March and April can be wet and cold more than people think but travel increases during Easter when many Catholics travel to festivals and go on pilgrimages.
Easter – March/April
Many people are planning a trip to Italy around Easter time; this means high prices and lots of crowds; especially in Rome. Rome is where Easter comes to life and much of that energy can be found at and around the Vatican. When planning your trip to Italy for Easter, make sure you increase your budget to account for the higher prices during this time of year. The Italians may not have the Easter Bunny but they do have a great reason to visit Italy for Easter.
Spring can be warm most places across Italy. Spring is one of the best times to visit Italy as the weather is good and in May the tourists, lines and crowds can be lower than in June. If you must travel in the spring months, then you will want to try and use every possible method to avoid the crowds and lines such as getting skip the line entrance tickets to places like the Vatican, Michelangelo’s David in Florence or Saint Marks church in Venice.
Labor Day – May
This holiday sometimes impacts springtime travelers because the 1st of May is when almost all museums and shops are closed across Italy. If you are planning a trip to Italy in May; make sure you don’t plan on major sightseeing on this major Italian holiday. Even the Italians like to take a day off work so make sure when you are planning your trip to Europe you consider all the things that may be closed on May 1st each year.
Festa della Repubblica – June
Up until the 1849 Italy was a divided country with warring factions and areas of the country were constantly divided by competitive lords and power hungry monarchs. In 1849 Italy began unification but did not become fully unified until 1870. If you plan your trip to Rome in June, make sure to catch this festival which highlights one of the most impressive military parades in the world. Don’t miss the opportunity in June to see the amazing might of the Italian military; it’s another good reason to visit Rome during the summer.
July is when the temperatures starts to rise as do the prices of almost everything. This summer month is nearing the peak of tourist season in Italy. July means the highest prices, longest lines and the most tourists. One method to help keep your calm when trying to see an historical sight that is packed with tourists is to hire a local private guide. Private guide services in Italy not only give you a local’s prospective on life in their city; they know the short cuts and special places to take you that no tourist would ever find on their own. Local guides in Italy are trained and certified professionals who must pass strict tests on the history and culture of the place that they live; and no guide in Italy can show people around unless they live in that particular city; so a private guide in Rome could not travel and be a private guide in Venice.
August is hot! This can be a good and a bad thing. The summer heat in Italy can be especially intense in the cities where the sidewalks, buildings and streets can be made of heat reflecting stone and marble. So, that you don’t suffer from heat exhaustion; you must adjust your sightseeing schedule so that you see the interiors; such as the inside of the Vatican during the peak of the heat and the outside locations; such as the Roman forum in the early morning or late afternoon. By adjusting your sightseeing schedule to match the weather will result in a much more comfortable exploring experience. One of the positive parts about August in Italy is this is the month when most Italians take off from work and school for a month of holiday and vacation. When the Italians exit the cites and go to the coast of the country; this is your time to plan your trip to avoid the crowds that are normally crowding places like Rome, Florence, Milan and Naples. Hotel prices tend to drop in August in the cites and prices see high spikes for hotels anywhere near water.
Umbria Jazz Festival – July
July is all about music and the Umbria Jazz Festival held each year in the region of Umbria is one of Italy’s top music festivals. Consid
ered one of the most important jazz festivals in the world; it
has been held every year since 1973 and has featured such acts as B.B. King, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Natalie Cole, Miles Davis, Phil Collins, Elton John and Carlos Santana are just a few of the top acts you can see at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. Because of the major popularity of this event, we recommend planning your trip to Italy at least 6 months in advance to insure you have a good selection of accommodations to choose from. The Umbria Jazz Festival is a great event to plan your trip to Italy around because it showcases the best of the region of Umbria and the world’s best Jazz.
The Palio di Siena Horse Race – July & August
Held every year on July 2nd and August 16th; Il Palio is an amazing experience. Ten riders and their horses take to an oval course, riding bareback and dressed in colorful uniforms that represent on of the 17 city neighborhoods or Contrade. The best and most expensive seating can be found high above the track on balconies sold by local businesses to tourists and locals for very high prices. The common people and those wanting to experience the event first hand; make their way through narrow openings to the center of Siena’s Campo where they stand in stifling heat. The Palio in Siena is a unique event and a great reason to visit Italy and this historic Tuscan town.
September is another golden month because the weather can be perfect after the heat dies off after the first week of the month. September can be a lovely time to explore almost any part of Italy and if you plan your trip correctly you will miss all the Italians who have gone to the coast for their monthly holiday which usually ends after the 10th of the month.
October is another best time to visit Italy if you can make it happen in the first part of the month. After the middle of October, the weather can start to change beginning in the North of Italy. Places like Lake Maggiore and Lake Como may experience fog and light rain in late September and October but zones further south like the Amalfi Cost and Sicily remain lovely with high temperatures and clear weather. October is also the beginning of the slow tourist season so you will see a drop-in prices. This is also the month of the food festivals that pop up across Italy.
Venice Film Festival – September.
The stars come out to one of the world’s most popular film festivals held in Venice, Italy each year since 1932. Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia is the oldest film festival in the world and attracts A list starts that attend lavish parties and see screenings of the latest films by up and coming directors and actors. If you are planning a trip to the Venice Film Festival, you should plan on booking at least one year in advance for the best selection of hotels and availability of tickets to events and screenings.
Alba White Truffle Festival – October
Italy is known the world over for the quality of its truffles. And the Alba white truffle is considered the cream of the crop. The Piedmont city of Alba hosts one of the biggest truffle festivals in Italy.
World Pasta Day – October
What better way to visit Italy than to be there on World Pasta Day which is the 4th Sunday in October. Look out for towns celebrating this day with large tents filled with steaming fresh pasta!
November and December is typically not the best time to visit Italy. November can be wet, cold and soggy with cold and grey winter days throughout most of the country. Sicily boasts the best weather in November because it lies so far South. You can take great advantage of historical sites being virtually empty of tourists and hotels offer some of their lowest prices of the year.
December is a popular time to visit Italy because of Christmas and the Fest of the Epiphany which is the first week of January. Just after Christmas in Italy; the Italians look forward to the “White Week” or Settimana Bianca where the ski slopes in the North explode with people and some of the best skiing in Italy.
Christmas – December
Planning trip to Italy for Christmas is a great idea. Throughout the country and especially in Rome you can see some amazing decorations and take part in the festive atmosphere that fills the air this time of year. The day after Christmas in Italy is called the day of Santo Sefano which is also a national holiday in Italy. Since Rome is the capital of Christianity; there is no better place to go than Rome for Christmas.
Umbria Jazz Winter Festival – December/January
Just as you thought Umbria could not have any greater Jazz events; here comes the Umbria Jazz Winter Festival. Held in late December to the beginning of January in Orvieto, Italy; this winter jazz festival is a great reason of plan your trip to Italy in the winter. Just because you don’t have the heat does not mean you can’t get warmed up by some hot Jazz. Typically, winter is considered low season in most of Italy. Planning your trip to Italy around Italy’s many festivals and holidays will give you ample choice of the best times to visit Italy as well as a tremendous amount of free and low cost activates for the whole family. but this period which as Christmas, New Years and the winter jazz festival cause high hotel prices and limited availability; so, plan wisely. The Umbria Jazz Winter Festival is a great reason to visit Italy in the winter.
No matter if you are planning a honeymoon in Italy, researching your Italian heritage for a summer trip to find your ancestors or just planning a well needed holiday to Italy for some well-deserved rest; Italy has something for everyone during every month of the year. Italy4Real can assist with every aspect of the planning process and provide you with a free personalized itinerary based on your trip ideas.