What is the best time to travel to Italy?
Well, if you are anything like me, your initial response may be, “Anytime!” And you’d be right: no matter the season, Italy’s winding streets, colorful villages, delectable cuisine (hello to all the carbs and cannolis), and romantic atmosphere are charming and intoxicating at any time of the year. Yet, depending on the type of trip that you are planning (and on your budget!), certain times of the year are actually better than others to travel to this famously beautiful destination. Read below to find out the best times to travel to Italy according to your travel style!
The best time to travel to Italy…
1. …if you’re on a budget.
Let’s face it: traveling to Italy is not a cheap endeavor. From international flights to lodging and food (and let’s not forget about the wine), your wallet can empty pretty quickly. However, there are lots of ways to travel to Italy on a budget. The easiest way? Avoid traveling to Italy during the peak tourist season (late May through early September). Flights to Italy are highest during the summer, generally from May to August, while the cheapest fares can be found in the ‘low’ season, typically from December to March. Tickets are also slightly cheaper in the shoulder seasons (the spring and fall): from April to May, and from September to November. Another plus to traveling in the low season? The rates of popular tours and hotels go down, as well! So, if you want to save hundreds of dollars (and avoid the crowds), grab an extra jacket and head to Italy in the off season!
2. …if you’re going to the beach.
June, July, and August in Italy boast long, hot, sunny days and cloudless skies, and, therefore, seem like the most appealing time to visit the stunning Italian coast. Yet, you have to remember that everyone else has the same idea, including the Italians! Most Italians take between two and four weeks of vacation in August to flee the cities and head to the beach, so these hot summer months not only bring more crowds, but also higher prices. In order to enjoy the beautiful beaches with less of the crowd, head to the coast in late spring or early fall. The weather may be a touch cooler, but the prices and crowds are much more manageable!
3. …if you like festivals and people-watching.
Do you love venturing to festivals, partying with lots of locals and tourists, and people-watching from the middle of the crowd? If so, then June through August may be the time for you to head to Italy! Check out local music festivals and outdoor concerts, celebrate Festa della Reppublica (Independence Day) with the locals on June 2, or watch the fireworks and partake in the festivities on Ferragosto on August 15, another one of Italy’s biggest festivals! Or, if you are really interested in experiencing an elaborate, unique Italian festival, travel to Italy for Carinivale in February!
4. …if you’re venturing into wine country.
Who doesn’t want to explore the small towns of Tuscany and taste some of the world’s most delicious wine? The best time to travel to Italy’s sprawling wine country is in the early autumn. The months of September, October, and November see several local food and wine festivals (called sagres) throughout the country. With off-season rates, tourists can enjoy tasting fine wines and olive oils amidst the gorgeous fall colors in the Italian countryside. Sign me up!
5. …if you want to dive into Italian art and culture.
If you have a deep love and appreciation for art and history and want to explore museums and historic sites without the annoyance of long lines and crowded hallways, then winter in Italy is the time for you. With theaters, operas, and lovely Christmas markets in full-swing, the months of November through February are perfect for the cultural tourist in us all. Throw in some amazing museums, ancient architecture, and a crisp chill in the air, and you have an iconic holiday vacation in the books.
But remember: no matter the time of year you choose, you cannot go wrong with an Italian getaway!
What’s your favorite season to travel to Italy? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by: Grace Klopp
Follow along on the adventure on Instagram: @gsklopp