Autumn in Italy has been the perfect shoulder season for a long time. It was not too hot, but it was still warm in the afternoon, there were fewer tourists but plenty to do and see. Today, most autumn is being sucked into Italy’s high season. It’s still a wonderful time to travel, but it’s a bit more difficult than it was once.
Here are the facts about autumn travel to Italy.
Italy’s Autumn Weather
Fall is the Italian months of September, November, and October. However, temperatures don’t cool down and leaves start to turn in September. Although September can be as warm as August, the evenings are often cooler than August. It starts to feel more like autumn by October. November is Italy’s wettest month. Fall is transitional like spring. This means that you need to be ready for weather changes.
The temperature in autumn will vary depending on the month and where you are located. In the northern part of the country, temperatures are almost always cooler than in the southern. Before you pack, make sure you check the regional averages as well as the current forecast. You shouldn’t be surprised to find that you have both sunglasses and an umbrella in your bag.
Italy Autumn Holidays
It is a time when harvest festivals are celebrated all over Italy. These celebrations are often small and not necessarily regional, but only in one city or town. They include EuroChocolate, the White Truffle Festival, CioccolaTO, in Turin and a Prosciutto Festival close to Parma. To find out if there is a nearby food or wine festival, it’s a good idea to ask at the tourist information office.
Other events and holidays that fall include All Saints Day in Venice, the Regata Storica (Venetian), Juliet’s Birthday, Verona and the International Film Festival, Venice. Although these events don’t directly drive up the cost of things like airfare or hotels like holidays like Christmas or Carnevale do, September and October are still in Italy’s high seasons so prices might be higher than what you would expect for fall. You should plan accordingly as crowds don’t tend to thin until November.
The Pros and Cons of an Autumn Trip to Italy
Shoulder season is the best option for decent weather and not having to spend a lot. However, I would argue that at least half the autumn is still in high season. If you are looking for shoulder season deals in fall, I recommend starting in October or (if it doesn’t rain), November. The crowds will start to decrease by October and the prices can drop quite a lot.
If September is your favorite month, you should treat it as such. Expect thicker crowds, higher prices, and bookings for hotel rooms and tickets to museums with reserved times are a good idea.
The downside to visiting Italy in fall, especially if your trip is planned for late October or November, is the possibility that the weather could change your plans. It is possible to be in Cinque Terre in October with beautiful weather that makes it ideal for hiking the trails. You might find yourself in the middle of stormy weather and decide to go for a glass of wine and a warm fire. It pays to be flexible in a shoulder season.
You may also be affected by inclement weather. The boats connecting the Amalfi Coast towns to Capri are no longer available in October. To visit the island you can still go, but you would need to first go to Naples or Sorrento to get a bigger boat. It’s better to just go with the flow regardless of the weather.