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Sunflowers in Tuscany

When is the best time to visit Italy?

Sunflowers in Tuscany

The best time to visit Italy is during spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November), when the temperatures are comfortable and there are fewer crowds.

Wildflowers in early April and rising temperatures through to the end of June are a real draw. From October, the summer heat eases off, the grape harvest is in full swing, and the cities are quieter for sightseeing.

Temperatures in the south remain mild in winter. While it is the off-season and some attractions have limited opening hours, it’s still an enjoyable time to explore many of the country’s historical sites. Winters in northern Italy, however, are normally wet and cold.

The summer months of July and August see higher temperatures and visitor numbers reach their peak. Prices are also higher.

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Month-by-month guide for travelling in Italy

St Mark's Square, Venice

Visiting Italy in January

The milder Mediterranean winters make Italy’s cities an option for travel during January. Visitors are rewarded with quieter sights and far fewer tourists if they are willing to brave the cooler conditions. As it's very much the off-season (much of the Amalfi Coast, for instance, only gears up for visitors in the summer months and most Tuscan properties are shut over the winter) some attractions will be closed or offering limited visiting hours.

Carnival mask, Venice

Visiting Italy in February

Even the cold weather in the north can’t dissuade Italians from a party. The highlight of the month is Carnevale, celebrated across the country at the beginning of lent with vibrant pageants, masquerades and confetti. The most well-known celebration is the Venice Carnival, a two-week spectacle of masks, fancy dress and spirited parties, that sees throngs of costumed people pack the famous St Mark’s Square. Outside of carnival dates, prices tend to be cheaper in February but like January, visitors should be prepared for reduced opening hours and limited access to attractions in certain areas. In Sicily, the first of the almond blossom is celebrated as a welcome precursor to spring.

Events & Festivals

  • In Sicily, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento hosts an annual almond blossom festival with parades, shows and craft exhibits.
  • Carnevale festival is celebrated across the country at the beginning of Lent, though festive traditions differ across the regions.
  • Venice Carnival (part of Carnevale) is celebrated over the two weeks leading up to Lent.
Easter processional statue, Italy

Visiting Italy in March

The weather in March can remain mixed with spells of sunshine and rain. The beginning of the month can be colder, but as the official start of spring approaches on 21st March, the country really starts to come alive and the temperatures begin to rise. Depending on when Easter falls, celebrations take place across the country — usually more solemn processions on the Friday or Saturday followed by joyous celebrations on Easter Sunday itself. Most hotels that shut for the winter open again from Easter onward, when there's a spike in visitor numbers.

Events & Festivals

  • On 9th March devout Roman motorists have their cars and mopeds blessed at the church of Santa Francesca.
  • Depending on when Easter falls, Easter week in Rome is marked with a number of events led by the Pope, including a Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square and the Settimana Santa procession of the stations of the cross at the Colosseum, both of which attract large numbers of visitors.
  • Most other towns and cities host their own Holy Week celebrations with various processions and services.
  • The Rome Marathon is held on the third Sunday of March.
Trevi Fountain, Rome

Visiting Italy in April

April is a wonderful time to visit Italy. Temperatures are pleasant and comfortable, with wildflowers blooming across the countryside. There can be the odd shower, and temperatures are likely to be cooler and more changeable in the north, however this shouldn’t dissuade you. Everything is now open for business after the winter months, and the regular ferries and hiking trails along the Cinque Terre and Ligurian Coast start to pick up business. You can enjoy events celebrating springtime, from tulip extravaganzas to artichoke festivals and, depending on when Easter falls, various Pasqua celebrations take place across the country. In Venice, romance is in the air during the Festa di San Marco.

Events & Festivals

  • Depending on when Easter falls, Easter week in Rome is marked with a number of events led by the Pope, including a Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square and the Settimana Santa procession of the stations of the cross at the Colosseum, both of which attract large numbers of visitors.
  • On 25th April Venice enjoys the Festa di San Marco. Men offer a single rosebud to the woman they love in celebration of the city’s patron saint.
  • Most other towns and cities host their own Holy Week celebrations with various processions and services.
  • Liberation Day, held on 25th April, commemorates the Allied overthrow of the Nazis and the end of Mussolini’s rule, and is a national holiday.
Sea view, Capri

Visiting Italy in May

Known as the month of the rose, May is a beautiful time to experience Italy. It's warm but not too hot and still early enough to avoid the crowds of summer visitors. Gardens across the country are at their peak and, whether you're visiting historical cities or exploring in the countryside, it’s a fantastic time to be outside.

Events & Festivals

  • In Venice, the Festa della Sensa, celebrated on Ascension Day, marks Venice’s ‘Wedding to the Sea’. Boats abound with a huge regatta and traditional rowing races, culminating with a symbolic union with the mayor tossing a gold ring into the water.
  • Florence’s Iris Garden opens to the public for just a few weeks this month.
  • For keen cyclists this is the start of the Giro d’Italia bicycle race — the Italian equivalent of the Tour de France.
Poppies growing in Tuscany

Visiting Italy in June

High summer temperatures in June attract visitors to Italy’s beaches and swimming pools, and the peak season really gets underway. Visitors can enjoy wonderful open-air performances in cities such as Rome and Verona, while sun seekers can relax.

Events & Festivals

  • Luminara di San Ranieri on 16th June is celebrated in Pisa with thousands of people lining windows and doorways along the River Arno and culminates in a dramatic firework display.
  • Republic Day on 2nd June is a national holiday, celebrating the foundation of the modern republic of Italy.
  • Toward the end of June, the summer opera season at the amphitheatre in Verona begins along with the Estate Romana programme of events in Rome.
Il Palio, Siena

Visiting Italy in July - August

The busy school break months of July and August see increased summer temperatures and high visitor numbers as the hot, dry days draw in the crowds. The cities can be particularly stifling at this time of year and many locals depart en masse for the beaches or countryside. The most expensive time to visit Italy, travel during these months needs to be planned well in advance.

Events & Festivals

  • The Palio horse race occurs in Siena’s Piazza del Campo on 2nd July and 16th August and is a historic battle between the city’s ‘contrade’ (or districts), as they compete for glory.
  • Open-air performances and concerts take place in areas like Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast, and in Sicily’s Greek theatres in Syracuse and Taormina.
  • Venice International Film Festival starts at the end of August and continues into September.
Vineyard, Tuscany

Visiting Italy in September

By September, summer temperatures have usually peaked and while the days remain hot, the nights tend to be cooler and more comfortable. Italians are now back at work or have returned to school, emptying the beaches to more comfortable levels. September is also the start of the harvest festival season with events celebrating all things foody, from truffles and prosciutto, to wine and olives, along with many other local delicacies. 

Events & Festivals

  • The Regata Storica takes place in Venice on the first Sunday in September, with gondola races, gondoliers in traditional dress and plenty of vibrant waterborne pageantry.
  • La Vendemmia, the grape harvest, begins toward the end of September.
  • Venice International Film Festival starts at the end of August and continues into September.
Green olives growing in Italy

Visiting Italy in October

Visitors in October can enjoy the last of the summer heat, making it a popular time for visiting the cities. In the countryside, there are plenty of regional harvest and food festivals to enjoy — chestnuts, mushrooms and truffles are particularly good at this time of year — along with the grape and olive harvests.

Fresh truffles, Italy

Visiting Italy in November - December

Similar to January, the milder Mediterranean winters make much of Italy still an option for travel during the colder winter months. You're rewarded with quieter cities and sights, though you might have to brave cooler conditions. As it is very much the off-season, you’ll find many hotels outside the major cities are closed and hiking trails in areas like the Cinque Terre don’t open until Easter.

Events & Festivals

  • November is truffle season, complete with fairs, markets and gastronomic treats across northern Italy.

Italy Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Florence 10°C 60mm 12°C 63mm 15°C 63mm 18°C 86mm 23°C 70mm 27°C 57mm 31°C 36mm 31°C 56mm 26°C 79mm 20°C 104mm 14°C 113mm 11°C 81mm
Lake Como 3°C 64mm 5°C 60mm 9°C 85mm 13°C 121mm 17°C 165mm 21°C 151mm 24°C 127mm 22°C 156mm 19°C 132mm 14°C 124mm 8°C 108mm 5°C 55mm
Milan 5°C 55mm 8°C 62mm 13°C 79mm 18°C 92mm 23°C 94mm 27°C 97mm 29°C 67mm 28°C 90mm 24°C 79mm 18°C 118mm 11°C 110mm 6°C 71mm
Naples 12°C 103mm 13°C 85mm 15°C 76mm 18°C 71mm 23°C 47mm 26°C 31mm 29°C 22mm 29°C 38mm 26°C 74mm 22°C 118mm 17°C 147mm 13°C 112mm
Palermo 13°C 83mm 13°C 67mm 15°C 57mm 18°C 47mm 21°C 22mm 25°C 11mm 28°C 5mm 28°C 17mm 26°C 37mm 22°C 84mm 18°C 82mm 14°C 88mm
Pompeii 12°C 92mm 12°C 76mm 14°C 69mm 18°C 60mm 22°C 42mm 26°C 27mm 29°C 24mm 29°C 39mm 26°C 64mm 21°C 100mm 16°C 133mm 13°C 107mm
Rome 12°C 79mm 13°C 70mm 16°C 69mm 19°C 62mm 23°C 46mm 27°C 35mm 31°C 18mm 30°C 33mm 27°C 73mm 22°C 102mm 17°C 114mm 13°C 96mm
Venice 6°C 50mm 8°C 53mm 12°C 62mm 17°C 74mm 21°C 73mm 25°C 78mm 27°C 63mm 27°C 77mm 24°C 69mm 19°C 77mm 12°C 93mm 7°C 64mm
Verona 6°C 41mm 9°C 42mm 13°C 48mm 18°C 72mm 22°C 79mm 26°C 85mm 29°C 60mm 28°C 78mm 24°C 67mm 18°C 80mm 12°C 80mm 7°C 56mm

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Travel advice

Practical tips for travelling to Italy, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest FCDO travel advice.

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