For a variety of reasons, summer is the most popular season to visit Italy. It’s warm and sunny everywhere. You can visit all the outdoor activities and sights without an umbrella. And, let’s face, the kids aren’t in school. Summer in Italy can be expensive and crowded. To make it more bearable, do some research before you go.
Here are the facts about summer travel to Italy.
Italy’s Summer Weather
It doesn’t matter where you are in Italy during summer, it is always hot. It can also be humid almost everywhere in Italy, which can make the heat feel a lot worse if you aren’t used to it. To avoid the heat, plan outdoor excursions for the early morning. Keep sunscreen on hand and floppy hats for afternoon sightseeing.
It’s always a good idea check the weather forecast for the cities you will be visiting before packing. However, you can almost always count on summer being hot. Below are links with information about the temperatures in each month and more weather information for Italy. Respectful dress is required in most churches. You will not be permitted inside if you don’t bring at least one pair long pants or a skirt.
Italy Summer Holidays
Two Italian national holidays are celebrated in the summer: Ferragosto and Festa della Repubblica, both on June 2nd. There are also a lot of local festivals that take place in the boot. These include flower carpet festivals, medieval games, and feast days for patron saints. Each summer, the Opera Festival in Verona takes place. There are performances in the city’s impressively preserved Roman arena. In summer, both the runnings of the Palio at Siena take place.
Keep in mind that August is the month when many Italians (and other Europeans), take/get the whole month off for vacation. The vast majority of them make it their goal to escape the heat and head for the mountains or beaches. Even though August falls within the summer high season there is a noticeable drop in tourists because so many Italians are trying beat the heat. If you plan to spend time on the beach in August, make sure to book in advance. Otherwise, you will be overrun by Italian holiday-makers.
The Pros and Cons of a Summer Vacation to Italy
If you are a sun-spotter, the best thing about summer travel to Italy is the weather. You can be certain of hot days and warm nights in Italy, unlike any other season. However, these temperatures can be a problem if you are like me and cannot take the heat for long. I am the one carrying a water bottle around and trying to hide in cool churches or museums during the heat of the afternoon.
Italy’s many summer festivals are another reason to visit in high season. However, these festivals can make already-crowded seasons even more crowded. Agoraphobes beware! I recommend booking ahead for accommodation and museum tickets that allow you to skip the line.
The potential for fatigue among those working in the tourism industry in Italy is something I haven’t yet mentioned. Most people will help in winter and spring when there are fewer visitors. Mid- to late summer is when people have been asked the same questions for months. It’s almost a given, though, that some people in these positions might be less polite. It’s not hard to blame them. I only mention it because you might be tempted to believe that “Italians” are rude or some other slander based on a conversation with a stressed tourism worker.
More information about summer in Italy
June Travel to Italy: What You Should Know
July Travel to Italy: What You Should Know
August Travel to Italy: What You Should Know
What to Bring for Italy