Italy in February – The Best Things to See and Do
Italy Weather in February
The weather in Italy during February tends to be damp and cold, especially the climates up north. However, this isn’t all bad, and can actually be a great opportunity to indulge in some winter sports. Skiers and snowboarders will love the wintery weather, as will anyone who just loves to be warm and cozy inside while looking off in the distance at the snow capped Alps.
While February weather in Italy may not be ideal for everyone’s tastes, it often means that your vacation can be more affordable and less hectic. Keep in mind that many of Italy’s best attractions, like the museums and churches, are indoors, so you can explore the Italian history and culture without stepping foot outside. And, consider the fact that Italy puts on a pretty fantastic lineup of festivals in February that are worse braving a little cold weather for.
Are you considering visiting Italy in February? If so, here’s some of the best things to see and do.
Visit a Covered Market in Rome
When visiting Italy, wandering the Roman markets is a must. Many of the markets are outdoors but there are a few great ones that are also inside or covered. This is the best spot for finding souvenirs, local flavors, food, and interesting people watching. Some of the best markets are Mercato Trionfale, Esquilino Market, and Mercato Testaccio. If you want to stay warm while enjoying authentic, italian life, this is a great way to do it.
National Museum of Cinema
If you’re visiting the northern city of Turin, stop into this Italian motion picture museum. It’s quirky and was put together by a historian and collector. You’ll find props from Italian films, video equipment, and themed rooms based on various film genres. There’s also a massive collection of paintings and artwork from the film industry as well as movie posters.
Take a Cooking Class
The culinary scene in Italy is famous, and one of the best ways to experience it is through a cooking class. Sure, you can eat your way around the country, but you can’t bring your restaurant meals home with you on the plane. Instead, learn some cooking skills and take those home with you as souvenirs instead. You’ll be able to find an authentic, Italian cooking class in most places around Italy. They’re typically held inside so you can stay warm while crafting pasta dishes, pesto, and the perfect tomato sauce.
Go on a Cafe Tour
Take yourself on a self-guided cafe tour around Italy. The Italians are fans of cafe living and coffee drinks so if you want to experience true, local culture, you should spend some time in the cafes. Bring a good book and try out the coffee, espresso, and cappuccino while you watch the world go by outside. Sure, if you’re visiting in February you won’t get to experience the outdoor seating. However, hanging out in the Italian cafes is just as nice indoors. You can sip on a steamy cup of coffee, connect with the local culture, and watch the hustle and bustle in the streets from your warm sanctuary. While cafe culture is big all around Italy, some of the best places for a cafe tour are Rome, Florence, and Venice. This is where you can find traditional cafes, as well as more modern places.
Visiting in February can be extra special because of the fantastic festivals. You won’t be able to experience them during any other time of year so here’s what you should check out.
Saint Agatha’s Feast Day
Taking place in the beginning of February, this is one of the largest festivals in the world. If you want to experience it, you’ll need to visit Catania, a city on the island of Sicily. The festival exists to celebrate the patron Saint Agatha who has a feminist, yet horrifying backstory. According to the stories, Saint Agatha was a teen when she denied the romantic advances of a well-off, Roman suitor. He did not take her rejection very well and decided to kidnap her and torture her in a variety of ways. One of the most famous was by cutting off her breasts. Now, statues of Saint Agatha depict her holding a plate of amputated breasts, which is a dismal display of what supposedly happened to her. The legend says that she was ordered to be burned at the stake, but an earthquake ruined the plan. She was then sent to prison where she later died. It’s an extremely sad story, but the festival brings millions of people together to celebrate her life and her bravery. And, it’s one of the most unique festivals out there, making it worth the trip to Sicily.
San Remo Song Festival
If you’re a fan of music you’re going to love this festival. It’s one of Italy’s most famous song contests and festivals. Most people watch the festivities on T.V, but the best way to experience it is in-person at a live event. If you want to check it out, you’ll need to visit the town of Sanremo to see the performances up close.
Almond Blossom Fair
This fair brings together locals and tourists who can’t wait for spring. You’ll find it in Sicily in the city of Agrigento. The Almond Blossom Fair signifies the beginning of the harvest season, which is extremely important in Italy, especially for their foodie scene. People come from all over the world to celebrate with live music, parades, and cultural events. It’s a lighthearted festival that brings everyone together to celebrate the natural beauty of Italy.
This is one of the most famous festivals in all of Italy and it takes place in Venice during February. It’s held 40 days after Easter each year, and is the catalyst for festivities all over the country, not just in Venice. However, if you want to experience Carnevale authentically, Venice is the spot. For two whole weeks before the main event, Venice is alive with colors, costumes, festivals, parades, and events. People walk around in lavish masks and dresses, heading to masquerade balls. Piazza San Marco is alive with costumes and people, all buzzing from the excitement. You can buy a mask and dress of your own to take back as a souvenir but many hotels offer costume rentals so that you don’t have to purchase one on your own.
Olive and Bruschetta Festival
If you’re a foodie, this festival is a must. February may be a winter month, but it marks the beginning of spring for many of the Italian farmers. This is when they begin to plant seeds and trees to get ready for the warmer months that bring growth. You’ll find the Olive and Bruschetta Festival in Umbria in the town of Spello. It takes place on the third Sunday in February and draws quite the crowd of locals and tourists. Guests can learn all about growing, harvesting, and using olives to make authentic, Italian cuisine. You’ll get to see olive oil pressing demonstrations and have the opportunity to taste some of the freshest olive oils in the world. Spend time enjoying the food, live music, dancing, and the farmer’s parade. Don’t forget to do some shopping for olive oil to bring home too.
Italy in February is a great opportunity to attend amazing festivals, explore cultural attractions, and enjoy less crowds and cheaper prices. The weather may not be perfect, but it gives you the chance to get creative and see a different side to Italy.
Rem is the owner of Italy4Real and the original Italy enthusiast! If you need inspiring or want to know about anything travel, he’s your man.