It's time for arranging your holiday in Italy and you are forgetting to consider one of the fundamental aspects: the best time to travel to Italy! Italy’s destinations are different and could be convenient to come at different times, depending on them. There are various “best times”, just analyze what you want to see and what you want to do in Italy!
If you are free enough and you are not forced to travel in a given period, you can evaluate the good and the bad of the different seasons. (A tip: It's know that moms and dads don’t want to plan a trip in the middle of their childrens’ academic year! For this reason they could be destined for the most crowded and expensive season in Italy, but what could be better than an educational experience in the ancient Rome, or surrounded by Renaissance Art?).
Note that, often, the adjective “crowded” is referred only to the inflated top destinations, such as Rome, Pompeii, Amalfi, Capri, Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice. We’re also talking in relative terms. Even in low and mid-season there is a line at the Colosseum, for example. You could be lucky or not, no matter the period, the line could last 2 hours or 20 minutes. Other cities, such as many small groovy towns all over the "Bel Paese" (have you ever experienced Umbria and Puglia?), are almost always uncrowded…and you will love them!
January and February
For sure main cities will be crowded on New Year’s weeks, you could find out that from 8th of January, low season will start (with a break on the days around Valentine’s Day, think about a romantic holiday during this period). Flights and hotels have cheap rates, and even famous places are liveable. If you wanna walk under the Sistine Chapel, or enjoy Tuscany's Art, this is the best time. If you are a fashion-victim, take advantage of this time..it is famous for its discounted prices (in italian, "saldi") and Milan, one of the main centers of glamour and fashion in the world, could be your destination (also look for outlet malls).
Another low season break is for Carnevale. There are celebrations with festivals, parades, and theatre shows. Mardi Gras is celebrated in every italian city but if you are looking for something special, you can't miss Venice and Viareggio! It is an exclusive experience and if you need to book a hotel reservation, don't wait too much!
Take in mind that on January 1 and 6, museums could be closed.
An important factor: don't overlook the weather! January is generally the most freezing month of the year, don't forget your warmest clothes, especially if your destination is in the north: Venice’s temperature in this month is 30°-40°F. It could be rainy but think about the romantic atmosphere of canals plunged in the fog, enjoy its mysterious side..but be careful with the flood, take your boots with you!
Ok, we got it..you hate the cold. Then you should go towards the heel of the boot (of the peninsula!): Sicily keeps its warm temperature also in January (50°F), while Naples it's quite mild (40°F). But if you are a snow lover and your aim is skiing, January and February is the best for the Alps. For sure, this is not the right period for Amalfi and the Cinque Terre, due to the sea conditions restaurants and shops could be closed in this period. But if you are a loner soul, you will certainly appreciate this poetic places.
March and April
Here comes the shoulder season, a comfortable mix of good weather and uncongested places. But don't forget to take in consideration Easter and Spring breaks! Schools are closed, this is time for families to move.
Take in mind that on April 25 (Liberation Day), museums could be closed.
Love is in the air around the Como Lake, in Amalfi and the Cinque Terre coasts on this period. Come to enjoy their nice and exclusive restaurants with a break around glamour boutiques and typical wine shops. If you like the healthy side, don't miss to walk on the famous hiking trails. But, even if you are not in a perfect shape and you just like to sit and admire the beautiful sea, the famous "Via dell'Amore" is waiting for you. Weather is changeable and the temperatures start to be very pleasant. Rome and Florence temperatures go up to 50°-60°F.
May and June
Not yet in the high season, but prices start to go up fast from May to the end of June. Nevermind the money..Rome in Spring is awesome! Maybe you don't know it but it's a beautiful green city, don't forget to have a walk or a ride on bike by the Appian Way Regional Park. Then immerse yourself in the Eternal City: the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Imperial fora, the Vatican museums,..the list could be endless. Try to not miss anything!
June rhymes with summer..well, not literally! Indeed this is the month of the sun. The temperatures become to be warm (70°-80°F) and the rainfalls are light and rare, with the sky almost always clear. In many places the beaches are already comfortable. In the first two weeks of June, you could be one of the few foreigns enjoying the most popular and beautiful beaches not yet crowded (it could be the best time to visit Sardinia and Sicily!).
Take in mind that on May 1 (Labor Day), museums and some businesses could be closed.
July and August
Here comes the peak of high season. The best time to stay in line for hours and the period in which everyone seems to have come to Italy. Also the temperature reaches its higher peak: 85°-105°F in a bubble of humidity. Be careful and avoid the hottest times of the day and exposure to direct sunlight without a good layer of sunscreen!
That said, summer has its bright sides. July and August (with a great concentration around ferragosto week) offer you so many events, festivals, shows, celebrations. There is almost no distinction between day and night life.
If you prefer a fresh summer holiday, it is the best time for live an agriturismo experience (in Tuscany don't forget to visit the beautiful Siena, or hill towns of Umbria and Marche Region) or enjoy the summer side of Italian mountains, with all the beautiful activities that they offer.
Take in mind that around ferragosto week some businesses could be closed.
September and October
Not only the first two weeks of September, but the entire month can be considered a part of summer. Temperatures start to go back to 70°-80°F, and the emotions that Italy can give in this period are on a par with those of June, but under an even clearer sky! September light is a delight for the eye.
October is the best time to visit Italy under the economical point of view. Depending on the years, but if you are lucky this month can give you special emotions. There are still beautiful sunny days and, even if the rainfalls are more frequent than in spring, most of the past years October could have been included in summer season, no ifs or buts!
November and December
The very low season is in these period, and till Christmas time, there is a low flow of tourists. Two exception are constituted by the 8th of December (The Immaculate Conception Day) and the 1st of November (All Saints’ Day). Take in mind that on these days, museums and some businesses could be closed.
The temperatures are moderate, but this is the season during which rainfalls reach the highest peak: November is the rainiest month, so if you come to Italy pack your umbrella and rain jacket! Even if sky is grey, Italy can give you unforgettable emotions, colors of italian artistic architectural beauties own a shiny charm when it's wet!