Start planning your winter vacation to Italy
Winter in Italy is simply charming. With many activities and experiences only available in the colder months, come in winter and you’ll enjoy a completely different vacation to one in summer. From winter carnivals and food festivals to ancient Roman architecture and world-class museums, there’s lots to love about the Italian winter.
Why should I visit Italy in the winter?
During winter in Italy, famous landmarks and museums are far less busy than in the summer months, allowing you a unique opportunity to visit these famous sites and absorb their magic without the crowds. Italy is known for its world-class food scene, and in the colder months winter dishes, such as the sausage polenta, hit the menus. Italy's northern region also plays host to some of the world's finest ski resorts and slopes, offering a thrilling Italian adventure.
The best things to do in Italy in the winter
Choose from a plethora of activities, from skiing in the mountains to exploring ancient sites. These are the best things to do in Italy in winter.
Stroll through Christmas markets in Bolzano
Bolzano is a small town located in the north of Italy. This quaint little place is perfect for a stroll through the winter Christmas markets that pop up. Purchase handcrafted gifts and souvenirs while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate, and get fully immersed in the holiday spirit.
Skip the line at the Colosseum and more
The summer months in Italy are busy with large crowds, especially at famous landmarks like the Colosseum. During the winter, take advantage of skipping the line and visit the glorious ancient Roman sites across the capital without being overwhelmed by a crowd.
Taste traditional pandoro and panettone
During the winter season, foods such as pandoro and panettone begin to appear all over Italy. These are sweet breads or cakes, typically eaten during the Christmas period. The pandoro was first created in Venice, while the panettone is its winter "rival" from Milan.
Hit the slopes of Cortina d'Ampezzo
From the Dolomites to the Alps, Italy's borders with France and Switzerland offer some of the best ski slopes in all of Europe. Spectacular mountain runs that will keep you entertained for hours start at the top of the mountain, snaking through woodland and down to the resort town at its base. Cortina d'Ampezzo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers some of the best skiing in the country.
Don your mask at the carnival in Venice
During February, the city of Venice becomes a surreal land of masks and costumes. Enjoy many fun events, including parades and balls, and admire the designs of the traditional masks that were created in Venice and surrounding areas. Plays and musical events are hosted throughout the winter in Venice.
What's the weather like in Italy in winter?
In northern Italy, the weather tends to be colder with an average of around 44°F. There’s a high chance of snow and rain at this time of year too. Head south for warmer climes in winter, with averages as high as 57°F, and little rainshower.