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Why You Should Visit Italy in Winter

What’s winter in Italy like?? Where can you spend winter in Italy?? Is December in Italy worthwhile?? These are some great questions for a travel to Italy in the winter. You’ll love Italy in winter because it means less crowds and better experience. I must emphasize that is exactly why you should visit Italy in winter!!

Why You Should Visit Italy in Winter

If you want to know Italy beyond the obvious, I suggest you to experiment a little and visit Italy in Winter. Just once!! Yes for sure you’ll encounter less business activity, a more laid back lifestyle and even fewer people on the street, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be pretty…. IT WILL STILL BE ITALY!! What it means instead is that you will have majority of towns, museums and art galleries to yourself!

1. CHEAPER AIRFARE:

This one’s a no brainer but won’t it be amazing if you could visit Italy for a lesser price than usual?? Talking from experience….. I visited Italy in January and my return ticket from Delhi to Rome costed around €550 whereas I usually pay at least €700-800 in the summer (Sometimes more if I want a direct flight).

Why You Should Visit Italy in Winter

An almost empty street in Rome – January 2018

2. MORE BREATHING SPACE:

People usually prefer to visit Italy in the Summer or Spring and hence Winter comparatively has fewer crowds= more breathing space=less pushing and shoving. This reason is a BIG WIN in my opinion.
 
Why You Should Visit Italy in Winter

Le Marche, Italy

 
Why Should You Visit Italy in Winter

Florence, Italy in the Winter

 
Why You Should Visit Italy in Winter

The gorgeous Val d’orcia

3. FESTIVITIES AND SALES

Winter in Italy is a party especially if you are there from around Christmas till the New Year. The streets are decorated with Xmas lights and there are official sales from Jan 6 until the end of March.

People throng the stores like crazy because amazing deals are available!! Stores such as La Rinascente, which are present in most of the major cities of Italy, offer good bargains and even artisan and boutique shops are on discount.

4. WARM WINTER FOOD & HOT CHOCOLATE:

I don’t know if hot chocolate tops on your list for Winter in Italy but it certainly does on mine. And Italy does this delicious thick gooey hot chocolate like no other! The rest of the food as usual is mind blowing and you’ll see a lot of fried goodies to keep you warm in the season.
 
 
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Why You Should Visit Italy in Winter

 
Why You Should Visit Italy in Winter

Why You Should Visit Italy in Winter

5. SEASON OF SKIING:

One of the major reasons why Winter in Italy is a unique experience is because of it’s amazing ski resorts. There are some very popular ones and most of them have skiing lessons for amateurs too! Such as these in the lesser known Aosta Valley.

THINGS TO NOTE:

  1. In Winter, there are fewer activities/tours than usual
  2. During train travel, it is advisable to keep ample time in hand for any unforeseen emergency such as fog, strikes or even snow!
  3. During Winter, ferries don’t operate so plan a trip to the seaside accordingly!
  4. Book an accommodation that provides heating else run a risk of being cold throughout the night! For ease, I’ve added links of hotels in Rome, Florence and Venice. (#affiliate)
  5. Carry extra scarves, gloves and boots during your travel. It doesn’t hurt to pack an umbrella either. #JustSaying
Why Should You Visit Italy in Winter

Savona in January 2018

If you associate Italy with bright blue skies, endless stretches of clear sea and the idea of La Dolce Vita, then you might not like Winter in Italy.

Conclusion:

Remember that Italy in winter is obviously cold. In Rome, for instance, the average temperature in January hovers from around 8°C (46°F) and can go as low as 2-3°C (37°F). In the beginning of February in Turin, the temperatures can be 0°C. It can be icy and freezing but still worth visiting the city centre for a hot chocolate! Many parts of Italy rarely receive snowfall but if you unexpectedly find yourself under a surreal blanket of snow, don’t complain. Italy in winter is a Wonderland and the experience is unique and beautiful!

If you liked this post you should also read:

Lonely Planet Italy Guide

5 Things to do during Winter in Rome

Booking.com

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43 Comments

  • Shabby Sheep
    January 23, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Never been a fan of the blazing heat of summer, so winter trips make very good sense. Shorter days mean aperitivi can be taken that much earlier too – in piazze which are much less crowded.

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      January 25, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you for commenting 🙂 Hpe all’s well with you. Love winter in Italy or just about anywhere else, too!!

      Reply
  • KareninCalabria
    October 7, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    I completely agree. Save money and eat that hot chocolate with a spoon! I would just caution the borderline seasons and make sure you don’t land in a period where that inexpensive B&B can’t legally turn the heat on yet. I’ve frozen in rented rooms in early November in Rome, just as I’ve wilted in June…

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      October 7, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Oh my, that must have been an experience. I am planning a trip in the Winter again in Dec and cannot wait <3

      Reply
  • Melanie Trethowan
    September 24, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Having just flown out of Rome I can attest to the crowds, even in late September! I look forward to returning in Winter! Mel

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 25, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Thanks Melanie. Italy is crazy all year but winter is a lot better ..I think if someone has already been to Italy once, they can safely travel the next time in winter or autumn.

      Reply
  • Kat
    September 15, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Hi Ishita, I have been to Italy twice in the winter (and once in the fall). One time my best friend and I arrived the day after Christmas and stayed until after the New Year. Our hotel manager recommended a nearby small restaurant for our New Year’s Eve dinner and celebration. We made our reservation and to our surprised delight discovered we were the only tourists in the restaurant; everyone else was family and locals. The meal was a set dinner and served in several courses over 4 hours. Shortly before midnight more family and friends arrived and it was so much fun to ring the new year in; by the time 4 hours were up everyone was like family anyway. We both agreed it was one of the best New Year celebrations either of us had in a long time!

    I love going in winter because I like the cold more than I do the heat. And I love seeing the holiday decorations and experiencing holidays in different countries (I’ve been to both London and Vienna Austria for New Year celebrations as well). It absolutely poured rain several days, and I didn’t bring an umbrella; however not to worry because the street vendors magically produce them at the first drop of rain, and sell them cheaply. I still have my umbrella “souvenir” from several years ago and am happily reminded whenever I use it. The crowds definitely seemed smaller, restaurants weren’t packed with people. Regardless, I think Italy is a good time to visit any time of year. My bff still talks about wanting to go back and visit more places. Of course I’m never going to say no, after all I’ve been to Rome 3 times and if you asked me today I know what my answer would be!

    Reply
  • Bespoke Traveler
    September 14, 2018 at 3:17 am

    So few people have travel photos of Italy at any other time than when the sun is shining…it’s a refreshing change. I have to agree, aside from the inexpensive prices, Italy in winter is a great time to vegetate in a small town, really get to know the locals and what they’re like.

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 15, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Very true and although I love the blue skies of Positano, I am getting a little tired of those pictures. I hope people do realize that. Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  • Jugaaduwriter
    September 13, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Wow. Without visiting Italy , I am knowing it through your blog. Kya baat .

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 15, 2018 at 9:08 am

      Haha Thank you. Now when you visit, it will be so much easier 🙂

      Reply
      • Jugaaduwriter
        September 15, 2018 at 9:16 am

        Pockets not so deep. Will have to wait

        Reply
        • Italophilia
          September 15, 2018 at 10:18 am

          Never hurts to dream!!

          Reply
          • Jugaaduwriter
            September 15, 2018 at 10:21 am

            True . If dreams are the currency, am the billionaire. 😁

            Reply
          • Jugaaduwriter
            September 15, 2018 at 10:22 am

            True . If dreams are a currency, I am a billions 😁😂😉

            Reply
  • Justyna
    September 10, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you for creating this lovely blog, it is really great! 🙂

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 15, 2018 at 9:08 am

      And thank you for reading 🙂

      Reply
  • Lorelle Catalano
    September 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    We have never visited in Winter. It’s usually been Summer or Autumn, but next year we have plans to have our first White Christmas in Europe. Can’t wait to experience that. Xx

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 10, 2018 at 9:01 am

      So exciting! You guys are great planners I’d say .have a great Monday!!

      Reply
  • Frank
    September 8, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Such a great post! Will definitely be going back in winter now!

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 9, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂 Happy to share the info.

      Reply
  • Nish
    September 7, 2018 at 7:03 am

    I like the idea of cheaper airfare but the thought of being weighed down by winter wear everywhere is a little bothersome. I’d like my first visit to Italy to be around fall. How is the weather in October?

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 7, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      Its beautiful and its wine harvest season that time so I think its even more gorgeous 😀

      Reply
  • Kasia
    September 6, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Italy is definitely less crowded and cheaper off season!

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 6, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Thanks Kasia!! It surely is a breath of fresh air. Have a great day .

      Reply
  • Kamini Kapoor
    September 3, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. We are going to Rome in early December.

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 4, 2018 at 9:34 am

      So cool! I might be there in the 3rd week 🙂

      Reply
  • Valentina Stella Tutor
    September 2, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    You do have the power of making Italy very appealing, no matter which season, Ishita! 😄
    I would also recommend traveling during the first decade on November. I know it’s not winter, but probably airfares are still lower than spring and summer. There’s this beautiful fall atmosphere, weather is cool but not super cold, and at the beginning of the month we usually have a final bout of warmer temperatures. This is so typical that we have a name for it: “l’estate di San Martino”, because it usually happens around November 11, which is the day of San Martino. You can check it out on Wikipedia Italy, there’s a page on it!

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 2, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      Haha Thanks Valentina 🙂 I haven’t yet been in November but it sounds nice and pleasant. Thanks for the information on San Martino, I love such quirky things associated with Italy 😉

      Reply
  • Ingrid Levin
    September 2, 2018 at 8:37 am

    You made a great case on why we should visit Italy in the winter. Thank you

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 2, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Thanks Ingrid! Have a great day!

      Reply
  • Tanja/The Red Phone Box travels
    September 1, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    your new site has problems with loading the like button, I tried on several posts but it won’t work..so I do it in reader:) Italy is a great idea in every season

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 2, 2018 at 12:10 am

      Yes cara, it happens quite often but I don’t care about likes. I like when people drop a comment to chat. Thanks for the comment and the reader like 😉

      Reply
  • Lynette d'Arty-Cross
    September 1, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    I’ve been there in January – there are definitely many advantages if you don’t mind the cooler temps.

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 1, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      Its a great time to be there if you are a little flexible with the rain 😉

      Reply
  • Greg Speck
    September 1, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Love your photos. Could you put locations captions on those not referenced in the blog. Look forward to all of your posts

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 1, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      Sure that is a great tip! Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  • Debra Kolkka
    September 1, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I go to Italy every year in winter. I love it! Imagine being almost alone on the Ponte Vecchio early in the morning. The downside is that it rains quite a lot in winter, but there are stretches of gorgeous blue sky days to enjoy as well. The museums have no queues, the winter food is great…what’s. It to love?

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 1, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      Yeah I know, I have seen the Ponte Vecchio in the winter too 🙂 The food is superlative.

      Reply
  • Anisa
    September 1, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    I have only been to Italy in the summer time and I have loved it. I like the idea of cheaper flights and less crowds though, definitely something I am going to look into for this winter.

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 1, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Happy to help Anisa. I think we are all used to that perfect summer look of Italy that many of us forget its truly a Winter wonderland too!

      Reply
  • Jean-Pierre Fabre Bruot
    September 1, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    True, winter is a beautiful season in Italy. I would recommend the 2 weeks between December 8 (Immaculate conception) and December 25 (Xmas). That’s the top of Xmas atmosphere, perfect moment to enjoy Xmas markets, nativity scenes and warmly decorated streets.

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 1, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks Jean! Coincidentally I am planning during that time and I’m excited 😀

      Reply

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