If you’re planning to visit popular areas, especially beach resorts, avoid July and especially August, when the weather can be too hot and the crowds at their most congested. In August, when most Italians are on holiday, you can expect the crush to be especially bad in the resorts, and the scene in the major historic cities – Rome, Florence, Venice – to be slightly artificial, as the only people around are fellow tourists. The nicest time to visit, in terms of the weather and lack of crowds, is April to late June, and September or October. If you’re planning to swim, however, bear in mind that only the south of the country is likely to be warm enough outside the May to September period. For more information and a temperature chart, see Basics.