Best places to visit in Italy in July

Best places to visit in Italy in July

Many online guides will advise against planning a visit to Italy in July. After all, whilst the weather may be wonderful, along with August, it’s also the busiest time of year when it comes to tourists. However, we’re well aware that anyone with school aged children doesn’t really have a choice in the matter!

Pros and cons of visiting Italy in July

There are certainly cons to visiting Italy in July. For one thing, it’s not just visitors numbers that soar at this time. Prices do too. July and August is when holidaymakers can expect to pay peak rates on both hotels in Italy and Italy villa rentals. Car hire and flight prices also tend to be much higher as demand starts to exceed supply. However, don’t let us put you off. There are just as many, if not more, pros to planning a visit to Italy in July.

For one thing, many of the most famous events in Italy take place in July. July sees the Siena palio in Tuscany and the Stresa music festival in the Italian Lakes. It is also the month of the Ancona Jazz Festival in Le Marche along with Matera’s Festa della Madonna Bruna in Basilicata.

Also on the plus side, whilst the temperatures may soar, in much of the country, you can at least be certain of a holiday devoid of any rain. That means plenty of time poolside topping up the tan and sightseeing without the need for umbrellas and waterproofs. And warm evening temperatures means the pleasure of enjoying plenty of al fresco dining.

And, don’t forget the sheer amount of daylight you’ll enjoy as a visitor in July. On average Italy sees 14 to 15 daylight hours this month. That’s more time you can spend sightseeing!

So, where does the Bookings For You team recommend when it comes to the best places to visit in Italy in July? To be honest, we don’t actually rule much out in July. Probably the only place we’d recommend you avoid is Italy’s cities. We’re firm believers that the latter are best visited off season when it’s cool and crowds are fewer. Instead, head inland to discover the very best of Italy’s rural landscape. Alternatively, head to Italy’s extensive coastline to enjoy the wonderful beaches. What we can assure you is that all our recommendations are places we have tried and tested ourselves in the peak Summer months.

Best places to visit in Italy in July: Tuscany

We love Tuscany in July hence it’s first on our list of best places to visit in Italy in July. As far as we’re concerned, daytime temperatures in the region are perfect at this time of year. With an average daily minimum of 20°C and a maximum of 30°C, this is ideal sunbathing weather. Not only that, if you head to Tuscany’s beaches, expect the sea temperature to be a rather pleasant 26°C! Head to Tuscany in July and your suitcase only needs to contain a few Summer dresses, shorts, T shirts and similar types of attire! Which in our eyes, is pretty much reason alone to visit!

If you do struggle in the heat and are worried about temperatures being too hot to sightsee, then a top tip is to explore in the early mornings. Or, equally good times to explore are the late afternoons and evenings. Leave the middle of the day to more relaxing pursuits!

Or, if you know you can’t stand the heat, head to Tuscany’s beaches instead. Tuscany is renowned for its beautiful coastline. An impressive 20 beaches in Tuscany have been awarded blue flag status. One option is to head to the exclusive beach resorts in Northern Tuscany such as in Forte dei Marmi. Alternatively, opt for the more natural Tuscany beaches around Maremma in the south.

Siena’s palio is the most famous of the events in Tuscany this month. However, there are plenty of others. On the first Sunday in July, for example, you could head to Gavigno to join in the celebrations at the Wild Boar Festival. Although, for me, on a hot day, the wild boar stew you will find cooking here is just too heavy to easily digest! We also recommend you head to Monteriggioni in the middle of the month to participate in the medieval festival there.

And there are plenty of music events too. Well worth enjoying is the annual Puccini festival. As the name would suggest, this celebrates the works of Italian composer, Giacomo Puccini who grew up in Lucca. Finally, also of note is the Jazz & Wine festival in Montalcino in July along with Estate Fiesolana. The latter is a classical music and theatre festival held at a number of different venues in and around Fiesole. Not to forget, Andrea Bocelli’s annual concerts at the Teatro del Silenzio which usually take place in July.

As well as all the great festivals to attend, we also think Tuscany’s rural landscape looks particularly splendid in July. The rolling hills are wonderfully green whilst the sunflowers are in full bloom. July is also the month when Tuscany’s lavender gets harvested. Hay bales are dotted around the fields and fruit dangles plentifully from the trees. Regular readers will know that much of our enjoyment of during any trip to Italy boils down to its food! And I’m pleased to say that fresh, locally grown produce is in abundance in Tuscany this month.

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Best places to visit in Italy in July: Umbria

Best places to visit in Italy in July

Tuscany’s neighbour, Umbria, is also one of the best places to visit in Italy in July. Being so close to Tuscany, its climate is almost identical.

We have already warned you off visiting Italy’s cities in the peak of the Summer. It’s just too hot. But the good news is that Umbria does not have the large cities of Tuscany. However, on the plus side, it does have a number of stunning hilltop villages which we think are pretty spectacular. These include Arezzo, Montefalco, Perugia, Spello and Orvieto. Incidentally, if you’re wanting to cool off, Orvieto is a great place to head to! After all, it’s home to the oldest Etruscan well in Italy and a fascinating underground cave complex. Like with Tuscany, if you’re finding the heat too much, visit early in the morning or later in the day.

What is more, like Tuscany, Umbria has plenty of great festivals in July too. These include Umbria Jazz in Perugia and Trasimeno Blues. It’s also worth heading to Gubbio to enjoy one of the shows that make up Gubbio’s Roman theatre season which starts in mid July each year.

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Best places to visit in Italy in July: Puglia

Best places to visit in Italy in July

We’re be lying if we said that Puglia temperatures are always pleasant in the peak of the Summer. It’s not unusual for daily highs to hit 35°C (or more). As a result, if you’re not a fan of the heat, then heading to Puglia’s heel may be the wrong choice for you. However, we love the warmth that Puglia offers in July. And if you need to cool down, just head to Puglia’s beaches.

Yes, Puglia is busiest in July and August. But actually August tends to be the busier months, when other Italians head south to holiday here. Puglia in July can be crowded but we have never found it to be overly so.

And, like in the other regions of Italy, there are plenty of music festivals to lure you to Puglia in July. These include the Festival della Valle d’Itria, an extremely popular classical music festival. And there is also the Aperitivo Classico in Cisternino and the Otranto Jazz Festival. Plus, in Locorotondo across July and August, there is the Locus Music Festival. One of Puglia’s most iconic towns – Alberobello – also has a beautiful Light Festival across the Summer months.

Just a word of advice: Always opt for a Puglia villa rental with air conditioning to ensure a good night’s sleep!

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Best places to visit in Italy in July: Sicily

Best places to visit in Italy in July

Like Puglia, one of the reasons that Sicily can be a good place to visit in July is its incredible climate. Visitors should expect average high temperatures to be around 30°C in Palermo, and slightly higher in Catania. However, in recent years, we’re seeing these peak even higher, especially if the sirocco winds below across from Africa. OK – so this heat may not be to everyone’s tastes. But do remember that inland temperatures and temperatures in built up areas tend to be higher than on the coast. And it’s Sicily’s beaches that we recommend you head to in July.

But, it’s not just Sicily’s beautiful beaches that should draw you to the island in July. The island is rich in culture. Home to 7 of Italy’s 58 UNESCO World Heritage sites, there is truly a wealth of architectural sights to explore and fascinating towns and villages to discover. What is more, there are plenty of festivals to enjoy too. For example, held every July, the Festa di Santa Rosalia is a famous Baroque festival that commemorates the patron Saint, Santa Rosalia. It’s a chance to enjoy an array of music from the Renaissance, Baroque and classical periods. Another of our favourite festivals is the Stragusto Street Food Festival held in Trapani each July. This is a festival to tantalise the taste buds in the setting of the Piazza Merato del Pesce.

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Best places to visit in Italy in July: The Italian Lakes

Best places to visit in Italy in July

If you want to discover some of the best places to visit in Italy in July that don’t have the heat of Puglia and Sicily, then the Italian Lakes is a great option. The climate in Italy’s northern lakes doesn’t tend to see the humidity you’ll find further South. And yet, there are some wonderful lakeside beaches and lidos to enjoy. Of course, days in the sunshine here can also be combined with visits to the beautiful lakeside gardens and villages. Or if you prefer a more active pace on holiday, July is a great month to engage in all the water sports on offer in the Italian Lakes. Sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, paddle boarding, waterskiing and more are all on offer i this region. In short, it’s a great option for those that can’t stand the heat.

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Best places to visit in Italy in July: The Dolomites

Best places to visit in Italy in July

Last but not least, July is the perfect month to visit the Dolomites. Picture lush green hills, crystal clear lake waters, flower-filled meadows and striking rocky mountains. This mountainous region is best explored on foot or by bike and the daytime temperatures are ideal for outdoor activities. At around 2000 metres, visitors should expect highs around 23°C. Although, if you’re lower down in towns such as Trento and Bolzano, expect temperatures to rise to 30°C or more. Moreover, weather conditions are pretty stable at this time of year too. Those visiting can expect a pretty predictable weather pattern with clear skies in the mornings followed by an accumulation of cloud cover as the afternoon progresses. Any thunderstorms will tend to strike in the evening. In short, head out on your hike early to ensure the bulk of your day’s walking is done by lunchtime.

At the end of the day spent outdoors in the glorious Dolomites, you’ll be richly rewarded. The sunsets in this part of Italy are truly spectacular. The soft setting sun causes the mountain peaks to glow pink and orange – officially referred to as the alpenglow.

And, just as elsewhere in Italy there are festivals in July to enjoy, the same is true in the Dolomites. Our favourite is in the village of Ortisei. Here, each July, the town comes alive with the sound of marching bands, singers and alphorns. The latter is an instrument which would once have been used as a way for shepherds to communicate.

And, even though you may be in the Italian Dolomites, it won’t just be the Italian culture that you’ll savour here. One of the thing that makes this area unique is the way in which the Italian, Austrian and Ladin cultures are intertwined here.  You’ll see visible signs of each culture all around you. This includes in the incredible food that the region is also renowned for.

Wherever you fancy holidaying in Italy in July, take a look at the villa rentals in Italy available from Italy villa rental specialists, Bookings For You.