A Travelers Guide On When Is It Cheapest To Tour Italy

Understand Italy's perfect seasons to visit for the ultimate experience.
Written By: Andrea Spallanzani
Reviewed by: Rick Orford
How & Why We Created This Article

This article has been written, reviewed, and fact-checked by Rick and I. We live in Italy and travel throughout the country to help you make the best choices for your trip. We wrote this piece to ensure you have the best trip possible on your next trip to Italy. Portions of this article have been written using assistive AI tools to help with tasks like research, spell-checking, grammar, and translation.

Last Updated March 22, 2024

In this article, you'll learn how:

  • The best times to visit Italy are late spring/early summer and early fall when the weather is mild and tourist attractions are open at full capacity.
  • If you're looking to save money, consider visiting Italy in February or November when flight prices are lower, and you can find discounts on accommodations and tours.
  • To avoid crowds, plan your trip during late fall and winter when there are fewer tourists, even though the weather may be cooler and rainier.

Are you planning to visit Italy soon? That’s a great idea! You will find no better place to spend your vacation than in Italy, where there are cities and villages to explore, foods and wines to taste, and sights to see.

The best way to plan a trip without the weather, high prices, or crowds ruining your plans is to know when you should visit Italy and what each season is like in the most popular regions.

We’ll show you where to go so you can enjoy the pleasant weather, see as many sights as possible, and save money. In our quick travel guide, you’ll see the best time to visit and helpful tips for making your Italian vacation go smoothly.

Why Everyone Needs To Visit Italy

The country has been named one of the world’s top five most visited countries. Before the pandemic, Italy attracted 64.8 million visitors every year, which is most likely way higher in 2024.  If you have not yet visited, it’s time to add Italy to your bucket list! Many visitors come to Italy for the country’s many cultural and major attractions—the history, art, architecture, and fashion; the food and wine; and the allure of la dolce vita—the good life.

History, Architecture, and ArtRome, Milan, Venice, Florence, renowned artworks
Diverse Landscapes and Natural BeautyAlpine lakes, mountains, coastal plains, vineyards
World-Renowned Food and WineAuthentic Italian cuisine, famous wines
Bustling Modern Cities with Ancient RootsHistoric buildings, ruins, year-round festivals
Remarkable Landscapes and Architectural StylesStunning cathedrals, towers, fountains
Rich Cultural AttractionsRenaissance, Gothic, Baroque styles, historical sites

The History, Architecture, and Art

Rome, Milan, Venice, and Florence are all big cities with different things to offer. You’ll love the history, architecture, and art of Rome; the fashion and prestige of Milan; the unique canals of Venice; and the “heart of the Renaissance” Florence.

Visiting Italy is a must for people who want to see the world’s most magnificent sights. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are internationally renowned artists who found inspiration in Italy.

Michelagelo Pietà Vatican City

You can see historic Italian artwork in the Borghese Gallery in Rome, the Gallerie dell Accademia in Venice, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

It’s easy to see why Italy is so special. The country has over 4,200 museums and has a great appreciation for art and a wealth of architectural talent.

There are over 360 cathedrals in Italy, along with towers, fountains, and arches that fill the cities of Europe. Ancient ruins like the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine awe visitors with their magnificent beauty while taking them back in time.

Italian regions and cities offer many examples of Classical, Early Medieval, Renaissance, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles. It serves as a visual record of the country’s history while still being beautiful in its own right.

Diverse Landscapes and Natural Beauty

Italy’s beautiful landscapes, from bustling cities to wide open spaces, are equally alluring. The beautiful scenery of Italy includes alpine lakes, snow-capped mountains, coastal plains on five seas, and vineyards on rolling hills.

rolling hills of Tuscany

It is one reason the country has earned its nickname, “the beautiful country.” If there were one word to describe Italy, it would be ” abundance.”

The country is filled with beautiful art, architecture, and stunning countryside. Food and wine connoisseurs will particularly enjoy the variety of dishes and wines available in this region.

World-Renowned Food and Wine

Food and drink from Italy are savored throughout the world, and if you want to try the original and best, you’ll do that here. Italian pizza, which has been imitated but never duplicated, is a popular food in nearly every country today.

Many classic Italian pasta dishes and sauces that originated in Italy have become mainstays in countries worldwide. The distinctive and complementing flavor profiles of wines from Sicilian, Tuscan, Venetian, and Piedmont vineyards are well-known worldwide. In the past two years, Italy recorded an average of 94,000 restaurants, which is probably way more in 2024.

Tagliatelle Bolognese

Bustling Modern Cities With Ancient Roots

Italian cities are a significant draw for visitors, mainly since their historic buildings and ruins allow them to explore Italy’s rich past. It’s’ unlike anywhere else, and you can easily spend a week exploring each city.

There are some great shopping opportunities in Italy. Milan is the world’s fashion capital and is home to many world-renowned designers.

The Italian carnival, regattas, and local festivals mean there’s always something to celebrate year-round—no matter which city or region you visit! Whether you tour the entire country or call your favorite Italian cities and regions, Italy will never disappoint.

Venice the Grand Canal

Remarkable landscapes, architecture, foods, and wines are throughout the country. It includes northern regions such as Milan, Genoa, and Venice; central areas like Pisa, Bologna, Florence, and Rome;  and southern cities including Naples, Calabria, and Sicily.

Now that you know what this country offers, let’s talk about the best time to visit Italy. Here you’ll find the best time to go, the cheapest, the least busy times, and information on when not to travel.

The Best Time to Visit Italy

The best time of year to visit Italy is late spring/early summer (May and June), when the weather is mild, or in early fall (September and October).

It is when Italy comes alive, with a perfect climate for walking on the beach or exploring ruins. It is the ideal time to visit Italy, as all tours and attractions are open at total capacity.

Piazza Venezia Rome in December

During the peak tourist season (May through September), all regions of Italy are busy and in full swing. The climate during May and June is pleasant, with mild temperatures ranging from 50°-85°F throughout the country.

In September and October, the climate is similar, with temperatures ranging from 55°-75°F but slightly more rain in this period. The weather during these periods is mild, comfortable, and sunny. Perfect for your trip!

Best Time to VisitWeather & Highlights
Late Spring/Early Summer (May and June)Mild weather, open attractions, pleasant climate
Early Fall (September and October)Ideal for sightseeing, less crowded, comfortable weather
For Budget Travelers: February and NovemberLower prices, fewer crowds, festivals in February
To Avoid Crowds: Late Fall and Winter (November to February)Quieter, less crowded, ideal for winter sports
To Avoid Extreme Heat: Avoid July and AugustHigh temperatures, peak tourist season, closed businesses

How To Visit Italy For Cheap And Still Enjoy It

If you want to save money on your trip, the best time of year to visit Italy is February and November.

Flight prices to Italy are lowest in these months, making them the best times of year to travel. You may get lower rates on hotel rooms, rental cars, tours and attractions, and food if you visit these places during the off-season.

February is less expensive and has fewer crowds due to the cold weather that keeps many visiting Italy.

Temperatures struggle to reach highs of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit in southern Italy and mid-40s in northern Italy during February.

The weather may not be ideal for outdoor sightseeing and activities, but it’s perfect for touring museums and cathedrals and participating in cold-weather sports. November in Italy is another cheapest time to go.

It frequently rains in Italy this month, so you’ll deal with showers and overcast skies. In November, the temperatures are usually similar to those in February—around 50°F for northern regions and 65°F for southern ones.

February is filled with festivals like the Venice Carnival, Saint Agatha’s Feast Day, San Remo Song Festival, and Almond Blossom Fair. If you book your trip during this time, you’ll get the best Italian experience on a budget.

The Least Crowded Time To Visit Italy

Plan your trip from November to February if you want fewer crowds and visit Italy during the low season.

In this period, the number of tourists in Italy is at its lowest. It rains and frequently snows during the winter in Italy, but this should not stop you from visiting.

The rainiest month is November, so it has the lowest number of visitors and is one of the cheapest months to visit. In December, rainfall begins to decrease, and the rainy season ends.

Rome the Pantheon

Italy receives less rainfall during January and February than any other month—only March and July are drier.

Visitors increase slightly in mid-to-late December when holiday travelers arrive. Hotel and flight rates rise as more tourists flood in at the end of the year, but prices quickly return to normal once January arrives.

Plan your stay in Italy based on what you hope to get from the trip for the most serene, least-busy experience.

If you want to save money and avoid crowds, consider traveling in November or February. If you want to avoid the monsoon season, go in January or February.

For the warmest temperatures, visit Italy in November (around 65F). Avoid the coastal villages and towns during the winter—many are nearly shut down in cold weather, while their seaside locations can make them more dangerous at this time of year.

Be aware that most tours and sightseeing attractions will have shorter hours during the winter months—plan to start your days early if you want to visit these types of places. Prepare for and expect snowfall in northern regions of Italy during winter months.

What Times Should I Avoid Visiting Italy?

Traveling in Italy during July and August is not a good idea. Italy’s peak season is in the summer months when temperatures are at their highest.

It makes the cities less enjoyable to stroll through and sightsee. The heat’s intensity is heightened by high humidity levels above 50%, making it dangerous. On a typical July day at 90F and 50% humidity, the temperature feels like it’s 107F.

In such a climate, Italians take their summer vacations during August—setting aside an entire month to escape the hottest inner-city zones.

For this reason, many businesses take a month-long break during August. During the holidays, you might see a lot of closed signs hanging in business windows.  

Despite the oppressive heat, international travelers continue to arrive in droves. By July and August, flights, hotels, and rental cars are more expensive—and often harder to find.

Trevi Fountain in August

It makes it more difficult to plan a last-minute trip to Italy in late summer. Although that might not be ideal, it will certainly encourage you to plan your trip during a more pleasant time, like winter, spring, or early fall.

6 Things To Consider Before You Visit Italy

While you know the best time to visit Italy, other things could make your trip more enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your stay in Italy:

Decide which regions to visit

Italy’s northern and southern regions are diverse enough to require different types of trips. It feels more European and structured in the northern region than in the south. Southern Italy lives up to its laid-back Mediterranean coastal vibe. Central Italy boasts the most famous landmarks and artworks, so if you’re visiting to sightsee, don’t miss out on these treasures.

Pisa the Duomo and the Leaning Tower

Use the public transport network

Italy’s public transport network makes it easy to get around the country. Instead of renting a car, you could use local transportation to explore Italy on your visit. The trip will take you past quaint villages, into all the major cities, and through renowned vineyards—it’s’ a journey that adds something special to any itinerary.

Brush up on your Italian

You don’t have to speak Italian well to enjoy Italy, but it will make traveling and ordering food more enjoyable if you can communicate with the locals. Start using a language-learning app, study an Italian-English dictionary, and learn at least critical phrases before you leave. You’ll feel proud when you can communicate well in such a beautiful language!

Take a food tour

There are a lot of different kinds of food in Italy, so try as many regional specialties as you can! Even if you don’t have time to travel throughout the country, try to sample local dishes in every region. Naples is known for Neapolitan pizza, Bologna for its Spaghetti Alla Bolognese, Rome as the birthplace of carbonara pasta dishes, and Sicily boasts Caponata and gelato. All these foods—along with many other recipes from various regions in Italy—are worth a taste while you’re there.

Plan to dine a bit differently

Italians enjoy eating dinner late in the day, usually between 8:00-10:00 PM. If you’re eating out or at a friend’s home, dinner can be much later than usual. In Italy, the meal is never rushed, and dishes usually come out in succession. Order water and wine or beer with your meal to dine like an authentic Italian. Tipping is not expected in Italy. When drinking in a group, you’ll raise your glass and say “Salute!” or “Cin Cin!” to salute your health. It is considered bad luck to look away when someone offers you a toast.

Attend local festivals and celebrations

There is a constant celebration of festivals in Italy – from classic Venetian carnivals to entire celebrations dedicated to olives and bruschetta. So many festivals occur throughout the year that you should plan to see what’s happening when you visit. Attending some of Italy’s festivals will deepen your experience and understanding of the country’s culture. Still, it can also be an excellent way to fill itinerary gaps if you’re unsure what else to do.

Milan the Galleria at Christmas

How To Have The Perfect Trip To Italy?

Let’s look back at the main points of this guide. Italy is best to visit during the late spring/early summer (May–June) and early fall (September–October).

The months of May and September mark the beginning and end of Italy’s busiest tourist season. Visiting during the earliest and latest parts of the peak season—when crowds are smaller, prices slightly lower, and the weather ideal—is the perfect way to enjoy a trip.

When to Go on a Budget

If you are traveling on a limited budget, visiting Italy in February or November is best. February and November are the best months to find cheap flights, hotels, rental cars, and other travel deals.

Although November and February have similar temperatures, November is much rainier, and February has the bonus of festivals that will broaden your Italian experience.

When to Go to Avoid Crowds

If you want to avoid the biggest crowds, try visiting Italy during late fall and winter (November through February). The weather is more relaxed, rainier (especially in November), and much less crowded during this part of the year.

While there’s a small rise in visitors during the middle and end of December, most winter months are relatively quiet throughout the country. It’s’ the perfect place for a laid-back vacation, especially if you are visiting northern Italy to enjoy winter sports.

When is the Best Time to Go

It’s best to avoid visiting Italy during July and August. Italy’s peak tourist season occurs during the hottest time of year. The high humidity makes the temperature seem even more desirable than it is (over 100F).

Due to the oppressive heat, many businesses are closed as the owners are on vacation.

Italy has some of the world’s most famous artwork, landmarks, monuments, and landscapes, as well as delicious dishes. It’s’ one of those places everyone should visit at least once in their lives.

Knowing when the best time to visit Italy is (and when not) and by following some helpful travel tips, you’ll have a grandioso time here – Buon Viaggio (happy travels)!