When the weather is not miserable and the prices are still reasonable, that’s the definition of a shoulder season and March absolutely fits that description.

Prices on things like air travel to Italy and Italy hotels remains low in March, and although the cost may be starting to nose up slightly from the deals that were on offer in January and February it’s still well within reach of even those on a strict budget. Not only that, in locations where hostels in Italy close up entirely during the slow winter months, those hostels are usually opening up again in March – which means an even more budget-friendly option for travelers.

Crowd levels tend to be at their lowest during the winter in Italy, but even if there are more tourists in Italy in March than there were in February the overall numbers are still far lower than they are in the summer – so you’re still not likely to be stuck in long lines for even the major attractions.

The drawbacks of visiting Italy in March primarily have to do with the unpredictable weather – it’s no fun to plan a day of hiking through Umbria or exploring the outdoor ruins at Pompeii because you anticipate sun (or at least dry weather) and then to get drenched by an unexpected storm, but that’s very possible in March. If you’re a flexible traveler who’s able to adjust your daily itinerary based on the weather, you’ll be much better prepared for a March trip.

As noted above, it’s important to find out when Easter falls before you’re locked into an Italy itinerary – being in Italy during Easter can be exciting, but trying to travel from city to city during Easter weekend can be a pain. Knowing ahead of time when Easter occurs could save you a few travel headaches.

Weather in March in Italy

Shoulder seasons are often marked by weather that’s best described as “unpredictable,” and March in Italy is no exception. The weather can vary depending on where you are in the country, which is true year-round, but during March the unpredictability factor goes up even more.

March weather often means rain or generally damp weather, and in some places it can be quite cold (especially in early March) – but as you go south, the temperature goes up and the rain decreases. The second half of March is when it often feels like spring has arrived in Italy, and it’s not uncommon for late March weather to be warm and sunny. Of course, you’ll still see women in fur coats throughout the country – Italian wardrobes are based on the calendar, not the actual weather outside.

Because you can never be sure what the March weather will have in store for you, this can make packing for a March trip to Italy more complicated. Should you bring sunglasses? An umbrella? The answer is likely yes – to both.

Temperatures in March vary depending on where you are in Italy, but as a general rule of thumb these are the ranges:

  • Northern Italy: 35-55°F (2-13°C)
  • Central Italy: 45-60°F (7-16°C)
  • Southern Italy: 50-60°F (10-16°C)


February is part of the country’s low season, when prices on everything from airline tickets to Italy to Italy hotels to vacation packages in Italy are often at the lowest end of the spectrum. If a shoestring budget has been the biggest factor keeping you from visiting Italy, then rest assured your money will go much further during February.

The dreary weather in February brings another perk, and that’s smaller crowds. Even though the prices are sometimes spectacularly low, the weather is such that most people still avoid going to Italy during the winter. That means not only will you pay less for your trip, you also won’t find the usual long lines to get into popular attractions.

Keep in mind that during the winter many attractions change their open hours so they’re not open as long each day, and prices won’t be low in places where there’s a big event going on (like Venice during Carnival) or where the winter is the high season (like in the mountain ski areas).

Italy's Weather in February

While January tends to be colder overall than February, the two months are fairly interchangeable weather-wise. The northern parts of Italy and other mountainous regions are often snow-covered, and rain usually dominates the forecast in other areas.

Still, in some places February is when Italy is beginning to shake off its winter cloak. As is nearly always the case in Italy, the further south you travel in February, the warmer it gets. The mountains will still be cold and likely still snowy in February, even in southern Italy and the islands, but the more temperate coastal climate reaches quite a ways inland. That usually translates into rain in February in the places that don’t get snow, but the rain can very well be broken up by a few hours or even a full day of clear weather, too.

Planning a trip to Italy in February when your to-do list includes things like hanging out on the beach, hiking through Tuscan hills, or exploring ancient excavations outdoors may not be a good idea – those things aren’t very pleasant when it’s cold and wet outside. But if you’re looking for a ski vacation in February, Italy is a great option. The mountain resorts in the north and central Italy in particular are popular with skiers – and because February is a less popular time for most ski trips than January, you may find better deals.

Temperatures in February vary depending on where you are in Italy, but as a general rule of thumb these are the ranges:

  • Northern Italy: 25-45°F (-4-5°C)
  • Central Italy: 40-55°F (5-13°C)
  • Southern Italy: 50-60°F (10-16°C)


For some, the appeal of seeing Italy decked out for Christmas or hearing Christmas mass in one of the many beautiful and historic churches in the country is enough of a reason to plan a December trip. For everyone else, there are still good reasons to go to Italy in December.

Even though the Christmas holidays draw more visitors to Italy than might otherwise be in the country during the low season, the crowds are still overall much smaller than during the high season. If you’re going to Christmas mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, prepare for crowds – but if you’re visiting smaller towns and cities and you just happen to be there around Christmas you’ll find Italy much quieter than it is at its peak tourist season.

As far as the expense of an Italy trip goes, December is a mixed bag. Early in the month can be a very budget-friendly time to visit – the country is in its low season, and the cost of air tickets to Italy and hotels in Italy fall as a result. As Christmas gets closer, however, hotels and hostels in Italy in particular raise their rates back up a bit because of the increased demand. It’s a bit of an exaggeration to call Christmas a mini-high season in Italy, but there’s definitely an upward spike in the cost of accommodation in the more popular cities.

The primary drawback to visiting Italy in December is the weather. It’s cold and often wet, and that’s not exactly conducive to strolling through medieval cobbled streets or slowly exploring the ruins of Pompeii. For anyone who’s on a budget and who doesn’t mind adapting an Italy itinerary as the weather changes, however, December can be a good month to visit.

Keep in mind that although most of Italy is in its low season in December, its ski resorts are just beginning their high season – so if you’re thinking about a ski vacation in December in Italy, remember that the prices will be raised accordingly and you’ll need to book in advance to get the best deals on accommodation.


Italy in December is cold – there’s snow in the mountains along the northern border of the country and in the mountain ranges that run down the length of the peninsula, and there’s even sometimes snow in the cities that are not up in the mountains. Where there is not snow, there tends to be rain, and the temperatures have usually dropped quite a bit from November.

As is almost always the case, southern Italy remains warmer than northern Italy even in the country’s coldest months – but that does not mean December is beach weather in Sicily. The good news is that throughout Italy, there are lots of reasons to duck into bars and cafes for a little something to warm yourself up with – in addition to the usual quick espresso you can get year-round, winter brings out the hot wine called 'Vin Brule'. It’s especially common in northern or mountain towns.

December is not the time to plan hiking trips through Tuscany, but it is the time to plan the ski season’s first trips to the slopes. When the ski resorts in Italy really get going depends a bit on the snowfall that year, but skiers may want to check with the ski areas nearby during a December visit. Also note that many ski resort towns are home to natural hot springs and spas – and you don’t have to spend a day skiing to enjoy a restorative dip in a hot spring on a cold December day.

Temperatures in December vary depending on where you are in Italy, but as a general rule of thumb these are the ranges:

  • Northern Italy: 25-45°F (-4-5°C)
  • Central Italy: 40-55°F (5-13°C)
  • Southern Italy: 55-60°F (13-16°C)

Travel Planning,


The January weather is definitely a deterrent for many, as it’s common to associate sunny weather with the word “vacation.” But even if you’re not a skier, there are a couple of great reasons to visit Italy in January – the cost and the crowds.

Italy is by no means an inexpensive country in which to travel, but the price of pretty much everything a tourist will be spending money on drops dramatically in January. You’ll pay a fraction of the high season cost for your airfare to Italy, your hotels in Italy, even sometimes the Italy day tours you sign up for. Travelers for whom money is the foremost consideration will definitely find Italy much more budget-friendly in January.

Despite the overall cost of an Italy trip being lower in January, the weather keeps enough people away that it’s still relatively crowd-free. You won’t be waiting in long lines to get into the Vatican Museums or the Uffizi, for instance, and it’s much easier to find hotel vacancies in the parts of town where you’d like to stay.

The downsides to a January trip to Italy – besides the weather – include the fact that many attractions keep shorter open hours and some places (particularly hostels) close altogether. Also note that if you’re planning to do any skiing in Italy, January and the winter are the high season – so hotels and other accommodation in ski resort towns won’t be cheap.

Traveling in Italy in January is often a mixed bag – the weather can be dreary, cold, wet, and gray, but with prices (and crowd levels) at about the lowest point you’ll find them all year it might just be worth packing a raincoat and a scarf.

Weather in January in Italy

Parts of Italy do get covered in blankets of fluffy, white snow in January, while others get inundated with fog and rain – it depends primarily on what part of the country you’re visiting.

As with any other time of year, the temperature will get warmer as you go south. The mountains that line the border of northern Italy tend to be the coldest areas during the winter, although any mountainous parts of the country (and there are many) are where you’ll find colder and snowier conditions.

It’s less common to get snow in the coastal regions (and when it happens it’s something of an event), but instead of snow these areas routinely get rain in January. Because the Italian peninsula is so narrow, the coastal climate extends quite a ways inland on both sides – meaning even if you’re as far inland as Rome, for instance, you’re more likely to get rain during the winter than snow.

Although the cold and damp can make some tourist activities less enticing (wandering the ruins of the Roman Forum or Pompeii in the rain doesn’t sound very appealing), one activity in particular is only available in the winter months like January: skiing. The mountains that line the northern border, as well as those that run down the center of the peninsula, are often packed with skiers and snowboarders in the winter. Not only that, many of the ski resort towns in the Italian mountains are also home to hot springs and spas – and there’s nothing like a dip in a natural hot spring to take the January chill right off you.

Temperatures in January vary depending on where you are in Italy, but as a general rule of thumb these are the ranges:

  • Northern Italy: 25-45°F (-4-5°C)
  • Central Italy: 40-55°F (5-13°C)
  • Southern Italy: 50-60°F (10-16°C)


June is the peak of the tourist season in Italy, when crowd numbers and prices are at their highest point. The temperature will climb later in the summer, but throughout Italy it’s plenty warm already in June.

Weather in June in Italy

Although the weather in May in recent years has felt like summer, the high summer season doesn’t technically start until June – and the word “high” applies to the temperature in June, too.
No matter what time of year you’re talking about, the mercury typically rises as you head south in Italy. In June, that means that if it’s hot in northern Italy then it’s even hotter in the south. June isn’t quite the time when Italians with the means to do so abandon the cities for the cooler mountains or beaches, but it’s definitely common for locals to take off for weekends in the countryside more often starting in June.
If you hadn’t already been taking advantage of the beach-friendly weather of May, then you will be in June. This is when beach resorts up and down both coasts (and around all of Italy’s major islands) start to get crowded with Italians and foreigners alike.

It’s worth noting that in many cases, humidity comes along with the higher temperatures throughout Italy. High humidity can make an otherwise-reasonable 85°F feel more uncomfortable, especially when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Even if you don’t think you’re susceptible to problems with hot weather, you may want to confirm that your hotel has air conditioning just in case.

Temperatures in June vary depending on where you are in Italy, but as a general rule of thumb these are the ranges:

  • Northern Italy: 55-80°F (13-27°C)
  • Central Italy: 60-80°F (16-27°C)
  • Southern Italy: 70-85°F (21-30°C)

Travel Planning,