Coming to Italy in August? 5 Things to Expect

fornillo beach is an amazing place to visit in August in Italy. Find out where to go and what to expect during Italy's most relaxed month.
Fornillo Beach: A more tranquil spot

If you’re experiencing August in Italy, you’re not alone! Since it’s when kids are out of school and the idea of vacation is on everyone’s mind, lots of travelers visit Italy in August. But there are some things you have to be prepared for.

Here are five things to keep in mind before you head to Italy in August.

The weather in Italy in August

In short: dry, sunny, and hot. On average, August is a little cooler than July—but not by much. The monthly average temperature for Rome is a high of 87° F, a low of 62° F. Although Rome is in southern Italy, the temperatures are remarkably similar in those other two famous destinations, Florence and Venice: In August, Florence has the exact same range, while Venice has a high of 80° F and low of 63° F. For the past couple of summers, it’s been even hotter than that.

So pack your light layers, and be prepared to be on the warm side! (Here are 10 tips for surviving the heat in Italy).

In the cities, stores and restaurants close during ferragosto—and before ferragosto, and after ferragosto

This pharmacy is closed from July 12-Aug. 8. Hey, that’s not ferragosto…

Ferragosto, the traditional holiday dating back to the time of Emperor Augustus, technically runs from Aug. 15 to Sep. 1. That’s when Italian families tend to take their holidays, and when stores and restaurants (particularly the smaller, family-run establishments) often are closed.

But while Aug. 15 is a national holiday, the rest of the vacation is up to interpretation. Result? Some establishments close as early as mid-July. Others stay open through the entire summer. Some close for a week; others for a month.

In other words? If you’re coming to Italy in late July, August, or early September, be prepared to be flexible, particularly if you’re headed to one of Italy’s big cities. And plan ahead. If there’s a restaurant you want to try, have your hotel call in advance to make sure it’s actually open. Likewise for small shops you’ve been wanting to try.

Here’s a good list of restaurants open in Rome in August from food blogger Katie Parla.

Even though many Italians leave the cities, you won’t have them to yourself

Here’s one good way to get away from the August crowds at the Colosseum: visit the underground!

Lots of international tourists come to Italy in August. So even though many local neighborhoods, particularly those out of the center, will be very tranquil, the trodden tourist path won’t be. In fact, it’s when sites like the Vatican museums and Uffizi gallery will be at their most crowded.

We’re proponents of seeking out off-the-beaten-path gems, or of trying to see famous sights in a “new” way, year-round (check out our new Vatican City Tour with Gardens, Museum & Castel Gandolfo by Train experience as just one example!). But that’s even more worth considering in August’s crowds.

Tourist sites (and tourist traps) will be open in August

Although having many of the small shops and restaurants closed in Italy’s cities might throw a cramp in your plans, you don’t have to worry about major museums and tourist sites closing. While some (like the Vatican museums) might close on Aug. 15 and possibly Aug. 16, many others don’t. And they certainly don’t close for all of August. Rome’s Colosseum and forum, for example, are open every day in August.

Touristestablishments also tend to be open in August. You know what we mean: the restaurants right on Piazza Navona, the cafes on St. Mark’s Square, the souvenir shops outside of Florence’s Duomo. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should eat at them.

Coastal towns and the islands won’t just be open—they’ll be hopping

You definitely won’t be alone on an Italian beach in August!

If you’re heading to, say, Sardinia, Sicily, Capri, or the coast of Puglia, instead of mainland, land-locked Italy, then you’ll be in luck: Italians come here on their August vacations, so stores and restaurants will be open. But that also means that some of those islands and towns will be packed. And their beaches will be, too!

August is a unique time to be in Italy.  Check out the Walks of Italy blog to learn what to do and what to expect.

 

Traveing in Italy in august can be a nightmare or the best trip of your life. Find out what to expect when traveling in august.

73 Comments

  • Ramune says:

    Fantastic country I love ITALY xxx

  • Brooke says:

    Hi! Love the blog. My husband and I are traveling to Italy August 8-22, arriving and departing from Rome. We haven’t quite decided on our final “tour,” but we are thinking Rome, Naples, Venice, Tuscany, Rome. Should we be concerned about lack of hotels or entertainment during travel in this time?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Brooke,
      Thanks for your kind words! When it comes to hotels, book as far in advance as possible, since August is the height of high season. As far as entertainment goes, all the tourist sights will be open—it’s more that most Italian city-dwellers go on their own holidays, so smaller, family-run, independent places (like many restaurants, some shops, etc.) will be closed. But some might be closed the whole time you’re in Italy, some just for a day or two (usually Aug. 15)… it really depends. We say, if that’s the only time you can come to Italy, come—just book your hotels far in advance, look up what (good, authentic) restaurants will be open then and make sure to reserve them, and be prepared for hot weather and crowds! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Mary says:

    Hi 🙂

    I’m going to Italy for the first time but I’m not sure if I should go in August or September.. What one would you recommend as the better month and why? I’m thinking September won’t be as busy/crowded…

    • Hi Mary,
      We’d definitely recommend September over August, and the later in September, the better. Early September still tends to be quite crowded, hot, and many businesses are still closed.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • nina says:

    Hello,

    I keep reading about many small businesses closed in August….
    Due to school holidays August is the preferred month for us to travel to Rome, Florence and Venice, day trip to Pisa and perhaps to Siena.

    I like to see places buzzing and busy. But in August do the streets look all empty?

    Our other time to “possibly” travel there is end of April early May.

    Do you think that would be better?

    Thank you for your time.

    Nina

    • Hi Nina,
      The streets definitely won’t be empty in Italy’s cities, since it’s tourist season! 😉 And it’s not as if every Italian leaves—but some half of those living in Rome, for example, do, so the city does feel much different than it does at other times of year, especially at the height of the August holiday (from about Aug. 15-22). We understand the difficulty of avoiding August. But if it’s possible to come in June, July, or, yes, the spring, you might find more opportunity for people-watching the locals and seeing the streets as they normally are.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • nina says:

    Our traveling dates are from August 2 to 12th.

    Is that better than travelling from mid to end August?

    Thank you
    Nina

    • Hi Nina,
      Yes, those dates are better than later August. The official holiday is Aug. 15, and most businesses that are going to close during Ferragosto tend to close starting then (although some will be closed the previous week, instead). But in general, you’ll find more things open then than in later August. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Lori says:

    My family and my sister and her family are going to Italy from August 7th until August 18th. We are going to be attending my cousin’s wedding in Vasto, which is about 3 hours from Rome Airport. After the wedding (which is on August 9th) me and my family will be going to Sorrento for a few days. Any suggestions on what we can expect in Sorrento? We have never been there…we’ve been to Italy in 2010 but we went in June to just Rome and Venice and I remember it being very hot in Rome in June.

    • Hi Lori,
      Thanks for stopping by! We’re happy to help. Sorrento will definitely be hot. It will also be crowded, as it’s the peak tourist season. You might want to consider doing some day trips in the area and getting off the beaten path; we like Ravello, Vietri sul Mare, and Salerno, as towns on the Amalfi coast. From Sorrento, it’s also fairly easy on the ferry to get to Procida, Ischia and/or Capri. You also might want to read our blog post on how to get the most out of the Amalfi coast. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • ashish says:

    Can anyone suggest a travel plan to Italy from 31st Juy to 12 August. Also please recommend hotels which are good and not so expensive

  • kevin says:

    Very informative, so glad I found you. I will be walking the Cammino di Assisi the last two weeks of August, beginning in Dovadola. Do you know if ferragosto will cause much disruption in the small towns along the pilgrimage? Any other information on the Cammino would be helpful. thanks so much.

    Kevin

    • Hi Kevin,
      We’re happy to help. What a beautiful walk! In the small towns, you’ll find many restaurants and shops closed thanks to ferragosto, so if you want to eat a meal out, do make sure to call the restaurant in advance. It might be a good idea to buy a cheap cell phone when you get to Italy so that you’re able to do this (plus it’s a good idea to have a way to contact people while you’re hiking, just in case!). We’ve written how to use a cell phone in Italy here. Also, be aware that it can be quite warm in August, so dress accordingly and bring lots of water!
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Michelle says:

    Hi there, lovely blog and so helpful and up to date. Just fantastic, wish I had stumbled across this sooner.

    Just wanted to ask you advice, my family and I are catching the over night sleep train from dusseldorf to allesandria and then driving down to La Spezia on 15 August. We are renting a villa in the hills for some peace and quiet, we have arranged for basics to be in the villa as are aware that everything will be closed on 15 Auguat for your national holiday. Will shops be open the next day in La Spezia? Just wondering if we will be able to go into the village and do shopping at the local markets for food?
    We are returning to dusseldorf on 22 August, so seems we have chosen the busiest time. Are there any other tips you have for us?

    Many thanks
    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle,
      Sorry we didn’t catch this in time to be of help, but we hope you found something open today 🙂 Yes, most things are closed on 15 August, but you’ll probably find that at least some shops (at least for the essentials like food) will be open on 16 August. We hope you’re having a wonderful time!

  • Sarah says:

    I am looking at Italy for my honeymoon early August, can you recommend any areas to visit or things to do?

    • Hi Sarah,
      Well, yes! Other than the usual Florence, Venice, Rome, Amalfi coast suspects (which all will be very crowded and hot in August), we’ve actually written a post on some alternative Italian honeymoon destinations here that should give you some ideas. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Vanessa says:

    Hi! My friend and I are heading to Amalfi end August. After reading a few of your blogs about the potential madness during this time, I was wondering if you had other tips about surviving the beach crowds etc.
    I’ve read your blog about avoiding the bus or rather how crazy the bus can be so we’ve decided we’ll get off at Salerno and take the ferry to Amalfi.

    I would appreciate any other tips, restaurants etc.

    We have booked our accommodation already so at least have a head start with that.

    Grazie!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi, Vanessa, taking the ferry to Amalfi is a great way to get to Salerno, also with the opportunity to experience some lovely views of the coast. We recommend getting to the beach early (around 9:00AM) to grab a spot by the water and bringing your own refreshments to the beach (water, snacks) as the nearby bars tend to be expensive. Buon viaggio!

  • Georgie says:

    Hi,

    My friedn and I were considering visiting Florence for a few days right at the beginning of August (1st – 5th we think). Will most places still be open then before the Italian Holiday season begins? Also how hot will it get at this time of year?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Most places in Florence should be open during the first week of August! Many shops and restaurants shut down closer to the Ferragosto (August 15) holiday. It can get pretty hot, so be sure to wear light and comfortable clothing. Buon viaggio and let us know about your experience 🙂

  • Kirra says:

    Firstly, I want to say thank you for such a diverse range of fantastic blog posts. Your blog has been a very important tool in my Italian holiday planning!

    Like most of the people who have already left comments, I will be unable to avoid the August peak season. I arrive on the 2nd, and then leave Italy on the 19th. I am in (and around) Rome from the 2nd – 12th, including a few proposed day trips to Naples etc, and then in Florence from then on. I am also planning to spend a night in Venice.

    Is there anywhere I can go during these periods to get an authentic Italian experience, rather than being surrounded by other tourists?

    Thank you so much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Kirra! We’re so happy to hear it 🙂 You won’t find many Italians in the big cities during that period as most of the locals are on vacation. If you want to go where the locals go, we suggest taking day trips (or overnight stays) in the nearby beach towns. For example, we love Forte dei Marmi near Florence and Sperlonga near Rome. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • george says:

    Hi I will be going to Italy from Aug 5 to the 15th I will be landing in Rome and staying 2 nights then plan on heading toward the amalfi coast via rental do you think it will be better to take other transportation? We want to expierence the wonderful beaches and vibrant atmosphere good nightlife and food. We are planning to continue south and take flight back to Rome for departure do you have any suggestions to make the journey better?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao George! We would suggest considering taking the train from Rome to Naples because trains are generally more affordable and a faster way to arrive at your destination. The Amalfi Coast is a great place to enjoy Italy’s beaches: we’d suggest taking a look at the numerous articles we’ve written about the area for helpful tips and info 🙂

  • Rachael says:

    Hello!

    My husband and I are going to be in Italy from August 23rd through the 29th. During that time our focus will be split from Venice the 23rd through 26th and Rome the remainder. Parla’s list for open restaurants in Rome was very useful but I’m wondering if you know of anything similar in venice. We are hoping to find a few non tourist “traps” to eat at while there. Any help is very appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Peace & Many Thanks,
    Rachael

  • raveen says:

    Hi, we already booked for our holiday on 18th august to 21st august in venice and planing to go rome nd florence as well but made me sad that mid august is not good idea to visit italy….it really remain close or not.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Raveen, many things will still be open, but some stores and restaurants do close down for August, especially the week of 15 August (Ferragosto). Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Rebecca says:

    Hi there! We are planning a 7 day trip to Florence and Tuscany (3 nights in each) and currently targeting August 30 – Sept 4. Will the majority of restaurants / wineries still be closed? That is where we are hoping to focus our time. We haven’t pulled the trigger yet, so wanted to get your thoughts. Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Rebecca! Most restaurants and wineries should be open during your trip as businesses usually go back to regular business soon after the August 15th holiday. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • RayJay says:

    Helloo Walks of Italy I will be visiting Milan in the first week of August, are the shops and restaurants going to be open? Thnx

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao, most of the shops and restaurants will be open during the first week of August! Let us know if you have any questions 🙂

  • totoro says:

    Hi! I’m planning a 2week trip to italy (starting in rome – florence -cinque terre – portofino – venice) and wld like to avoid the heat as much as possible. Will it be very hot in end Aug (25aug onwards) or should we wait 1 week later and only fly in on 1 Sep? Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! It may be best to postpone your trip into September as the weather is still quite hot at the end of August. It would be best to wait until mid/end September, if possible, to be sure to find cooler temperatures. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • sara says:

    hi:)
    i’ll be in milan for one day:( in 15 august!
    will the shops in duomo be closed?
    thanks

  • lucy says:

    Hi
    I will be in central Rome 14-15 August 2015, as i understand that the town will be quite but will there be any festivals, parades, stalls, fireworks around the main attractions, piazzas, Spanish steps, I would like to experience the ambience, rather than heading to the beach.
    Love this post

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lucy,

      It is a little quiet in Rome but don’t worry, it’s not a ghost town. There are still plenty of people around, just fewer locals. One festival we would highly recommend is the opera at the Baths of Caracalla – during your visit La Boheme is playing. They set up a stage in the middle of the huge ancient ruins – it’s just magical.

  • Sigrun Halldorsdottir says:

    Hi, my husband and I are planning a week trip to Rome 14.-21.august. Will there be any restaurants
    open? And what about the shops, for example on the big shopping street CORSO?
    Will the shopping malls be open ?
    Many thanks 🙂
    Sigrun

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Sigrun,

      Yes there will be many restaurants open. With Ferragosto on August 15th, you can expect some closures, but you won’t have to worry about not finding food! Most smaller shops will be closed for a few days around the 15th, but the bigger stores and chains will likely remain open, closing only the 15th. Have a great trip!

  • Shibu says:

    Hi

    I along with my female friends are planning to visit Italy from 8th till 14th August.
    Will it be safe for female to travel at this point of year?
    Also, suggest precautionary steps,if any.

    Thanks
    Shibu

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Shibu,

      Italy is absolutely safe for male, female and solo travelers – for all times of the year. The only precautionary steps are the same in any new country or town: watch your purses in crowds and be careful when out drinking. Have a great trip!

  • Brian says:

    Hello, great site, and I love how responsive you are to all of the commenters! I’m super excited to be going to Rome for a work trip July 31. I plan on traveling a bit the first week of August (not ideal, but that’s when I’ll be there). Amalfi Coast has long been a goal destination, but I’ve heard the horror stories of the crowds. The thing is, I don’t know when I’ll be able to come back to Italy after this. Would you advise I save Amalfi for some other time and go somewhere to the North instead? Or is Amalfi worth braving the chaos? What city should I approach it from, Naples or Sorrento perhaps?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you for the nice comment, we’re happy to help! August can be quite crowded throughout all of Italy, so don’t let the crowds deter you from your dream trip to the Amalfi Coast. One thing you might want to keep in mind, however, is the heat. The Amalfi Coast in August is on average 99-95 degrees Fahrenheit and can easily reach temperatures of 100 degrees. Though there is the sea and usually a breeze, it can be rough for those who are heat averse. If you do decide to go, perhaps this article can help you make your decision on how to approach it. In any case, we’re sure you’ll have a great trip!

  • Azize says:

    Hi, I have just stumbled across your site and would love to ask you a question. I am travelling to Rome (my favourite place in the world) on August 20 -24th then will be heading to to Positano for s week then back to re first or second week in September. I want to meet the locals and love the hussle and bussel of campo dei Fiori market will that be open during that time?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Azize,

      What a great trip! Campo dei Fiori market will most certainly be open. It’s open Monday – Saturday from the early morning until about 2:00 PM. Hope that helps!

  • Maida says:

    Hi There,?
    Thank you for this great blog. We are planning to come to Tuscany, Italy Aug 27 to Sept 3, 2016. It’s going to be my 50th birthday and I want a nice, quiet place, greenery and video g little towns. I’m trying to decide either on the Tuscan hills or seaside. Perhaps the bugs will be bad in the hills. Reading your blog, I’m hesitant now. What do you suggest? Thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Maida,

      If you want serene and picturesque, then the Tuscan hillside is for you! Nearly all of the many little towns in Tuscany are gorgeous. Our articles, the Top 10 Towns of Tuscany round 1 and round 2, might help you decide which to stay in! Of course, it is quite hot in August, but that is true in the hills and by the sea. If you do decide to stay in by the seaside, we might suggest an island. The Tuscan Archipelago has some of the most natural, well-preserved flora and fauna in the entire country. Let us know what you decide!

  • Keith says:

    Hi,

    We are planning a vacation to Venice and then taking a train to Rome. The trip will be from August 7th – August 14th. Will the shops/restaurants still be open? What is the average temperature during that time of year? Will the cities be crowded with tourists? Do you suggest we modify our vacation dates to mid September? I’m not sure if we can do that, and am a bit stressed out after reading your article. Please advise…Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Keith,

      Shops and restuarants will definitely be open – it’s high season there and the shopkeepers need to make money as well! The cities are crowded with tourists from June through late August, but in August you’ll find more tourists and even fewer locals, as most go on their own vacations and vacate the hot cities. The weather will be quite hote as well. That said, thousands of people tour Italy in August (including us) each year and still find the country fascinating. In Rome try taking a post-lunch break to avoid the hottest part of the day and book your Vatican tickets in advance. (Our Vatican City tours can help you with that!)

  • Pinaki says:

    Hi , We are planning to visit Italy during July 3rd week or August 1st week . We would like to visit Rome, Florence and Venice . We have around 7 to 8 days with us. Few people have told me that it would be very hot and difficult to move around. Could you help us with your views, and if possible a suggested itinerary. Thank you very much for your advise.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Pinaki,

      Though it will likely be hot, it won’t be difficult to move around! The trains run as normal, so that won’t be a problem. A visit to Italy is better than no visit to Italy, so we suggest sunscreen, light clothes and a lot of gelato to beat the heat! Have a great trip 🙂

    • Konstantin says:

      Actually it’s quite nice to be in Rome during August. Because noone’s here. And that also means almost no traffic which is great. The public bus system works best mid August which is definetely a plus. If you’re lucky you will have a mild August and then it’s just wonderful. Day temperatures up to 30 degrees celcius and during nighttime it drops again to 22, which is perfect to walk alongside the Tiber River and visit the little stands they build there.

      • Walks of Italy says:

        Hi Konstantin,
        There are definitely both pros and cons to visiting in August. Our goal is that visitors have all the information before they decide when to travel, so thank you for your input, too! The shops and eateries along the Tiber are always fun to visit. 🙂

  • Aaron says:

    Thanks for this information! Is it all still current for 2016?

  • Barbara Gettelman says:

    Thanks for all the useful info.
    We will be in Venice, Tuscany, Pisa, Florence, sienna & Rome in August 2016.
    What nite activities/festivals, etc would you recommend? Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Barbara,

      All the above cities are great to simply stroll through at night. You’ll find many others doing the same, enjoying the candescent lights and often you’ll find live street performers, for example on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Have a great trip!

  • Elizabeth-Frances says:

    Hi, Planning a Trip to Rome Arrive August 5th leave on the 12th. also planning a day trip to florence. are there any suggestion of what day of the week is best to take that day trip, and what days are things typicaly closed. any idea of a suggested itennary? there is quite a bit to see and bc of diffent days of things being closed, i am not sure how to plan my Itinerary. any ideas or suggestions will be appreciated

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Elizabeth-Frances,

      We understand that it can be overwhelming! That’s why we’re convinced that best way to get the most out of your time is to take tours! If you’re there only for a short time, we suggest taking our Florence in a Day tour to be sure you see all the major sights and are led by an expert local tour guide. We have excellent tours in Rome as well. In Italy, many stores and restaurants can be closed on Monday, as that is their “weekend” day, but you’re sure to find alternatives wherever you go!

  • Michele says:

    Hello…I will be vacationing in Pisa August 15-22. After reading ur blog, it seems this is the absolute worst week to visit Italy. How widespread are the closures & do they include museums & galleries also?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Michele,

      Yes, August 15 is Ferragosto in Italy, a very important public holidays and most museums and restaurants will be closed. Don’t fear though, there will for sure be some restaurants open – you won’t go hungry! Though many of the shops and restaurants might stay closed for some day before and after the holiday, the museums will be open and running for all but August 15th. Have a great trip!

  • Andre says:

    I had a stay in the most beautiful wellnesshotel ever!

  • Linda says:

    Because of your blog I started to have interest in Italy, especially northern Italy. Greetings from the alps! I had a stay in the most beautiful wellnesshotel ever! What do you prefer more? The north or the south of Italy?

  • Louann Nguyen says:

    Hi
    I and family plan to go Italy in August 6th to 15th , the air fare is better price in August, i was wondering cause Italy closed in August . We plan fly to Rome and visit Pompeii , Venice. Florence may be beaches….( we have enough time)
    Please give us the advise.
    Never been Italy and this is our dream trip.
    I am glad I found your website , very helpful! Thank you!
    Louann
    We will use some of your tour plan.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Louann,

      What a great trip! Though some things will in fact be closed in August, especially on the 14th and 15th for the Italian public holiday Ferragosto, you’ll still be able to find plenty of things open to enjoy your time.

  • Joanne says:

    I wish I had found your website earlier today. I have, today booked an Italy trip Aug 16-30. It would now appear to be a poorly chosen time frame. I have 3 nights in Rome, then head to Naples- along the Amalfi coast- Florence- back to Rome. I’m hoping for an authentic , non- tourist experience. Any advice you could provide would be great , given I was not previously aware of the closures.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Joanne,

      The best time to visit Italy is whenever you’re able to visit Italy! It will be hot when you’re here, so prepare for that, but the closures shouldn’t affect your travel much. Most everything is closed on Ferragosto, August 15th, but by the 16th you should be fine and as for transportation etc you won’t have to worry. Have a great trip!

  • Brittany says:

    Hello,

    We will be in Florence/Tuscany Aug 22-27. Do you think we will have a normal experience or will things be closed?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Brittany,

      August is a very important month for Italian businesses, you’re sure to find most everything open. Have a great trip!

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