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The best time to travel in Italy

When is the best time to visit Italy? It all depends if you want to take things easy and lounge on the beaches, enjoy Italy's cultural experiences, or tour the lakes. Here's our advice.

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Spring and autumn are the best times of year to visit Italy. In summer, the central and southern parts of the country experience a few weeks of very hot weather; and it can get very cold in Northern Italy in winter, especially in the Alpine region. Take the area you intend to visit and explore into consideration when choosing the time of year for your trip. And avoid the month of August at all costs: the cities are absolutely teeming with people at that time of year.

Visiting Italy in spring or autumn

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March to May and September to November.

Spring and autumn are the best seasons in which to visit Italy. It does not get too hot at these times of year, and the summer tourists are absent. Without a question of a doubt, this is the time of year to travel to Italy if at all possible!

Visiting Italy in summer

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June to August.

In summer, the central and southern regions of Italy get so hot that it can quickly become exhausting … in fact unbearable even. The towns and cities also get jam packed with tourists, especially in August. Northern Italy, on the other hand, is perfectly pleasant to visit at this time of year.

Visiting Italy in winter

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December to February

The central and southern areas of Italy enjoy pleasant temperatures in winter. This gives you the opportunity to visit these regions without the crowds. It is also a good time of year to go to the Domolmites or head off to the northwest of the country for a spot of skiing.

When to visit Italy's Northwest

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All year round.

If you plan to go hiking, avoid the northwest of Italy in winter: the weather can be very severe and there is snowfall from November onwards. On the other hand, this is the ideal time of year to go skiing. So you can basically visit this region all year round, depending on what you are planning to do when there.

When to visit Italy's Northeast

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All year round.

Though winter is the wrong time of year to visit this region to the potential coldness and severity of the weather, there is one exception to this: the Dolomites, where the season really gets in full swing between December and March. You can essentially visit this area of Italy at any time of year therefore, depending on what you are planning to do there.

When to visit Central Italy

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September to May.

Central Italy has a Mediterranean climate and experiences pleasant temperatures all year round. The only season to avoid is summer as the region can sometimes experience a few weeks of very hot weather at this time of year, and that's without even mentioning the crowds!

When to visit Southern Italy

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September to May

Southern Italy has a very pleasant climate, with temperatures very mild in winter and very comfortable during the mid-season. Avoid visiting in winter however: the region is prone to heatwaves and temperatures can be suffocating.

The best times of year to simply relax and enjoy Italy's islands and beaches

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May to July and September to October.

Head off to explore the fabulous region of Apulia, home to some of the country's best sandy beaches. The famous city of Rimini and the very chic and trendy Venice Lido are two other good places to visit. Try to visit between May and October and avoid the crowds in August if at all possible.

The best time to explore Italy's most beautiful gardens and lakes

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March to May and September to November.

Italy is home to some of the world's most beautiful gardens. Be sure to explore the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, la Mortella in Granada, and the Palace of Venaria near Turin. Also be sure to take a trip to the Italian lakes to enjoy and admire the region's superb scenery, preferably in spring or autumn.

Tiphaine Leblanc
77 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018