Wondering when the best time is to go to Italy? Depending on whom you ask, you’ll probably get a different answer.
But I’ll do my best to explain below and give my humble, but informed, opinions on when I think you should plan your trip to Italy.
Weather in Italy
Italy has one of the best climates in the world. This Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm days and cool nights, is what makes Italian food and wine so delectable. It is also the perfect recipe for a country that is visitable year-round.
The weather in Italy follows the seasonal patterns of the northern hemisphere, with predictably cold temperatures from December through February and hot temperatures from June through August.
Northern Italy, which touches the Alps and the Dolomites, is cooler than southern Italy, which is across the Mediterranean Sea from northern Africa. While you may find mild, sunny days in winter, especially from Rome south, you will still need a coat.
Check the weather chart below to see average temps (Hi/Lo in °F) for some of Italy’s most popular cities.
High Tourist Season in Italy
High and low tourist season in Italy varies according to city and region. But let’s just say that the high tourist season lasts longer than the low season, due either to weather or religious holidays. And, well, this is Italy and everyone wants to go there.
The whole of summer, from mid-June through the end of August, is high tourist season, with August being the peak. However, August can be a tricky month to visit Italy because this is the month that most Italians take their holidays. If you are visiting Italy in August, expect to find many mom-and-pop businesses like restaurants and small shops closed.
Many cities are busy during the Easter holidays in spring, particularly Rome, which sees a spike in tourist traffic during Holy Week (Settimana Santa), the week before Easter until Easter Monday (Pasquetta).
Rome is also busy during the Christmas season, which lasts through the holiday of Epiphany on January 6.
Low Season in Italy
If you like the idea of empty streets and museums and can handle disagreeable (cold, rainy) weather, then visiting Italy during the low season is a great idea.
What is the “Shoulder Season?”
The absolute best time of year to visit Italy is during shoulder season. This is because there are relatively fewer tourists compared to peak season and, typically, delightful weather.
Calendar of Events
You may also wish to plan your Italy vacation around a special holiday, event, or festival. Browse the months of the Italy calendar below to learn more about Italy month-by-month.