Italy in February

Hi - my husband & I are considering a trip to Italy in early February. We would probably fly into Milan, and the other places we really want to visit are Venice, Rome, and Cinque Terra (not necessarily in that order), and probably Siena or Assisi if we feel we can fit it in. I realize some hotels/B&Bs & restaurants will be closed at that time but I'm guessing we can still find accommodations with a little planning. Would it be worth it to visit Cinque Terra at this time? We mainly want to hike the trails and just spend a couple days relaxing there. Any pros or cons or other things to consider about traveling at this time of year to those locations? Would we be better off perhaps focusing on the more southern portion of Italy instead (and if so, any recommendations for must-see sites)? We realize the weather won't be ideal, but are fine with cooler temps and some rain. Thanks,

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5412 posts

How about flying into Venice then work your way south to Rome? Then fly back to the US from Rome. The opposite would work as well. I would skip Cinque Terre in the dead of winter. You can visit Venice, Florence, siena, Assisi and finish in Rome. You need to let us know the length of your stay, though.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21504 posts

Terri, As Roberto mentioned, visiting the Cinque Terre at that time of year would not be a good idea. Many of the Hotels, Restaurants and other tourist facilities are closed, and don't usually re-open for the season until April 1st. In addition, all of the Sentiero Azurro trails are currently closed, and no word at this point on when they'll re-open. A serious slide occurred on the famous Via dell'Amore in September, injuring four Australian tourists (I believe they closed the other trails at that time as a "precaution"). As a result, it's closed until further notice. I'd suggest either travelling later in the year, or skipping the Cinque Terre on this occasion. The weather could be a bit "chilly" in Venice at that time of year, so be sure to pack accordingly. One other possibility would be to limit your trip to Rome and Sicily this time. ETBD is running two Sicily tours in February, so I suspect the weather will be reasonably good (although no guarantees of course). Happy travels!

Posted by Terri
Bellingham, WA, USA
6 posts

Thanks for the replies. We found a great deal with our air miles in & out of Milan, which is why we would go there. After reading your replies and looking into it a bit more, I agree that Cinque Terra isn't very feasible, so we'll forget about that one for this trip. I really want to see Venice, so we're thinking of heading over there from Milan, then across to Florence/Siena/Assisi area (probably won't visit all 3 - still researching that), and then to Rome and the Vatican. We have 14 days total, and will be traveling by train.
I figured that if for some reason we cut out Venice, we can just do the other two areas and then head further south for a couple of days. Depending on the timing, I am also considering a day trip from Rome to Pompeii, and perhaps Naples (I know the train stops there, so maybe even just to get some pizza) as Rick Steves says you can do a long day trip in his guidebook. If you have any suggestions about that idea, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!

Posted by Lisa
Appleton, WI
4 posts

I am going with family in Feb also. What I researched, the temp will be 50's, the further North, the lower, south warmer, Rome should be in the mid 50's, unless they have unusually cold or warm weather. If you don't want to spend alot of extra time driving all the way to Naples to see Pompii, go to Ostia outside of Rome. Same type of sites. I am more concerned about what is open and what isn't. Has anyone been there in the winter and what is actually open in the smaller communities, like Assisi.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5412 posts

Assisi is pretty busy all year around, although less so in winter. But I doubt you'll find anything closed. When I lived in Italy I used to go there often, also overnight, and I don't remember anything closing down for winter.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2746 posts

I'm with Roberto on his itinerary. The CT is over on the other coast and northwest of Pisa. And, have you considered going the end of March after the winter weather in the north has broken and before the airfares increase? We went to Venice once in February, and about froze our tails off. The Rome Airport is preferable on getting direct flights back to the States.