Moderno Italiano Festival


October is best known for being the month of Halloween. But for those less into Halloween sweets and more into the savory, maybe it’s time to celebrate a lesser-known October characteristic: It’s also National Pizza Month. To honor Italy’s most beloved export, Hot Italian is putting on the Moderno Italiano Festival, a month of free activities at both its Sacramento and Emeryville locations.

For the entire month, Fiat is offering test drives every Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. outside of Hot Italian’s midtown location. On Friday the 18th, Steve Campanelli from Tony’s Fine Foods is stopping by from 7 to 9 p.m. to teach Grappa 101. It’s a rarity to see grappa on a menu in Sacramento, let alone have the chance to learn about its history and production, so those with a curiosity for heavily fortified wines shouldn’t miss the opportunity. And for those who prefer a lighter flavor, Giovanni Lossi from Zonin is offering a Prosecco sampling on Wednesday the 23rd from 6 to 8 p.m. The festival wraps up with the Ducati Bike Night on Monday the 28th, which means a congregation of Italian motorcycle enthusiasts descending upon Fremont Park. You don’t have to own a bike to show up; you can just come and soak up the handsome (and flashy) engineering.

What: Moderno Italiano Festival
When: Oct. 18, 23, 28, times vary
Where: Hot Italian, 1627 16th St., Sacramento
Cost: Free