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Italy tours -- pros and cons of early Sept to mid Oct travel dates

For those of you who have taken RS tours to Italy during the shoulder season, I'd love to know what you liked and didn't like about traveling any time from early September to mid October. I'm interested in learning about weather (too hot in early Sept? Too cold by October? Too rainy in October?) as well as crowds, places being open, etc. Up until recently we have traveled as a family and our big trips have been in the summer. I love the long days and we have had a lot of sunshine, but our last trip (early June) was brutally hot. At this point I'm just putting out feelers for Fall 2020, but I'm thinking about Village Italy, Southern Italy, or Sicily as possibilities.

Posted by
35 posts

Can't say about southern Italy, but we spent 2 weeks in Florence in October. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Highs in the 70s so it wasn't too hot. It did not rain once while we were there, except the day we arrived. I have been in the area in September, which is really a little too warm for me.

Posted by
886 posts

My hubby and I took a trip to Italy in early November and loved the weather! Since then we have done 7 RS tours. 4 of them in Italy.
Six of those have been in the fall, one in late April. We certainly enjoy the fall more. Late September to middle November. We have encountered some light rain but, do enjoy cooler weather rather than brutal heat! Packing is a little different for these trips, but easily done in carry on. If you have questions, send me a PM.

I think Southern Italy might still be pretty warm in September. As would Sicily, check the historical temperatures. Village Italy was our very first RS tour and Great! So many interactions with small town people. We both loved it!

Let us know what you decide, please.

Posted by
1042 posts

We took the Sicily tour in mid October and it was perfect weather. I wouldn’t have liked it if we went with any hotter weather. October is actually our favorite month for travel because it’s still warm and many of the hoards have calmed down by then.

Posted by
2316 posts

I took the 17 Days Best of Italy tour which mainly covers Northern Italy and ends in Rome. Mid-October the weather was perfect almost every day except for the 2 days in Venice - we experienced Aqua Alta, it rained buckets for our whole time there! Also, we had a rainy afternoon in Varenna on Lake Como at the beginning of the tour. Otherwise, the weather was perfect.

I took the 7 Days Best of Rome tour in late March - early April and the weather was perfect then also. Cool, in the 50's in the mornings and after lunch, in the 70's. Every day was nice and sunny.

I would love to take the Southern Italy tour and when I do, I think it will be in April when flowers will be in bloom and the temperatures will be relatively mild.

Posted by
5666 posts

We took the Florence tour in October 2009, and the weather was wonderful. We were there probably about 2 weeks total, and I only remember one day that was cold and rainy. The rest of the time was shirtsleeves weather, maybe a light wrap of some sort in the evenings.

Posted by
1059 posts

We were in Italy from Sept 9 to the 27 on RS Best of Italy tour. It started in Northern Italy and worked it’s way south to Rome. We had one day of rain and cool weather in the Dolomites. Other than that, the weather was perfect. If you are going to Southern Italy, I would go as late in September as possible to avoid any hot weather. I think you will be fine in late September most places in Italy.

Posted by
10665 posts

We have been in Italy nearly every October since 2010. It is my favorite time there.

Posted by
177 posts

I was on the Village Italy tour in early October four years ago. It seemed like the perfect time to go. It wasn’t too hot and only a little rain. Sometimes we wore light jackets but never needed more than that and didn’t need them all the time. We were there just as the olive harvest was starting and that was interesting. October is my favorite time to travel. The weather is moderate and the crowds are much smaller. Air fare can also be less expensive than the summer.

Posted by
1462 posts

I will never go to Italy in September again after last year. We arrived in Milan by train from Switzerland and it felt like we were in a pollution sauna.

Posted by
406 posts

We took the "Best of Italy in 17 days" that started September 1 of 2013. It was uncomfortably hot for the first week and a half. I was washing shirts out in the sink every other night. I brought a jacket and never used it (even in the Dolomites). I did use the rain jacket a few times. We toured the Coliseum in a downpour. I would say that mid September would be the very earliest I would go if you have problems with heat.

Posted by
1094 posts

We just returned from the Village Italy tour (had a great time!). One thing we discussed is that we may switch to fall because our pollen allergies really bothered us on the tour. We are from New England, and the pollen season had just started when we left on 4/17. Our theory is that Italy was ahead of us in terms of plants blossoming, and that there may also have been different plants to which we had sensitivity.

Posted by
50 posts

Hi Travel Buddy! Tony and I are taking the Sicily tour this September 27-October 7 and we will be in Italy before and after the tour from September 15-October 16, so I will be able to give you specific information soon. I was in Italy last October (October 4-November 5) - mostly in Salerno (south of Naples) and Rome. The weather was gorgeous for most of the time - upper 60s-low 70s during the day. I did experience rainy weather in Rome at the beginning and end of the trip, although the temperatures were quite comfortable. Italy (including Sicily) received some crazy weather at the end of October last year - heavy rains and hurricane-force winds never before seen - that caused terrible damage in Liguria, parts of northern Italy and Sicily (global warming/climate change!). But usually Italy, especially southern Italy is quite lovely in October - still hot in September though. Be prepared for some rain towards the end of the month as November starts the rainy season.

With regards to crowds: Rome is always crazy, but it does slow down a bit as you approach November (the beginning of October was ridiculously crowded but it was noticeably less so in the beginning of November. The Southern Italy itinerary, however, contains many places that are slightly off the tourist track and Sicily has not yet been popular with many Americans so the crowds will be less there. Also, the Tuscan villages you will visit on the Village Italy tour should be less crowded in October, especially towards the end of the month. Weather in Tuscany can be a bit cooler and rainier than in southern Italy and Sicily.

Everything will be "open" in October, although operating hours may be a bit curtailed.

September is no longer considered "off season" or "shoulder" season - the crowds are still ridiculous in the major cities, and it can be ridiculously hot. Call me and we can discuss it more.

Posted by
1 posts

We are also going on the Best of Sicily in 11 Days Tour Sept. 27 - Oct. 7. I was happy to see another person on that tour post! See you in September! We too like to travel in the fall. Weather has always been great for us.