The best time to visit Italy for good weather and less dense crowds is the shoulder season of late May, early June, late September, and early October. The end of spring and early fall in Italy are right at the end of the low and high seasons, so it’ll be cheaper and calmer, but still beautiful.
Your experience in Italy depends on the season you visit. Spending a winter trip in northern Italy looks totally different than a trip to Sicily during the summer months. On my solo trip to Italy in early summer, I saw just how much the country changes between seasons.
In this article, we’ll figure out the best time to visit Italy for your travel goals. Let’s dive in!
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When is the Best Time to Visit Italy
Visiting Italy in the late spring or early fall provides a good balance of sunny weather, affordable prices, and fewer tourists around. That’s why the months of October, September, June, and May are the best time to visit Italy.
Of course, every traveler has their own preferences. The shoulder season can be too unpredictable for some people. The proverbial best time to visit Italy might not fit for visitors who value everyday good weather or the cheapest prices available.
So, let’s break it down and figure out which season is best for you.
When to Visit Italy for Good Weather
The best time to visit Italy for good weather is June through August, the height of the summer. You can be nearly positive that you’ll get sunny days throughout your whole trip when you visit Italy during the summer.
The drawback of visiting Italy during the summer is that everyone else wants to be there, too. It’s often crowded and quite expensive during these months. It can also get extremely hot in the middle of summer, especially early August. The average temperatures in August for central Italy are between 69-89°F/21-32°C and 78-91°F/26-33°C in southern Italy.
When to Visit Italy for Cheap Prices
The cheapest time to go to Italy is in winter. During January and February, the weather may not be the best and tourism is at an annual low. Winter temperatures range between 40-60°F/4-15°C in Italy, with some rain and occasional snow in parts of the country. Many accommodations and experiences lower their rates around this time.
The exception to that rule is ski resorts in the north of Italy, which may get more traffic around this time thanks to sub-zero temperatures and snowfall.
👉 Pro Tip: I always grab travel insurance with World Nomads before embarking on any trip.
When to Visit Italy for Sunny Beach Days
The months of June through early September are the best time to visit Italy for sunny beach days. No matter which region of Italy you visit during the summer, you’ll likely have beautiful, bright weather every day and warm waters.
Keep in mind that this is also the most popular time to visit Italy, so it’ll be expensive and very busy at the beaches.
When to Visit Italy for Families and Kids
The best time to visit Italy for traveling with children is the spring or fall season. April, May, September, and October are all excellent options for families.
These months are much less crowded than the height of the summer, and you won’t have to worry about you or your kids getting overheated. Plus, the weather is still nice enough to walk around without heavy clothes or worrying about incoming storms.
When to Visit Italy for Fewer Crowds
The off-season winter months from early December to February is the best time to visit Italy for fewer crowds. Winter in Italy provides a more authentic experience with fewer tourists throughout the country.
However, there will be cold weather, rain, or even snow in some regions during the winter. So, it’s not ideal for a beach vacation.
When to Visit Italy for Wine Tours and Tastings
March through May and September through October are the best months to go on wine tours and tastings in Italy.
The springtime offers fantastic weather and the country is just coming to life again after the winter. The grape harvest in Italy’s wine regions happens in early fall, making it the perfect season to taste fresh Italian wine.
Italy Travel Seasons
🌼 Spring (March – May)
Italy has pleasant weather in the spring with temperatures usually staying below 25°C (77°F) and above 5°C (40°F). Italy’s spring weather can fluctuate depending on the region you’re in and it gets colder the further north you go.
There are fewer crowds and cheaper prices in Italy from March to May because the summer season hasn’t quite kicked off yet. One potential downside of the spring season is that while it’s typically nice out, the weather can be pretty unpredictable in spring. One day might be lovely and another could be rainy.
Spring has the most Italian national holidays including Easter Sunday, Pasquetta, Liberation Day (April 25), the Day of the Worker (May 1), and Festa della Repubblica (June 2). Every national holiday celebrated in Italy comes with more crowds and sometimes restaurants and businesses will be closed.
☀️ Summer (June – August)
The summer months from June to August are the most popular time to visit Italy. This season is often considered the best time to visit Italy because it provides the ultimate vacation atmosphere. There is great weather, lots of activities to do, plenty of events going on, and an overall lively vibe.
The average day temperature in Italy during this season is 30°C (85°F). However, it can get up to 38°C (100°F) in southern regions at the height of summer in late July and August. It’s fantastic weather for beach days along Italy’s coast, but can be too stifling in certain areas of the country.
The big downside of visiting Italy during the summer is that it’s the busiest and most expensive time of the year. There is limited availability of hotels during summer in Italy because of the tourist influx. Book summer stays way in advance for a shot at getting a reasonable deal, especially if you’re looking to stay in Milan, Florence, or Venice.
🍂 Fall (September – November)
Once September settles in, the brutal heat and crowds start to subside in Italy. The temperature falls to an average of 21°C (70°F), though it can vary by about ten degrees depending on which region you’re visiting. It’s the best type of weather for doing outdoor activities and city sightseeing on foot.
Similar to the temperature, the prices take a dive in the fall season and become a lot more affordable. There is also a wider variety of hotel availability because, with kids back in school, most people don’t travel during the fall season.
Another big benefit to visiting in the fall is that you can have the chance to spot the changing leaves in northern Italy. There are also a bunch of fun Italian festivals in the fall, such as the Boccaccesca Food and Wine Festival, the Venice International Film Festival, and the Barcolana 55 Regatta.
❄️ Winter (December – February)
Italy gets surprisingly cold in the winter with temperatures dropping below 0°C (32°F) in the northern regions of the country. The average winter temperatures in southern Italy tend to hover around 10°C (50°F). Be prepared for frigid weather and pack accordingly.
One of the major upsides to visiting Italy during the winter season is that the prices are extraordinarily cheaper. Many hotels drop their rates for the low season. There are also practically no other tourists to be found.
There is plenty to do in Italy during the winter. Many wineries are still open and it’s a good time to indulge in hot, fresh Italian food. Northern Italy boasts some of the best skiing and snowboarding mountains in Europe. Plus, there are plenty of Christmas festivities in winter.
Italy Weather and Climate By Region
The Lombardy region of northern Italy includes cities like Milan, Como, Bergamo, and Bellagio. In general, this is one of the coldest areas of the country. Temperatures vary throughout the year with highs around 6°C (43°F) in the winter and 30°C (85°F) in the summer.
It can get fairly humid in Lombardy as it rains around 53% of the time. Snowfall and hail are also very common during the winter months with storms occurring usually once or twice a week.
The Tuscany region includes the cities of Florence, Pisa, Siena, Arezzo, Lucca, and San Gimignano.
Tuscany has an enjoyable climate with average yearly temperatures around 20°C (68°F). However, it can get to 32°C (90°F) in the depth of summer. The humidity and wind speeds fluctuate throughout the year. Generally, it’s a quite temperate region.
The Abruzzo region includes cities like Pescara, L’Aquila, Teramo, and Vasto.
The Abruzzo region is known for having less intense seasons than some of Italy’s other regions. The summer temperatures hover around 27°C (81°F) and, even in the winter, it only gets down to around 8°C (46°F).
The Abruzzo region gets around 25-30 inches of rain per year. Abruzzo has a diverse topography with mountains and a beach coastline. So, the weather varies across this Italian region more than any other, yet is generally temperate in climate.
The Campania region includes places like Naples, Salerno, Ravello, Pozzuoli, and more.
The Campania region in southern Italy has a very pleasant climate with slightly muggy summers and moderate winters. Temperatures stick around 29°C (85°F) in August and 12°C (53°F) in February. While it’s possible for Campania to get hit with snowstorms in winter, it’s not common.
The Sicily region includes Palermo, Catania, Taormina, Gela, and Marsala. As the southernmost region of Italy, Sicily has one of the warmest climates in the country.
During the summer in Sicily, temperatures shoot up to an average of 30°C (86°F), and heat waves with highs of 38°C (100°F) are common. The summer months between June and August tend to be very humid and the winter gets windy with temperatures around 15°C (60°F).
Tips for Visiting Italy
Prepare For Chaotic Summer Crowds In Italy
The peak season of summer in Italy is no joke; it is absolutely swarming with tourists.
Whether you’re spending time in major cities or smaller towns, there will be crowds everywhere during this season. Don’t expect a leisurely stroll or peaceful museum experience during the summer.
Check Seasonal Availability For Tours And Experiences
Before you get excited about a particular tour or experience in Italy, make sure that it’s available during the season you’re visiting.
Some excursions may not be available during the low season because there aren’t enough people around. Others might be so popular in the peak season that you need to book way in advance. Double-checking can save you and your family a lot of disappointment.
Beware Of Pickpockets In The High Season
Everyone knows that tourists primarily come to visit Italy’s cities during the sunny high season. This makes it the perfect time for pickpocketers to go searching for unsuspecting victims. Stay extra vigilant during the tourist season, especially at hectic tourist attractions.
Check The Weather Daily In Low Season
The weather in Italy is predictably good during the peak season. However, it’s a little harder to forecast in the shoulder season. The weather also varies way more between regions during this time.
That’s why you should always double-check the weather forecast before committing to a day trip or other excursion. Even on a sunny day in Milan, it can be rainy or cold somewhere close by like Lake Como or Turin.
Bring Layers From Early December to February
The winter season in Italy comes with a bunch of benefits and one major drawback – it’s cold! Though the weather gets a little warmer the further south you go, it’s definitely jacket weather in Italy during the winter. Pack lots of layers for a trip from November to February.
Buy Tickets To Attractions In Advance During the High Season
Instead of waiting in a thousand-person line at Italy’s major tourist attractions during the busy season, book a ticket in advance. Booking tickets to attractions in advance also allows you to plan out your itinerary in Italy better because you’re assigned a specific time slot.
Check The Local Calendar For Festivals And Events
Check out Italy By Events to find all the exciting activities going on during your trip. There are food festivals, concerts, holidays, cultural events, and more happening in Italy every month. You may stumble across something fun you never saw coming.
Make Reservations For Dinner During The High Season
One of the best things to do in Italy is to eat delicious, fresh food. However, you may not get a table at the very best restaurants in Italy during the high season unless you make a reservation in advance.
I was turned away from multiple restaurants in Italy because they were all booked up for the night. I visited the country right at the very beginning of summer, too! It only gets more competitive with restaurant reservations as the season goes on.
Check Out The Local Markets For Cheap, Fresh Food
A local market is the ideal solution when you can’t figure out what you want to eat in Italy. It has an endless array of options and knowledgeable vendors all under one roof.
There are a bunch of food court-style markets throughout Italy, like Milan Central Market and Florence Central Market. Alternatively, you can hit up produce markets to buy local products for a home-cooked meal at your hotel or Airbnb.
Pack Raingear During The Shoulder Season
The shoulder season seems like the perfect time to travel to Italy. The prices are low, the streets are clear of tourists, and the weather is still really nice…right? Well, there is a reason that it’s called the shoulder season.
A bit of that rain and cold weather sticks around until the high season really gets going. You can still have an amazing Italy trip during this time of year, just be prepared for scattered showers with a rain jacket and travel umbrella.
👉 Pro Tip: Looking for solid travel rain gear to bring on your shoulder season trip to Italy? Check out this Hount Lightweight Hooded Waterproof Packable Raincoat and this affordable SY COMPACT Travel Umbrella. Both items stow away easily into packable bags.
Many Businesses Close During Public Holidays
Even though the idea of visiting Italy during one of its major local holidays sounds appealing, it can be a major hassle for visitors. Oftentimes, restaurants, stores, and even attractions will close during a holiday period, like Republic Day, All Saints Day, and Easter.
FAQs About The Best Time To Visit Italy
What is the cheapest month to travel in Italy?
February is the cheapest month to travel in Italy. This month is right in the middle of the winter season in Italy, so there are way fewer tourists due to the chilly weather. With less demand, many hotels and experiences lower their prices during February.
What is the highest tourism month in Italy?
August is the highest tourism month in Italy. 9.6 million tourists flew into Italy in August of 2022. Most people prefer to visit Italy during the summer because the weather is fantastic, the energy around the country is palpable, and there is tons of stuff to do.
What months is Italy warm?
The warmest months in Italy are June, July, and August. During these months the country gets near-constant sunshine and temperatures average around 27°C (81°F). However, in some Italian regions, it can get up to 32°C (90°) during the summer or even 38°C (101°F) in a heat wave.
What are the rainy months in Italy?
October and November are the most rainy months in Italy. Typically, it’ll sprinkle every other day in Italy during this time and there will usually be around 2 to 3 major rain storms every month. The temperature is also much cooler around this time than in the summer or spring.
You’ve reached the end of my guide to the best time to visit Italy. Are you more of a peak-season or an off-season person? Next, let me help you decide whether to go to Milan or Florence.
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