It’s unlikely you have a first instinct to go on a winter vacation to Italy unless you are a keen skier or snowboarder. However, I believe that winter is a great time to visit Italy because of a variety of reasons, not least the lower price.
Here are the facts about traveling to Italy in winter.
Italy’s Winter Weather
Winter in Italy is defined as December, January, or February. These are the coldest months in Italy, regardless of where you live. Ski resorts are the most popular destination for those who want to take in the sights. People who dream of taking a meandering walk through cobblestone streets might find this reality quite chilling.
Temperatures will vary depending upon where you live in the country. Regional averages are found in the articles linked below. However, it is almost always cold and damp. Some areas receive snow, but not only in the mountains, and others get rain.
Italy Winter Holidays
Christmas and Carnevale are two of the most popular holidays of the year. Although they fall in a low season for tourism, there is enough interest to cause a spike in prices and crowds. Although New Year’s Eve is more popular than Carnival or Christmas, it can still be busy.
Although it is not technically a holiday , the official winter sales for Italy start in January and last about six weeks. The sales period is similar in the summer but the crowds are larger.
The Pros and Cons of a Winter Vacation to Italy
Winter travel is a great option, especially for those on a tight budget. Winter can bring down the cost of travel, accommodation and even tickets to tours. The crowds are smaller and the lines are shorter. While you may still need to reserve tickets for Uffizi and Vatican Museums tickets in advance, if your plans are made as you go, you won’t have to wait long to get into those or other top museums in Italy during winter.
Winter travel in Italy has its downsides. If you are looking for sun, beaches, hiking and the like, consider moving to another season. There are also possible downsides, such as shorter opening hours at some attractions, and winter closures in restaurants and hotels, especially in areas that are popular summer destinations. This is easy to plan for. Check out museum websites for winter hours, and check with a few hotels websites to confirm that they do not list seasonal closures. Even if you don’t plan to book your rooms ahead of time, you can still get an idea of when a town might shut down in winter.
It’s a good idea to research when Carnevale is and other winter festivals are taking place before making your plans. This will allow you to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
More information about winter in Italy
December Travel to Italy: What You Should Know
January Travel to Italy: What You Should Know
February Travel to Italy: What You Should Know
What to Bring for Italy