5 Reasons Why Fall Is The Best Time To Visit Italy

August 27, 2012

Traveling to Italy in autumn

If you’ve already booked your trip to Italy this fall, check out our walking tours to get an incomparably authentic taste of Italian art, culture, and history. 

Coming to Italy this fall?? You’re in luck—many think it’s the best time to visit Italy! From the amazing weather, to an abundance of food festivals, here are our top 5 reasons to visit Italy in the fall.

1. Enjoy the harvest at one of Italy’s famous fall food festivals 

Tasting wine in Tuscany

Maybe you can even take part in the fall grape harvest – after rest and enjoy the fruits of your labor, preferably in a big glass!

In the autumn, sagre, or festivals celebrating a local food or wine, pop up all over Italy. We adore sagre; they’re just about the most authentic way to experience the local produce and culture of any given area, usually with hardly any other tourists! In the fall, there’s a festival for every taste: wine, chestnuts, chocolate, truffles, porcini mushrooms, fish, polenta, even potatoes!

There are so many sagre in Italy at this time of year because it’s harvest time. Olives and wine are harvested in the fall, and participating in a harvest—or even just tasting the result!—is a fantastic experience. Other foods being harvested now include almonds, chestnuts, white truffles, and produce like arugula, broccoli, potatoes, and zucchini. If you love eating, the fall is really one of the best times to visit Italy and try some of the different regions’ most delicious seasonal cuisine. (For more on fall foods, check out our post on four favorite autumn dishes in Italy!).

To figure out which sagre and fiere are taking place across Italy, check out the sites Sagre e Ditorni and Sagre in Italia (They’re in Italian but you really only need to check dates and what the sagre is celebrating. Alternately, you can always run them through Google Translator for the English versions). Don’t miss our blog post on Italy’s truffle festivals, which are also popular in late autumn.

If you want a more guided intro to Italian food, check out our food tours in Italy.

2. Italy in fall means fewer crowds… and lower prices

For many, of course, lower prices are one of the number one things that make fall perhaps the best time to visit Italy during the year. Not only are prices generally lower, fewer travelers come to Italy. Like cooler temperatures, lower prices begin to creep into the country at the end of August.

But don’t jump the gun: In high-trafficked destinations like Rome, Venice, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and the Amalfi coast, high season prices can run through September and even the start of October. (Check out why we love Rome in fall, and why you should wait for October or November to come.) To take advantage of lower accommodation prices in September look to travel in more off-the-beaten path areas like Puglia, Abruzzo, or Molise. But If you want to go to the classic places and still avoid crowds while enjoying lower prices, come as late in the season as possible, between late October to early November.

3. Ogle the gorgeous fall colors

Italy in autumn

The fall colors of the Umbrian countryside

It’s not just New England that gets brightly-colored leaves in the fall! Italy, too, shows off a range of beautiful colors come October. Of course, the best places to see the fall colors are in Italy’s wooded national parks. But even a drive through the countryside of Lazio, Umbria or Le Marche is a feast for the eyes. (Here are 7 gems not to miss in Rome’s region of Lazio).

4. It’s the start of soccer season

Finally the buying, trading and deliberations are over, and the games are ready to begin. No sport is more beloved in Italy than calcio and the start of the season comes with much fanfare. Check out the game schedule and slip into any pub in any town – you’re sure to watch the game in company! Or better yet, buy tickets for a truly cultural experience. Wear the right colors and get ready to scream your head off, this is soccer in Italy! 

5. Say benvenuto to beautiful weather and cooler temperatures!

Rome in autumn

Even the light gets prettier in the fall!

In the early autumn Italy has a very comfy climate. In fact, as far north as Venice, temperatures can often be expected to reach the 70s and 80s through September. Compare that to the sweltering heat of August and things are staring to look pretty good.

By October the daytime highs and lows are in that fantastic range where you can put on a light jacket in the morning and shed it in the afternoon before dawning it again while watching the sun go down over an aperitif. This climate is also better for pictures because the light becomes less harsh and the shadows deepen, meaning all those pictures of old Roman ruins look that much more dramatic.

The only downside is that there are more rainy days mixed in, which is something you have to watch out for especially in Venice, starting in November.  But in general the sunshine is fantastic and unless you are a real sun lover, it’s much more comfortable during the day than the summer.

Do you love the fall in Italy? Tell us why, or why not, in the comments!

by Walks of Italy

View more by Walks ›

Show Comments

16 responses to “5 Reasons Why Fall Is The Best Time To Visit Italy”

  1. Great Article – makes me want to start planning a trip. We have always gone in May which is also spectacular but I would love to see Umbria in the fall – all of the food is already so wonderful I can only imagine it at harvest time.

  2. lee says:

    Sagre e Ditorni and Sagre in Italia

    thank you for both of these sites! i am just starting to list italian festivals by month on my blog and asking Italian americas if they remember them.

    but more important, festivals are a GREAT weay for solo travelers to interact with the community. Far easier to chat in a festival atpmospher than just at the outdoor market or in the square. This is wonderful

    Just wish they had an english page: google translator is not very good….. buy my italian is worse!

  3. Ashley says:

    This post makes me so excited for my trip to Rome this October. I can hardly wait!

  4. An interesting article – thanks for the link to the Sangre festivals. I love the first picture – wherever it is I want to go there!

  5. Penny Sadler says:

    I have been to Italy in late October and early October and like it for all of the stated reasons. I did hit some bad weather up north in late October but overall it was ok.
    I’m looking forward to going this year again in October.

  6. Italy is just beautiful, especially in the fall season. I’ve been there once and I love the color of the trees and the weather is just perfect.

  7. Jan says:

    Spending the entire month of November in Rome – for all the reasons you list!

  8. Peter says:

    Thanks, treat article, makes me want to go pack and go. Luckily I am going to Florence, in november!
    I also went last february, which is really low season. Alone at the Brancacci chapel, alone at the Pazzi chapel, alone at the Battistero. An amazing experience to visit these historic sites in such tranquility.
    And the sagre are, I think, the one of the best ways to experience Italian life. And there are plenty sagre around!

  9. Richard says:

    Love it! A wonderful article sharing probably what is the best time in Italy to enjoy the food, wine and colors of the season.

  10. Debbie says:

    We’re so blessed to travel again this fall to amazing Italy!

  11. Sam says:

    We will be in Italy for most of November and we’re so excited and hoping that we’ll get to see snow on the mountains in Turin and maybe some of those mysterious foggy mornings in Venice 🙂

  12. I would also add another thousand reasons to come to Italy is no difference in the seasons, but a fifth reason that I do know is that I’m going to describe the region, the Maremma Tuscia (Viterbo) … also known as Etruria (Etruscan region), food, healthy air, history … and we can add so much more … I add an interesting link for those who want to learn more …

    aggiungerei anche altre mille ragioni per venire in Italia è non c’è differenza nelle stagioni, ma una quinta ragione che ritengo far conoscere è per la regione che vado a descrivere, la Maremma Viterbese (provincia di Viterbo)… detta anche Etruria (regione degli etruschi), cibo, aria salubre, storia… e possiamo aggiungere tanto altro… vi aggiungo un link interessante per chi vuole approfondire…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Follow us

Stay up to date with travel tips, local insights and all things Italy on our social channels!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get curated Italy travel tips delivered to your inbox!

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now