The number of spectacular summer festivals held in Europe is mind boggling, but the joy of rural travel is in the little things, the almost private celebrations of all that is important in life for those who give us the raw materials for our sustenance.
Each country has its quirky little festivals. If you rent or lease a car and get out into "the sticks" in the "off" season you'll probably stumble across a few, like the Blessing of the Tractors in Italy's green heart: Umbria.
Don't be afraid of travel in the off season. Pack a sweater. Buy an umbrella when you need one. But don't stop exploring. It's often the little things you remember for a great long time.