Italy is home to countless historic cities, stunning countryside and miles of spectacular coastline. Choosing the best time to see all of this is an exciting dilemma, but if you need a helping hand, we’ve put together a guide to the best places to visit during the year so that you can make the most out of your trip to Italy.
So whether it’s a city break, a culinary retreat or a beach getaway you’re after, let us show you the best of Italy, month by month.
January – Artistic Florence
Florence is home to some of Europe’s greatest art treasures, and travelling to the city in January – when the crowds thin out – means you won’t have to queue for hours to see them. It’s a fantastic time for budding photographers, too, as the quieter streets and crisp air result in some lovely photo opportunities.
February – Venice Carnival
Venice fills with party goers each February, all there for the Carnevale di Venezia. The event was first held in the 11th century, and takes place around two weeks before Ash Wednesday. The lively atmosphere, colourful masks and elaborate costumes make February one of the best times to visit the city.
March – Romantic Verona
March is a great time to visit Verona, as the weather is particularly pleasant for wandering around the city and sitting out in one of the charming piazzas. The attractions will be noticeably quieter, too, so you won’t have to battle through crowds at Juliet’s balcony, the Roman amphitheatre and Castel San Pietro.
April – Culinary Bologna
Bologna, Italy’s culinary capital, experiences very hot summers, during which some of the museums, building and restaurants shut up shop as residents head off to the beach. April is a more agreeable time to visit, as Bologna offers the perfect opportunity to make the most of the city’s pretty piazzas and medieval centre. We love an aperitivo square-side.
May – Fashionable Milan
Milan in May allows you to enjoy shopping without having to dart into the shops to cover from bad weather – the city is renowned for shopping, after all. Take the opportunity to admire the fashion collections as spring turns into summer, and perhaps pick up a bargain to take home.
June – Relaxing in Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the ideal summer holiday destination with so much to see and do outdoors. Explore waterside towns, sunbathe on the beaches, or try your hand at sailing and windsurfing on the lake’s northern shores.
July – Tuscany’s Wine Country
There is no better time to visit Tuscany than in July. Why? You can really make the most of the stunning countryside with the sun shining, whether it’s walking in the countryside, wine tasting at a family-run vineyard, or dining al fresco in a hilltop town. There are also plenty of local events, like Il Palio, Siena’s famous horse race, which takes place on 2 July.
August – Summer in Sardinia
The weather is guaranteed, the waters are warm and a variety of watersports are widely available. These are just a few of the reasons you should head to Sardinia next summer. Italy’s summer months can be hot and muggy, so there’s nothing better than relaxing on one of Sardinia’s stunning beaches.
September – Island Life
As the Italians head back to work and school, the beautiful beaches on Capri and Ischia become quieter, but still benefit from pleasantly warm weather. Capri is known for its rugged coastal walks and hidden coves, while Ischia is known for the healing water of its thermal spas.
October – Sorrento
Sorrento is arguably one of Italy’s most popular coastal destinations. October is a great time to visit Sorrento and the surrounding areas, as there are noticeably fewer tourists. Must-see sights like Pompeii and Herculaneum are a pleasure to tour at this time of year, thanks to cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, and Sorrento makes a great base to explore them from.
November – Archaeological Sicily
November is a great time for food and wine lovers to visit Sicily. It’s the start of the orange harvest, and is the month that Novello wine – a robust, fruity variety sold just months after the grapes are harvested – goes on sale. Not convinced yet? The cooler weather is also ideal for exploring the island’s archaeological gems.
December – A Roman Christmas
Picking a city to visit at Christmas is a tough choice, but Rome takes some beating. In the lead up to the big day, you’ll find open-air ice rinks, an outstanding Christmas market in Piazza Navona, and extravagant lights and decorations throughout the city. Plus, there’s the chance to get a sneak peek of the Pope.