When Is Best Time to Visit Italy?

The best months of the year for visiting Italy are April, May, June, September, and October. During these months, you’ll experience pleasant temperatures, rich colors throughout the Italian countryside, and smaller crowds than you’ll find if you travel during busier months (except around Easter).

From July through early September, the country is teeming with visitors, and the crowds are typically at their highest, as well as the temperatures. Around the major holidays — Easter and Christmas — crowds will be intense, and hotel prices will be high. Other than during holidays, you’ll typically see the highest hotel prices in major cities like Rome and Florence during late-spring heading into summer. 

Now that you have a general idea of when is the best time to visit Italy in 2021, let’s take a more in-depth look into the best time to visit based on more specific factors, including weather, holidays and events, prices, destinations, and activities.

Best Times to Visit Italy

Weather 

One of the worst things that can happen when you plan a fantastic vacation is to show up and be disappointed with bad weather. Maybe it’s too hot or too cold, maybe it’s raining every day, or perhaps the sun just isn’t out as much as you’d like. Whatever your definition of good weather is, you want the best chance of experiencing that while you’re on your trip. Luckily, the average weather in Italy is quite pleasant for most of the year.

Of course, nobody can control the weather, but you can plan your trip accordingly so that you have the best chance of great weather. For this article, let’s get a loose definition of what “good weather” really is. You’ll have the best experience in Italy with moderate temperatures, sunny skies, and as little rain as possible. So when’s the best time to visit Italy to have weather like that? 

Generally speaking, any time of the year from April to October will provide all of the above. Moderate temperatures, less overcast than winter, and some of the driest months of the year — but there are a few exceptions. 

You will want to try to avoid traveling to Italy in late July through August due to the scorching heat. During this time, daytime temperatures can soar above 100℉ commonly. With heat like that, you won’t want to spend any more time outside than you have to. 

The second exception is to try to avoid the rain as much as possible. That said, the earlier in April or the later in October you are visiting, the higher the rain chances. The closer to the summer months you get, the better chance you have of clear skies. 

That all said, the best time to visit Italy with regards to weather is from late-April to June and from September through early-October. These times will provide you with pleasant temperatures, sunny skies, and your best at having no rain at all while you’re visiting.

Holidays and Events in Italy

If you’ve ever wanted to visit a different country for the holidays, you may be thinking about planning that special trip to Italy in 2021. Or maybe you’ve heard of some of the exciting events and festivals in Italy over the years. No matter the reason, let’s take a look at the best time to visit Italy to enjoy the holidays or experience authentic Italian events.

Carnival and Valentine’s Day

Leading up to Easter, which in itself is one of the busiest times of the year in Italy, you can join in the extravagant celebration known as Carnival. A huge masked festival country-wide, Carnival takes place during the time before Lent, which then leads to Easter. The best city to visit in Italy during Carnival is undoubtedly Venice. 

The Venice Carnival is an event that draws in thousands of people from all over the world who want to experience an unforgettable event in the watery city. In 2021, the festival begins on January 30th and runs through February 16th, with participants wearing masks and costumes to keep up with the 900-year tradition. This also means that while you’re in the country for the Venice Carnival, you’ll also be there for Valentine’s Day.

What could be more romantic than spending Valentine’s Day in Venice with your loved one experiencing the Venice Carnival? It would be a weekend that the person most special to you would never forget. 

Easter

As we alluded to before, Easter is one of the busiest times of the year to visit Italy. The week leading up to Easter, known as Holy Week, and Easter itself is an important time in Italy — typically over superseded by Christmas. As the Vatican City is headquartered in Rome, Catholicism is the nation’s dominant religion, and Holy Week and Easter are the most important week of the Catholic calendar. 

During this time, plays and street processions are commonly found every day of the week. On Good Friday, states of Jesus and the Virgin Mary are carried through the streets, and these processions are highly revered. On Easter Sunday, parades and mass services throughout the country will end the week on a high note. Holy Week begins March 28 and culminates with Easter on April 4th in 2021.

Venice International Film Festival

In 2021, the 78th Venice International Film festival will be held from September 1st through September 11th. Known as the oldest film festival in the world, spending these ten days in Venice will give movie lovers an experience like nothing else they’ll ever have the chance to be part of. 

The festival is held on an island of the Venice Lagoon known as Lido. Festival-goers will watch screenings of the films at the amazing Palazzo del Cinema before awards are given to the best films at the event. Celebrities from all over the world attend the annual celebration, and the Venice International Film Festival is one of the most popular festivals of its type in the world.

Eurochocolate

For any chocolate lovers out there, the Eurochocolate held in Perugia every year is an event you won’t want to miss. One of the biggest celebrations of any kind in all of Europe, the Eurochocolate festival hosts nearly one million people per year who come together to celebrate chocolate from all over the continent. 

Visitors will be able to taste all sorts of different chocolates and even participate in workshops seeing how the tasty treat is made by some of the biggest manufacturers in Europe. The festival begins October 15th and runs through October 24th in 2021.

Christmas and New Year’s

The most popular time of year when Italy is the busiest with visitors is, of course, the weeks encompassing Christmas and New Year’s. People from all over the world will take their time off work and school to spend the holidays in Italy and enjoy the mild Mediterranean temperatures and a holiday vacation they won’t soon forget.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are also big celebrations in Italy, just as they are throughout much of the world. Most of the major cities and towns in Italy will host fireworks, dancing, and parties all over the place as they celebrate the new year. So if you really want to bring in 2022 with a bang, start planning your holiday trip to Italy in 2021. 

Prices

If you’re excited about your trip to Italy, but you want to get the most bang out of your buck, then traveling to Italy when you can get the best prices is the way to go. In general, summertime and major holidays will be the most crowded times of the year, and therefore the most expensive. So you’ll want to avoid going during those times.

Luckily, some of the best prices for traveling to Italy coincide with some of the best times of the year in terms of weather as well. You will typically find the lowest prices in early spring and late fall, which also have some of the best overall weather of the year. 

Ideally, planning your trip in March through April or Mid-September through October will offer the best rates and the lowest crowds. If you decide to plan your trip in spring, be sure you take Easter into account. Traveling to Italy during Easter will usually be one of the most expensive times of the year even if it falls in early April. 

If getting a bit more out of your money is important to you, make sure that you also book your stay months in advance. Some of the top hotels in the most popular cities get completely booked up to six months in advance. So the earlier to book your trip, the more options you’ll have as well as the best possible prices.

Destination (North vs. South of Italy)

Italy is usually divided into two main regions, northern Italy and southern Italy. While this isn’t a legitimate distinction, it is widely accepted that the areas around Rome form the separating line between the north and the south. 

So for the purpose of your planning, just think of Rome as central Italy, everything above Rome on a map as northern Italy, and everything below Rome as southern Italy. Determining the best time to go to Italy based on your destination depends on what you plan on doing while you’re on your visit, so let’s run through a couple of scenarios to give you an idea of when to visit. 

If you’re visiting northern Italy, maybe to check out Milan, Venice, or Tuscany, any time from April through October will be great. It might get a little hot on occasion during the summer, but you won’t have to deal with the scorching heat that southern Italy faces. If you’re planning on visiting Italy for a winter adventure, you’ll need to stay in northern Italy between December and February, because any other time and any time in southern Italy, you’ll see no snow.

If you want to visit southern Italy to check out places like Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, or the island of Sicily, you may want to think twice about going during the summer. You’ll be faced with searing heat waves, crowded beaches, and high prices, so visiting in spring or fall is a better option. Southern Italy is also a great location to travel to in the winter to avoid cold temperatures found elsewhere in the world and even northern Italy. 

Activities

If you have a general idea of what you’re planning on doing while you’re in Italy, you can use that to help determine the best time of the year to visit. Some of Italy’s main attractions that draw people in from all over the world include sightseeing, wine tasting, skiing, and spending days relaxing on the beach.

Depending on which of these you are going to be doing most on your trip, the best time of the year to make the trip will differ. With things like weather, prices, and crowds in mind, let’s take a look at the best time to visit Italy based on the activities you’re going to be doing. 

Sightseeing

The most important things that will make your sightseeing excursion the best it can be are weather, visibility, and crowds. If you’re planning on spending your days exploring cities and checking out the amazing sights Italy has to offer, you want pleasant temperatures, clear skies, and lesser crowds. With that in mind, you will want to plan your trip for mid-spring or mid-fall, with early May and early October being some of the best times.

These months provide the most comfortable temperatures to spend the days outside (with average daytime temperatures typically between 68℉ to 77℉) as well as pretty clear skies — especially if you wait until a little later in spring or earlier in fall. Crowds will also be far less than what you’ll find during the high season of summer.

Wine Country

Wine lovers around the world venture to Italy for some of the best wine anywhere in the world. Traveling to Italy to visit the wine country is commonplace, and you will have the experience of a lifetime. When it comes to the wine country, you’ll ideally want to travel when the scenery is at its most prolific and you’ll be surrounded by incredible views and landscapes.

This means you should plan your trip for early to mid-spring as everything is coming into blossom. You’ll be surrounded by pure beauty and be able to enjoy delicious wine while looking at picturesque views all around. If you don’t mind a bit chillier temperatures and want to avoid the crowds more than anything, consider planning your trip for late winter after the holidays have passed.

Skiing and Other Snow Sports

When it comes to skiing, of course, you need snow. So the best time to visit Italy if you’re wanting to hit the slopes is going to be winter. Snow is usually only going to fall in northern Italy from December through February, and the mountains in the north will offer some incredible skiing opportunities. 

From around mid-December through early-February, snow in northern Italy is common, with the mountains typically covered in snow through most of the winter. You’ll find plenty of ski resorts in the area to stay in, and lots of other like-minded snow enthusiasts as well. 

Keep in mind that winter is typically the low season for the rest of the country when it comes to crowds, but it’s the high season for snow-lovers. So keep that in mind and expect crowds, but the experience of skiing down the mountains in northern Italy will more than compensate for the additional crowds in these areas during this time.

Beach Days

When it comes to visiting Italy, one of the best reasons to do so is to take in the amazing views while you soak up the sun at one of the many beaches that the country has to offer. To enjoy the beach, you want warm weather and sunny skies, so the best time to make your trip to Italy will naturally be summer.

Not all summer months are created equal, however, and we recommend you book your trip for early summer or late summer, even creeping into the end of spring or the start of fall. Late-May through early-July and September through early-October are the best times to visit the fantastic beaches in Italy. These periods will offer the best possible temperatures as well as smaller crowds than you’ll find in the heart of summer.

When to Visit Italy in 2021

The best time to visit Italy in 2021 will be from April to June and September through October. This will give you comfortable temperatures, smaller crowds, and more affordable rates if you avoid the holidays. If you’re traveling for a specific reason, be sure to take that into account when you’re booking as well. No matter when you visit, your trip to Italy will be an unforgettable experience!