Best time to visit Italy
When to go to Italy
Visiting Italy in January
January in Italy is crisp and cold, particularly in the north. The further south you travel, however, the warmer it gets. Sicily offers the best of both worlds – when you aren’t relaxing on the beaches, you can even ski on Mount Etna.
The Italian Dolomites are a favourite skiing destination, and January comes in the midst of the season. It’s also where you’ll find some of the cosiest and most romantic chalets with unparalleled facilities.
Visiting Italy in February
As the bite starts to leave the wind, the bustling atmosphere of Venice draws visitors from all around the world throughout the month of February. You may call it Carnevale, Carnival or Mardi Gras, but this huge celebration is not to be missed. Enjoy exclusive parties in beautiful palazzos, street revelries, costume competitions and great food.
Valentine’s Day in Venice is also a favourite, and our selection of hotels in the City of Masks offer the epitome of romance here.
Visiting Italy in March
In the mountainous regions in the north, the ski season is very much on until late in the month. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is warming up. Although there are occasional showers, wildflowers are starting to brighten up the meadows and woodlands. This is a great time for countryside strolls and picnics, and the beaches of the south are by now quite pleasant as those resorts which close over winter begin to open their doors. Those here for the cultural marvels of Florence and Rome will be delighted to find tourist levels low and the museums all easily accessible.
Visiting Italy in April
The Italians take Easter seriously. On Good Friday, the Pope celebrates the Via Crucis – a huge cross of burning torches – while he also leads Easter mass at Saint Peter's Basilica. On Good Friday in Sicily, the city of Enna sees a procession of more than 2,000 friars in ancient costume while Trapani hosts Misteri di Trapani, a 24-hour long procession.
Venice comes alive late in the month with combined celebrations of Liberation Day and the Festa de San Marco – Venice’s patron saint. Here, Venetian men traditionally present the woman they love with a red rosebud.
Visiting Italy in May
It’s hot and the country’s waking up. The colourful Sant Efisio procession takes place in Sardinia, and the Giro d’Italia is also held this month. You can also visit the Sagra del Pesce Festival in Camogli. This small village on the Italian Riviera hosts a completely free feast of fresh fish cooked in a five-metre pan.
If you’re looking for beauty, the Iris Garden in Florence opens now. Or take the scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast, edging the Sorrento Peninsula. See orange and lemon trees bloom above carpets of wildflowers as you pass between quaint Mediterranean fishing villages.
Visiting Italy in June
June is marked by gorgeous weather everywhere in Italy. Relax on the beaches of Sicily or Sardinia or enjoy the festivals and events taking place on the mainland. The Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics is a fascinating spectacle. This historic race uses gozzi boats, each rowed by eight rowers representing the maritime republics of Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa, and Venice.
Verona Opera Festival is another must-see event. Head to the Arena di Verona to see the amazing set of operas are held here, while Verdi’s Aida is played every year for the scale and grandeur of the performance.
Visiting Italy in July
As summer comes into full swing, there are many ways to enjoy Italy’s stunning climate. Head to golf resorts in Sicily or witness the L’Ardia di San Costantino festival in Sardinia, which celebrates the historic victory of Emperor Constantine in 312 AD. Meanwhile, the first of the famous Palio races in Siena begins in July.
You can also experience an outdoor opera at the Teatro Marcello in Rome or head to Sferisterio Opera Festival. Held in the marvellous Arena Sferisterio, this is the perfect excuse to visit the inviting countryside of Macerata in central Italy.
Visiting Italy in August
With temperatures regularly reaching over 35C, this is the perfect time of year to show off your giant sunhats. Drink plenty of water and come armed with more than enough sun cream – Italy in August is for those who like it hot.
Ferragosto takes place midmonth, and this important national holiday comes complete with fireworks, feasting and much celebration. You can also see an intriguing sight in Rome on hot summer days. Late in the afternoon, thousands head out on the streets daily for La Passeggiata or ‘the little walk’.
Visiting Italy in September
September is the best month for food fanatics, as harvest season fills the local markets with the freshest regional produce. Grape harvesting begins too, which is great fun to take part in.
Head to Naples for the Feast of San Gennaro and the fascinating ceremony at Naples Cathedral. The feast day of San Michele is celebrated all over Italy, but the biggest event is held in Puglia. However, those with a sweet tooth will delight in the Sherbeth Festival of artisan ice cream in sunny Palermo at the very end of the month.
Visiting Italy in October
October brings a little more rain, but the climate is still generally warm. Tourist numbers drop, and the countryside explodes in autumn colours. This is an excellent time to appreciate the beauty of the Amalfi Coast before Capri closes for winter. Or head to the green heart of Italy, Norcia in Umbria, for the beautiful hiking and mountain-bike trails. Nearby Castelluccio also has a launching point for paragliding and hang gliding.
Still a great month for foodies, truffle hunting can be done at many of our properties such as Castello del Nero throughout October and November.
Visiting Italy in November
The climate cools as skiing destinations open their doors. Truffle markets continue around Piedmont until midmonth, while roasted-chestnut vendors appear in towns all over the country. Families flock to churches for All Saints and All Souls Day – a moving period for anyone who has experienced grief.
If you’re staying in Rome over this period, you can also witness the International Film Festival, as celebrities and film stars pour into the city. Culture vultures will find low queues and plenty of space at all the museums and historic attractions.
Visiting Italy in December
The first week of December sees the Wild Boar Festival of Suvereto, showcasing the favourite delicacy of Tuscany. Grills are fired up throughout the town and great helpings are served, making this a great way to enjoy the winter months here. This is also prime time for skiing, with a delightful choice of chalets and villas available.
The Immaculate Conception is celebrated with a prayer from the Pope in Rome and many ceremonies throughout the country. As Christmas approaches, you’ll also see an array of nativity scenes, Christmas lights and trees on display wherever you go.
- Holiday ideas
- Holiday ideas
This exciting expedition showcases the myriad highlights of the Italian coast, stopping in Venice, Palermo, Sicily, Corsica, Puglia, Tuscany and Rome
Designed in the style of a traditional fishing village, Cala di Volpe remains one of the Mediterranean's most glamorous hideaways