Football is a way of life in Italy. Kids grow up playing for the youth divisions of their hometown soccer club, and families spend their weekends cheering on the home team from the stands. Italian soccer is a must to see for any sports fan while on holiday, whether you attend a Serie A match or a tilt between two local clubs.

Just like top-tier leagues around Europe, Serie A matches are full of international superstars and top-quality football. Here are some of the most important matches on the calendar before the end of the year:

Christmas is such a special time of year in Italy. The Advent season brings communities together to celebrate, including one of the best – and tastiest – traditions, the Christmas market.

Stalls of handcrafts, food, drink and games pop up in city centers, with something fun and delicious for everyone! Here are a few of the best Christmas markets, perfect for visiting during your holiday in Italy in December.

In Italy, food choices are often made based on regional and seasonal factors. Eating seasonal isn't a trend here; rather, it's been a normal part of life for generations.

For example, the hunting of cinghiale, or wild boars, begins in November, so at this time you will find such dishes as cinghiale alla cacciatora, a slow sautée of carrots, onions, celery, and spices.

Autumn is the best time to visit Italy. The weather is beautiful, the crowds of tourists have thinned out, and the fall Italian festivals are in full swing. Attending festivals is not only fun, it is a good way to learn about Italian culture and traditions in Italy.

Most festivals in Italy are based on historic events. They often include processions of people in period costume, local Italian food, contests and fireworks. Most Italian festivals are free but attendance at some events may require purchase of a ticket.