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pros and cons of Southern Italy in the spring vs the fall

We have been thinking about Southern Italy for 2020. We were originally planning for late September to early October--we want to be home in time for our college student's fall break, which probably means we wouldn't be able to begin a tour any later than about Sept 25. I'm wondering whether that might still be too hot? The alternative might be late April....again, scheduling around the college calendar, so we'd need to be back home before mid-May. Is it more likely to be rainy that time of year? When do you prefer to go to Italy, and why? I'm interesting in considering all the pros and cons of spring vs fall travel. Up til now we've only been in Europe during the summer months, but now that we're mostly empty nesters, we're aiming for spring and fall travel. Thanks!

Posted by
3487 posts

I'm curious to see what responses you get since I'm going mid October. You might get more responses if you put this under destination Q and A. I've not been to Italy, yet, but one thing I can offer that I learned from an experienced traveler on this forum, look at the number of daylight hours and sunrise and sunset for the time periods you are looking at. Also, be aware of start/end of daylight savings time which they do have in Italy. Depending on your interests, having more hours of daylight, say in the evening, might be important. Of course, there are a whole lot of other factors to consider in addition to daylight hours. Our last two kids just finished college, but while they were in college, it seemed to work much better for my husband and I to travel in the fall rather than the spring, but we did have to work around events like Parents' weekends.

Posted by
6554 posts

If you have questions about weather in specific months, I suggest you sign into Wikipedia and put in a city. They tell average monthly high temperatures, lows, precipitation, days of the month that have precipitation. It gives you a good overlook of when to go to a city or region.
The Fall is often harvest time on the farms in Italy--interesting. The spring often has more rains and variable weather in mountainous areas. It can be pretty quiet before all the tourists hit a region. We used to travel out the last day of March for the lower winter airfares, and have had some really great weather. You'll find Southern Italy to be much less traveled than Northern Italy for tourists. But you won't catch me in Italy from June 1st until the end of September due to hot temperatures and a lack of great air conditioning.

Posted by
303 posts

Hi Ruth,
We have no experience with Fall travel in Italy, but in 2015 we toured the Amalfi Coast early to mid May and it was glorious. Spring flowers, no oppressive heat or humidity. I don't know how south you want to explore, but I've read on this forum that it could still be very warm in southern Italy in early Fall.

If you plan a trip to Pompeii, be prepared for a warm experience whether Spring or Fall. Even in May the sun was beating down on us, and there is almost no shade in the scavi.

It might be a goid idea to reserve rooms with A.C. no matter what season you visit. We used the AC in our room in Salerno even in May.

Posted by
2508 posts

Ruth,
We've had no experience traveling to Italy in the Spring. We've been to Southern Italy/Sicily in September. We prefer warm weather and less rain. (We are from the PNW!) We were there several years ago. It was about 75-80 degrees. We love Italy in the fall. I think by the end of September, early October would be lovely. Whatever you choose, you can't go wrong in Southern Italy!

Posted by
132 posts

Janis is so right. I’ve taken SOIT with a mid-May start and had lovely weather inland and coastal. This tour has excellent pacing (naturally, for RST that trends to ‘fast’ as you know) and being seaside for both the Adriatic and Mediterranean during is hands down fabulous and oh so lovely. About weather - anywhere anytime - no ‘bad’ weather, only inappropriate clothing. Well, that and avoiding extreme temps/conditions whenever possible. Easy to say, harder still to dial it up for our travels, no? I’ve done Best of Sicily (when some were considered off-season dates) with mid-April start and weather couldn’t have been more perfect than if I spoke directly to Mother Nature. Have a great time making your decisions and even better one exploring Italy south of Rome on this terrific tour. If you’re lucky enough to have Ann Long guiding, you will be in very good hands.

Posted by
116 posts

We did South Italy in the spring. I think it was the first one that year. It was cooler than I expected. If you want to swim in the Adriatic in late April, the water is still colder than I wanted but some from our group did. We had great weather overall actually, just cooler than I had expected

Posted by
1003 posts

We have been on six RS tours (Village Italy was the last one). We had a great time, but were bothered by spring allergies. The Village Italy tour started in mid-April which is before the allergy season really starts in Connecticut. My theory is that Italy is ahead of us in terms of things blooming, so it was like jumping ahead a a month in the pollen schedule. In any event, we have decided to change our European trips to the fall. Also, a fair number of people on the Village Italy tour were sick, perhaps because it was at the tail end of cold season.

Posted by
45 posts

I did this trip this past April. We went in late April to early May. This year happened to be the coldest year in like 50+ years--we had temps in the low 60's to low 70's. It rained the whole time we were at the Amalfi Coast. However, I loved the weather because I do not like hot, humid weather.

All of the Italians told us that by late April they are usually swimming in the seas and wearing their summer clothes.

Posted by
4453 posts

We're taking this tour in mid-May, and have been in touch with one other person on the Forum who's taking the same tour. If you sign up for a spring tour, be sure to let us know the dates. You can PM me if you don't want it posted publicly.

Posted by
16 posts

Ruth,

We took this tour the first week of October 2017. The weather was incredible. I did not wear a long sleeve shirt the entire trip except for sweater one or two nights. This is still one of our favorite tours.

Posted by
14227 posts

Spring - wildflowers! The AC may be less crowded. Either way, it's a lot better than summer.

For weather, I like to use timeanddate.com past weather page. You can see detailed daily weather for a city for any month for the last 10 years. Ignore averages - especially in spring and fall when temps can vary widely.

Posted by
55 posts

We've been to Italy twice. Once in July and once in August so I can't comment on the weather in spring or fall. It was hot but we enjoyed ourselves since we love to swim but for those who like milder weather I would not recommend July or August in Italy. If hot weather doesn't bother you, there was one really good benefit of going to Rome in August. It wasn't crowded because most of the Italians were gone for holiday to get away from the heat and many tourists do not choose August also due to the heat. There was very little road traffic and easy access to the sites.