Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

When is the Best Time to Go to Italy?

Travel+Leisure World's Best Awards 2023 logo in white
Black and white illustration of Melania Siriu's headshot
Written by
Melania Siriu

Published on: July 25th, 2017

Last modified: June 17th, 2024

From Tuscany's rolling hills to the Vatican City's golden streets, Italy is a diverse and fascinating country. No matter what time of year you visit, there is an activity to cater to every requirement.

In the warm summer months, the Amalfi Coast takes pride of place with its dramatic cliffsides and azure waters. Summer is also the perfect time to take a trip to Lake Como, Verona, Puglia or the Dolomites, where there are far fewer crowds.

If you want to visit major cities such as Rome, Florence and Venice then the best time to go to Italy is during the cooler months of April, May, September or October.

Peak season
May - September
Grape & olive harvest
September - January
April - November
chianti countryside Italy

When is peak season in Italy?

May to September is peak season across the country, whilst in cities this stretches from April to October.

When is the best time to visit the Italian countryside and coast?

May to September are undoubtedly the most popular months to visit Italy, with the sun casting a hot glow across the entire country. Come in this season to enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities, from sailing, fishing and swimming on the coast, to biking, hiking and paragliding in the countryside.

Italy coastline

When is the best time to visit towns and cities in Italy?

April to October are prime time for visiting Italy’s diverse towns and cities. In the height of summer, expect popular cities such as Rome, Florence and Venice to be crowded, prices to be higher, and days to be stickier. If you visit at this time, you can reward yourself with truffle hunting and an abundance of leafy greens, delicious fruits and fresh seafood.

oranges in wooden boxes in street market, Italy

The best time to learn about ancient history and art in Italy

Italy is filled with incredible galleries and museums, and fascinating historical sites. You’re never far from an artistic masterpiece or stunning ancient ruins wherever you go, but the best time to visit the cities to explore this rich cultural and historical heritage is during the cooler shoulder months of April, May, September and October. At this time of year you’ll avoid the crowds as well as the energy-zapping summer heat, leaving you free to immerse yourself in the cultural experience.

panorama Florence sunset

Low Season: spring and autumn in Italy

Come between October and April to take advantage of lower prices, fewer crowds, the grape and olive harvests – but don’t expect warm sunny days.

This is a great time to enjoy root vegetables like carrots, potatoes and fennel. Grapes, apples, squash, mushrooms, chestnuts and oranges are also in season at this time of year.

A month-by-month guide to seasonal eating in Italy

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, chances are you intend to make the most of the local cuisine. What you might not know is that a key ingredient of the Italian way of eating is its focus on fresh, seasonal food. That isn’t to say you should hold back from sampling those classic Italian dishes you’ve been dreaming of, even if they aren’t in season. But follow the seasonal principals at the heart of Italian cooking, and you’ll experience this world-famous cuisine at its very best.

mushrooms food market italy


Summer is, as you might expect, prime time for most fruits (but not all of them!) Sweet, juicy melons are the star of the season, as well most leafy greens, delicate vegetables like asparagus, zucchini and zucchini flowers, spring peas, leeks, berries, lemon (once you've tried an Amalfi lemon there's no turning back) and artichokes. Fish are also seasonal in Italy, and powerful flavours like mackerel, sardines and anchovies really come into their own in the spring and summer months.

Black truffles


The fall harvest in Italy yields a wide variety of delicious, earthy ingredients such as grapes, apples, squash, mushrooms, chestnuts and, famously, incredible truffles. As the winter settles in, you can tuck into root vegetables such as carrots, potato and fennel, as well as heartier leafy greens like kale, cavolo nero, cauliflower, cabbage, thistle, broccoli and fennel. Beans and lentils star in many dishes around this time, and it's high season for juicy oranges, mandarins, clementines and persimmons.

Whatever you want from your trip to Italy, our team of expert travel designers are ready to help.