Is Winter in Italy a good time to travel?
Most people jet off to Italy for their Summer vacation, to soak up the sunshine and get those photos in their summer dresses. These days more and more are becoming aware of the perks of visiting Italy in Spring and Autumn when the sun isn’t quite so hot, and your gelato lasts long than 10 seconds before melting into an endless drip from the cone. Nevertheless, as late summer and Autumn in Italy become less of a secret and prices increase, I’m here to tell you why you should visit Italy in the winter and why Italy can make for a great winter vacation to shake off the post-holiday blues.
Avoid Italy’s Crowds & Lines
One of the biggest complaints about visits to Italy especially Rome and Florence is how crowded it gets in the most popular squares and museums. You can be waiting for ages to get into the Vatican or the Uffizi galleries even with pre-reserved “skip-the-line” tickets in the busier months, so the best benefit of Italy in the winter is that you won’t have to queue! You can peacefully wander through the piazzas observing locals sipping their morning espressos and stroll into the top museums without much planning! Dine in the best restaurants where the staff, not frazzled by hoards of loud tourists all day, will be able to dedicate you all their charming attention – even if you didn’t reserve!
There’s no doubt that Italian cities are a lot less tiring to navigate if you’re not constantly having to dodge large groups of tours holding flags in the air and not having to hear people from your own country yelling in every corner certainly makes the Italian trip feel more authentic!
This typical Tuscan country house with a fireplace is available to book through Artviva year round – Book Here
Low Prices and Off Season Bargains during winter in Italy
Italy is becoming increasingly pricey, with tourism driving up the prices of everything from hotels, to guides, to the food – not to mention the huge increase in the cost of living and fuel post-pandemic in Europe (largely due to the Russian situation). Now, September and even October are considered at least shoulder season, if not high season, and tend to have high prices. This means if you want to enjoy Italy, but have a limited budget or want to save and enjoy more time, winter is the perfect time! While the few days over Christmas or New Years might cost a bit more, if you book in advance you can get some great bargains. The rest of the months November – March will have great prices often up to half those of summer time for hotels and accommodation. Restaurants and bars which sometimes artificially inflate their prices in the summer for tourists will have locals pricing for you to take advantage of.
Avoid the Heat but get that Italian Winter Sunshine
Apart from the crowds, another common complaint is the heat in Italy. Narrow medieval streets, and hoards of people don’t make for great air-flow and when you’ve got a busy itinerary to get through the heat can get overwhelming. When you’re already dehydrated from the trip, sometimes sipping on the delicious red wine we’re famous for in Tuscany isn’t the first thing on your mind! Much of Italy enjoys year-round sunshine much of the year which means you can enjoy blue skies in your Italian vacation in winter without suffering from the heat.
Morning low fog over the Tuscan landscape in winter
Greener Landscapes in Italy
Admittedly early winter landscapes might be a little barren in parts but much of the Italian countryside can become very dry and brown in summer, often very early on. The increased rain can help keep the forests and fields greener in the winter months, particularly in the South. The vineyards have usually already been harvested and so do look a little bare admittedly but in the early spring you’ll be looking at greener times, early flowers and buds quite soon!
Carnival in Venice and other Italian towns
It’s not just Rio de Janeiro famous for carnival. Italy is too. One of the great perks of winter in Italy is carnival! Venice is perhaps most famous but other cities join in the fun too these days, most notably, Viareggio has one of the most famous carnivals. Viareggio is a Tuscan coastal town about 1 1/2 hour’s drive from Florence and its carnival history goes back very far and runs very deep. Over the course of 5 weekends between January and March the town goes crazy with regular parades and some of the largest floats in the world. 2023 will be the 150th anniversary of the Carnevale de Viareggio so expect something extra-special!
Venice Carnival takes place between 4th – 21st February this year and you can expect costumes and balls galore! IT get svery booked up and expensive though so plan ahead!
Christmas Markets and lights in Italy – in December
Well this might go without saying that this applies to November and December only. But one of Europe’s great traditions is no less spectacular in Italy. All cities have beautiful “German-style” Christmas markets selling local treats and vin brulé (hot wine/mulled wine) for you to wander around. Most botanical gardens have light trails and ice-rinks are a fun feature here too! If you’re looking for a Christmassy trip, Italy is beautifully decorated with wonderful Christmas trees and lights put up by the local councils. Most cities have a wonderful calendar of events for the December season too. If you fancy seeing in the New Year look out for firework displays and plenty of atmosphere!
So there you have it, our 6 reasons why winter is a great time to visit Italy! Get in touch and we can help you plan your perfect trip! Just send an email to [email protected] and [email protected] or fill in the form while browsing our site.