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Best Time and Season to Visit Italy: Complete Guide

Team AckoDec 13, 2022

A laid-back holiday filled with copious amounts of creamy pasta, delicious vino, and unforgettable historical paintings, monuments, and architecture? Sign us up, please! Italy always ranks high on the list of countries an avid traveller would love to visit, and with good reason. Rich history and culture, delicious food, fascinating architecture, and great fashion are just some of the things that this Mediterranean beauty has to offer. From the sun-kissed beaches of coastal Italy to its romantic vineyards and the legendary Colosseum and ruins of Pompeii, there is a lot to do and see here. Italy is a great year-round destination. So, the best time to visit Italy really depends on what you want to experience when you visit this European getaway. Before you make a decision, some of the things to consider would be your budget, the weather, events, and how much tourist traffic you want to deal with, as Italy is very popular with travellers from all over the world. So here’s a guide to figuring out the best time to go to Italy.

Best Time and Season to Visit Italy

Contents

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When is the best time to visit Italy?

The land of gladiators is now the land of tourists. It offers something extra special for everyone. Whether you are a budding fashionista who wants to check out the fashion scene in Milan or a history buff who wants to take in all the significant sights at the Vatican, Italy is a travel destination that lives up to all your expectations and then some. So when is the best time to travel to Italy so that you can truly enjoy Italian hospitality at its finest? 

  • April to May, when spring is in the air, and early autumn, which is between September and October, is considered to be the best time to visit Italy. The weather is sunny and pleasant, making your trip a comfortable one.

  • The summer, which falls between June/July and August, can be the best season to visit Italy and can be considered Italy’s peak season. Tourists can be found in droves around this time of year as the warm Mediterranean sun works its magic on the Italian landscape. But you will be hard-pressed to find good deals and discounts as a traveller, and this can work out to be a more expensive trip and not the best time to visit Italy from India.

When is the best season to visit Italy?

Peak season: Summer is considered to be the peak season in Italy. The sun shines brightly here from June to August, more so in July and August. Expect well-known cities such as Rome to be taken over by hordes of sightseeing tourists. This leads to longer lines at all the major attractions with a scorching sun beating down on your back. Prices for accommodations and flights are also at an all-time high.

Shoulder season: The shoulder season is the best time to travel to Italy for cheap. April, May, September, and October are considered shoulder season months. The weather is still quite pleasant around this time. You may be able to score some good deals on hotels, especially in the southern parts of the country. When compared to peak season, there are fewer visitors. So visiting major monuments and attractions may not be so painful when compared to peak season.

Low season: The winter months between November and February are in the low season here. Prices for accommodations can drop by as much as 30% when compared to peak season. Since the Italian winters can be considered mild, it can still be an enjoyable time to head to Italy. But opening hours may be limited at some attractions, so do check availability when you are planning your visit. Winter sports draw more visitors to the country's northern regions, particularly ski resorts, making winter the best time to visit northern Italy for those who take their winter merriment seriously.

A month-by-month guide to travel in Italy

Italy in January

January falls in the off-season for Italy. Visitors to the country are very few, as the cold climate keeps most away, even though most of Italy enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean winter (not so for the northern parts). If you want to see fewer tourists, then January is a good time to visit Italy. Around this time, lines at attractions will be shorter, and accommodations, flights, etc can be cheaper. However, because it is off-season, beaches on the Amalfi Coast will be closed, and certain attractions may only be open for a limited time per day. As you head towards the northern parts of the country, you can indulge in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding and also experience snowfall.

Tip: January is a good time to go on a gondola ride across the Venetian canals, as the tourist footfall is less and you can take in the beauty of Venice in a more intimate manner.

Temperature range to expect: - 5 Degrees Celsius to 13 Degrees Celsius

Event: Winter shopping sales; winter sports

Italy in February

The legendary Carnevale takes place across the country in February to mark the start of Lent. The party atmosphere takes hold of the entire country, with streets filled with colourful costumes and elegant masks. If you want to witness these celebrations, book your tickets and accommodations well in advance. The Venice Carnival is of particular note, as it is well-known to attract legions of tourists from across the world to partake in the masked festivities. Other than this festive stretch, February is still a low season for tourism in Italy, so you can consider it to be the best time to visit Italy on a budget, as hotels and flights can be cheaper around this time.

Temperature range to expect: - 5 Degrees Celsius to 13 Degrees Celsius

Event: Carnevale, Venice Carnival, Almond Blossom Festival

Italy in March 

Spring is just around the corner in March. The weather is a mixture of rain, wind, and sunshine. As spring approaches on March 21st, a warmer climate is in the offing. The Easter holidays commence around this month. So even though tourist traffic may be minimal, you can still expect some crowds and shifting timing for attractions.

Temperature range to expect: 5 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Event: Easter holidays, Rome Marathon

Italy in April

Flowers are in full bloom across the country as spring is in full swing. The temperature is at enjoyable levels, and with not many tourists around, April falls in the "best month to visit Italy"category. Tulips and camellias abound in the northern parts of Italy, and you can make merry by participating in spring-related celebrations.

Temperature range to expect: 5 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Festa di San Marco, Holy Week Celebrations, Easter, Liberation Day

Italy in May

The warm Italian outdoors beckons tourists who head to Italy this month. This not-too-hot month just before summer officially begins is the best time of the year to visit Italy. The month of roses, as May is known, is another time of the year when you can take in Italy’s spring loveliness. So getting out and about is highly encouraged and expected as part of exploring Italy this month. Since May 1 is a holiday, you can expect an increase in tourist traffic around this time. But the month in general falls in the shoulder season, so expect to bump into fewer visitors and make the most of the discounts before peak season commences.

Temperature range to expect: 5 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: La Biennale di Venezia, Festa della Sensa

Italy in June

Summer and the peak season get underway in June. But the first few weeks of the month can still be considered shoulder season, so travellers should make the most of this time period to enjoy Italy before the tourists descend in droves. The temperatures pick up in the second half of the month, and this becomes the perfect excuse to head towards the beaches in Sardinia and Amalfi. Republic Day, a national holiday, brings in festivities.

Temperature range to expect: 18 Degrees Celsius to 38 Degrees Celsius

Events: Luminara di San Ranieri, Republic Day (June 2nd), Napoli Teatro Festival Italia

Italy in July

The temperatures are creeping upward during this month and the weather can sometimes verge on uncomfortable. School holidays begin this month, so Italians are on the move and heading to beaches and the countryside. This is an expensive time to visit the country, with travellers making a beeline for it to soak up the Italian summer and its attractions, so plan your holiday well ahead. Pack comfortable clothes, as air conditioning is not widely available and you don't want to be left sweating it out.

Tip: If you want to avoid the hordes, travel to lesser-known destinations such as Calabria, Basilicata, Lombardy, and Le Marche.

Temperature range to expect: 18 Degrees Celsius to 38 Degrees Celsius

Events: Ravello Festival, Palio horse race

Italy in August

The holiday season is in full swing this month. Crowding is at its peak levels as well, thanks to the never-ending stream of tourists. Cities may be a bit more empty though, with the Italians heading to beaches and mountain resorts, but bear in mind that the cities may be hot as a furnace. Restaurants and other local businesses may also be closed for business or operate as they please, so make your reservations ahead of time or call and check about timing.

Temperature range to expect: 18 Degrees Celsius to 38 Degrees Celsius

Events: Venice International Film Festival, Palio horse race, Ferragosto holiday

Italy in September

Shoulder season begins this month with the beginning of fall, which is also the best season to go to Italy. Some of summer’s warmth does linger, but overall the temperature is more on the pleasant side. As schools reopen, the tourist areas begin to thin out. The harvest season also starts bringing more local spreads to the table, including truffles and olives. This month also marks the beginning of the grape harvest season.

Temperature range to expect: 8 Degrees Celsius to 28 Degrees Celsius

Events: Regata Storica, La Vendemmia, Venice International Film Festival, Festival delle Sagre

Italy in October

Another great month to visit Italy, albeit a little warmer, but with fall approaching, these days may be numbered. This is the best time to visit southern Italy to enjoy the dwindling summer warmth as the northern regions become colder. This is a brilliant month for those who are gastronomically inclined, as harvest season can bring a lot of joy to one’s tummy. Your bank account can also be a happy place with prices going down. All in all, the best time to visit Italy is October.

Temperature range to expect: 8 Degrees Celsius to 28 Degrees Celsius

Events: Scale del Gusto

Italy in November

November can be a wet and cold month. It is also one of the more affordable months on the tourist calendar. If you don’t mind the dipping temperatures, you will be able to take in the sights and sounds of the cities without much tourist interference. Since we have officially entered Italy’s off-season, some hotels in the bigger cities may be closed and will only reopen towards Easter. But truffle season and the festivities around it, such as fairs and markets, can be your reward for braving the off-season’s not-so-great weather.

Temperature range to expect: 8 Degrees Celsius to 28 Degrees Celsius

Events: Truffle season

Italy in December

The cold truly sets in, and so does the Christmas cheer with its markets and delicious foods. Ski resorts start opening their doors, so winter sports lovers should head there in December. Important sights may be open for shorter hours as daylight decreases and the days become shorter.

Temperature range to expect: - 5 Degrees Celsius to 13 Degrees Celsius

Events: Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Ski season

When is the cheapest time to visit Italy?

The shoulder season or off-season can be the best time to visit Italy for the budget-conscious traveller. Shoulder season months include April, May, the first few weeks of June, September, and October, while off-season months include November and February. You may be able to get good deals on hotels and flights. There are also fewer tourists going around, so you can explore Italy on your own terms.

When is the most expensive time to visit Italy?

The Italian summer, which coincides with school holidays and sunny weather, is the most expensive time to visit Italy. While the Italians are moving towards beaches and mountains to catch up on some rest and relaxation, tourists are taking over the important attractions and major cities. The time around Carnevale, Christmas, and Easter can also be expensive. So keep these stretches in mind and book everything ahead of time (anywhere between 3 and 6 months in advance).

When is the best time to visit Italy for a honeymoon?

The fall and spring months, when the weather is pleasant and there aren’t a mob of tourists trailing you, are the best times to visit Italy for a honeymoon. You can explore Italy at a leisurely pace while having some privacy. But Italy is a year-round destination, so if you don't mind the crowds in summer or the colder climate of winter, honeymooners can visit Italy as they please. Going to the quieter countryside during these times, along with setting aside a few days to see the main attractions in larger cities, may be the best way for honeymooners to experience everything Italy has to offer.

When is the best season for diving in Italy? 

Since Italy is blessed with a huge coastline and pristine waters, it can be considered a diver’s paradise. Diving can be done off the coastal regions of Amalfi, Portofino, Scilly, Sardinia, Elba, and Campania. Summer is the best season to go diving in Italy, as the waters are at an ideal temperature, but beware of crowds around these areas during the peak season.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

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What’s the best time to visit Italian beaches and the coast?

The best time to visit Italy's beaches and coast would be in the summer when you get to cool off and escape the heat. But this season will prove to be expensive as everyone is heading to the seaside resorts and beaches. But a great, affordable window opens up for a few weeks between late May and early June and late September and early October. So pack up your swimsuits and sunblock and head to the beach during these weeks for a more affordable Italian beach vacation.

When is the best time to visit Italian lakes?

Spring or fall is the best time to visit Italian lakes. Though summers can also tempt you to go take a relaxing trip to the lakes, it will be packed with locals and tourists, so you may not enjoy the experience much. Visiting during the spring months has an added advantage as you can visit gardens by the lakes, which are at their peak of prettiness with flowers blooming everywhere. Fall has its own appeal, with its changing colours and fewer people around. Lake Como is a well-known lake destination you should not miss.

When is the best time to explore Italian vineyards?

Italy is a wine country, and there are no two ways about it. If you are a wine connoisseur, the grape harvest season, which falls between September and October, is a great time to sample wines to your heart’s content. Vineyards can also be visited in the fall and spring and make for a great romantic getaway.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes

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