Benvenuto to Italy! A diverse country with everything you could ever wish for. From azure lakes to beautiful beaches, coastal small towns to bustling cities, an incomparable cuisine and rich history, what season should you visit Italy in?
Spring: March – May
As with most other European countries, spring in Italy starts off quite cool but soon begins to shed the winter weather. In particular, May is a great month weather-wise with clear, sunny days on tap. Depending on when Easter falls, you can time your visit to coincide with Easter celebrations that are held across the country. If you have a green thumb, April and May are the best months to take advantage of the fresh blooms. Wildflowers start to show their faces in April, while the Iris Garden in Florence opens in May. The Cinque Terre hiking trails also open for the year in April, well sought after by travellers exploring northern Italy. Spring is also the best time to indulge in the beginning of strawberry, asparagus, artichokes and zucchini flower season. You can’t go wrong with a cheese-stuffed zucchini flower that has been crumbed and deep-fried!
Summer: June – August
Summertime has its pros and cons. Italy is busy with travellers and locals alike (with schools on their summer break between July and August) so travel-related costs are also higher. On the flipside, summer is one of the best seasons to eat your way through Italy! Produce like melon, tomatoes, basil, eggplants and Amalfi lemons are in full swing. This means you can have some of Italy’s most famous dishes – melon and prosciutto, tomato bruschetta, Sicilian caponato (eggplant stew) and lemon granita! A calendar of open-air performances held in ancient amphitheatres also begins (check it out if you’re in Verona, Taormina or Ravello), and the annual Venice International Film Festival starts at the end of August. If you’d prefer a milder climate, we recommend heading north where the humidity and temperatures are much more bearable.
Autumn: September – November
With cooler nights, autumn brings a plentiful harvest season amongst the changing colours of trees and vines. You’ll see locals preparing to reap what they have sown, from chestnuts and porcini mushrooms, to grapes, olives and truffles. This in turn means autumn delights like pumpkin tortellini and roasted chestnuts are easily found and devoured.
Winter: December – February
The Mediterranean climate means that cities and towns found towards the heel and ankle of the ‘boot’ have mild winters – for example, the average temperatures in Naples vary from 6° – 14° Celsius. However, if you’re an avid winter sports lover, then the northern Dolomites and Val d’Aosta are the place for you. Even during the coldest months of the year, Italy still knows how to throw a party. Sparkling Christmas markets are found in piazzas across the country; the mysterious Carnevale is held in February at the beginning of Lent; and the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily has its annual almond blossom festival in February/March. To keep up your Vitamin C, Sicilian oranges thrive in the winter climate so keep an eye out for freshly squeezed OJs, and orange-inspired gelato and desserts everywhere.