Weather wise, there is no reason why you can’t visit Italy at any time of year. Most of Italy has a Mediterranean climate and its relative mildness 365 days of the year means it’s definitely a country that can be visited ‘off season’. Don’t forget that Italy is home to a number of ski resorts too so it’s also a great destination in the Winter months if you enjoy snow sports.
Weather wise, temperatures are hottest in the South. Here, Puglia and Calabria enjoy over 300 days of sunshine each year. Temperatures can soar in the peak Summer months of July and August, often surpassing 30 degrees. The main towns and cities here can become almost stiflingly hot and visitors will find that they can be pretty sleepy places during the heat of the day but instead come alive at night when temperatures have cooled. However, it’s always much fresher by the coast and with miles and miles of golden sand and beautiful beaches to enjoy, it’s heaven for sun worshippers!
Further North, in the central belt, Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria enjoy a relatively mild climate all year round. Again, temperatures will peak in the key Summer months as will visitor numbers. The cities here can be pretty stifling if sightseeing in these peak Summer months, but you’ll find it cooler and more refreshing in the hills and on the coast.
In the North, the Italian Lakes doesn’t tend to see the humidity that you can get further South but even up here, the climate is mild all year round, evidenced by the numerous tropical plant species you will find in the ornate lakeside gardens.
Because of its popularity, Italy’s main tourist centres can get busy in the main Summer months. Italy’s cities are certainly much quieter (and cooler!) in the Autumn and Winter months or in the Spring time which can make sightseeing much more pleasant. As a result, we recommend you visit Rome, Florence, Venice or Siena out of season and you also will avoid the queues to the museums and the crowds of holidaymakers.
Italy also enjoys many festivals across the Autumn and Spring months so this can be a great time to visit if you want to absorb some Italian culture. Or if you’re looking for some warmth to get you through the long Winter, you could even head to Puglia in October and November when it’s not unusual to still enjoy temperatures in the low twenties.
However, don’t let the crowds put you off travelling in the peak Summer months. July and August are the busiest months in Italy when you will find many Europeans visiting the country. Italians typically take their holidays in August when many leave the heat of the cities to escape to the cooler lakes or coastal regions.