There is a reason why Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world, with over 62 million yearly visitors! Magnificent architecture, rich history, unique food, fashion like nowhere else and iconic cities are just a few of the many amazing things that Italy has to offer.
Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice and the Vatican are just some of the many cities that you just cannot miss. Thanks to skilled Roman architects and legendary painters like Michelangelo, Bernini and Brunelleschi, almost every city in Italy is absolutely stunning. Add to this the scenic coastline with beautiful beaches and mountains, and the country sounds perfect for all kinds of travellers – countryside wanderers and city lovers alike!
Boat rides, vineyards, various festivals and carnivals, amazing art and history and stunning beaches are just a few of the many activities that you can indulge in while in Italy. With so much to experience, you need a minimum of two weeks to explore the country to the fullest. However, as you may have guessed, quite a few of the activities occur seasonally, which is why you must chart out the best time to visit Italy based on the experiences you want to enjoy!
To help you out, we have come up with a detailed breakdown of when to visit Italy and what to do in each of the seasons. Pack your bags and get ready to be immersed in the perfect mix of nature, architecture and history!
Peak Season: Mid-May to July
Off Season: December to February
Shoulder Season: March to Mid-May and October-November
The weather in Italy follows a regular cycle of seasons, with the country experiencing all four major seasons in a year. The northern part of Italy is slightly colder than the southern regions and can even have sub-zero temperatures during the winter months. To understand this better, take a look at this table that highlights the kinds of temperatures you can expect during different seasons:
|Min/ Max Temperature
|Pleasant and Breezy
|Hot and Humid
|Pleasant and rainy
|Dry and Cold
Temperature: The temperature during spring in Italy fluctuates between 5°C and 25°C.
Weather: Apart from the snowfall in northern Italy during the early part of the spring season, the overall weather during this period is quite pleasant. There is a possibility of some rains as well. The minimum average temperature during March would be around 5°C, while the same is around 11-12°C in April and May. The maximum temperature can go up to 25°C towards the end of May as spring pulls to an end.
Significant Events: VinItaly is a fantastic event for any wine lover to attend. The city of Verona hosts the largest wine exhibition in the world in mid-April for four days. It is the perfect opportunity to experience the food, culture and music of the beautiful city, all in one go.
Why you should visit now: The Spring season covers the shoulder season of Italy and thus, travelling is considerably cheaper when compared with other seasons. Spring brings with it blossoming flowers and pleasant weather conditions, which is why it is a great time to travel if you are planning a relaxing vacation. Rain transforms the countryside into a stunning picture of lush greens, which is quite the treat for the eyes. Additionally, if you want to travel during a period that sees fewer tourists, then this is it.
Things to know before the visit: The beaches might be closed during the month of March but will be open for the rest of the season. Many historical sites shut their gates at dusk but you can get enough time to explore the restaurants and cafes. It is the perfect time to go hiking and sightseeing in the forests.
Tip: If you are on a tight budget, visiting Italy in spring is a great idea because this is the official off-season, which means that prices will be lower.
Temperature: The temperature during summer ranges between 18°C and 38°C.
Weather: Italian summers can get quite hot, especially in southern Italy. While the minimum average temperature during the month of May is 18°C, it rises to 25°C for the rest of the season. The maximum average temperature in May is 25°C but it can go as high as 40°C in late July. Thus, it can get fairly hot and humid with lean patches of rain in between.
Significant Events: The summer in Italy starts with the celebrations of the Republic Day on June 2. You can enjoy the parades, carnivals and concerts that are held during this time.
Festa dei Ranieri is an ancient festival that you must visit to see how joyous the parades are at this time. Il Palio di Siena, the Feast of Saint Rosalia and the Ravello Music festival are some of the other festivals that take place in July.
Palio del Golfo and The Festa Della Madonna Della Neve should definitely be added to your itinerary, with the former being a boat race and the latter being a splendid sound and light show.
Why you should visit now: Even though it can get a bit hot in July, the summer season sees the maximum number of tourists because of the incredible festivals and carnivals that happen during this time of the year. Bask in the sun while spending some quality time at various beaches like Sardinia, Amalfi or Rimini.
Things to know before the trip: The Italian summer can be a bit treacherous, with heat waves occurring frequently in the day. To avoid having to deal with the same, you should visit the beaches in the evening. Carry a tube of sunblock wherever you go!
Tips: Since tourists from all around the world flock to various cities during the summer season, it would make a lot of sense to book your tickets well in advance! The same approach goes for booking your hotels as well.
Temperature: The air temperature during the season of autumn fluctuates between 8°C and 28°C.
Weather: Italy in Autumn is a dream for anyone who likes pleasant weather, passive rain showers and the amazing views of the Italian landscape just before fall. The maximum average temperature during this period is less than 30°C, with it dipping to close to 22°C during November. The minimum average temperature starts at 15°C in September and then drops to 5°C in November.
Significant events: If you are a movie buff, then visiting Venice in September would entice you for sure as you get to enjoy the best movies from around the world at the Venice Film Festival. The Regata Storica di Venezia in Venice and The San Gennaro Festival in Naples will let you experience major religious and music festivals in the region.
If you are a food lover, then you should definitely visit in October. Eurochocolate, the Alba White Truffle Chocolate and Boccaccesca are some of the best food festivals in all of Europe.
Why you should visit now: This time of the year becomes the second part of the shoulder season in Italy. It is the season that brings a mix of rain, sun, and snow with a lot of unpredictability. This is ideal for someone who wants to experience a bit of everything in their first visit. Also, the accommodation is much cheaper during this period.
Things to know before the visit: Since the weather conditions are a bit unpredictable during this time of the year, it would make sense to carry an umbrella with you all the time. Also, you can explore the possibility of booking high-end hotels, even if you have a low budget because of the low fares this time of the year!
Tips: Even if you do not book your tickets well in advance, it is okay as you will get be able to book your hotels due to the lack of occupancy during this time of the year. Do not forget to carry your winter clothes if you are travelling in October or November.
Temperature: The air temperature during the season of winter fluctuates between -5°C and 15°C.
Weather: Italy in Winter can get really chilly, especially in the North, with temperatures going sub-zero. The maximum average temperature hovers around 15°C and goes to 8°C and the minimum average temperature stays around 5°C and goes to -5°C in January for 3-4 weeks before climbing back up. You can experience snowfall throughout the winter season in Italy.
Significant events: The Wild Boar Festival, The Trasimeno Blues Festival and The Venice Carnival are some of the festivals that you must definitely visit. The Carnival in February is the biggest event in Italy and holds a lot of cultural significance in the country’s history.
Why you should visit now: If you are into skiing or any winter sports, then you will absolutely love this time of the year. Explore the snow-capped mountains to the fullest!
Things to know before the visit: Pack your skiing gear for the best skiing experience in the world. If you’re planning to shop in Italy, this may not be the best time as there are a few national holidays during this time of the year and therefore it would be hard to find local shops that are open, especially around Christmas.
Tips: Pack your woollens as it can get really chilly. While enjoying the festivals, do not forget to visit the historical places spread across the country!