Late summer is a magical time in Italy: the summer crowds disappear,
the Italians return from their seaside holidays and the temperatures slowly decrease.
Fall is on its way – and it’s a fantastic time to visit Italy. Here are five
1. Smaller Tourist Crowds
While summer is the most popular time to visit Italy, it
comes at a cost: sights that are busy throughout the year become unbearably crowded
during high season, and high temperatures and humidity can make sightseeing
downright unpleasant. If you visit in the fall, you’ll be able to experience
these destinations amid far fewer tourists.
Italy will never be tourist-free, and you’ll never be the only
tourist in Florence or Rome. But anyone who has waited in line for the Vatican
Museums in the heat of August will tell you that if you can do anything to avoid
that long, sweaty line – do it.
Where to Go: Fall
is a good time to hit up the most famous sights in Italy. Take a gondola ride
through the canals of Venice, tour the cliff-hugging villages of Cinque Terre
and get to know the statue of David at the Accademia in Florence.
2. Harvest Season
Being so famous for its culinary offerings, Italy receives
its fair share of culinary tourists. But those in the know understand that the
best food season of all is during the fall, when it seems like everything that
grows in the ground is being harvested.
To get the most out of your visit, book a stay at an
agriturismo – an Italian farm that doubles as an inn. At an agriturismo, you
can spend your days learning about food production, even taking part in picking
olives or making wine if you'd like, before feasting on dinners fit for a king
in the evenings.
Where to Go:
Every town in the Emilia-Romagna region has a signature food item. Head to the
town of Sant'Agata Feltria for its truffle festival in late October, or visit a
parmigiano reggiano factory outside
the city of Parma.
3. Wine Tasting
Serious wine aficionados know that there's no better time to
visit Italy than during the autumn crush. This is the point when it becomes
clear what kind of year it's been for the wine. If it happens to be
particularly successful year, these oenophiles could be witnessing history in
With so many “house wines” regularly outdoing the pricier
offerings on Italian menus, the quality of wine is uniformly excellent and
there's no better place to try wine after wine.
Where to Go:
Believe me, in Italy, you’re spoiled for choice! Consider venturing to Tuscany
to try out the famous wines of the Chianti region, or head further north to
Piedmont and its strong reds.
4. High Water Season in Venice
Most people will tell you to avoid fall in Venice due to
high water season, when the floods rise up high. Personally, it's my favorite
time to visit. The overcast skies and pale light turn the city into an ethereal
During the fall, you'll recognize the locals their tall
rubber boots, worn to combat the occasional floods of the city. Bring a pair of
boots and join them as you splash in puddles and walk along the elevated wooden
planks. Most people never get to see this unique side of Venice.
Where to Go:
Cannaregio is the ultimate neighborhood for getting a sense of the old Venice
that has entranced writers from Shakespeare to Mann. Go in the late afternoon
when the sun is beginning to set for unforgettable photographs.
5. A Longer Summer
In many ways, southern Italy could almost be a different
country from northern Italy. While there are plenty of cultural and culinary
differences between the north and the south, there are also differences in
climate, and the south will stay warmer longer than the north.
If you're missing the sunshine, you might be able to milk
the last rays of summer in the far south of Italy. Whatever you're looking for
in Italy, the south has it – from tiny country towns to ancient ruins, volcanic
islands, and coastal towns so beautiful that they'll take your breath away. Why
not have one last vacation in the sun while your friends are at home in jeans
Where to Go: Head
to the Amalfi Coast for unbelievable views, or fly to Sicily and enjoy Taormina
and Siracusa without the summer crowds. Matera, filled with cave homes built
out of solid rock, has one of the most unique landscapes in all of Italy.