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August in Northern Italy

Currently planning trip to Italy 2022, hopefully , June to late August. Area to cover is northern Italy. Have plans to stay Milan, over to Venice , down to lake garda and como.
Have plenty of time would also like to visit Turin, and go up into the Alps.
As this is peak season, are there places we should go to first, and head to others later in the super peak. Do not intend to hire car as we always prefer to travel by trains when in Europe.
Will be hopefully flying in and out of Milan. We love all the usual suspects, history , architecture, wine food and scenic countrysides.
Looking forward to some good advice.

Posted by
19200 posts

I suspect hotels in Milan and Turin (major business cities) may be less expensive on weekends than during the workweek. I don't know that the choice of summer month is that significant, but more locals will probably head out of town in July and August.

I believe you'll find June generally less busy than July and August in the Dolomites and around the lakes. You might still choose to schedule the mountains during one of the hottest months because altitude is about the only way to avoid the heat.

I'm not sure about Venice.

Posted by
1202 posts

Aug is a popular month for mom & pop businesses to close for holiday.
Have you considered flying into Venice and out of Geneva since you’re going into the alps? This way you can ride in a cable car over the French alps as you depart IT and arrive in FR. Here’s an idea…
Fly into Venice and take a direct train to Peschiera del Garda and a taxi to Sirmione (15-minutes). You can then take a direct train to Milan. From Milan you can take a direct train to Varenna on Lake Como. From Varenna you can take a train to Turin that requires a change in Milan. From Turin you can take a direct train to Aosta and a bus to Mont Blanc de Courmayer. From here you can glide over the alps into FR. Rick Steves FR guidebook tells you how to do it. You can then take a direct bus from Chamonix to the Geneva airport.

Posted by
12377 posts

Hi Gill, let’s start by taking about how much time you have—- Is it August as your title says, or June to August as you say in the text? And next, what do you mean by Alps? Mary Pat suggests you head to the French Alps, acraven assumes you mean the Dolomites in Italy. But there is no need to go to France (or Switzerland) to be in the Alps; Italy has the Italian Alps which are close to Turin in Gran Paradiso National Park, as well as the beautiful Dolomites which are distinct from the Alps — different mountains, different areas.

I will just throw in my 2 cents worth: we never go to Venice in the summer months (June-August) because it is too hot and too crowded. We do go to the mountains, whether Alps or Dolomites. In the past, hotel prices in the Dolomites have dropped dramatically at the end of August, because the Italian kids go back to school then. So that is a great time to go.

Posted by
28 posts

I did something similar to what MaryPat suggested although I started in Switzerland and headed to Italy. I really enjoyed Aosta and Chamonix - as well as Chambery and Annecy which are also in France. Of course there are plenty of amazing places to go in Italy but I think Aosta into France is a really cool trip! I used trains for my whole trip except for a quick, cheap Flixbus bus ride from Chamonix to Aosta.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for responses to my travel plans. With all the current Covid requirements , will only want to fly into one country. We are very lazy and slow travellers. So thanks very much for ideas regarding coming in from other countries (we were originally going to come in via Switzerland , to St Moritz , do the Bernina express into Italy). We would also intend to keep away from the top sights at the peak, peak of the season.
If we did head into the bigger cities, during August , what closes down ? Is Italy like France where everybody takes off and goes on holidays.
Would we be best to start on the lakes ( Garda & Como ) , Venice etc in June , maybe mountains July and the concentrate on a few city centres ( Turin, Padua, Bologna etc).
Another question , are the alps busy in these months, or is this off peak for the snow bunnies?
Would love to travel outside of these month, but not possible, so seeking some do able options.
Thanks again

Posted by
12377 posts

Italy does not “shut down” in August at all. The lakes and mountains ( both Alps and Dolomites) have a a peak season all summer, as many Italians as well as tourists flock to the lakes and mountains for vacation. The winter ski resorts are popular centers for family vacations for city-dwellers. And the cities in the summer are full of visitors from all over the world seeking art, culture, good food, and “ La dolce far niente”, so no place is quiet and empty.