It may still be scorching heat here in Florida and even in Europe, but I can close my eyes and feel the breeze of the Tuscan trees and see the hues of orange with blue during Italy’s fall sunsets. I also miss wearing cardigans with boots and having a bit of colder weather. (Not too cold, though. Remember, I’m a Brazilian who lives in Florida.) I can also see myself ordering the house red wine while enjoying a cheese board or two.
Italy in the fall is beautiful, and I’ve been getting many questions about visiting Italy in the fall, so I decided to share my top tips in this blog post.
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Visiting Italy in the Fall
When is the best time to visit Italy? The answer to this will depend on many things. Do you like heat? Do you like the cold? Do you not mind the rain? As I have shared here on my blog and Instagram, for me, October is the perfect month to visit Italy. Why? Because it can be warm enough to wear shorts and cold enough to wear cute fall outfits. I also traveled to Italy in November, which was great, but December is too cold for me. One thing to note about the weather in Southwest Europe, in general, it tends to be a tad warmer than here, so I would say that 70 degrees in Italy is not like 70 degrees here. I can’t explain, but this has happened to us repeatedly. The weather will also be different depending on where in Italy you will be visiting.
Bonus Tip. Flights are way cheaper in the fall than in the summer. Scott’s Cheap Flights has been sending some amazing deals.
Northern Italy in the Fall
I have never traveled super north in Italy, just up to Florence, which is considered a northern part of Central Italy. However, I can affirm that the more north you go in Italy, the colder it will be. For this reason, I would never visit Lake Como in the winter, nor can I see myself spending New Years Eve in Florence. It sounds beautiful, but it’s way too cold to be outside near the water.
Florence in the fall is spectacular. If you want to catch the wine harvest, September is the best month to target, but you can still enjoy amazing wine tastings and tours in October. It’s also a great time to visit wine towns like Montepulciano and enjoy amazing red wine & cuisine. For example, we visited Perugia during their annual chocolate festival, which occurs at the end of October. I must admit, I was freezing, but I am so glad we went. Here is a glimpse of our trip in the video below.
Overall, when we visit Italy, we alternate going to the North and on the next trip visiting the South. Check out these other blog posts related to Tuscany
How To Plan a Trip to Italy on Your Own
Southern Italy in the Fall
Since it is warmer in Southern Italy, the fall is an absolutely perfect time to travel there, even to visit Southern Italy’s beach towns like Capri, Positano, Ravello, and the Amalfi Coast. It will be way less crowded, and the weather is warm enough for walking around, shopping, and soaking in the sun.
Our first trip to Southern Italy was to Sorrento, and it was in November. Sorrento was our base city as we explored other Southern areas. It was warm enough during the day to wear sweaters or cardigans and chillier at night. We took a ferry to Capri for a half-day trip, and we visited Capri and Anacapri, as you can see below.
One TikTok user commented on my video that she visited Capri in the summer and couldn’t see her feet because it was so, so packed! You won’t have this problem in the fall. One of the days, we took the bus to visit the Amalfi Coast. The bus ride was super scary, especially for my husband, who is afraid of heights. I won’t do that ever again, and we’ll take boats next time. Anyway, you need to buy your bus ticket stickers ahead of time and arrive early. The buses can get crowded, and it’s a first-come, first-serve type of situation. With this same bus, you can stop at Positano, which was our goal, but it didn’t happen. The buses started crowding up on our way back, and we feared if we stopped at Positano, we would get stuck or arrive very late back in Sorrento.
Overall, I think the fall is a perfect time to visit Southern Italy. You may not be able to go swimming and tan in that European summer, but you get the views, less crowds, and the food is even cheaper.
Things to do in Italy in the Fall
- Visit a hot spring in Tuscany. We have done this three times, and it’s so much fun. Typically, you can take a wine bottle with you, and it’s nice to be in hot water during the fall. Check out these two videos to see a couple of our hot spring excursions.
@fusetravels Natural hot spring day in Tuscany in Chianciano Terme #chianciano #chiancianoterme #tuscany2022 #tuscanytips #hotspringsitaly #italy2022🇮🇹 #italyvacations ♬ Fantasy – Alina Baraz / Galimatias
@fusetravels This was a great idea for the teens travel in Italy #travelingwithteens #italy2022🇮🇹 #italytraveltips #tuscany2022 #siennaitaly ♬ Wonder – Shawn Mendes
- Go shopping. This is a great time to find leather goods, purchase for your wardrobe, and check out the European fashion scene. I love going to Zara & H&M. If you visit Rome, then check out some fantastic stores at Via Cavour. This is also a great time to purchase souvenirs.
- Eat, eat and eat some more. You can’t visit Italy without thinking about food. Research the region where you’re going beforehand, and familiarize yourself with some of the typical local foods.
- Ride in a hot air balloon. Turns out there are some cool hot air balloon rides in Tuscany (https://www.tuscanyballooning.com/), and even one near Rome’s airport. https://www.dubaiballooning.com/
- Catch an awesome sunset at a Rooftop Bar or a place like Piazzale Michelangelo.
- Visit Capri and places that are typically way too crowded in the summer.
What to Eat in Italy in the Fall
In Italy, they really eat based on seasons, so in the summer you wouldn’t eat soups, since it’s so freaking hot. In the summer, they at a lot of cold dishes and lighter things, then the fall weather opens up the appetite for hearty foods.
- Try new soups like ribollita, which is a Tuscan bread soup with a soffrito base (celery, onion, carrot), cannellini beans, and cooked kale. It’s baked, and it’s wonderful.
- Try regional foods.
- Eat gelato every day. I regretted not eating more gelato on my first trip with my husband. He doesn’t like sweets, and it was cold, but the gelato is so yummy and so affordable.
- Risotto. The fall is a great time to try all kinds of risotto in Italy.
- White truffle everything. Italians love black and white truffles on their dishes, and you can find exquisite combinations.
- Forget pumpkin spiced lattes — try ravioli with pumpkin instead.
- Chestnut pasta with pesto
- Seek out some castagnaccio. Castagnaccio is a plain chestnut-flour cake, typically found in the Tuscany, Liguria, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, and Veneto regions of Italy, and in the French island of Corsica. -Wikipedia.
- Porcini Mushroom foods are more common in the fall, so happy hunting if you like mushrooms.
What do Italians do in the Fall?
Italians are super crazy about their summers and August vacation, but they also enjoy the fall! In September, there is the Vendemmia (the grape harvest), and the Italians try the vino novello, which is a wine from the new grapes. This is also the time for sagre (food-themed festivals). They do have these in the summer as well, but as I stated, it can be too hot, so Food + Fall match better, in my opinion.
Here are a few sagres you should check out, organized by month and region:
Italy in October
Sagra della Castagna (chestnut festival), Comune de Summonte in Avellino.
International Mortadella Festival, in Zola Predosa.
Mast Còt — L’Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale, Spilamberto
If you love the traditional balsamic of Modena, then this festival is for you.
Sagra dell’Uva di Marino (Marino Wine Festival), in Marino
According to Italy Foodies: This annual grape festival attracts thousands of people on the first Sunday of October with processions, period costumes, music and food stalls that sell snacks, bread and wine. The real main highlight is the town’s Fountain of the Four Moors, which during the festival flows with white wine that is offered to the crowds for free!
Sagra della Castagna (chestnut festival), in Vallerano
Ottobrata Zafferanese, in Zafferana Etnea, Catania
L’Oro di Spello/Festa dell’Olivo e Sagra della Bruschetta, in Spello
EuroChocolate, in Perugia
November Porc, in Parma
Fiera del Formaggio do Fossa, in Rimini
Sagra del Pane dell’Olio, in Sestri Levante
Festa del Torrone, in Cremona
Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco, in San Miniato
Merano WineFestival, in South Tyrol
Overall visiting Italy in the fall is a great idea.