When is the Best Time to Visit Italy?

The answer to the question of when to go to Italy depends on the goals of your trip. It could be:

  • Beach vacation
  • Sightseeing and cultural program
  • Shopping during the sales period
  • Active vacation in the mountains
  • Independent exploration of regions
  • Lakeside relaxation

Sometimes it’s possible to combine several goals into one trip, but it’s always important to prioritize.

Let’s break it down and choose the most suitable month for your vacation in Italy.

Beach Vacation

When is the best time to go to Italy for a beach vacation? My favorite month for beach holidays is September and the first decade of October. During this time, the sea is perfectly warm, and all Italians have finished their vacations. I would also recommend considering the first three weeks of July for a beach vacation.

The most expensive month for a beach vacation in Italy is August. Prices in restaurants, hotels, and beaches skyrocket by 2-3 times. Since all Italians traditionally go on vacation in August, you need to plan your vacation and book a hotel at least six months in advance. There are no inexpensive options for a beach vacation in the last month of summer.

Отдых на островах в Италии

In Sicily, the bathing season sometimes starts at the end of May, but it depends on Mother Nature’s mood. In any case, in southern Italy, temperatures rarely drop below +25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer.

By the way, beach relaxation in Sicily can be comfortably combined with excursions to Taormina, Catania, following the footsteps of The Godfather, wineries, Mount Etna, and the Aeolian Islands.

At the end of April and the beginning of October (low season with prices several times lower), my family and friends have been enjoying thermal springs on the island of Ischia for three years now.

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If you are visiting Italy for the first time and your goal is to explore the country’s history and cultural heritage, I recommend starting with this article.

Tourists visit Italy for excursions all year round, and the most popular city, of course, is Rome.

  • Approximate periods with the least tourist traffic: from November 20th to December 15th, from January 14th to February 10th.
  • Super high season: from April 20th to May 10th, from February 20th to March 10th, from December 25th to January 13th. If you plan your vacation during these dates, I suggest booking guides at least two months in advance, ideally right after purchasing plane tickets. Keep in mind that dates close to major religious holidays like Easter, June 29th (St. Peter and St. Paul), August 15th (Assumption of Mary), and December 24th-25th (Christmas) always have increased demand for all types of excursions, especially in the Vatican.
  • High season: from March to November.
I recommend not relying on weather forecasts when planning cultural activities, as a good guide will always choose the optimal time to start the excursions and plan a comfortable route for you. For example, in the summer, when crowds of tourists suffer from the heat or queues, we simply start our excursions at dawn and enjoy the great beauty almost alone. We take care of museum tickets in advance and, of course, don’t waste time and energy standing in lineю

Read more about 7 Reasons not to Worry about the weather in Rome.

Shopping and Sales

Traditionally, sales in Italy start on the first Saturday of January and July and last for up to two months. Shopping in Milan or Rome can be perfectly combined with a cultural program.

Don’t forget that near Rome, Florence, and Milan, there are outlet stores that operate year-round, and you can allocate one day of your cultural vacation to visit them.

Шоппинг в Милане

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Vacation in the mountains

The ski season in Italian ski resorts starts from December and lasts until the end of March. The classics are the Dolomites (Dolomiti). You can fly to Malpensa or Bergamo airport and then reach the desired resort by transfer or public transportation.

Independent Travel

If you have already visited the major and most popular cities in Italy, it’s time to independently explore the regions of Italy by renting a car.

My favorite months and destinations:

  • June to September: Umbria, Abruzzo.
  • Months excluding January, February, August, and December: Sicily, especially its western part near Tapani.
  • For northern regions like Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, I recommend traveling from May to the end of September.

You can comfortably explore regions south of Rome from April to the end of October.

Lakeside Vacation

Northern Italy is home to some of the most beautiful lakes in the world, such as Lake Como, Lake Garda, and Lake Maggiore. I know tourists who vacation on the lakes even in winter, but considering the geographical location, it’s better to choose the period from May to September. It’s important to note that even in summer, the water can be cool, but people primarily visit the lakes for natural beauty and a peaceful vacation. I particularly enjoy Lake Como in April and September.

Lake Garda is home to one of the best amusement parks, Gardaland, which is worth visiting with children during the summer holidays.

If you’re still unsure where and when to go to Italy, I’ll be happy to answer your questions in the comments.

Guide, traveler, marathon runner, journalist, creator of the site ITALY FOR ME. I live in Rome and am in love with Rome. On the subject of the article, please ask questions in the comments. I try to answer everyone at least once a day.

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