Halloween in Viterbo is a different story, however. Because the city is a little more secluded and less filled with tourists, the night of October 31st felt more gently reminiscent of spookiness rather than an outright celebration of Halloween. I spotted a handful of decorated buildings– mostly bars that were decked out in skeletons and spider webs. I went out with my roommates, in full costume, and the majority of the people that we passed were not in costume. Face paint seemed to be a popular costume alternative, however, and I saw multiple people in face paint. As for a full-body costume, I’m not sure I saw many at all. In America, you can’t turn a corner without running into a witch or a ghost or a superhero.  At one bar in town, however, the bartenders each wore a witch hat and a cape, and the walls were adorned with a few spooky decorations.

Candy and costumes go hand in hand with Halloween in America, with rows upon rows of orange packaged candy in grocery stores, reinforcing the tradition of trick-or-treating. Viterbo is just dipping its feet into the costume aspect of Halloween, and I can’t see the candy part becoming popular. America thrives upon sugar–everything is filled with sugar, and we find every excuse to eat more of it. Halloween and Valentine’s Day are two holidays that come to mind that rest firmly upon the importance of candy and chocolate.

There is one store that I have seen, down the road from my apartment, selling Halloween costumes. Besides that, the clamor of Halloween in Viterbo remains relatively silent. It seems to be something that is acknowledged, yet not popular enough to be a celebration in every household and every storefront.

It seems that Halloween is just emerging in Viterbo, just starting to rear it’s orange head. Boo!

Hi everyone, I am a literature student from Norfolk, Connecticut. I study Italian, history, and art history at the Università degli Studi della Tuscia. In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, and exploring the world!

Ciao tutti, sono una studentessa di letteratura di Norfolk, Connecticut. Studio Italiano, storia, e storia dell’arte all’Università degli Studi della Tuscia. Nel mio tempo libero, mi piace cucinare, leggere, e esplorare il mondo!

Anche, mi piacciono gatti J