With Italy's diverse geography, traditions and climate, there is never a bad time to visit. It has something to offer throughout the year, from active city to relaxing trips to the beach or countryside. Here is our month by month guide for visiting this beautiful country.
Beginning of January is considered as season as there are many visitors to the cities for New Year's holidays. This lasts until Epiphany (6th January). After this period you will find affordable accommodation deals and also you will skip the usual crowds in front of historic monuments. Prices in winter resorts at the North of Italy tends to be high in this period. This is the time ideal for shopping as the sales (SALDI in italian) take place at the beginning of January through mid-February.
In Februay the most visiting city in Venice due to the Carnival taking place there. During the weeks leading up to Martedi Grasso (Fat Tuesday), the streets of Venice are full of masks. Carnival celebrations take place also in other parts of Italy.
The March with its pleasant temperatures is the ideal time for city breaks to the most popular Italian cities. Visit Rome or Venice before the crowds of cruise passengers fload the cities.
You will avoid massive queues in front of the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums or Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice. During the rainy days you have a large choice of interesting museums or galleries.
Easter is the holiday for major celebration in Italy. The Pope undertakes the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum on Good Friday, as well as his traditional Mass on Easter Sunday. Every town in Italy organises parades and processions. Florence holds its annual Scoppio del Carro, where a cart filled with fireworks explodes in front of the Duomo and a spectacular parade marches through the city.
The temperatures are ideal for sightseeing in May. You will still find some affordable accommodation options, as the high season just begins to get underway. The Giro d'Italia travels across the country for a three-week period. There are also several unique festivals, such as the stunning Flower Festival in Noto, Sicily and the Corsa dei Ceri in the picturesque town of Umbria.
Italy's tourist season hits its peak in June and the sights and attractions start to get crowded. Travellers can escape the heat with a trip to the beaches of the south or to the countryside of Umbria and Tuscany. Venice is crowded with boats as it celebrates the Vogalonga, a 30-km race through the city's canals.
The summer brings numerous cultural events across Italy. From classical music in Verona to Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto which invites international names in music, dance and theatre in this city. The beautiful town of Siena holds the first of its two annual Palio horse races in central piazza on 2nd July and Venice fills its waters with boats for the Redentore Feast on the 15th
During the August most Italians goes on their summer holidays (known as "ferragosto") meaning that many restaurants, cafes and shops are closed. Travellers who don't mind for hot weather can enjoy the big cities as there are not so crowded as usual.
Lower accommodation prices can be found in this period as ownders try to fill empty rooms. Alternatively, you can follow the locals and visit popular beaches of Puglia, Calabria, Sardinia and Sicily and soak up some sun.
The temperatures start to decrease in September making this moth one of the most pleasant time for exploring Italy. We advise you to to visit Rome making a day trip to the beautiful countryside of Tuscany to enjoy amazing scenery and taste some local food and wines.
In Venice Film Festival is held at the beginning of the month as well as Regata Storica (Historical Rowing Regatta). Naples hosts its annual festival for its patron saint, the Festa di San Gennaro. Florence holds the Festa della Rificolona every 7th September.
October is another month ideal for visiting major cities of Rome, Florence and Venice. The weather is still pleasant and sightseeing is great. Truffle lovers should head to Alba, where the annual Festa dei Tartufi takes place througout October and November, while who has a sweet tooth shouldn't miss the Chocolate festival in the town of Perugia.
November is the end of season in Italy and there are no tourist crowds as usual. This is ideal time for visiting top sights and museums. Visit Tuscany to take place in olive harvest and sample new olive oils. November is the month of chestnuts and there are in almost every village and town "sagra di castagne" - local festival dedicated to this tasty fruit.
Early December is still quiet in Italy, but approaching the Christmas and New Year, it becomes more crowded. Across the country you will find numerous Christmas markets. From the 7th December, Milan holds its Christmas fair dedicated to the city's patron saint - St. Ambrose. Rome is the focus at Christmas time, with the Pope's Christmas Eve Mass. New Year's celebrations (Capodanno) are marked by parties, concerts and fireworks throught the country.
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