Travelers looking for the perfect balance of decent weather, reasonable prices, and smaller crowds are often drawn to what are called “shoulder seasons” in any destination. In Italy, that means spring and autumn. Autumn’s charms include harvest festivals and late summer heat, but there are plenty of great reasons to visit Italy in the spring, too.
When is the spring in Italy?
Weather-wise, Italy’s spring is what you might expect – roughly March through early May. But these days, high-season prices and crowds (not to mention summer heat) starts in May. Your best bet for better deals and smaller crowds, coupled with moderate temperatures, is late March through the end of April.
What’s spring weather like in Italy?
As mentioned above, May can actually be quite hot, depending on where you are in the country. March is often rainy, although you may also experience clear, sunny days as early as February. The truly cold and snowy weather is typically gone by March (except in the mountains, of course), so as long as you’re prepared with layers for varying temperatures and a water-resistant jacket or umbrella for sudden showers, you should be fine. Regardless of when in the spring you plan to visit Italy, the weather can be somewhat unpredictable, so always check the most recent forecasts before you leave home so you can pack appropriately.
What Italian holidays fall during the spring?
It seems there are always small, local festivals going on somewhere in Italy, but in the spring there are also some major nationwide holidays as well. The specific dates for Easter change each year, but it’s always in the spring. Despite the timing of Easter, it represents a mini-high season for crowds and prices, so be sure to book well in advance if your plans include traveling in Italy during Easter. Liberation Day is another nationwide Italian holiday, celebrated on April 25th. It’s always a good idea to check with the local tourism information office to see if there are other festivals or events going on during your visit.
What else is there to do in the spring?
All the usual things on your Italy to-do list are easily checked off during a spring visit – and some are easier to do in the spring than during the busier high season. Lines to even the major monuments and museums are generally shorter, and reservations are easier to come by at top restaurants. All of this changes around Easter, of course, when millions of Italians celebrate over a long weekend and millions more visitors flock to Vatican City to mark the holiday. With unpredictable weather, you may not want to plan a long hiking holiday or spend much time at the beach, but don’t be surprised if you need sunglasses as well as a coat.