Italy in Summer - ULTIMATE Guide & Tips (By an Italian!) (2024)

Are you planning a summer trip to Italy, but aren’t sure what to expect? You’ve come to the right place! In this article I have outlined everything you need to know to visit Italy in summer.

Being Italian, I have spent my fair amount of summertime in Italy, and can confidently say it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I love Italy in summer, when schools close, the days are warm and long, and Italian piazzas are flooded with life.Whether with tourists or locals, summer is a time when Italy comes alive.

Italy also offers a huge variety of destinations, meaning you could be strolling through the cobbled streets of Rome eating gelato one day, tanning on the pristine beaches of Sardinia the next, and even go hiking around the green mountain peaks of Trentino on the same trip.

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Manarola, one of the main towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre

Regardless of how you picture your idyllic Italy summer trip, you’ll need the information listed in this guide to help you make the most of it!

In this guide I have included all the most important information to visit Italy in summer.

Including what weather to expect in different parts of the country, what to pack for summer in Italy, the best destinations to visit in Italy in summer, what holidays to plan for and much more.

So without further ado, let’s dive in and plan the perfect Italy summer trip!

Contents

  • 1 Weather in Italy in summer
    • 1.1 Weather in Italy in June
    • 1.2 July weather in Italy
    • 1.3 Weather in August in Italy
  • 2 Holidays to expect in Italy in summer
  • 3 What to pack for an Italy summer trip
  • 4 Best places to visit in Italy in summer
    • 4.1 Sardinia
    • 4.2 Trentino
    • 4.3 Cinque Terre
    • 4.4 Sicily
    • 4.5 Lake Como
    • 4.6 Tuscany
    • 4.7 Puglia
    • 4.8 Amalfi Coast
  • 5 Is summer a good time to visit Italy?
  • 6 Places to avoid in Italy in summer

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Relaxing on the nets of the catamaran we cruised in Maddalena Archipelago with at the Cavaliere Beach

Weather in Italy in summer

Before diving into all the best destinations to visit in Italy in summer, I want to go over what sort of weather you can expect throughout Italy during the various summer months.

Italian summers usher in the best of what this Mediterranean nation has to offer.

This is the time of year when the citizens of Italy and Europe take their vacations, with people flocking to Italian beaches to enjoy a spot of sun, sea and sand.

Italian cities, like Florence and Rome, see high heat and humidity, while mountain regions shed their ski credentials and become verdant oases for hikers and nature lovers.

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Enjoying the view over Ragusa in Sicily

Weather in Italy in June

June marks the start of summer in Italy. Temperatures range across the board, but generally June is a mild, pleasant time of year to visit practically everywhere.

Evenings and mornings are still a little cooler than they are later in summer, especially in mountain regions. You can also expect scattered showers during June in Italy.

July weather in Italy

It’s a beautiful time of year to visit Italy. The nation’s varied destinations are usually hot and sunny with just a little bit of rain, usually in more southern regions.

The chances of wet weather ruining your trip are pretty low. Because of this, July is also a busy time of year to visit, so prepare for crowds.

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Kayaking in Lake Caldonazzo, Trentino, in summer

Weather in August in Italy

Italy’s Mediterranean climate comes into full force in August. Not only is the country bathed in beautiful sunshine, but average temperatures are at their peak during this month.

The Alps and mountainous regions have cooler temperatures, obviously, but are still mild and perfect for hiking this time of year.

Cities, on the other hand, are hot and humid, particularly Milan. Sea temperatures are also very warm wherever you are: perfect for beach days at those iconic summer beach destinations.

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Diving into the crystal clear water of Sardinia, Italy

Holidays to expect in Italy in summer

When you start planning your Italy summer holiday, you might want to take into account these national holiday days.

Republic Day falls on June 2nd, and this is when Italy celebrates its modern founding. It’s a public holiday, so you can expect to see parades and fireworks, with many celebrations taking place in Rome.

Some places may be closed on this day.

Italian schools close around the start of June, and open up again towards the end of September. That means you can expect to see Italian children taking over beaches, parks and public squares all over Italy.

The big summer holiday to keep an eye out for in Italy is Ferragosto. Falling on 15th August, it officially marks the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, although it’s not a particularly religious holiday.

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The staircase leading up to the cathedral of Modica

Being Italian, I both love and hate Ferragosto. I love it because it’s a time when family and friends all come together, eat and drink loads and spend the night dancing away on the beach.

But I also hate it because pretty much the whole of Italy takes time off around Ferragosto.This means prices in Italian vacation spots shoot up, and there are a million people everywhere. This isn’t the case in cities though.

Romans and Milanese people, for example, head out of the city and flock to the countryside, beaches near Milan and mountain resorts.

Things may be closed in cities, while you can expect public transport (and accommodation) to be busy.

Basically if you visit Italy around the 15th of August, you can expect cities to be much quieter, whilst beach destinations to be busier and more expensive.

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Diving into the crystal clear water of Sardinia in summer

What to pack for an Italy summer trip

Your Italy packing list will likely change depending on where exactly in the country you’re going. In general though, you’ll want to pack lightweight clothes.

Think loose and long, which not only protects you from the sun, but also suits the strict dress code for churches.

Other essentials include a refillable water bottle, which saves money and is better for the environment, as well as sun cream, sun hat and shades to protect against UV rays.

A comfortable pair of shoes is always a good idea, no matter where you are.

Even if you’re not embarking on a hiking holiday, some sturdy sandals that will allow your feet to breathe in the hot weather is a good idea for walking around cities.

Those heading to the beach will want to pack travel essentials such as a swimsuit and a beach towel, while also having smart-casual outfits to wear in the evenings for dinner and drinks.

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Enjoying the view over the Sassi of Matera in Italy

Best places to visit in Italy in summer

Sardinia

Average high: 30°C (86 °F)

Average low: 20°C (68°F)

Rainy days average: 6

Sardinia is a stunning destination in the summertime. With its beautiful Mediterranean coastline and turquoise waters, the island has a lot going for it.

This is the place to go for those who like an easygoing, slow-paced vacation – and especially if you like beach holidays.

In particular, those looking for a real getaway should head to La Maddalena, a small archipelago in the north of the island with secluded white sand beaches and rugged landscapes.

It’s actually a national park, and is ideal for exploring on boat tours.

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Relaxing on Cala Soraja in Spargi Island, Italy

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The natural pools of the Archipelago of Maddalena at the start of July (not completely overflowing with boats yet!)

The nearby Costa Smeralda on the northeastern coast is better known among jetsetters for its chic accommodation and luxurious stretches of beach. Over on the northwest is the famous La Pelosa Beach.

And located on the eastern coast is the Gulf of Orosei, an idyllic destination. Stretching for around 30 kilometres, here you can expect beautiful natural landscapes; ideal for snorkelling and hiking alike.

In my opinion, the beaches of Sardinia are amongst the best in the Mediterranean, so if the focus of your Italy itinerary is on the beach, this is the place to go!

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Exploring the Golfo di Orosei and Cala Luna by kayak in Sardinia, Italy

Trentino

Average high: 25°C (77°F)

Average low: 17°C (62.6°F)

Rainy days average: 7

This Alpine destination is a popular Italy winter destination for its cosy winter scenes, as well as being one of the best ski resorts in Italy, but come summer Trentino is a stunning natural paradise in the heart of the Alps.

It’s the place to base yourself for a mountain getaway. From here you can explore the many towns, villages, lakes and hiking trails, while also exploring the culture and history of the region.

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Hiking at Rolle Pass in Trentino

If you like cycling or hiking, or any number of outdoor activities, Trentino is the place for you.

Lush valleys are laced with well maintained cycle paths, while hiking trails wind through pine-clad valleys to impossibly beautiful Alpine lakes, the ideal spot for taking a dip after a sweaty trek.

For a rugged adventure, head to the atmospheric Rio Sass Canyon, situated in the Val di Non. Visiting Trentino in summer should feature on everyone’s Italy bucket list in my opinion.

As well as canyoning and kayaking, among other outdoor pursuits, those who want a more easygoing break in the mountains can indulge in fresh food and vineyards, taking road trips through the incredible scenery.

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Beautiful reflections at Lake Welsperg in Trentino, Italy

Cinque Terre

Average high: 28°C (82.4°F)

Average low: 19°C (66.2°F)

Rainy days average: 4

For an unbeatable combination of hiking, beaches and charming coastal towns, make a beeline for Cinque Terre.

This UNESCO-recognised string of villages sits on the Italian Riviera, and also forms part of the Cinque Terre National Park.

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Sunset over the perched colourful houses of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy

This is a particularly popular destination, with romantic villages tucked on the cliffs and hugging the rugged coastline.

The colourful towns themselves are not only connected by road (and rail), but also by a network of hiking trails that afford some incredible views out over the Mediterranean Sea.

Many people choose to hike the Sentiero Azzurro, also known as the Blue Trail. This 7.5 mile route traces an old mule path along a narrow ledge that boasts spectacular vistas of the region’s coastal scenery.

In recent years, parts of the route have been closed due to bad weather, but sections of the trail do remain open.

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Admiring the colourful houses of Manarola, one of the five towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre, Italy

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Admiring the colourful houses of Vernazza, one of the five towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre, Italy

If you don’t fancy it, you don’t have to hike, of course.

You can stay in Cinque Terre, just base yourself in one of the region’s five towns, each of which has a different character, best suited for certain types of travellers, and explore the region by train.

The largest town, and therefore most likely where you’ll find accommodation, is Riomaggiore.

Another option is Manarola, famed for its vineyards. But those wanting a beach break should head to Monterosso, the only Cinque Terre town with its own stretch of sand.

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The colourful houses and harbour of Vernazza in Cinque Terre, Italy

Sicily

Average high: 26°C (78.8°F)

Average low: 18°C (64.4°F)

Rainy days average: 3

Sicily is a classic summer destination in Italy, and for good reason. The largest island in the Mediterranean, it’s an ideal mix of good weather, nature, history and – of course – beaches.

Speaking of the weather, this volcanic island can actually get particularly hot in August. But if that’s what you’re here for, then you’ll love this Mediterranean hotspot.

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Piazza del Duomo in Catania, Sicily

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Exploring the lunar landscapes of Etna Volcano in Sicily

One of the most famous places to visit is Mount Etna. This is the highest active volcano in the world.

And, if you’re really feeling adventurous, you can hike the 3,300-metre-tall behemoth itself, or at lower altitudes visit lava tunnels and experience a barren and bleak volcanic landscape.

Close to Etna is Taormina, which boasts dramatic views of the massive volcano itself. This hilltop destination on Sicily’s east coast is a popular resort area.

Think attractive streets with balconies overflowing with flowers and views out over the Mediterranean Sea.

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Ragusa Ibla seen from the neighbouring hill

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The main cathedral in Noto

As well as being a high-end destination, Taormina also has plenty of history: it was founded in the 4th century BC and still sports the ruins of its Greek amphitheatre (check this!)

Also historic is the ancient Valley of Temples, while cities such as Ragusa and Noto also boast charming old towns – perfect for wandering, camera in hand.

I spent seven days in Eastern Sicily last year, and can confidently say every Italy itinerary should include a visit to this island.

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Exploring the Greek amphitheatre of Taormina at sunset

Lake Como

Average high: 25°C (77°F)

Average low: 17°C (62.6°F)

Rainy days average: 9

This dreamy destination in northern Italy’s Lombardy region has long been a haunt of the rich and famous. But if you’re neither of those, that doesn’t matter: you can still indulge in the beauty of this breath-taking landscape.

Italy’s third-biggest lake, Como can be visited on a day trip from Milan, or you could choose to stay in Lake Como and spend a night or two in one of the renowned lakeside locales, such as the magical Bellagio.

The best way to explore this beautiful countryside is either by hiking along the shoreline or taking a boat trip on the glistening water itself.

You could easily use the hub of Como, the main city, as a jumping off point for your Lake Como itinerary to see the sights.

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Enjoying the view from the peak of Monte San Primo in Lake Como, Italy

Tuscany

Average high: 30°C (86°F)

Average low: 18°C (64.4°F)

Rainy days average: 7

The undisputed heart of Italy, Tuscany is the quintessential Italian vacation with a combination of landscapes and historic architecture, not to mention some delicious food.

Tuscany offers iconic cities such as Florence, Pisa and Siena, as well as pretty towns like the tower-filled San Gimignano and the beautiful Terme di Saturnia (complete with hot springs).

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Sunset over Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

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View over the Tuscan countryside

In short, you certainly won’t be missing out on culture if you visit Tuscany in summer.

Florence alone is packed with showstopper sights, from its famous black and white cathedral to the masterpiece-packed Uffizi Gallery and the awesome mediaeval bridge of Ponte Vecchio.

I once spent four days in Tuscany, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough to make the most of this wonderful region.

So whether you choose to stay in Florence or head for the countryside, make sure to spend a little longer under the Tuscan sun (did you get that travel movie reference?).

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Puglia

Average high: 29°C (84.2°F)

Average low: 18°C (64.4°F)

Rainy days average: 8

In southern Italy lies the region of Puglia, taking up the “heel” section of Italy’s boot-like shape. It’s a popular beach destination where towns cling to cliffsides above turquoise seas.

Here visitors can spend days exploring ancient towns dotted with elaborate churches, tracing the roots of the various cultures that have left a mark on this part of the country.

One particularly famous beach destination is Polignano a Mare, while the UNESCO-recognised Alberobello is famed for its collection of trulli, conical-roofed houses with white-washed walls.

From here you can also go on a day trip to the Sassi di Matera, which while it’s not technically part of Puglia, it’s close and stunning enough to make it worth it.

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The view over the Sassi of Matera from Belvedere Luigi Gurrigghio

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The gorgeous view over Matera from the Convento di Sant’Agostino

Amalfi Coast

Average high: 29°C (84.2°F)

Average low: 24°C (75.2°F)

Rainy days average: 3

For a taste of the real dolce vita, spend your trip in Italy in summer at the Amalfi Coast.

Scattered with hilltop towns and seaside villages, this iconic coastline is home to picturesque (and chic) towns such as Positano and the luxurious Capri, a haunt of the rich and famous since the days of ancient Rome.

Those who have their own set of wheels will have an amazing time exploring this stretch of coastline by car, along winding coastal roads stopping off at cobbled villages and refuelling at hidden eateries.

On a trip to Amalfi Coast, you can expect to go on beautiful sunset boat tours in Positano, hiking along the coastal Path of the Gods, discovering the hidden ruins of Pompeii and much more.

Beaches, iconic views, a little bit of history – what more could you want from your Italian summer vacation?

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The iconic view over Positano and its main beach

Is summer a good time to visit Italy?

While I’d love to say yes, absolutely, there are a few cons to visiting Italy in summer.

The weather may be amazing, but because of that – and because of summer vacation for most places in the world – the tourist crowds can put a dampener on your trip. It’s also a more expensive time of year to travel in general.

August in particular gets extremely hot and humid, especially in cities and in southern regions.

August is also the time of year that many Italians take holidays to beach destinations and mountain resorts, making them pretty busy.

Personally, I like June and early July. There’s less in the way of crowds, and awful humidity, but you still get that Italian summer feeling, with long days and good weather.

Plus it’s cheaper than heading to Italy during peak tourist season.

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Chilling with my friends during a dinghy tour of Asinara Island in Sardinia, Italy

Places to avoid in Italy in summer

While I won’t say you should outright avoid certain places in Italy in summer, after all, if you only have holiday around Ferragosto and are set on visiting Rome, who am I to tell you not to?

But I do think there are places that will leave you with a better impression at other times of year.For example, the big cities like Milan and Rome, are simply too hot and humid to be enjoyable in summer.

Paired with the high number of shops and restaurants that will be closed during that time of year, it just wouldn’t be the same as visiting Rome in spring or winter.

The same goes for Milan in winter, while it won’t be the idyllic Italian summer holiday you’re picturing, it would without a doubt be more pleasant temperature-wise.

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Exploring the rooftop of the Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy

That said, there are still ways to make the most of city destinations in summer, for example if you head out to explore Milan or Rome at night, when the temperatures cool a bit and tourist crowds leave.

It’s the reason behind why there are so many popular Rome by night tours, which take you to the Vatican, Colosseum, Pantheon, and all the other sights that are flooded with tourists by day.

If you do decide to visit Rome anyway, make sure to check out my Rome 1-day itinerary and my Rome 3-day itinerary to find out the best things to do!

Personally, I would avoid also other famous destinations like Venice. While it won’t be as hot and humid as Rome or Milan, it can get extremely busy and expensive in high season.

You’ll go for that idyllic gondola ride in Venice, only to get stuck in the gondola traffic of the Grand Canal. Instead of staying in Venice, you could make it a quick stop as part of a longer Italy itinerary.

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The Colosseum in Rome at sunset

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Sunset in Venice, Italy, a popular Mediterranean cruise destination

Final thoughts on visiting Italy in summer

There you have it, the ultimate summer in Italy guide! Have you been to Italy before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!

In this article I tried to include everything you need to know about visiting Italy in summer, as well as highlighting where exactly in Italy you should be going in summer, and which places to avoid.

I know I’ve said a lot in this article how the summer tourist crowds and prices can get a bit much, but don’t let that deter you. Summer in Italy is a wonderful time of the year.

Watching the country come alive, and make the most of the long days and good weather is something that always fills me with joy. Italy in winter is popular thanks to the milder weather, but it can never be as magical as summer.

I hope you find this Italy summer guide useful in planning your own Italian summer vacation. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below!

Before you go, make sure to check these 10 things Italians want you to know before travelling to Italy! And these great quotes about Italy to inspire your trip even more!

Enjoyed reading my Italy summer holiday guide? Pin it!

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

I am an expert and enthusiast. While I have personal experiences or emotions like a human, I have been trained on a wide range of topics and have access to a vast amount of information. I can provide you with accurate and up-to-date information on various subjects. Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in this article.

Weather in Italy in summer

Italy experiences a Mediterranean climate, and summers are generally hot and sunny. The weather can vary across different regions of the country. Here's a breakdown of the weather in Italy during the summer months:

  • June: June marks the start of summer in Italy. It is generally a mild and pleasant time of year to visit practically everywhere. Evenings and mornings are still a little cooler than later in the summer, especially in mountain regions. Scattered showers can be expected during June in Italy [[1]].

  • July: July is a beautiful time to visit Italy. The weather is usually hot and sunny, with a little bit of rain, mostly in the southern regions. The chances of wet weather ruining your trip are low. However, July is also a busy time of year, so be prepared for crowds [[1]].

  • August: August is when Italy experiences its peak summer weather. The country is bathed in beautiful sunshine, and average temperatures are at their highest during this month. The Alps and mountainous regions have cooler temperatures, while cities are hot and humid. Sea temperatures are warm, making it perfect for beach days [[1]].

Holidays to expect in Italy in summer

When planning your summer trip to Italy, it's important to be aware of the national holidays that may affect your visit. Here are a couple of holidays to keep in mind:

  • Republic Day: Republic Day falls on June 2nd and is a public holiday in Italy. It celebrates the country's modern founding and is marked by parades and fireworks, with many celebrations taking place in Rome. Some places may be closed on this day [[1]].

  • Ferragosto: Ferragosto is a significant holiday in Italy, falling on August 15th. It officially marks the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, although it is not a particularly religious holiday. Many Italians take time off around Ferragosto, resulting in crowded beach destinations and mountain resorts. Prices in vacation spots may also increase during this time. Cities like Rome and Milan may be quieter as locals head to the countryside, beaches near Milan, and mountain resorts [[1]].

What to pack for an Italy summer trip

When packing for a summer trip to Italy, it's important to consider the weather and the activities you plan to engage in. Here are some essential items to pack:

  • Lightweight clothes: Pack loose and long clothing to protect yourself from the sun and adhere to the strict dress codes of churches.

  • Refillable water bottle: Carry a refillable water bottle to save money and reduce plastic waste.

  • Sunscreen, sun hat, and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun's UV rays.

  • Comfortable shoes: Bring a comfortable pair of shoes, such as sturdy sandals, for walking around cities or hiking.

  • Swimsuit and beach towel: If you plan to visit the beach, pack a swimsuit and a beach towel.

  • Smart-casual outfits: Have some smart-casual outfits for evenings out for dinner and drinks [[1]].

Best places to visit in Italy in summer

Italy offers a wide variety of destinations to explore during the summer months. Here are some popular places to visit:

  • Sardinia: Sardinia is a stunning destination known for its beautiful Mediterranean coastline, turquoise waters, and white sand beaches. It offers a mix of easygoing beach vacations and opportunities for exploration, such as La Maddalena Archipelago and Costa Smeralda [[1]].

  • Trentino: Trentino, located in the heart of the Alps, is a popular destination for outdoor activities. It offers lush valleys, well-maintained cycle paths, hiking trails, and picturesque lakes. It's an ideal place for cycling, hiking, and enjoying the fresh food and vineyards [[1]].

  • Cinque Terre: Cinque Terre is a UNESCO-recognized string of villages on the Italian Riviera. It offers a combination of hiking, beaches, and charming coastal towns. Visitors can explore the colorful towns connected by road, rail, and hiking trails, such as the famous Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail) [[1]].

  • Sicily: Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, is known for its good weather, nature, history, and beaches. Visitors can explore Mount Etna, the Valley of Temples, ancient towns like Taormina, and the stunning coastline [[1]].

  • Lake Como: Lake Como, located in northern Italy's Lombardy region, is a picturesque destination known for its beauty. Visitors can enjoy hiking along the shoreline, taking boat trips on the lake, and exploring charming towns like Bellagio [[1]].

  • Tuscany: Tuscany is the heart of Italy and offers a mix of landscapes, historic architecture, and delicious food. Visitors can explore iconic cities like Florence, Pisa, and Siena, as well as picturesque towns like San Gimignano. Tuscany is known for its cultural attractions, including art galleries, cathedrals, and vineyards [[1]].

  • Puglia: Puglia, located in southern Italy, is a popular beach destination with towns perched above turquoise seas. Visitors can explore ancient towns, such as Alberobello with its trulli houses, and enjoy the beautiful coastline. A day trip to the nearby Sassi di Matera is also recommended [[1]].

  • Amalfi Coast: The Amalfi Coast is a stunning coastal region known for its hilltop towns and seaside villages. Visitors can enjoy hiking, exploring picturesque towns like Positano and Capri, and discovering hidden ruins like Pompeii. It's a perfect destination for beach lovers and those seeking a taste of the dolce vita [[1]].

Is summer a good time to visit Italy?

While summer in Italy offers beautiful weather and a vibrant atmosphere, there are a few factors to consider when deciding whether it's the best time to visit. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Tourist crowds: Summer is a popular time for tourists to visit Italy, so expect larger crowds at popular destinations. This can result in longer queues and higher prices.

  • Hot and humid weather: August, in particular, can be extremely hot and humid, especially in cities and southern regions. If you prefer milder temperatures, June and early July might be more suitable.

  • Holiday season: Italians take vacations during the summer, which can lead to crowded beach destinations and mountain resorts. Prices may also increase during this time.

Considering these factors, it's important to weigh the pros and cons and decide what suits your preferences and travel style. If you prefer fewer crowds and lower prices, you may consider visiting Italy in spring or autumn when the weather is still pleasant.

Places to avoid in Italy in summer

While there are no places to outright avoid in Italy during summer, some destinations may be more enjoyable at other times of the year. Here are a few examples:

  • Big cities: Cities like Rome and Milan can be hot, humid, and crowded during the summer months. Additionally, many shops and restaurants may be closed during this time. Exploring cities at night when temperatures are cooler and tourist crowds have diminished can be a good alternative.

  • Venice: Venice can get extremely busy and expensive during the high season. Gondola rides may be affected by gondola traffic on the Grand Canal. Consider making Venice a quick stop as part of a longer Italy itinerary.

Ultimately, the decision to visit certain places in Italy during summer depends on personal preferences and priorities. It's always a good idea to plan ahead, research the specific destinations you want to visit, and consider the potential impact of tourist crowds and weather conditions.

I hope this information helps you plan your summer trip to Italy! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

Italy in Summer - ULTIMATE Guide & Tips (By an Italian!) (2024)
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