Finding the best time to visit Italy is one of the toughest decisions to make. Ironically, having a specific holiday calendar makes this part of planning easier, even though sometimes you might prefer traveling in a different season. The best time to visit Italy is spring for many reasons, but it all comes down to your personal preferences.
Every month and every season, in fact, has a different experience to offer. Do you want to be part of the Yule spirit in Italy? December is a magical month to plan your trip. Are you a beach enthusiast? Plenty of beautiful beaches in Italian regions like Sicily, Puglia, and Sardinia.
Our guide is a handy starting point for planning when to travel to Italy as we tell you what to expect in the country month by month.
When to visit Italy – Step-by-step guide
January – The best time to visit Italy for crowd-free landmarks
January is a cold winter month and the best time to visit Italy if you are looking for quieter landmarks and cheaper flights and hotels. This better applies after January 7th, when the Christmas festivities are completely over and the streets are much less crowded.
Usually, this is a month we expect rain but it’s already been a few years since we had quite dry January. From Rome south, the temperatures are cold but totally bearable and if you are wearing your winter jacket you won’t have any problem. In the northern regions of Italy, from Florence up north, you will definitely find colder temperatures and in fact, this is the highest season for the ski resorts in Trentino-Alto Adige, Valle d’Aosta, and Veneto.
February – The month of Carnival in Italy
There are mainly two reasons for you to be wanting to visit Italy in February: Carnival and fewer crowds.
Colorful and exciting Carnival parties and celebrations take place all over Italy with the most famous being in Venice, Viareggio and Ivrea, but not the only ones worth visiting. Lovers of offbeat travel will certainly enjoy heading to Sardinia for the Sartiglia in Oristano or Mamoiada’s Mamuthones, or see the Carnival of Ronciglione near Rome.
March – When to visit Italy for a quiet vibe
March marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring in Italy. While the weather is a bit unstable with unexpected temperature drops and occasional showers, the low tourist season makes it possible to enjoy a more authentic experience across the country, including big draws like Rome, Florence, and Venice.
Together with fewer crowds, in March like in February you can expect lower rates, especially for flights and hotels. Everything will be open, from historic sites to restaurants, and you will have a better experience than when the huge spring and summer crowds hit the country.
April – When to visit Italy for Easter
In April, the weather starts being warmer and sunnier. Since it’s not very hot yet, wandering around the cities and towns is much more pleasant than in summer. Plus, April is when in Italy we celebrate Easter, a very heartfelt religious commemoration at the end of Lent.
April is also when Italians start getting out more often. In fact, on Easter Monday we like to enjoy a day out in nature and set ourselves up for a relaxing picnic, and this is pretty much how we kick off the “outdoors season”.
May – The best time to visit Italy for perfect weather
May is probably the best time to visit Italy overall because the weather is perfect: the temperatures are very pleasant, the winter cold is gone and the summer heat is not here yet. So the days are warm enough for a nice stroll but not enough to make you sweat.
This, however, is far from being a secret and you are likely to find crowds pretty much everywhere. In Rome, the May crowds are bigger than in August. Every location is perfect to visit in May because walking is pleasant in big cities, smaller towns, and obviously hiking paths and routes. May, for example, is the best time to hike the Gorropu canyon in Sardinia.
June – The beginning of summer in Italy
Warmer than May, June is the last month of spring and when summer starts. It is also a pleasant month to travel to Italy because it’s still not as hot as July. Depending on where you go, you will find large crowds. The big draws like Rome, Florence, and Venice, will be quite packed, but not so much the beach destinations.
In fact, I think June is a great time to hit the beach in Italy because of the great weather and the fewer crowds than July and August. In June, especially at the beginning of the month,
July – Italy’s hottest month weather-wise
July is the central month of summer in Italy and in my opinion the hottest. You are likely to find hot days also in June and definitely in August, but around mid-August the weather starts being whimsical, while July is usually always hot.
The beaches across the country will start being crowded and tourists will start withdrawing from the largest cities due to the heat. Famous beach destinations like Puglia, Sicily, Sardinia, and the Adriatic Coast will start being very crowded even though still less than August.
In July, you can find also local festivals such as food fairs or religious celebrations like the Ardia horse race in Sardinia.
August – The crowdest month on the Italian beaches
This is the month most Italians go on holiday so beach destinations will be very crowded, especially on the week around August 15th, a religious anniversary that translates into beach parties and many activities shut down for almost a week.
The weather is still very hot because summer is at full tilt but towards mid-August, it starts getting spoiled and you might find occasional rain, wind, and clouds. August is a true holiday month and everything is slower and more relaxed in Italy.
September – The best time to visit Italy for quiet beach time
September is the last month of summer and even though fall starts on the 21st, sometimes the weather is better than in August. For sure, you should expect warm temperatures in September, too, and since Italians are back to work and students are back to school, fewer crowds on the beach.
Inside the cities, however, is where most tourists will gather again, and even though not as much as in spring, landmarks and piazzas are definitely going to be busy.
October – When to travel to Italy for pleasant city walks
This is the first full month of fall but temperatures are mild and very pleasant since the stifling heat is gone. Rains start to appear from time to time but not so often and if there are some storms, they don’t last long.
October is always less busy than May but the weather is quite similar. I can’t say that you are not going to find any crowds because it won’t be true. In fact, in Rome, this year fall has been one of the busiest seasons right after spring. Beach and mountain destinations will be less busy.
November – When to enjoy the fall in Italy
November is often one of the wettest months in Italy but since I don’t mind the rain, fall is when I would plan my trip. The only festivity in November is Toussaint and the Day of the Dead at the beginning of the month and usually, these are the days that mark a sharp change in the weather, fully welcoming the fall.
December – To experience the Christmas vibe in Italy
December is a beautiful time to travel to Italy because the Christmas spirit lasts for the whole month with all the preparations and decorations. Tourist-wise, it’s not very busy but you will find the historic centers very crowded with locals on the lookout for gifts and to enjoy the themed events.
If you are religious, if you like shopping, or simply if you enjoy the festive spirit and don’t mind some cold weather, December is definitely the best time to visit Italy.
The best time to visit Italy for the best weather: May-June
The last months of spring are perfect weather-wise because the winter cold is gone and the summer heat hasn’t arrived yet. These are also some of the busiest months in landmark-packed cities where taking a stroll is a fantastic experience.
The beaches will still be quiet even though especially in June, the weather allows for some sunbathing and swimming. Although, keep in mind that the summer is just at the beginning and the sea water is not warm yet.
If you are hitting the coast, head to the beach in the warmest hours of the day and enjoy the remaining hours with some cultural sightseeing that in Italy is possible pretty much everywhere.
The best time to visit Italy for the beaches: June to September
From June through September is the best time to hit the beach in Italy. July and August will be hot and very crowded while June and September much less crowded.
The whole month of September is usually hotter than June. Keep in mind that summer starts only on June 21st so for the first three weeks it’s still spring and the water might not be warm enough to swim, while in September it’s perfect.
The best time to go to Italy for photography: Fall
I love fall and I think this is the best time to visit Italy to take incredible pictures. Fall offers a beautiful light and the falling leaves come in with a kaleidoscope of orange, red, purple, and brown, adding to the romance of the skies.
In fall, you are likely to find rain but you know what they say, right after a good rainfall, photographers grab their cameras and go out and about to catch beautiful light and reflections. Rome’s streets are quite full of potholes that become pools after the rain and when historic sights reflect on them, you can snap fantastic shots!
The best time to visit Italy for fewer crowds: January to March
January through March are the least busy months in the big cities like Rome but obviously more crowded in ski resorts across the country, especially in the northern regions. If you want to enjoy popular landmarks in peace and silence without being surrounded by crowds, winter is the best time to travel to Italy.
This is also the coldest season so even if you are not going skiing, keep in mind to pack winter clothes also for the other destinations.
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