When is the best time to visit Italy?
If you are wondering when is the best time to visit Italy, you are in the right place. We will try to reveal all the secrets to choose the perfect moment according to your needs and interests.
Generally speaking, everybody agrees that either spring (March to June) or fall (September to mid November) are the most pleasant seasons: the weather is nice, temperatures are mild, there are no crowds, and in in some areas – such as on the coast, in small villages with cultural attractions (not the big art cities), and on the mountains or natural parks – the prices are more competitive compared to summertime.
Positano, Amalfi Coast, Campania
The summer months (July and August) can be very hot and even more expensive. We can consider them the high season: the time of the year when the great majority of Italians go on vacation to the seaside or mountain resorts, so the main cities are usually quiet. It could be ideal to visit them if you don’t mind dealing with high temperatures and humidity.
On the other side, the winter months (December to February) can be cold and sometimes rainy in the North, and more temperate in the South. November and February are the least expensive months to travel, and of course December is the best choice if you wish to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.
Now let’s look at it from a different point of view: if you have specific interests, it could be quite easy to find the best time to travel.
- Best time for sightseeing: if the main purpose of your trip is visiting Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice, you should pick April (skipping the Easter break), May, September or October. Remember that on the first Sunday of the month, many galleries, museums and parks are free to visit.
- Best time to go to the beach: the best time to visit beach destinations is right before or after the high season, especially if we are talking about places such as the Amalfi coast, Cinque Terre, Puglia, and Sicily (just to name a few). The sea can be a little cold though, so if you are planning to sunbathe and swim, you should probably come from mid June to the beginning of September.
- Best time to do seasonal activities such as grape or olive harvest: if you are interested in experiencing grape harvest (vendemmia in Italian) or simply wine tasting, fall is definitely a good time. During the harvest (usually around September), you might need to join a specific tour (like this one organized by us) or make a reservation in advance, as some wineries are sometimes closed to the public. Autumn is also the best choice if you are interested in oil harvest, we have a dedicated tour as well.
- Best time for shopping: The best time for shopping is during the winter and summer sales, respectively from the first week of January and the second week of July (this could be slightly different from city to city). In both cases the discounts will be available until inventory is finished.
- Best time for sports immersed in nature, such as visiting national parks, snow activities, or cycling: you should just avoid the hottest months, but other than that, any time works during the year! For instance, you could come to Abruzzo, which is becoming the perfect destination for cycle tourism and many other outdoor activities.
If you are interested in taking part in events or festivals, these are some of the ones you shouldn’t miss.
- Winter events: the Epiphany feast (January 6) is an important part of the Christmas festivities in Italy, and its celebration is a strong tradition especially in villages and small cities. Winter is also the season of Carnevale (February), which finds its best expression in Venice: you will find yourself in the middle of street fairs, gondola parades, and costume contests.
- Spring events: if you are passionate about design and architecture, you shouldn’t miss the Salone del Mobile, an important design fair that is organized every April in Milan. Easter is definitely a good period to travel across Italy, which might be the perfect destination to experience the Holy week. Read this article if you want to know more about it.
- Summer events: the main event is Ferragosto (August 15), that represents the height of the tourist season. If you are interested in Alternative and Indie music, Vasto (in the Abruzzo region) organizes an important event called Siren festival in July. July and August are also the months of Palio di Siena, with its horse race, and the palio style Medieval festival called Giostra Cavalleresca di Sulmona, that takes place in the last week of July: both are two great occasions to go back to Medieval times. At the beginning of September, Venice also hosts the Venice Film Festival, the world’s oldest film festival.
- Autumn events: we already mention that this is the wine and oil harvest season, with plenty of many small food and wine festivals, and we can’t forget the Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba (Alba White Truffle Fair) in Piedmont. It runs from October to the beginning of December and it’s the ideal place to appreciate and buy truffles from the Langhe, Monferrato and Roero area.
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