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Autumn Travel in Italy

Why Visit Italy in Fall

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fall color photo, italy fall photo

Fall Colors in Emilia Romagna

Martha Bakerjian
Autumn, or fall, is a wonderful time to travel in Italy. Tourist crowds are thinning, prices and temperatures are dropping, and the food is fantastic. Here's a look at what Italy has to offer in fall.

Why Travel to Italy in Autumn?

  • Find lower airfares and accommodation prices
  • Enjoy fall foods like truffles and wild mushrooms
  • Attend fall festivals and cultural events
  • Travel and walk without the heat of summer
  • Visit tourist attractions and towns without big crowds
  • Experience the dramatic beauty of Italy in fall

Fall Weather and Climate in Italy

Early fall is still pleasant in many parts of Italy but as the season ends, it's definitely gotten cold. Autumn is more mild along the coast but colder inland, especially in the mountains. October generally brings crisp, cool mornings and evenings but many sunny days. November is one of Italy's rainiest months, but there are usually still a good number of sunny days. Toward the end of November and into December, snow starts falling in many parts of Italy. Venice often experiences some flooding from high tides in fall - see more about aqua alta on Venice Word. Find historic weather and climate information for major Italian cities on Italy Travel Weather.

Fall Festivals and Culture in Italy

Highlights of fall are All Saints Day, music festivals, and food festivals including truffles, chestnuts, mushrooms, grapes (and wine), chocolate, and even torrone. Opera and theater season starts many places in fall, too. National holidays during fall are All Saints Day on November 1 and Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. On these days, many services will be closed. Around December 8, Italy starts decorating for Christmas and there will be small Christmas markets and many towns set up a nativity scene in a piazza or church.

Visiting Italy's Cities in Fall

Cities often clear out and restaurants and shops close during August when most Italians take their vacations. In fall, restaurants and shops in cities are open. Although there are fewer sunlight hours, earlier sunsets mean more time to enjoy cities after dark. Many cities light their historic monuments at night so strolling through a city after dark can be beautiful and romantic. While you'll find smaller crowds and lower hotel prices most places, Florence and Rome are highly popular in September and October. There are fall music and theater festivals in some cities, including Rome and Florence.

Fall Outside the Tourist Areas

If you're away from major tourist areas, you'll find museums and attractions have shorter hours than in summer. Some things may only be open on weekends. Seaside resorts and camping areas may begin to shut down in late fall and there's less nightlife although cultural events, like theater and opera, are starting up and there are fairs and festivals, especially food festivals.

Italian Food in Fall

Autumn is the best time for gourmet food lovers. What can be better than fresh truffles? Visit a truffle fair to taste truffle foods or just enjoy the aroma penetrating the air. There are lots of fresh mushrooms in fall so many restaurants will feature them in special dishes. Wine and olive harvests are in fall.

Italy Fall Photos

Fall colors can be found in vineyards, foothills, and mountains in mid-October and into November. Here are photos of Italy taken in November:

Ready to Travel - Packing for Autumn

Since fall weather can be unpredicatable, it's best to pack clothes that can be worn in layers. Even in November there may still be warm days along the coast. One November I was hot in a short-sleeved shirt while hiking in the Cinque Terre. Take a versatile but not too heavy sweater, a rain jacket, sturdy shoes that can be worn in rain, and a good umbrella. In late fall, you may want a heavier coat, too.
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