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Italy: When to Go

There's plenty to see and do year-round in Italy, but deciding when to travel can sometimes be difficult. Here's some helpful information to assist you.

January through March witnesses the coldest weather in Italy as cooler winds sweep down from the north. These months, as well as November and early December, are considered the low season with fewer crowds and reduced prices. New Year and Epiphany celebrations begin the year, followed by Carnevale in February with each city hosting its own version of the event. Songs and chocolate highlight March festivities.

Tourism picks up in April for the Easter holidays and temperate weather. You'll find that April through June and late September through October are ideal times for sightseeing in Italy as crowds are less intense and temperatures are still mild and pleasant. Events inspired by food, wine and flowers are popular during these months.

The high season rush begins in mid-June as schools let out and families take their summer vacations. July and August are the warmest months of the year, as well as the busiest. Many hotels, restaurants and shops are closed during the second half of August as much of the country goes on holiday. Music and medieval festivals are highlights of these months. Peak-season rates generally drop off in mid-September.

High-season rates return in December as hotels fill up for the holiday season. If you plan on visiting Italy in December, be sure to book early to avoid disappointment. You should also note that from late October to Easter, many attractions operate on shorter winter hours or may be closed for renovation.

Generally, all of Italy is warm during the summer, with the highest temperatures occurring in the south. Fortunately, Italy is dry with little humidity. In Naples, Rome and the south, daytime temperatures often surge into the 90s (Fahrenheit), but nights are comfortably cool. Winters in the north of Italy are cold with rain and snow, while the south generally experiences temperatures averaging 50 degrees Fahrenheit.