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Backpacking in Italy

Whether it be Rome, Venice or Tyrol, Italy will provide you with a wonderful experience wherever you choose to go. It is, however, still important to know in advance what you expect to get out of your holiday and which activities are important to you in order to determine the best time to visit Italy.
Do you want to have the classic sightseeing experience? In that case, the Colosseum or Florence Cathedral may be just the right places for you to visit. If you want to go skiing instead, the itinerary of your journey will be significantly different.
If you are looking to find out the best time to visit Italy, this climate guide will assist you in picking the perfect time for your dream holiday.

At a glance:

Peak SeasonMay to August
Off-season September to April
Sightseeing all year (Prime months: April/May and September/October)
Winter sports December to March
Hiking April to October
Beach Time June to September
  • Peak Season: May to August
  • Off-season: September to April
  • Sightseeing: esp. April/May and September/October
  • Winter sports: December to March
  • Hiking: April to October
  • Beach Time: June to September

What is the climate like in Italy?

The climate in Italy very much varies from region to region. Considering the fact that you can both go skiing and spend a relaxing beach holiday in Italy, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The country is also known for its long summers and short, dry winters. Maximum temperatures often exceed 30 °C (86 °F), and peak temperatures of around 40 °C (104 °F) may also occur. Although the period for winter sports lasts from December to March, temperatures rarely fall below -2 °C (28,4 °F). So, it really depends on what you are looking for when you try to decide what’s the best time to visit Italy.

Climate in Rome

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum Temperature in °C 12 12 15 19 22 27 30 31 26 22 17 13
Minimum Temperature in °C 6 6 8 10 13 17 20 21 18 15 11 7
Hours of Sunshine 6 6 9 11 12 12 12 12 11 7 6 6
Days of Rain 13 13 13 12 11 7 6 4 11 12 13 12

Climate in Florence

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum Temperature in °C 7 8 12 17 20 24 28 29 23 18 13 9
Minimum Temperature in °C 1 1 4 7 8 12 15 15 12 9 6 2
Hours of Sunshine 5 5 7 10 11 12 12 12 10 6 6 5
Days of Rain 13 14 14 17 18 14 11 10 12 13 14 12

Climate in Venice

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum Temperature in °C 7 9 13 17 21 25 27 28 24 18 13 8
Minimum Temperature in °C 4 5 8 12 15 19 21 21 18 13 10 5
Hours of Sunshine 5 5 7 10 11 12 12 12 10 6 5 5
Days of Rain 10 11 12 13 15 14 13 11 13 11 13 9

Seasonal Climate Guide for Italy

Off-season (September to April)

During the low season, days gradually become shorter and temperatures are moderate, ranging anywhere from 7 °C (44.6 °F) to 23 °C (73.4 °F). While about ten hours of sunshine per day can be expected in September, December still has a daily average of eight hours of sunshine. The amount of precipitation does, however, steadily increase within this period and generally settles at around 130 to 140 mm. Because of that, you should always carry an umbrella as well as a wind and water-resistant jacket with you if you plan on visiting Italy in the low season.

Peak Season (May to August)

During peak season, temperatures typically range from 15 °C (59 °F) to 35 °C (95 °F). The strongly fluctuating daytime temperatures continue to rise with every passing month. Similar observations can be made regarding the nights which, while rather cold at first, become increasingly warm as the months pass. Travelling to Italy during the high season requires you to bring other items with you than you would in the low season. You should pack light clothes and use thin, comfortable fabrics such as linen. With an average of fourteen hours of sunshine per day, Italy’s high season is perfect for a relaxing beach holiday. However, if you are mainly interested in sightseeing, you should consider visiting at the beginning of the season.

Exception: Winter sports

Bearing in mind that there are more than 250 ski resorts to be found in Italy, the country clearly has a lot to offer in terms of winter sports. Whether you choose to go to South Tyrol, Piedmont or Trentino, the options for a winter adventure trip appear close to limitless. Experienced skiers know exactly when and where to go in order to meet all of their personal needs and have an incredible skiing experience. For beginners, however, this can be a challenge and there is no harm in doing a bit of research before booking your trip. When deciding on a place to travel to, you should pay attention to the altitude, the location, the accommodations, the accessibility, and the best time for winter sports. For those who want to learn how to ski, Kronplatz in South Tyrol is the ideal place to go. Its 360° panoramic view of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an added bonus and will not leave you feeling disappointed.

The Best Time to Visit Italy

Italy is a place worth travelling to at any time of the year. Nonetheless, it is important to know what kind of holiday you want to have before booking your trip. Do you want to spend your time relaxing on the beach and maybe sip a fancy cocktail or two while enjoying the heat of the sun? If this is what you want to do, go in July. If you are planning on doing a lot of sightseeing during your stay, the milder temperatures in May will ensure an all-around pleasant experience. You should, however, always keep in mind that the high season is also associated with much more tourism. If you prefer to take it easy and avoid being pushed around in large crowds of tourists, consider travelling to Italy in the low season instead of visiting during the hot summer months.

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