Visiting Italy In The Fall – Pros and Cons

Experience Italy's fall with comfortable weather, fewer Crowds, and harvest festivals await!
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 21, 2024

In this article, you'll learn how:

  • Visiting Italy in the fall offers comfortable weather, fewer crowds, and vibrant harvest festivals.
  • Fall foliage in northern Italy and unique food events make it a picturesque and culinary delight.
  • Fall in Italy means shorter daylight hours, unpredictable weather, and limited cruise options are some cons to consider.

Have you ever made a bucket list, planning to visit Italy in the fall, but you are not sure it is an excellent time to go? Today we will tell you all the pros and cons of visiting Italy in the Fall.

Climate– Comfortable temperatures for exploring – Relief from scorching summer heat– Unpredictable weather, potential rain – Shorter daylight hours
Crowds– Fewer tourists, less crowded attractions- Easier access to museums and restaurants– Limited beach season- Reduced cruise options
Festivals– Harvest festivals with local food- Cultural events and food festivals– No consequences at all
Scenery– Stunning fall foliage in northern Italy
– Grape and olive harvest experiences
– Limited beach opportunities (except south)

Italy In The Fall Has A Better Climate

It is no secret that the summer in Italy can be scorching. In fact, in July and August, the average temperatures can easily reach 40C (104F), and in some cities like Rome or Florence, it can also be humid. 

September temperatures can still be high in central Italy, with the average daytime temperature of 32 degrees C (90 degrees F) or higher. Although the nights are getting more relaxed, this tells us that autumn is approaching.

In the fall, you will have much more comfortable temperatures. During the day in October, it can reach 22-23C (71-73F), while at night, the temperature drops to 16-18C (60-64F). For this reason, walking around and exploring a city is much more comfortable without dealing with the scorching heat.

Italy in the fall is less busy

Nearly 2 million people visit Italy during summer, so Autumn is surely ideal if you want to avoid crowd. It is also a great time to look for porcini mushrooms, truffles, and new wines. Visit Turin or the Etruscan sites in central Italy to explore ancient cultures. Traveling to Sicily during the off-season when crowds are smaller can also be a good idea.

Temperatures vary throughout Italy—in Sicily and southern Italy, they can remain relatively warm (20 degrees or more), while the Alps may experience their first snow in October. If you’re looking for a beach vacation in the fall, head to southern Italy or Sardinia— you’ll be able to enjoy stunning beaches with few other people around.

During the shoulder season (October and November), when temperatures are milder, but the autumn colours have not yet started to appear, crowds lessen in Italy. For this reason, visiting Venice, Rome, Florence, Milan, or any other place in Italy is much easier in the fall. You won’t have to compete for museums or attraction tickets with hundreds of thousands of other tourists. Also, finding a table at popular restaurants is much easier in the fall. Museums and attractions are not packed with tourists allowing you to stay longer and admire better.

Finally, walking around cities is much more enjoyable because they are less crowded. However, if you are still figuring out where to stay in Florence, click here.

Italy in the fall has many harvest festivals

In the fall, often in September and October – just about every city or the Italian countryside has some festival, or event to celebrate the harvest season. In small towns, those events are called “Sagra,” and they usually include copious amounts of local food and drinks. If you want to experience the authentic Italian lifestyle, going to one or more of this sagre will be a great opportunity.


For example, we went to a sagra in the mountain, just outside our town, that was all about parmesan cheese! We got to see many cheese makers in town, and at one stand, we got to catch a glimpse of a guy opening the giant parmesan wheel – by hand! It took a little while, and he was patiently working at it, but eventually, the wheel opened up, and they offered a tasting to everyone. Think about it – this wheel had been closed for over two years, and we got the first taste! 

But it wasn’t only about parmesan – others were offering various foods and pasta, and best of all, it was completely free. Funny thing -as it turned out, there were two other sagres around where we live – all doing similar things.  

Bra Cheese Festival

The Bra Cheese Festival is a three-day event held annually since 1997 that showcases premium cheeses. Each year, the festival attracts close to 150,000 attendees.

New Olive Oil Festival

Italy is known for its many cities and villages celebrating olive oil — a symbol of its rich culinary history. Fairs, festivals, and other events often include live music performances and olive oil and wine tastings.

Potato Festival

This annual festival draws 90 restaurants and 40 chefs from around Italy. It is to celebrate the city’s acclaimed potatoes with abundant food and wine.

Burano Regatta

The Burano Regatta is a remake of the Historical Regatta. The event, held annually during the third week of September, features live music and food stands. Burano’s restaurants serve local fish, fried and prepared in various ways to honor Venice’s traditional cuisine. Burano is home to about 2,800 residents

Taste of Rome

The Taste of Rome is a four-day food festival celebrating the cooking of Rome’s most exciting and innovative chefs. The festival is at the Parco Della Musica and features exclusive dining, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment.

Boccaccesca Food and Wine Festival

Certaldo Alto, a small Tuscany town, is hosting its annual food and wine festival. It features demonstrations from local chefs, wine tastings, and medieval reenactments. The festival honors the famous poet Giovanni Boccaccio, born in Certaldo more than 700 years ago. It features wines from local Tuscan producers and other food products made locally.

Primi d’Italia

The Primi d’Italia is a national festival that takes place each year in Foligno. The fair celebrates the first Italian dishes, including pasta, polenta, and rice. Chefs from all over the country gather to introduce visitors to new words created for the first time.

Chocolate Festival

Don’t forget the chocolate festivals in Italy! Italy is the perfect place to be in the fall if you love chocolate. Every year, cities all over the country host chocolate festivals where you can try new and unique flavors, meet chocolatiers and learn about the history of this sweet treat. Overall, spending a few days at a chocolate festival in Italy is an unforgettable experience you’re sure to enjoy. The Chocolate Festival draws close to 1 million visitors annually, spanning tourists and Italians alike.

Alba White Truffle Festival

Now, if you want to experience the fantastic white Italian truffle, there are festivals for it as well! During the fall, truffle fairs are held across central and northern Italy. These events celebrate the region’s pungent white truffles. And the best times to try white truffles are between mid-October to mid-December.

Chianti Wine Festival

Fall is also the season when they harvest the grapes for local wines. So if you want to check out winemaking in Chianti, fall is the time to visit.

Expo Chianti Classico is an annual event in the picturesque town of Greve in Chianti, Italy. This festival allows visitors to see firsthand how world-famous wines are made. It features wine-tasting sessions where attendees can sample some of the best wines from this region. The program includes guided tours of the beautiful surrounding countryside, food stalls, and concerts for all ages.

Barcolana Regatta

The 15-mile-long international sailing race known as the Venice Cup is held annually in northeast Italy and draws boats from all over the world. Spectators can enjoy live music, wine, and food while watching the regatta from Trieste’s seafront promenade.

Cologna Veneta Mandorlato Festival

Cologna Veneta is in the province of Verona, and its fame for producing quality Christmas cakes dates back to the 19th century. Honey, sugar, and egg white are combined with almond flour in a recipe published by an apothecary around 1840. The recipe, processing time, and techniques have remained unchanged over the years, but in recent decades different flavored soft sweets have been added to almond cakes.

The historic city of Cologna Veneta celebrates its most famous sweet with the Mandorlato Festival. The event will feature other local delicacies, including potatoes and radicchio. There will also be several crafts, music, and performances for children and adults.

Bagna Cauda Day in Asti

Bagna cauda is a Piedmontese dish whose name translates as ‘hot sauce.’ It is a typical dish for the colder months, made with desalted and boned anchovies and garlic. You can eat it with various raw and cooked seasonal vegetables, which are dipped into it.

Bagna Cauda Day is held in Asti every October. It is an event that will be held in November and December of 2022, from 25 to 27. Today, the city center’s streets are abuzz with locals and tourists enjoying this local specialty. However, the event does not end with these two days: it is as if thousands of people in different locations were eating those meals together.

Pizzocchero d’Oro and Weekend del Gusto in Teglio

The Valtellina is a region in the Italian Alps located within the province of Sondrio, which lies within Lombardy. It is an excellent place for people who love mountains, nature, and good food. The most famous typical dish here is ‘pizzoccheri,’ a variety of pasta made with buckwheat flour mixed with other flour. Teglio is considered the birthplace of this culinary specialty. During the last months of the year, it offers numerous weekends to enjoy delicious local dishes such as pizzoccheri made by members of Accademia del Pizzocchero.

Our last pro of visiting Italy in the fall is the Beautiful Fall colors

Driving through the rolling hills of Tuscany, the shore of Lake Garda, or Lake Como during the fall is quite impressive. The leaves on the trees change colors, making the scenery even more stunning.

To see fall foliage in Italy, travel to northern Italy, where the mountain landscape and forested valleys provide a spectacular view. In the mountains, we often see birch trees similar to pine trees but turning a bright yellow-orange in fall. October and November are the perfect months to photograph fall foliage if you enjoy nature.

In addition, if you are looking for places to stay in Tuscany, check this post.

Also, at the beginning of Fall in late September, you will see the deep purple grapes on the vines, ready to be harvested. Not only do you get to harvest the grapes, but if you’re headed to Tuscany or Umbria in the fall, there are plenty of chances for wine tastings. Also, between the end of October and the beginning of December, the olive trees are full of ripe olives ready to be picked. These sights can be seen only in the Fall. And if you find yourself near olive trees, chances are you’ll be close to what’s called a frantoio – a place that makes olive oil! Like winemakers, the fall is when olive oil gets made, and you can often visit these best places and get a front-row seat to the process.

Let’s now consider some cons of going to Italy in autumn.

Cons number one: No beaches

If you plan to visit the beach or swim in the Mediterranean, fall is not the ideal time to visit Italy. At the end of September or the very beginning of October, the weather might be warm enough to go to the beach, especially if you’re in the south of Italy, but it is not guaranteed.

For example, let’s take The Amalfi Coast – one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations. For a good reason – its dramatic coastline, picturesque towns, and delicious food are just a few reasons. October is a great time to visit the coast, as the weather is still warm and sunny and much less crowded than in the peak summer months.

On the Amalfi coast, the beaches here are some of the best in Italy, so spending a day lounging on the sand is a must. And the ocean can still be warm enough to swim, but it’s a gamble because Italy’s beach season ends in mid-September. But the further you go in southern Italy, the better your chances of having a warmer climate in the fall.

The next con about visiting Italy in the fall is that the days are shorter.

In the fall, days are getting shorter, which can be a con if you plan to visit Italy. In fact, around mid-October, it gets dark around 7 pm. So if you plan to take a road trip, you must remember that the sun will set early. It is less of a problem if you are visiting cities. Some Italian towns are even more fascinating at night. For example, Venice at night is so beautiful. Also, the sunset in Manarola in the Cinque Terre is quite magical.

The weather in the fall is unpredictable.

One of the drawbacks to visiting Italy in autumn—especially if you plan on staying through October or November—is that it’s hard to predict what the weather will do. It is not unusual to get rain, especially towards the end of October or the beginning of November. Also, in some areas in the north, fog can be pretty common in late fall. If you consider visiting the alps in the fall, you might incur stormy weather with cold temperatures. So it is not the ideal time to visit. In the south of Italy, the weather is a bit more stable in the fall, and temperatures can be very mild when the sun is out. 

You may be in the Cinque Terre during October and have glorious weather, perfect for hiking. Or, you might wake up to stormy skies and decide that a warm fire and glass of wine are more appealing in the face of an overcast morning.

In the fall, you have less opportunity for cruising

If you plan to take a fall cruise in the Mediterranean, you will have fewer cruise lines in the area. A few European cruise lines, such as Costa or MSC, cruise around the Med year-round. All the other cruise lines move most of their ships in the Caribbean around mid to the end of October, leaving you with fewer choices. If you want to take a cruise in the Fall, the best time is before the end of October. On the other hand, fall cruises in the med are usually cheaper


What do Italians do in the fall?

While Italy does not observe Thanksgiving in the same vein as the United States, there are numerous local sagre (festivals) held to commemorate important regional crops during this seasonal period. Another holiday celebrated, in thanks of harvest and loved ones alike, is the Festa di San Martino (St. Martin’s Feast Day).

Is Italy cheap in October?

Aside from the winter months, the shoulder seasons of spring (March through May) and fall (September through November) offer the most reasonably priced travel deals throughout Italy. So yes, Italy can be a bit cheaper during October.

Final Words

The pros of going to Italy in the fall far exceed the cons, and we strongly encourage you to consider the fall for your next trip. As usual, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. We will be more than happy to answer you.