Italy is graced with a temperate climate most of the year, with June, July and August the warmest months. Popular tourist spots get very busy and crowded during the European summer, but don’t let that deter you. The sun will be shining, and the gelato will be served icy cold.

It really depends on what you want to see to work out the best time to go – here’s a few key pointers to consider when travelling to Italy.

When to visit to beat the crowds

Italy, like Europe in general, is a tourist mecca in summer (June–August), so if crowds aren’t your thing, it’s probably best to avoid this time. As one of the most popular travel destinations, Italy does get high tourist numbers year-round, but October to early December and January to late March are usually the quietest times. Although much colder, winter is a wonderful time to visit Italy, and despite a short spike in numbers over the Christmas/New Year period, many of the main attractions are crowd-free and all yours to explore. Keep in mind that during this time, some tourist hotels, especially those along the coast, may be closed.

When to visit to cruise the Mediterranean

Cruising on the Mediterranean is best done when the skies are clear and the temperature is peaking, right? Well, yes, if you’re after intense heat all day, every day, and you’re willing to pay the price for peak periods. Our advice is to think about travelling a bit before, or after, the summer season (March–April and September–October). Day temperatures are more pleasant, and even though nights may dip to cooler lows, you won’t have to battle as many of the crowds to get the best snap of Capri.

When to visit Italy's wineries

Italian wine producers harvest their wine in autumn, usually in September. This is a perfect time to see vineyards in full fruit with the rolling hills changing from a verdant green to reds and browns. Some wineries at this time are closed to the public, and even if they are open, it may be wise to book in advance to ensure a tasting. With this in mind, choosing a time close to harvest season is an ideal time to visit, seeing wineries in full action.

When to visit to discover Renaissance art

There’s nothing worse than arriving at the Vatican museums in Rome or the Uffizi in Florence in the sweltering summer heat just to be told there’s a three-hour wait to get inside (which happens, a lot). If you’re an art or history buff and have come to Italy to see the incredible artefacts on offer, why not consider an off-season trip in late autumn, winter or early spring (October-March)? Crowds are much lighter and queues for galleries and museums are often non-existent. Plus, flights and accommodation are usually cheaper, and you won’t have to make a booking to get into the best restaurants. Win, win, win. 

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