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The Best Time to Visit Italy

Summer time in Sicily - Italy

With its rich history, picturesque landscapes and delicious food, Italy is mesmerizingly beautiful. However, when you are planning a trip around this nation, the timings play a very important role. None of the top destinations is year-round and some of the prominent attractions draw tourists certain times of the year over others. Beach destinations are a major crowd puller during summer. Medieval towns are usually thronged by tourists in the winter months. And many visitors plan a trip around the fall season due to fewer crowds. Thus, Italy has something to offer every season and visitors have their travel priorities.

In this article, we will give you more information on the best time to visit Italy based on your travel priorities. So that it gets easier for you to plan a memorable Italian holiday.

January & February

January and February constitute the colder months when fewer tourists remain. You get discounted airfares, hotel prices slash down and even the touristy areas are calm and quiet. If you have ever fantasized about roaming around the empty streets of Florence, Milan, and Venice, now is the time! Some of the attractions remain closed on Epiphany, so it is advisable to check the timings if you are running short of time.

Italy tends to get busier in the Valentines week and on the annual Carnivale. However, tourist influx is more only in places where this occasion is very popular namely Venice. But it makes not much difference in other places. January and February are ideally the best seasons to head to the Alps and take part in skiing. If cold is not your thing, head further south where the temperature gets milder-Sicily and Naples is your best bet. It is advisable to carry plenty of warm clothes especially if you are traveling to the north.

March & April

Sicily, Italy

March and April are often regarded as the shoulder season in Italy. It is that time of the year when the weather is soothing but the hordes of tourists haven’t yet started arriving. These months are the transition period and the weather remains unpredictable. But if you are willing to take the risk, both March and April can shower you with surprises. Downpours are common and it is essential to pack umbrellas and water-proof shoes. But there are sunny days when the temperature is mild with a slight chill in the air.

March is the time when you get to experience Verona’s annual event, VinItaly that lets you discover the wine culture in this region. Easter holiday usually marks the beginning of the high season especially if it appears late on the calendar. This is a great time for culture hounds willing to explore the remarkable churches, art galleries, and museums. But it might not be the right time to plan for hiking or other outdoor activities.

May & June

May and June are often considered the peak seasons for an Italian vacation. The month of June tends to be busier and of course more expensive when compared to May. These months mark the onset of the summer season when the weather is warm and beautiful with little or no rainfall. Hence, it is the perfect time to soak up the beach vibe. If you head to the pristine beaches of Puglia and Sardinia, you might be the only tourist in that region.

The International Workers’ Day falls on the 1st of May, a public holiday when most of the shops and restaurants remain closed. Thus, your best bet is to hang in the parks carpeted with lush greenery. Giro d’Italia, Italy’s biggest 3-week bike race take place in May and often adds a twist to your vacation. The routes for this event change every year. Check the schedule to see whether it will pass through any of the towns that you are planning to visit.

July & August

Grand Canal Venice, Italy

July and August are the busiest time of the year when all the popular sites come to life. The weather tends to get hotter around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and it is worth taking into account while going on sightseeing tours. As you go towards the south, the humidity levels rise and it often gets difficult to spend time outdoors. There are several Summer Festivals taking place during this time of the year. Opera at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome is one such event that you cannot afford to miss.

The event of Ferragosto officially begins on the 15th of August and continues until the first week of September. During this time, local shops, wine bars, and restaurants remain closed (tourist attractions remain open) and even the top cities might look like a ghost town. If local people are your subject of interest, then mid of August may not be the right time for you to plan a trip. Rent a villa in Le March, head to one of the ski destinations of the Italian Alps or stay at a Tuscany agriturismo, there are plenty of peaceful experiences that Italy can offer in the summer months of July and August.

September & October

September and October constitute the autumn months when the temperature is soothing and the tourist crowd has thinned out. Most parts in Italy experiences warm weather in September but it is not a grueling as the peak summer-time. For the first two weeks, the town and cities are going through the lingering Ferragosto. Hence, the shops and restaurants remain closed. If you are in Venice, it is a nice time to watch the iconic boat race of Regatta Storica through the Grand Canal. Several food festivals also take place during this time of the year.

The month of October is not crowded and the temperature hovers around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather is cooling down but there are more rainy days when compared to June and July. Early October is the ideal time to visit Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre when the weather is spectacular and the surrounding looks amazing. It is advisable to skip the heavy winter wear but pack a few sweaters that can keep you cozy and warm.

November & December

Winter, Italy

November and December are the off-seasons except for the Christmas week when relatively few visitors come to Italy. November is the onset of winters and is often regarded as the wettest time of the year. The cities of Rome, Milan, and Naples receive 4 to 5 inches of rainfall and it is a good time to explore the historic monuments in the city. The low season hours might vary and you must check the timings before heading to any of the attractions.

December is the coldest months and offers pretty good reasons to relax in a bar and warm up with a glass of Brule (hot mulled wine in Italy). You can also spend time skiing or indulge in a restorative dip in one of the natural hot springs scattered around the region. Piazza Navona Christmas Market in Rome is also worth visiting. Make sure to check the museum timings on 1st November (All Saints’ Day), 8th December (Feast Day), and 26th December (Santo Stefano) that are declared as public holidays.

Tour Italy Now offers customized tours to Italy. Feel free to contact us to get your vacation to Italy on the calendar.

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By Priscila Siano (266 Posts)

Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients.

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  1. Agnes Leaming
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    Looking forward to receiving information on visiting in the spring!

  2. Dom
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    Absolutely! Feel free to fill out this form to set up a free consultation.

    Also, be sure to optin to our newsletter…

  3. Margie
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 4:18 AM | Permalink

    Ill be travelling around the Puglia & the Amalfi coast regions between Sept 17th-Oct 3rd 2017
    Are there any public holidays i need to be mindful of when planning my tours /activities around those dates
    Regards Margie

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