Best time to visit Italy

From its romantic, history-rich cities, to idyllic islands and rolling hills in rural beauty spots, it’s clear why Italy is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. As a result, Italy attracts vast numbers of visitors each year, around the year, which makes deciding when to go to Italy pretty tricky. To help you make up your mind, read on to find out the best time to visit Italy. 

Best time to visit Italy

Overall, the best time to visit Italy is just before or after the peak season months of July and August. 

In fact, if you’re planning to visit popular areas, especially beach resorts, we’d go so far as to say you should avoid July and (especially) August altogether.

At this time, the weather can be too hot and the crowds are at their most congested.  

In August, when most Italians are on holiday, you can expect the crush to be especially bad in the resorts. 

Meanwhile, the major historic cities – Rome, Florence, Venice – are likely to feel slightly artificial, as the only people around are fellow tourists.  

If you’re planning to swim, however, bear in mind that only southern Italy is likely to be warm enough outside the May to September period.  

Set your heart on visiting Italy in summer? Discover the best beaches in Italy, and the best beach holidays in Italy.  


Cefalu, Sicily, Italy © Shutterstock

Best months to visit Italy

The best time to visit Italy, in terms of weather and lack of crowds, is from April to June, and in September or October.  

In general, it’s true to say that even the most beautiful places in Italy feel unpleasantly hot and crowded in July and August

To help you decide when to visit Italy, read on for our month-by-month overview of what to expect from the weather in Italy around the year.

Planning to visit Italy? Find inspiration in our customisable Italy itineraries, or talk to our local Italy travel experts.

Asciano with Val d'Orcia © Shutterstock

Asciano and Val d'Orcia, Italy © Shutterstock

Weather in Italy in January

January is the heart of winter in Italy. Expect cold temperatures, rainy days, and some snow. 

Talking of which, if you want to ski, January is a top time to visit Trentino-Alto Adige.   

Overall though, skiing aside, visiting Italy in January means low visitor numbers, low temperatures, and lower costs for accommodation and shopping — this is sale season. 

January also means some activities, such as sailing the Amalfi coast, will be off the table.

Planning a trip in January? Make sure to read all about the weather in Italy in January.


Dolomites, Italy © Shutterstock

Weather in Italy in February 

In February, Northern Italy, in particular, is very cold, with temperatures around 0°C, and snow at higher elevations.

At the same time, Central Italy has temperatures around 9°C.  As a result, there are fewer crowds, which general means lower prices, so you could bag yourself a bit of a bargain. 

Just watch out for major festivals (more on that below), which can see prices peak. That said, Venice’s Carnevale is something of a bucket-list experience

You’d do well to consider visiting Italy in low season months like February. Fewer crowds mean better opportunities to explore (for example) the best museums in Florence

Planning a trip in February? Make sure to read all about the weather in Italy in February.

Venice carnival © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Venice carnival © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Weather in Italy in March

The weather in Italy in March can be somewhat changeable. That means bursts of rain, and temperatures ranging from 5–15° C in Central and Northern Italy.  

In Southern Italy, the temperature typically ranges from 10–15° C. As March progress, expect more sunshine and green landscapes.

Just come prepared with a brolly and layers, and you’re set for a fine experience with fewer crowds.

Make sure to read all about the weather in Italy in March.

Weather in Italy in April 

As in March, the weather in Italy in April can be unpredictable, so that brolly will still come in handy, along with sunglasses. 

In April, Italy is shifting towards summer, with temperatures in Central Italy ranging from 10-18°C, and those in Southern Italy ranging from 13-18°C.


Spring greens — Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy © Shutterstock

Weather in Italy in May 

In May, the weather in Italy is markedly warmer. During this month, Rome averages a temperature of 21°C, while Venice averages 17°C.

Meanwhile, Naples sees highs of 23°C. As such, it’s a great place to visit in May to explore the Amalfi Coast, and take trips to islands like Capri and Ischia

Bear in mind, though, that even Rome drops to around 11°C in the evening.

There are still chances of rain showers too, with 76mm of rain expected in Florence, and 48mm expected in Rome.

Sant'Angelo on Ischia island, Italy © Shutterstock

Sant'Angelo on Ischia island, Italy © Shutterstock

Weather in Italy in June

Heralding the full swing of the high season, come June the weather in Italy has truly hotted up. 

In Northern Italy, expect temperatures ranging from 13-27°C. In Central Italy, you’re looking at 16-27°C, and in Southern Italy, 21-30°C. 

If you like it hot, June can be a great time to visit Italy for a beach break, or to take to the Tuscan hills for hikes. Just be prepared for hiked prices, and bigger crowds. 

Set on visiting Italy in June? Consider exploring Emilia-Romagna — Tuscany without the crowds.


Emilia-Romagna — Tuscany without the crowds © Shutterstock

Weather in Italy in July

Hot, humid and sublimely sunny, the weather in Italy in July is ideal for those who can handle the heat.  

Daytime temperatures often exceed 30°C, dropping to 18-25°C at night. Being peak season, beach resorts and historic cities are both pretty darn crammed.

For lower temperatures, and smaller crowds, consider heading to Italy’s high alps.

Planning a trip in July? Make sure to read all about the weather in Italy in July.

Weather in Italy in August

With temperatures raised from July, it’s fair to say that the weather in Italy in August is scorching!  

Northern Italy averages 18-30°C, Central Italy 21-32°C, and Southern Italy 26-32°C.

Small town famous for its hot water springs in Tuscany, Bagno Vignoni © Shutterstock

Cool of (kind-of) in hot water springs — Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany Italy © Shutterstock

Weather in Italy in September

All things considered – not least the clement weather and decreased crowds — September is one of the best months to visit Italy. 

In terms of the temperatures, expect daily average highs of 27°C. Come night, it ranges from 15-20°C.

In good news for beach-lovers, the sea is also still pretty warm, and you can expect to fork out less for accommodation. 

In addition, if you’re planning to explore some of the country’s celebrated historic cities, all those ancient sites and world-class museums will be less crammed.

Love taking lesser-travelled roads? Discover enticing alternatives to Italy's big sights.

Weather in Italy in October 

With peak season over, and average daytime temperatures of in 23 °C Rome, and 21 °C in Florence, the weather in Italy in October makes it one of the best months to visit.  

And, while the sea is now generally too cold for swimming, pretty much all other activities are still on the table. 

With the Sagra del Vino festival held in Rome in the first weekend, October is a top month to visit the capital.

The Forum Romanum ruins in Rome, Italy

Visit Rome in October for the Sagra del Vino festival © Shutterstock

Weather in Italy in November 

Come November, expect an average countrywide temperature of 13°C, with the north dropping down to a range of 2°C -10°C, and Central Italy ranging 7-16°C. 

At the same time, Southern Italy’s temperature ranges from 13-18°C. 

You can also expect some drizzle and decidedly chilly evenings.

Weather in Italy in December 

Averaging 13°C around the country, December is one of Italy’s coldest months, though it does still enjoy nine hours of daylight. 

As a result, if you wrap up warm, you can enjoy meandering towns and cities steeped in Christmas atmosphere.

And in good news for art lovers, all those world-class galleries will be far less crowded. 

Love culture? The low season months of November and December aren't bad times to explore the Italian cities of the Renaissance.


Visit Milan in December for the Oh Bej, Oh Bej Christmas festival © Shutterstock

Italy's peak season

The best time to visit Italy is the peak season, which are June, July and August. These summer months are typically characterised by warmer weather, longer daylight hours and a variety of vibrant events and festivals.

Coastal areas such as the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre and Sicily are becoming especially popular for their superb beaches and scenic towns. So 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. It is advisable to pre-book tickets and plan your visit early in the day to avoid long queues.

Italy shoulder season

The nicest time to visit, in terms of the weather and lack of crowds, is from April to May, and in 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.

"Shoulder" season is ideal for exploring the cities and countryside as the weather remains pleasant. It is the ideal time to explore Italy's magnificent gems such as the vineyards of Tuscany, the picturesque Dolomites and other historic sites without being crowded by tourists.

It's also much easier to find more affordable accommodation options and better deals at popular tourist destinations during these months.

Italy's low season

The low season in Italy falls during the winter months (November to March) and is characterised by cooler temperatures, shorter daylight hours and a dramatic drop in tourist numbers. Although some attractions may not be accessible at this time, the winter offers a unique opportunity to experience Italy in a different light.

Winter in Italy can be especially magical. Cities decorated with Christmas decorations take on a special charm and offer an enchanting festive atmosphere. And in regions such as the Italian Alps, you can enjoy skiing and a variety of winter sports activities.

Another advantage of the winter in Italy is that at this time there are low prices for accommodation and flights, which is suitable for travellers who do not have a large budget.

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy © Apple Kullathida/Shutterstock

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy ©Shutterstock

Average temperatures and rainfall in Italy

On average, Italy witnesses varying rainfall patterns and temperatures throughout the year.

In the northern regions, such as Milan and Venice, the climate is characterized by relatively mild summers and cold winters, with an average annual rainfall of around 30 to 35 inches.

Central Italy, encompassing cities like Rome and Florence, enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers, and mild, rainy winters, receiving an average of 25 to 30 inches of rainfall per year.

Southern Italy, including Naples and Palermo, showcases a subtropical climate with scorching summers and mild winters, accompanied by an average annual rainfall of approximately 20 to 25 inches.

The coastal areas experience more moderate temperature fluctuations compared to inland regions, making Italy a year-round destination for travelers seeking a diverse and captivating climate experience.

Need help planning your trip? Talk to our local Italy travel experts.

Average daily temperatures and rainfall in Italy

Landscape vineyard fog in Tuscany, Italy © Dmytro Balkhovitin/Shutterstock

Vineyard fog in Tuscany, Italy © Dmytro Balkhovitin/Shutterstock

Festivals in Italy

Whether for religious, traditional or cultural reasons, there are literally thousands of festivals in Italy.

Perhaps the most widespread local event in Italy is the religious procession, which can be a very dramatic affair.

Good Friday is celebrated in places – particularly in the south – by parading models of Christ through the streets accompanied by white-robed, hooded figures singing penitential hymns. Many festivals evoke local pride in tradition. For example, Medieval contests like the Palio horse race in Siena perpetuate allegiances to certain competing clans.

Food-inspired feste are lower-key, but no less enjoyable. They usually celebrate the regional speciality with dancing, brass bands and noisy fireworks.

One other type of festival to keep an eye out for is the summer political shindig, like the Festa de l’Unità. Initially founded to recruit members to different political parties, they've become something akin to a village fete but with a healthy Italian twist.

Some festival highlights are listed below, with more outlined in The Rough Guide to Italy. Note that dates change from year to year, so be sure to check.


  • Milan: Epifania (Jan 6). Costumed parade of the Three Kings from the Duomo to Sant’Eustorgio, the resting place of the bones of the Magi.
  • Rome: Epifania (Jan 6). Toy and sweet fair in Piazza Navona, to celebrate the Befana, the good witch who brings toys and sweets to children who’ve been good, and coal to those who haven’t.


  • ly: Festa di Sant’Agata (Feb 3–5). Riotous religious procession in Catania.
  • Carnevale: weekend before Lent. Notable festivities take place in Venice, Viareggio, Foiano della Chiana (Arezzo), and Cento (Ferrara), plus many towns throughout Italy.
  • Ivrea: Battle of the Oranges (Carnival Sun–Shrove Tues). A messy couple of days when processions through the streets are an excuse to pelt each other with orange pulp.
  • Agrigento: Almond Blossom Festival (last two weeks). Colourful celebration of spring with folk music from around the world.


  • Milan: Salone Internazionale del Mobile (third week). The city becomes a showcase for the world’s best furniture and industrial design.


  • Nocera Tirinese: Rito dei Battienti (Easter Sat). Macabre parade of flagellants whipping themselves with shards of glass.
  • Florence: Lo Scoppio del Carro (Easter Day). A symbolic firework display outside the Duomo after Mass.
  • Alba: Truffle Festival (April 24–May 2). An opportunity to sample local delicacies as well as parades and a donkey palio.

Palermo, Sicily, plays host to plenty of festivals © Shutterstock


  • Cocullo: (L’Aquila) Festival of snakes (first week of May). One of the most ancient festivals celebrating the patron saint, San Domenico Abate, in which his statue is draped with live snakes and paraded through town.
  • Naples: Festival of San Gennaro (first Sat). Naples waits with bated breath to see if the blood of San Gennaro liquefies..
  • Gubbio: Corsa dei Ceri (first Sun). Three 20ft-high wooden figures, representing three patron saints, are raced through the old town by ceraioli in medieval costume.
  • Countrywide: International Museum Day (mid-May). Museums throughout the country put on events and stay open all night to celebrate the international initiative.
  • Siracusa: Greek Drama festival (mid-May to mid-June). Classic plays performed by international companies in the spectacular ruins of the ancient Greek theatre.
  • Countrywide: Cantine Aperte (last Sun). Wine estates all over Italy open their cellars to the public.


  • Florence: Calcio Storico Fiorentino (June 24). Medieval-style football and other festivities to celebrate San Giovanni, the city’s patron saint.
  • Verona: Verona opera season (from late June)
  • Ravello: (from late June). Amalfi Coast opera and chamber music festival.
  • Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa, Venice: Regatta of the Maritime Republics (first Sat in June). Costumed procession and a race in replica Renaissance boats. Venue alternates yearly.

Gubbio is the gloroius stage for a May festival © Shutterstock


  • Siena: Palio (July 2). Medieval bareback horse race in the Campo.
  • Palermo: Festino di Santa Rosalia (second week). A five-day street party to celebrate the city’s patron saint.
  • Perugia: Umbria Jazz Festival (second week). Italy’s foremost jazz event, attracting top names from all over the world.
  • Lucca: Summer Festival (throughout July). International rock and pop artists perform all month.
  • Venice: Festa del Redentore (second Sat, third Sun). Venice’s main religious festival, marked with a fireworks display.


  • Countrywide: Ferragosto (Aug 15). National holiday with local festivals, water fights and fireworks all over Italy.
  • Siena: (Aug 16). Second Palio horse race.
  • Pesaro: Rossini Opera Festival (mid-month).
  • Ferrara: Ferrara Buskers Festival (end Aug). Gathering of some of the world’s best street performers.
  • Venice: (end Aug). Start of the world’s oldest International Film Festival.
Biennale, Venice ©  avphotosales/Shutterstock

Visit Venice in August for the world’s oldest International Film Festival © avphotosales/Shutterstock


  • Venice: La Regata di Venezia (first Sun). The annual trial of strength for the city’s gondoliers and other expert rowers; it starts with a procession of historic craft along the Canal Grande.
  • Verona: (Sept 12). Street entertainment and general partying to celebrate the birthday of the town’s most famous lover, Juliet.
  • Naples: Festa di San Gennaro (Sept 19). Festival for the city’s patron saint with crowds gathering in the cathedral to witness the liquefaction of San Gennaro’s blood.
  • San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia: (Sept 23). Thousands of followers commemorate the death of Padre Pio.


  • Marino, Rome: Sagra del Vino (first weekend). One of the country’s most famous wine festivals, with fountains literally flowing with wine.
  • Perugia: Eurochocolate (third and fourth weekend). Italy’s chocolate city celebrates.


  • Countrywide: Olive oil festivals all over Italy.


  • Milan: Oh Bej, Oh Bej! (Dec 7). The city’s patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio, is celebrated with a huge street market around his church and a day off work and school for all.
  • Santa Lucia: (Dec 13). Milan opera season starts with an all-star opening night at La Scala.
  • Orvieto: Umbria Jazz Winter (end of month).

Visit Naples in September for the Festa di San GennaroItaly © Shutterstock

Want more info to help you plan your trip to Italy? Get The Rough Guide to Italy, and read up on the best things to do in Italy

Or, for more inspiration, browse our Italy itineraries, or contact our local Italy experts to help you curate your ideal itinerary.

Ties Lagraauw

written by
Ties Lagraauw

updated 11.07.2023

Ties is a true world explorer - whether it be for work or leisure! As Content Manager at RoughGuides, and the owner of Dutch travel platform, Ties is constantly on the move, always looking for new destinations to discover.

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