Italy is a country with deep historical roots, an amazing culture, and some of the most beautiful architecture and scenery in the world, all of which make it a top destination for most holiday-makers. But when is the best time to visit Italy?
At Crown Currency Exchange, we’ve put together the ultimate guide on when to visit Italy based on weather, festivals, and events. This will make it easier than ever to plan your holiday and ensure you’re able to take that trip of a lifetime.
What is the Best Time to Visit Italy for Weather?
Most people find that the best time to Visit Italy for good weather is during the summer months. This is because the climate is typically Mediterranean all year round, with hot weather in the summer and colder, rainy weather in the winter months.
There’s also loads more to do during the summer, with music festivals taking place all summer long, along with some incredible annual events that really allow you to immerse yourself in Italian culture.
That’s not to say there’s nothing to do the rest of the year, though. We’ll take a look at what you can enjoy during each month of the year in Italy a little later, but for now, let’s look at seasonal weather and key events.
Visiting Italy in Spring (March to May)
The average temperatures in spring in Italy will vary depending on region, with Milan seeing daily averages of 14ºC and Palermo sitting slightly higher at around 17ºC. Across the entire country, you can expect to see sunny skies for the most part. However, a few April showers aren’t uncommon.
Key Events in Spring
- Carnevale: In the lead-up to Lent, Carnevale takes place and is a celebration of eating, drinking, and fun. This festival is held all over Italy, but the most famous and elaborate of all Carnevale celebrations are held in Venice.
- Festa Della Sensa: Another Venice carnival, Festa della Sensa celebrates the relationship between the Venetian people and the sea.
- Liberation Day: Italian cities come alive on April 25th as the country celebrates Liberation Day. This important day in Italy’s history marks the victory of the Italian Resistance Movement against Nazi Germany.
Visiting Italy in Summer (June to August)
Summer in Italy is much warmer than spring throughout the country, with average temperatures hitting 32ºC. The days are long, hot, and sunny, and rainfall is very unlikely between the months of June and August. Summer is also peak tourist season, and you’ll find Italy’s beaches and cities are packed with people exploring this beautiful country.
Key Events in Summer
- Infiorata: Throughout June, Infiorata (also known as “The Flower Festival”) takes place throughout towns and cities and sees amazing artwork being created with flower petals.
- Rock In Roma: One of the biggest music festivals in Europe, Rock In Roma takes place annually and sees some of the biggest names in Rock Music take to the stage for an unforgettable experience.
- Festa Della Madonna Bruna: Held annually on July 2nd, Festa della Madonna Bruna is a religious event that celebrates the apparition of the Virgin Mary to a peasant in Piccianello.
Visiting Italy in Autumn (September to November)
The temperatures at the start of autumn in Italy remain fairly warm, averaging 25ºC (although this can vary depending on the region you’re visiting). As the season moves on, the temperatures begin to drop, but the weather remains sunny, crisp, and dry. Towards the end of autumn, rainfall starts to pick up again, and towards the end of November, it isn’t uncommon to see snowfall in the higher mountain resorts.
Key Events in Autumn
- Venice International Film Festival: Known worldwide as one of the most star-studded events, the Venice International Film Festival takes place in autumn each year and premiers some of the biggest movies.
- Romaeuropa Festival: A festival that showcases arts of all kinds, including singing, music, dancing, and theatrical performances, Romaeuropa runs for the entire autumn season in Italy.
- All Hallow’s Eve: This event takes place on October 31st each year and is essentially an Italian Halloween. Celebrations are similar to those you’ll see in the rest of Europe, with people dressing in scary costumes and carving pumpkins.
Visiting Italy in Winter (December to February)
The winter months in Italy are quite variable from region to region, with coastal areas seeing quite mild weather and Northern Italy’s cities seeing snow and temperatures as low as 7ºC.
November and December are the months that see the most rainfall in Italy, so this is something you’ll definitely need to keep in mind if you’re visiting at this time of year.
Key Events in Winter
- All Saints Day: This event is held the day after Halloween, and it is a public holiday in Italy. All Saints Day celebrates all of the Saints of the Catholic calendar, and you’ll see religious processions through the streets, making their way to church.
- All Souls Day: On November 2nd, immediately after All Saints Day, All Souls Day takes place, and this celebrates the lives of those who have passed on. Candles and flowers are left in cemeteries throughout Italy, and people can be seen cleaning gravestones.
- Saint Ambrose Fair (Oh Bej! Oh Bej!): Saint Ambrose Fair is a famous Italian Christmas market held in Milan’s Piazza Castello. It runs for four days and has multiple gift and food vendors.
What is the Cheapest Month to Visit Italy?
January is generally the cheapest month to visit Italy. However, as the low season runs from November to February, you’ll find that accommodation and flights are much cheaper across these four months. There tend to be fewer crowds and tourists at this off season time of year as well, so it’s a great time to visit Italy if you’re looking to save money and avoid crowds!
Top tip: You can save yourself time and money by buying Euros for Italy ahead of your trip! This will prevent you from being charged international transaction fees by your bank and means you won’t pay high exchange commission rates at the airport.
What is the Best Time to Visit Italy for Events and Festivals?
While the winter months are the low season in Italy, there’s still plenty to do. In fact, Italy has something for everyone to enjoy all year round! Below, you’ll find a monthly guide to our festival and event highlights in Italy.
Key Events in January
- Umbria Jazz Winter Festival: This is a great January event for any music lovers. Musicians from around the world specialising in jazz, gospel, soul, and funk take to the streets and venues of Orvieto to kick the new year off with some incredible tunes.
- Tuffo Nel Tevere: This is one of the thrill seekers! Tuffo nel Tevere is a tradition in Rome dating back to 1946 that sees willing participants jumping from the Cavour Bridge into the Tiber River. There is also live music, dancing, and food stalls to enjoy as you watch these daredevils take the plunge!
- Cotechino E Lenticchie Festival: This is one of Italy’s best-loved food festivals and celebrates the dish cotechino e lenticchie, which is a pork sausage with lentils. The reason this dish is celebrated is because it is believed to bring prosperity and good fortune for the rest of the year. You’ll find multiple food stands selling this dish, variations thereof, and other delicious food.
Key Events in February
- Carnevale: Carnevale takes place in the lead-up to Lent and offers the perfect opportunity to indulge in food, drink, and merriment before Easter falls. Masked balls are a huge part of Carnevale, and while they are held throughout Italy, it’s those in Venice that are the most elaborate.
- Festi Di Sant’Agata: One of the most important dates in the Sicilian calendar, Festi di Sant’Agata takes place on February 4th. This event celebrates the meeting between Sicily and Saint Agatha, and you’ll see people wearing black hats and white gloves while a procession carrying an effigy of the Saint makes its way through the streets.
- Saint Faustino Day: Also known as “Singles Day”, Saint Faustino Day takes place on February 15th each year and celebrates those still looking for love. The biggest event that takes place is Saint Faustino and Giovita’s Fair, which sees over 600 stalls from across Italy set up in Brescia, selling a whole range of products.
Key Events in March
- Sicily Almond Blossom Festival: Known locally as “Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore”, the Sicily Almond Blossom Festival takes place each March and sees a procession from the Valley of the Temples towards the Conchord Temple, where the “friendship torch” is lit. There is also singing, dancing, and food stands selling almond-based products.
- St Joseph’s Day: Celebrated nationally on March 19th, St Joseph’s Day celebrates the life of the Saint and the end to the draughts that he is believed to have granted through prayer. You’ll see elaborate altars placed throughout towns and cities and large communal feasts taking place.
- Rome Marathon: The Rome Marathon takes place every March and sees thousands of runners from all over the world pounding Rome’s pavements. This is a great event for any running enthusiast to attend, but you’ll need to register first.
- Bergamo Jazz Festival: Another fantastic event for music lovers, the Bergamo Jazz Festival takes place in the Donizetti Theatre every March and showcases international jazz artists across a two-week period.
Key Events in April
- Liberation Day: April 25th see Italy celebrating Liberation Day, which marks the end of the Italian Civil War and the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945. Rome sees the most elaborate celebrations, with parades, concerts, speeches, and memorial ceremonies taking place throughout the day.
- Vinitaly: Everybody knows that Italy is famous for its wine regions, and Vinitaly celebrates this with a wine festival in Verona. Here, you’ll find wine vendors from across Italy, get the opportunity to attend wine tasting events and learn more about Italy’s wine production in special talks and classes.
- Villaggio Per La Terra: Villaggio Per La Terra is Earth Day in Italy, and its main purpose is to promote sustainability and clean energy. There are over 600 events held across Italy on this day, with talks, workshops, and performances for people of all ages to enjoy.
Key Events in May
- Festa Della Sensa: Translated into English as “Feast of the Ascension”, Festa dells Sensa doesn’t have any of the religious connotations you’d expect and, instead, celebrates Venice’s relationship with the sea. The main event is a traditional ceremony called “The Venetian Marriage to the Sea”, and gondoliers can be heard singing traditional songs all day long.
- Festa Del Lavoro: This is Italy’s Labour Day and is celebrated on May 1st every year. Celebrations include concerts being held in cities, public processions, and communal feasts. This is a national holiday in Italy, so most services are closed.
- Saint Ephysius Festival: This festival is held in Sardinia and celebrates the life of Saint Ephysius, who is the island’s Patron Saint. Celebrations include a procession of people dressed in colourful costumes and a re-enactment of the perpetual vow Saint Ephysius took during the plague of 1652.
- Calendimaggio: Held for three days at the beginning of May, Calendimaggio sees people dress in medieval costumes as they commemorate the historical battles between Upper and Lower Assisi. There are also medieval theatrical performances and music to enjoy.
Key Events in June
- Festa Della Republica: Celebrated on June 2nd each year, Festa Della Republica is Italian Republic Day and marks the official formation of the Republic of Italy following the end of World War II. Celebrations include concerts and parades throughout Italy during the day, followed by elaborate firework displays in the evening.
- Infiorata: Held across Italy, Infiorata is a flower festival that sees incredible artwork made from flower petals being created on the streets. There are also flower stalls and food stalls to enjoy, alongside live music and dancing.
- Nameless Music Festival: Another of Europe’s biggest music festivals, Nameless Music Festival takes place in Lake Como and is held across three days. There are loads of different genres to enjoy here, and past acts include Skrillex, Tiesto, and Slipknot.
- Tuscan Sun Festival: One of Florence’s biggest events, the Tuscan Sun Festival is a lifestyle festival with music performances, art shows, wine tasting sessions, and culinary events. It also included Tribeca Firenze as part of its events, which showcases new movies and documentaries from international filmmakers.
Key Events in July
- Rock In Roma: Just like most other European countries, the Italian summer months are home to some incredible music festivals, and Rock in Roma is one of the biggest! Held every June, previous lineups have included Post Malone, Maluma, and Imagine Dragons.
- Kappa FuturFestival: Another huge music festival, Kappa FuturFestival is held in Torino and welcomes thousands of people annually. It’s also Italy’s only 100% daytime music festival.
- Festa Della Madonna Bruna: Every July 2nd, the town of Matera holds a festival to commemorate the apparition of the Virgin Mary to a peasant in nearby Piccianello. An effigy of The Virgin is carried through the streets, and market stalls are decorated with coloured lights. There is also live music to enjoy, and the entire week’s celebrations end with a fireworks display.
Key Events in August
- Siren Festival: Summer isn’t done yet, which means another music festival! Siren Festival takes place in Vasto and welcomes an eclectic lineup of acts, meaning there is something for everyone to enjoy.
- Il Palio Di Siena: Il Palio Di Siena is a horse racing event that takes place during August in Siena. Each horse and rider is dressed in colours that represent the city wards, and the riders complete three laps of the whole circuit.
- La Quintana: Another horse riding event, La Quintana is held in Marche and features jousting and flag-throwing competitions. There are also parades with people dressed in elaborate costumes, and the event ends with a blessing of the knights and trumpet playing.
Key Events in September
- SUNANDBASS Festival: Held every September in Sardinia, the SUNANDBASS Festival lasts for eight days and welcomes DJs and musical acts from all over the world.
- Venice International Film Festival: One of the most important dates in the movie-world calendar, the Venice International Film Festival welcomes some of the biggest stars from all over the world for movie premiers and panel talks.
- Romaeuropa Festival: Running from September to November, the Romaeuropa Festival showcases talent from the world of music, art, theatre, dancing, and spoken word. As you’d expect from such a long-running event, there’s loads to see, and with such an eclectic mix, you’re guaranteed to find something you love.
Key Events in October
- Pomaria Apple Festival: Held annually to celebrate Trentino’s apple harvest season, the Pomaria Apple Festival welcomes vendors from all over Italy selling apple-based products. You’re also able to take part in apple picking sessions, and when you’re done for the day, unwind with a glass of apple wine.
- International Fair Of The White Truffle Of Alba: Regarded as one of Italy’s most important food festivals, the International Fair Of The White Truffle Of Alba offers the opportunity to sample and buy products made from the region’s famous Pico truffles. There are also cooking workshops and truffle-themed games to enjoy throughout the day.
Key Events in November
- All Saints Day: Every November 1st, Italy observes All Saints Day as a day of respect to the Saints of the Catholic calendar. The day typically starts with mass, followed by communal feasts with family and friends.
- All Souls Day: The day after All Saints Day, on November 2nd, Italy celebrates All Souls Day. This day commemorates those who have passed away, and the day is spent cleaning graves before decorating them with flowers and lights.
- Feast Of Our Lady Of Good Health: Held each year on November 21st, the Feast Of Our Lady Of Good Health (La Festa della Salute) commemorates Venice’s break from the 1621 plague following the erection of a bridge across the Grand Canal. A procession of pilgrims can be seen crossing the bridge and into the church for a Thanksgiving mass.
- Imperia New Oil Festival: Olive oil is one of Italy’s most important exports, and the Imperia New Oil Festival showcases local delicacies and products made from olives. You can also enjoy samplings and tastings accompanied by live music throughout the day.
Key Events in December
- Wild Boar Festival: Each December, the town of Suvereto in Tuscany throws the two-week-long Wild Boar Festival. Here, you’ll get the chance to sample and purchase products made from wild boar, along with other delicious Italian delicacies made from fresh produce. There are also medieval competitions to enjoy throughout the day, including jousting.
- Saint Ambrose Fair (Oh Bej! Oh Bej!): This famous Milanese Christmas market is one of Italy’s December highlights and is perfect for getting into the festive mood. Here, you’ll find hundreds of stalls selling food, drinks, crafts, and gifts, as well as magical light displays and fair rides.
- Feast Of The Immaculate Conception: Italy celebrates the Feast Of The Immaculate Conception every December 8th, and as the name suggests, it commemorates the Virgin Mary’s conception of Christ. Public ceremonies and masses are held throughout Italy to mark the event, and the Pope lays a wreath at the foot of the Colonna della Immocolate statue in Rome’s Piazza Mignanelli.
- Florence Noel Festival: Just North of the Tuscan hills, you’ll find the town of Montecatini Terme. Each year, this magical place celebrates Christmas with the Florence Noel Festival, which features live music and dancing, chocolate tasting sessions, cooking workshops, and loads of activities for children. This is a must visit event if you’re in Italy at the end of December!
How Many Days Do You Need to See Italy?
This ultimately depends on whether you’re planning to travel around Italy or stay in one region. For those looking to explore as much of the country as possible, we recommend at least two weeks. This will give you time to visit Italy’s cities and rural areas, as well as attend some of the incredible events held throughout Italy.
For those looking to stay in one region, a seven-day break will be long enough to explore the surrounding area and allow you a couple of days to relax on the beach or chill out in a piazza.
Whether you’re visiting the Italian lakes or craving the hustle and bustle of Rome, Italy has something for everyone to enjoy. Its culture and history are rich, and in true Italian style, almost all of its festivals are lavish and elaborate. Italy really is a country that you need to visit at some point in your life, so what are you waiting for? Book that trip today and get ready to start exploring!
However, remember to get your spending money sorted before you get to the airport to avoid hidden fees or high commission rates! Visit your nearest Crown Currency Exchange and speak to our friendly, knowledgeable team about buying Euros for your trip to Italy.