Best Time To Travel To Northern Italy

Now that we’ve got the ultimate destination settled, you’re likely to be asking yourself, what is the Best Time To Travel To Northern Italy

Being the home of Milan, Venice, Cinque Terre, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, people from all over the world swarm to Italia Settentrionale or Northern Italy every year. Italy itself is quite a magical place, much like something from a movie, but the northerly area has that extra something special. Whether it is the snow-capped Alps or the complete variations in landscape, this particular part of the country is an absolute must-visit

To give a broad answer: There is technically no best time to travel there because Italy is the perfect vacation spot no matter the time of year. True, certain times of the year suit certain preferences better than others but not to fret, this guide breaks down the advantages, and disadvantages, of each and every month.

January

Although the days are cold and short don’t mark off visiting in the month of January just yet. Many places in Northern Italy are more than stunning during the winter, in particular, the mountainous areas (Think: Winter wonderland). If you are looking for a budget-friendly Italian getaway, many of the major Northern Italy cities, such as Milan and Venice, are in their off-season which means much lower pricing especially with regards to airfare and accommodations. 

about-me-venice-italy

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February

While part of the high season for the mountain towns and ski resorts, February tends to be the low season for other areas in Northern Italy. Which can definitely be a positive if you don’t care for crowds but some cities, namely those not in high season, might have some closures. Regardless of where you land there are sure to be a lot of things to do. Walk the almost deserted streets of Turin or try out the local delicacies in Bologna.

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Verona – Romeo and Juliet Balcony

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  • Valentine’s Day – Celebrate in the city of love – Verona: February 14th.

March

Temperatures in the month of March can vary somewhat but generally, the weather is starting to warm up, although it can still be fairly cold. The Alps and Dolomites see quite a lot of visitors and this month is considered their high season. Elsewhere, you are not likely to see as many crowds and prices should be markedly less. Whether looking for high, low, or shoulder season; hustle and bustle or peace and quiet – March can really be one of the very best times to travel to Northern Italy.

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Dolomites Mountains Northern Italy

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April:

In the month of April, the northernmost parts in Italy are slowly creeping towards shoulder or low season while Southern Italy is just starting to heat up, both literally and figuratively. Regardless, the summer crowds are not quite as large as they will be in May or June (with the exception of Easter), and much of the landscape is blossoming with fresh, fragrant flowers. April can be the perfect time to visit Northern Italy. 

Not to Miss: 

  • Italian Easter Week: Begins the week before Easter through to the Monday following the actual holiday. 
  • Il giuramento di Pontida – Historical Re-enactment held in Pontida: April 7th.

May:

The weather is absolutely beautiful all over the country in the month of May, even in the north, with average temperatures of 50-70 Fahrenheit in places like Milan and Venice. Of course, it gets cooler the more north you go. May can be especially perfect for sightseeing as the crowds are still quite thin and it is not too hot yet.

Not to Miss: 

  • May Day – The Italian equivalent of America’s Labor Day – celebrated throughout the country: May 1st.
  • Cantine Aperte – Wine celebration throughout all of Italy: The last two weekends in May.

June:

In the mountain towns, June is considered low season, and some places might be closed due to this. However, in many other parts of Northern Italy, June is the height of the tourist season. The weather is incredible, albeit just a bit hot, as there is very little rainfall. Depending on your preference, June can be the ideal time to travel to Northern Italy.

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July:

Long sunny, almost rain-free days certainly make July one of the most popular times to travel to Northern Italy – well, all over the country actually. The weather is positively gorgeous which means that there will be a good chance of crowds. The exception being cities far north as well as the mountainous towns. Most rates will be on the higher end, but there are also far more events, festivals, and celebrations than in the off-seasons which makes up for the increased cost.

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August:

The poor month of August is always catching flack – However, it doesn’t deserve its bad rap and it can still be a decent time to travel to Northern Italy. Yes, August is hot, sticky, and most of the locals are vacationing. But, it also means that many of the typical tourist hot spots, those not located in the mountains or on the coast where everyone holidays, should be relatively empty. Not to mention, the prices are considerably lower as well as there being less traffic on the roads.

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Cinque Terre, Liguria

Not to Miss: 

  • Palio del Golfo – A rowing race – La Spezia, Liguria: 1st weekend of the month.

September:

Venice in particular is absolutely stunning during the months of September and November, but this could also mean more crowds. Other regions are quite lovely too, with weather that is cooling and becoming more tolerable. Whatever you might be looking for, the start of fall is most certainly one of the best times to travel to Northern Italy. Or Italy, you know, in general. 

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October:

Autumn kicks into overdrive in October and it suits the landscapes of Italy quite well. Picturesque is not even a strong enough word. When not raining, you can enjoy crisp but sunny days that considerably cool down as night approaches, and there is never a shortage of fun things to do. Halloween festivities, wine tastings, and food festivals, just to name a few. More and more people have come to appreciate Italy at this time of year, especially in the Northern regions, so you may end up fighting through some crowds at the more popular attractions. It is more than worth it, though. October definitely makes the top of the list of best times to visit Northern Italy. 

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Canale Grande in Venice

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November:

Ah, the rainy month, November in Italy rarely gets the respect it deserves. Does it rain frequently? Yes, but it is also quite lovely when the rain is not falling. This is the high season for the ski resorts and mountain cities, so if you are headed that way be prepared for plenty of tourists. Other Northern Italian cities are worth a visit in November as well; For example, Venice has nice museums and attractions, more than a few that are indoors, basically negating the rain. Also, with the exception of ski towns, rates are likely to be at a significant low.

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December:

Winter is where Northern Italy truly shines. Trade-in the hot days for the snowy Alps and you’ll be standing in a postcard. December in the northern region is simply spectacular. In addition to the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, the city’s are lit up with Christmas cheer, in the form of endless twinkling lights, and offer plenty of activities and events to go along with the decor. December does happen to fall in the high season for the mountain towns (IE: it costs more money) but elsewhere is likely to be quite a bit cheaper. Christmas time is the best time to travel to Northern Italy.

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While, of course, the entire country is gorgeous, Northern Italy is more than a little special and incredibly eclectic, especially when it comes to the unique landscapes and climates. That’s what makes literally any time of year, any given month, the very best time to travel to northern Italy. There is really no wrong time to go. The key to the perfect Italian vacation is by being prepared, and, since you’ve read through this, you’re already halfway there.