When is the best time to travel to Italy? Where should you go on your holiday in Italy and at what time of year?
Italy’s extended landmass and numerous mountain ranges means that it enjoys a wide variety of climates, and can offer something for everyone year-round, from cool mountain walks in the Alps in the height of Summer, to glorious warm sunshine in the depths of winter (Catania, on the east coast of Sicily, has the most hours of sunshine of any city in Europe – an average of 2492 per year, or 6.8 hours per day).
Italy is an incredibly fertile country, and one of the main reasons for this is its high levels of rainfall. The mountainous regions receive the highest levels, but the cities and coastal regions are not spared their fair share. In the summer months, when rain is but a distant memory in the south, humidity levels rise across the country (and are felt especially strongly in the cities and towns) and the North can sometimes experience impressive thunderstorms.
The winters are quite cold in the North, and snowfall is a regular occurrence even in the coastal areas and the Po river valley, as is heavy fog. Although it is often hot and humid in the summer (with temperatures approaching and sometimes surpassing those in Southern Italy) this is partially offset by sporadic thunderstorms and their attendant cloud formations.
Rainfall is higher on the west coast than the east in winter, and in general the winters are cool but rainy with snow falling only irregularly in the large cities such as Florence and Rome. Summers are hot and humid, with infrequent rainfall. Late spring and early autumn are notably good, weather-wise, and October is particularly noted in Rome as being a time of long warm sunny days.
Southern Italy experiences a much warmer winter than the North, and although snowfall is regular and heavy in the mountains, it rarely occurs in the cities along the coast. The long, dry summers are offset by high rainfall in late Autumn, Winter and early Spring.
The Islands: Sicily, Sardinia and the Aeolians
In general, the coastal regions of these islands are warmer and slightly drier than their central, inland, regions, which can experience high levels of snowfall in winter. As with Southern Italy, the long, dry summers witness a substantial increase in humidity levels, which is felt particularly strongly in the cities and towns, although this is partially offset by the occasional refreshing breezes that blow up in the afternoons. The winters are mild in comparison to the north, and Sicily and the Aeolian Islands are particularly blessed with several warm and sunny days throughout the November to February period.
Average Maximum Air Temperature in Italy in Degrees Celsius
Average Sea Temperature in Italy in Degrees Celcius
If you work better in fahrenheit, please visit this temperature conversion page.
If you would like to check what the weather is currently doing in Italy, please take a look at an Italian Weather Forecast.