Climate and weather of Italy by month
Italy is a unique country, where the tourist flow is inexhaustible at any time of the year. Here you can relax on the beach, go on a cruise to the nearby islands, go skiing in the mountains, and the sights in Rome and Florence alone are so many that it is impossible to do them all in one trip.
Italy’s climatic zones
“The Italian boot,” thanks to its elongated shape, falls into several climatic zones. The Mediterranean zone is considered the hottest. It includes the coastal areas of the south, the large islands of Sicily and Sardinia. It has a short winter (January – first half of February) with frequent rains and rare snow. The temperature does not fall below zero: daytime air and water temperatures are +14 ° C. Summer lasts from May to October and is characterized by dry, hot weather, air temperature +30 ° C and water +25 ° C. The interseasonal period is rainy, with air temperature of +16°C and water +14°C.
The Adriatic Zone is the eastern part of Italy, the area from Trieste to Molise. Only coastal areas fall in this zone, because they are separated from the continent by the Apennine Mountains. Winters here are cold, with high humidity and strong easterly winds. In summer, the thermometer can reach +35 ° C.
The west coast (Tuscany, Lazio, the Islands) enjoys mild and warm winters, rainy autumns, hot summers, and high humidity in some areas of Liguria.
Inland areas of the peninsula have a continental climate. These are the steppes, forests, meadows in the territories of Lombardy, Veneto. Winters are long, high fog and humidity make this area not the most popular in winter. In summer it is hot and sweltering, much like the Turkish coast near Antalya.
The Alpine zone is a long winter and short summer. It rains all the time here, and when the weather is minus, it snows, especially in the mountains. In summer, the temperature in the mountains may not rise above +13 ° C. In winter, the average temperature in the Bolzano area is -12 ° C. But in places where there are large lakes, the climate softens, so you can find citrus trees, olive trees and even palm trees. For example, near Lake Garda.
The area from Liguria to Calabria is defined by the Apennine climate . Along the Apennines, winters are harsh, summers are hot, winters are snowy, and in the off-season there is a lot of rain.
Weather in Italy
Due to its north-south location, Italy’s climate is suitable for many types of holidays. In the highlands, snow can lie all year round; at the foothills, the weather is hot and you can sunbathe.
Hot, dry summers and wet and mild winters are typical for most of the country. The local climate is characterized by dry winds from March to October, which bring a sharp warming to +35 ° C and unpleasant dust, so it would be nice to take scarves or pareos to protect your face.
The Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and dry but hot summers, is typical of much of Italy. Sicily is considered the warmest place, where even in winter with an average temperature of +15°C there may be a few days for sunbathing. The sea is the coldest around Venice at +10°C in February, the warmest – off the coast of Capri and Sorrento in August at +27°C. Precipitation is heaviest from October to March, with the least amount of rain in June and August.
Tourist seasons in Italy
Ski season (second half of December-March). The permanent snow cover may appear in late November and in January, depending on the altitude of the resort. In Cervinia (above 2 thousand meters) season lasts until May, in Val di Fiemme (above 1 thousand meters) until mid-March.
Excursion season (all year round, but the best time is April-May, October-November). Half of Italian cities are monuments of history and architecture (Rome, Florence, Naples, Pisa, Venice). Most of the attractions are outdoors, so it’s best to see them at any time, except in summer when it’s hot and you have to stand in line at the entrance to each one. The island part of Italy is also better to explore in the off-season.
Important: There are two mini-states in Italy, San Marino and Vatican, so when you come to Italy, you can visit them.
Beach season (end of April to mid-October). Beach holidays are available on the mainland and the island. Swimming season starts in May and lasts until November, the longest on the islands of Capri, Sicily, Ischia.
Important: When choosing a place to rest on the islands, you must take into account the mountainous terrain and the almost total absence of wide beaches.
The velvet season (September-October). The water is warm up to +23°C and cools down slowly, the heat is replaced by a pleasant warm weather of +26°C, the coolness brings the sea breeze, so to Italy come relaxing holiday lovers, pensioners.
Discount season (January-February, July-August). This is a time of shopping tourism in order to buy quality brand-name goods at a discount of up to 80%. The centers of sales are Rimini and Milan, where in addition to hundreds of brand boutiques you can go to fashion shows.
What to take to Italy
Going to Italy in summer you should take a standard set of things: a few swimsuits, headgear, beach, sightseeing and parade shoes (the latter will be useful if you decide to visit a restaurant, night club, fashion disco, fashion shows), light clothing with long sleeves to protect your body from the scorching sun. Despite the fact that the probability of freezing at night is practically zero, there are cases of sudden cold, so a sweater and warm pants are not superfluous. Also, don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses and a pareo.
In winter, warm clothes and waterproof shoes will be necessary, as it may snow in the mountains and rain in the rest of the area. Strong winds in coastal areas make a down jacket with a hood or hat essential. At ski resorts you may need sunscreen, as the sun is frequent in the mountains, and the reflection of the rays from the snow creates good conditions for sunbathing.
In the off-season things will have to take more, because you have to be prepared for the scorching sun, and the real winter! So T-shirts in the suitcase must be adjacent to hats.
If you are traveling to Italy in the late summer or winter, remember that at this time with all the malls, shopping centers and boutiques season discounts, you can buy clothing and shoes for every occasion at an affordable price.
Weather by Months
In northern Italy: +5°C during the day, +13°C in the center, +16°C in the south. The warmest region is Sicily, with +14°C. The water temperature is +15°C. You can swim in nature only on Ischia, where the number of springs and geysers makes the water near the sea shore warmer. There are almost no sunny days in January, precipitation is frequent, especially in the south. The south is characterized by fog and cold winds, and the sea is stormy.
Heavy rains are common in the southern regions and Rome. There are more sunny days, with temperatures of +5°C in the north, +13°C in the central area, and +16°C in the south. There is increased humidity and damp winds throughout the area, except in the south. The Adriatic Sea cooled to +9°C, Ligurian Sea to +15°C. In the coastal towns, strong winds cause sea swell. In the Alps the weather is minus even during the day, and the snow provides a stable coverage for the full operation of ski resorts.
Unstable month when the temperature can change sharply in the direction of cooling or warming. The average temperature is +20 ° C, although it can drop to zero, so you should bring clothes for everything. The rainfall is decreasing, there are more clear days, and the sea is calming down and becoming clear and clean.
In Sestriere +4°C during the day, the snow melts, skiing becomes uncomfortable. In Val di Fassa it sometimes gets warmer up to +14 ° C, the snow melts quickly and the ski resorts begin to close. The coldest is still the Adriatic Sea at +12 ° C. In Venice, the daytime temperature is +12°C +4°C at night.
At the end of the month in the south of Italy you can go sunbathing and swimming, although you may need a warm jacket at night. In Rome and Florence it’s +18°C, in Rimini, Venice and Turin it’s +16°C. Water off the coast of Ischia is +16°C, in the northern resorts +14°C.
Dry and sunny weather persists for most of the month, which encourages greenery and tourist activity. In the mountainous areas the temperature can drop to minus degrees and the snow cover gradually melts, so you can only come to the mountains to breathe the air and admire the green meadows.
In the south the air can get up to +28°C, the average temperature in the Mediterranean islands is +24°C. The water is cool at +18°C. At night it can be cold in Capri and Ischia at +12°C. The continental south is less prone to rain than the islands.
+21°C during the day, +12°C at night in the north. The water in the Adriatic Sea is +17°C, so Venice and Rimini are visited more for excursions. The coldest weather is near the Ligurian Sea in Genoa, Livorno and La Spezia at +20°C, in Milan it’s +23°C, and it often rains.
Daytime temperatures of 26°C and nighttime temperatures of 16°C make June the best time for beach vacations. Milano and Rimini can be overcast at times. The weather in the south is +28°C during the day and +18°C at night. The water is warm up to +22°C, which encourages parents with small children and adventurous people who like parasailing, windsurfing and diving. In Genoa and San Remo it is +24°C, in Rimini and Venice it is +25°C. The cool sea breeze and occasional rain make for an ideal beach vacation.
In Rome, the heat, the heat, the heat and the lack of wind. On the beaches of Rimini +27 ° C – air, +26 ° C – water. At night the thermometer does not drop below +20 ° C, so you won’t need warm clothes. In July it never rains in the south, the maximum rainfall will fall in the area of Milan. In the central areas it’s +32°C, in the north it’s +28°C and at night it can get as cold as +17°C.
The hottest month forces even locals to go on vacation. The average air temperature is +32 ° C, water +26 ° C. The best time for a beach holiday and the worst time for sightseeing, if the cities are not on the seashore. It is better to avoid trips to Pisa, Florence and Rome. The exception is the Alpine area, where the mountains are not hot, and the forests, lakes and waterfalls contribute to a pleasant pastime. On the southern islands of the Ligurian Sea you can seek treatment in thermal springs and volcanic mud. In Capri, Sicily and Ischia, the sky is +34°C, and it rains not more than 1 day a month. It is a good time for cruises. Rimini becomes a pilgrimage destination for shopping lovers who relax on the beaches in between shopping trips.
The average temperature is +26°C, water +23°C – the best time for a beach holiday on the shores of the Ligurian Sea. It is hot in the south at +28 ° C. The beaches of the Ligurian Riviera are comfortable +24 ° C. The weather is the same in Venice, but there are more overcast days and it rains more often. Florence, Verona and Pisa are better to visit at the end of the month, when the thermometer will fall to +26 ° C.
It is no longer hot and you can swim and sunbathe on the islands but light windbreakers may be needed in the evenings. There are frequent rains in all regions, there are fewer sunny days, and this is the best time for excursions and gastronomic tours. In Rimini it’s +19°C during the day and +10°C at night. In Genoa, Sanremo +20°C, water temperature +19°C. In the mountainous areas it is +10°C and rainy. The weather is favorable for sightseeing in Florence, Rome and Milan at +22°C.
Overcast skies and rainfall is common in all regions except in the south where there is more sunshine and occasional light sweaters. Temperatures can reach up to +18°C, so there are still people on the beaches. The water is warm +20 ° C, but the winds and waves do not allow you to fully swim. It rains less often in Sicily than in continental Italy. In the central part of +16°C, at night +7°C. In Milan, Rimini, Turin +12°C during the day, +5°C at night. In the alpine regions +7°C during the day, the thermometer drops to zero at night. The snow is melting fast. Lombardy is +1°C during the day, with minus 4°C at night.
Cold and wet in the northern regions. Temperatures in Sestriere do not rise above freezing during the day. In Turin, the daytime temperature is +5°C. In the south +15°C with light rain. You can swim only in Ischia’s thermal springs. The coast of Ligurian and Adriatic Sea is uncomfortable with cold winds, dampness and waves. In the mountains there is snow cover, so you can come to Italy not only to celebrate New Year, but also to conquer the mountain trails.
When is better to go to Italy
The answer to the question of when it is better to go to Italy, depends on the goals of your trip – it can be:
- Vacationing at the sea
- Cognitive excursions and cultural program
- Shopping during the sale period
- Active recreation in the mountains
- Independently exploring the regions
- Recreation on the lakes
Sometimes it is possible to combine several goals in one trip, but it is always important to prioritize.
Let’s sort it out and choose the most suitable month for your holiday in Italy
Vacationing at the sea
When is the best time to go to Italy for a seaside vacation? My favorite month for a holiday at the beach is September and the first decade of October, because the sea is ideally warm, and all Italians are out of vacations. I would also recommend the first three weeks of July.
The most expensive month for a vacation at sea in Italy is August. Prices in restaurants, hotels, beaches explode by 2-3 times. Since all Italians traditionally go on vacation in August, then plan a vacation and book a hotel in the last month of summer to at least six months in advance. Inexpensive options for vacation at sea in the last month of summer does not happen.
In Sicily the bathing season sometimes begins in late May, but it depends on the mood of Mother Nature. In any case in the south of Italy in summer temperatures rarely fall below +25.
At the end of April and the beginning of October (low season and prices are several times lower) we traditionally with my family and friends for 3 years rest in thermal springs on the island of Ischia.
You will find the articles useful:
If you are coming to Italy for the first time and your goal is to learn about the history and cultural heritage of the country of the sun and wine, I advise you to start with this article.
Tourists go to Italy for excursions all year round – the most popular city, of course, is Rome.
- Approximate periods of the lowest flow of tourists: from November 20 to December 15, from January 14 to February 10.
- Super high season: from April 20 to May 10, from February 20 to March 10, from December 25 to January 13 – planning a vacation on these dates, I advise you to book a guide at least 2 months in advance, and ideally just after the purchase of airline tickets. It is worth considering that the dates adjacent to the major religious holidays – Easter, June 29 (St. Peter and Paul), August 15 (Ascension of the Virgin Mary), December 24-25 (Christmas) – there is always a high demand for all types of tours, especially to the Vatican.
- High season: March to November.
I recommend not to be guided by the weather forecasts in planning a cultural holiday, as a good guide will always find the best time for you to start sightseeing and a comfortable route. For example, in the summer, when the crowds of tourists suffer from the heat or in line, we just start our tours at dawn and admire the great beauty practically alone. We take care of museum tickets in advance and, of course, don’t waste time and energy waiting in lines.
Shopping and sales
Traditionally, sales in Italy begin on the first Saturday of January and July, lasting up to two months. Shopping in Milan or Rome can be perfectly combined with a cultural program.
Do not forget that there are outlet centers near Rome, Florence and Milan, which are open all year round, and for which you can find one of the days of your cultural holiday.
I advise you to read about:
Near Rome near Florence
Holidays in the mountains
The season at Italy’s ski resorts begins in December and lasts until the end of March. The classic is the Dolomite Alps (Dolomiti). You arrive at the airport of Malpensa or Bergamo, and from there you take a transfer or public transport to the desired resort.
The detailed articles about:
If you have already visited the major and most popular cities in Italy, it is time to explore the regions of Italy on your own by rental car.
My favorite months and destinations:
- June through September – Umbria, Abruzzo.
- Months except January, February, August, December Sicily, especially the west near Trapani.
For the northern regions – Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Veneto – I suggest traveling from May to the end of September.
The regions to the south of Rome are interesting and guaranteed comfortable to get acquainted with from April to the end of October.
Recreation on the lakes
In northern Italy there are some of the most beautiful lakes in the world – Como, Garda and Maggiore. I know tourists who vacation on the lakes also in winter, but still, given the geographical location, it is better to choose the period from May to September. It is important that even in summer the water can be cool, but at the lakes go first of all for admiring nature and quiet rest.
I really like Como in April and September, here is a detailed report of our trip for 3 days from Milan.
On Lake Garda is one of the best amusement parks, Gardaland, it makes sense to visit it with children during the summer vacations.
If you still have doubts about where and when it is better to go to Italy, I will be glad to answer your questions in comments.