Best Time to Visit Italy

Italy - Florence Landscape
Florence, Tuscany

 

In one easy sentence:

The best time to visit Italy is between mid-April through May and mid-September through October. Not only do these months provide Italy’s best weather, but they also have lower prices and result in fewer crowds, with the exception of Settimana di Pasqua, Easter week.

In autumn, the weather in Italy cools bringing a close to beach season while festivals bring a warm, spirited ambiance to towns, cities, and villages across the country celebrating wines, chocolates, and robust truffles. Spring balances the perfect weather between the crisp cold and sweltering heat accentuated by radiant flowers, vibrant festivals, sensational seasonal cuisine, and the early days of beach season.

August can be great for visiting parts of Northern Italy, and various beach destinations as the sea waters are warm. If traveling to Southern or Central Italy, it is a less favored month for traveling. The weather is hot and muggy. The majority of Italians take their vacations for at least two weeks in August absconding to favorite spa, beach, and island destinations. Many popular restaurants, nightclubs, and bars close for the entire month of August, especially outside of larger cities like Rome, Florence, or Venice. 

Winter is low season for visiting Italy. Winter offers the lowest rates and smallest crowds around Italy unless visiting the mountain ski resorts. Many stores and shops hold shorter hours while hotels may close for renovations during the low season outside of popular destinations of Rome, Florence, and Venice. Spa and beach towns around Italy generally close between November and February turning into ghost towns until the warm weather returns. Christmas markets and Carnival celebrations turn the gray days between December and February around Italy into joyful, delicious, and lighthearted celebrations of local culture.

Italy’s fabulous history, unparalleled cuisine, unique excursions, and breathtaking landscape make the entire country an enchanting destination to visit at any time of year depending on the type of experience you wish to have.

Thinking about when visiting Italy works best for you? Take a look at our Italy tours and vacations page to gain some insight on how Zicasso can make your dream Italy tour come true.

 

Best Time to Visit Italy for Good Weather

Italy - Cinque Terre Landscape
Cinque Terre, Liguria

 

The best time to go to Italy for good weather is from mid-September to mid-October. The early autumn weather in Italy has a welcoming temperature neither too hot nor too cold, the summer crowds have diminished from peak season, and the local Italians have returned from vacation. However, late October and November are the rainiest times of the year across Italy.

Traveling to Italy between mid-April and June provides cooler weather than summer, warmer weather than winter, and fewer crowds than peak season. However, traveling around Italy in early spring also brings plenty of rain. 

 

Best Time for Sightseeing

Italy - Sightseeing the Colosseum in Rome
The Colosseum, Rome

 

The best time for sightseeing in Italy is between mid-April to May and mid-September to October. Sightseeing in Italy during spring and autumn provide drier, pleasant weather and smaller crowds for better experiences inside the highlights of Italy’s numerous attractions from the museums to the ancient ruins, churches to charming culture. Spring and autumn in Italy offer visitors the chance to witness the changing seasons across the celebrated landscape with blossoming flowers or farmers harvesting grapes, plump olives and ripe apples combining the grandeur of the outdoors with discovering the seasonal delicacies for which Italy is known.

 

Best Time for Wine

Italy - Tuscan Wine Barrels in Wine Cellar
Tuscan Wine Cellar

 

Best Time for Wine Tasting and Tours

The best time for wine tasting and tours in Italy is between March and May. The landscape returns to its famous lush greenery in spring revealing rows of thriving vineyards spanning hills, mountainous slopes, precipitous cliffs, and expansive valleys. The weather is at its best across Italy’s wine-growing regions from March to May, and the crowds have not yet arrived on the country roads searching for hidden villas or famous wine cellars. 

Best Time for Grape Harvesting

The best time to experience the grape harvest in Italy is between September and October. Towns, villages, and cities centered around wines celebrate the harvest with festivals and tastings bringing everyone in close proximity to the traditional revelry. The countryside burns with harvest colors, and mild temperatures provide mild days and cool nights emphasized by Italy’s full arts calendar of opera, ballet, music, and theater. 

Best Time for Meeting the Winemakers

The best time to visit a winemaker in Italy is from January to February. After the harvest ends, winemakers have more time and less stress. Winemakers and vineyard owners are often more than willing to meet with visitors, act as a type of tour guide on the vineyards or offer a more intimate tasting of the wine produced on the estate during the slower hours and absent crowds of the winter offseason. Winter casts the Italian landscape in a different light revealing the enchanting perspective vines, orchards, hilltops, and valleys dusted with snow. 

 

Best Time for Beaches​

Cala Mariolu Beach - Sardinia, Italy
Cala Mariolu Beach - Sardinia, Italy

 

The best time to visit beaches in Italy is from May to September. As the weather in Italy warms during the change from spring to summer, the heat has not yet reached the immobilizing temperatures of July or August and the crowds along the sands of the Tyrrhenian, Ionian, and Adriatic seas reach a pleasant pitch.

In May, many of the resort towns are newly open for the season offering the perfect chance to visit the aquamarine waters along the shoreline before the rush of domestic and international travelers overtake the over-priced lounge chairs at the heart of summer. Visiting the beaches of Italy in mid- to late-September encompasses the end of Italy’s beach season. The majority of domestic and international travelers have returned home, in addition to resort towns nearing the end of their season for the year. 

 

Best Time for Activities

Mountain Biking in the Italian Alps
Mountain Biking in the Italian Alps

 

Spring and Summer Activies

The best time to visit Italy for spring and summer activities is between April and June. Apart from the regular sightseeing activities of exploring museums and ancient ruins, the warmer weather in Italy’s spring and summer provides visitors with countless exciting excursions like:

  • Relaxing in open-air thermal baths
  • Hiking
  • Visiting outdoor festivals
  • Enjoying Italy’s gorgeous beaches
  • Cycling the countryside on bike riding tours
  • Indulging in wine tasting tours
  • Experiencing cliff diving adventures
  • Exploring the Easter markets
  • Viewing flower art festivals
  • Discovering the unique Palio races of Siena, Seravezza, Ferrara, Castiglion Fiorentino, Fossano, Lucca, and La Spezia

Fall and Winter Activities

The best time to visit Italy for fall and winter activities is in October and January. The autumn chill brings about the sensational harvest resulting in delicious cuisine and captivating festivals. The winter cold brings holiday cheer, charming decorations, and a whimsical ambiance from blankets of snow. Apart from the typical discoveries of Italy in the art galleries and historical architecture, the cooler weather of Italy’s autumn and winter offers visitors countless, exciting activities like:

  • Skiing or snowboarding
  • Enjoying a truffle hunt tour
  • Wandering through the Christmas markets
  • Experiencing the Sagre festivals celebrating wine, local food, and culture
  • Relishing the arts season with opera, theater, classical music, and ballet
  • Discover the harvest season
  • Meet winemakers
  • Take a cooking class of traditional Italian comfort food
  • Enjoy panoramic views riding scenic cable cars and ski lifts

 

Best Time with Family

Enjoy the Colosseum with the Family

 

The best time to visit Italy with family is in late-May to mid-June. The beginning of summer in Italy is mild, and the crowds have not yet overrun the more famous cities of Rome, Venice, and Florence or the popular seaside destinations of the Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terre. Traveling with family often revolves around the children’s school schedule which means other families with children will also travel around similar free periods in the yearly calendar resulting in the overcrowded museums, art galleries, and streets of Italy’s famous cities in July and August. Traveling to Italy with the family in late-May to mid-June provides time for the school year to end back home while also accounting for the nicer weather and smaller crowds in Italy.

December is a lovely time to travel to Italy with family. Winter break takes place over the major holidays of Christmas and New Year’s when Italy glows with fascinating holiday markets in the charming ambiance stemming from streets dusted with snow. Winter is also low season for Italian tourism resulting in smaller crowds and cheaper prices. However, when traveling to Italy in winter with young children, account for carrying heavier luggage for proper winter gear like coats, boots, or thermals. 

 

Best Time for Couples

Couple visiting the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Best Time for Couples

 

The best time of year for couples to visit Italy is between April and June or mid-September to October. The warmer weather and smaller crowds on the edges of Italy’s high season provide a pleasurable atmosphere along the resort and coastal towns, create a romantic atmosphere in the popular cities or countryside villas, and offers intimate access to spectacular culture. Couples visiting Italy in spring enjoy great weather and countless activities from sightseeing to beach visits, spa towns to culinary excursions embodying the endless opportunities satisfying every type of couple.