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When is the best time to visit Italy? From my experience of holidaying in Italy many times and now from living here, without hesitation I can say that it is during the Spring and Autumn months.
So this week, our little group of mischievous expat bloggers (COSI: Crazy Observations by Stranieri in Italy) has made some recommendations for offbeat summer travel in Italy. Not the usual recommendations, but moving down the list a little to the sites and towns where the average tourist rarely treads.
Want to stay somewhere beautiful in Italy… without breaking the bank? It is possible
Northeast Italy: The beautiful canals of Venice can be found in northeast Italy, along with some of the nation's first-class ski resorts. There are also the historical cities of Parma and Verona to visit as well.
For some individuals, a vacation isn't a vacation unless it means that sunny weather. If that's your high thought, then your target months ar usually reaching to be might through September - affirmative, precisely the high-priced season i discussed higher than.
Southern Italy: This is the least visited region of Italy, but that just means its gems remain unspoiled. The Amalfi coast and Capri are perfect locations for honeymooners and couples seeking romance. Calabria has some of the nation's most pristine beaches. Naples offers a bustling escape, while the ruins of Pompeii await history buffs.
My local seaside town, which is quiet during the winter, swells in number at the weekends from Easter onwards with visitors from Florence, Siena and Rome who have second homes here, to a fifteen-fold increase in July and August! Driving into town takes forever, parking spaces are non-existent, and if you want to do your supermarket food shopping in under three hours, it becomes necessary to do so at immediately after lunch, when everybody else is taking a siesta!
The Papal Palace of Viterbo
Remember: The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." - Henry David Thoreau
Breakfast + WiFi Top Picks
Caffe Giacosa in the Palazzo Strozzi cortile (or Via della Spada, 10/r). Great for individuals watching and they shake a good shakerato (that almost rhymes!).
So when may be the best time to go to Italy? If weather doesn't frustrate you, October is the perfect option. Rain is common in cities from Rome and Florence to Naples, but sunny times abound and fewer tourists are around.
Cafe degli Artigiani: address: piazza della passera. You can sit outside, people-watch and sip your cappuccino(s) in piece. This is my fundamental neighborhood go-to spot.
I have friends who live inland from the coast in a medieval Tuscan hill town. The higher altitude affords them the advantage of a cooler temperature during the summer even though they are only a 15 minute drive from the coast and can see it glistening in the summer sun. But even they, as used to the summer temperatures as they are, move a half hours drive further inland during July and August to their summer home.
Be warned. But that said, I have had some great Augusts in Italy! But I knew what to expect after the second time.
Lunch Top Picks
In the United States, bed and breakfasts tend to be on the pricey side. In Italy, though, they can be one of your cheaper options.
Know that it's getting harder to look for a pensione," that type of old-school accommodation where an Italian rents out a couple of rooms in their house for cheap. Instead, B&Bs tend to be a block of three to ten rooms that strike a balance between the amenities of a hotel (daily cleanings, breakfast) and that type of traditional pensione (often family-run, with an informal touch).
I mentioned holidays higher than within the budget" class, consequently of generally a giant vacation will mean higher costs on things like fare or accommodation, however if budget isn't your high thought that doesn't mean you ought to ignore the calendar of holidays in Italy. There ar execs and cons to visiting an area once it's within the middle of a celebration, thus it's an honest plan to examine whether or not the places you'll go ar within the interior of any quite pageant throughout your keep.
Italian winters are cold and wet - just like a lot of other places - but not without some gloriously sunny days. If you do plan to visit Italy in the winter there are some great accommodation deals to be had (see below) and you will leave with a much better sense of life in the places you visit than when they are filled with other visitors during the summer.
Renting a short-term apartment can be one of the best choices for saving on expensive city accommodation, especially for families. There are lots of options for renting homes or villas in the countryside, too. The bonus, of course, is that you can get separate rooms under one roof for the whole family, plus you have a kitchen, so you can save money by cooking at home. The downside? Don't expect concierge service. Rentals by owner can be hit-or-miss, so be sure you know precisely what you're getting! (For more information, check out our blog post on 6 methods for booking your short-term apartment in Italy ).
While you used to have to use a commission-charging rental company to find apartments safely, it's now a lot easier. Sites we like that let you search, and book, yourself - and which have photos and reviews from past guests - include AirBnB , HouseTrip , and HomeAway (They hold the money for you to make sure there's no hanky-panky before delivering it to the apartment owner). While you can also find lots of listings in cities like Rome on Craigslist , be very wary, as scams there are rife. Never, ever send or wire any money to a Craigslist poster in advance.
Travel tips & recommendations
I know a number of you are still searching for thusme indication of that perfect" time once it's best time to visit Italy so you don't ought to do all this (gasp!) reading. If that's you, here's the maximum amount as I'm reaching to provide you - shoulder seasons.
A winter sunset in Maremma by Kaoscube
The great factor concerning shoulder seasons in Italy is that the weather is typically preponderantly nice and since it's not the season you don't run into the high costs on fare or accommodation. As a bonus, you furthermore mght don't tend to induce stuck within the middle of giant crowds, either.
Although all of the campsites and the majority of hotels outside of the larger cities are closed from October through to "Pasqua" (Easter), there are some "agriturismi" (farmhouses) and bed and breakfast accommodations that stay open throughout the year. Many of which also offer reduced price short breaks. The best accommodation in Maremma
It's not right in Venice - but this agriturismo just outside the city, Villa Mocenigo, is a great (and beautiful) budget option
Getting to Italy: Flight costs
If you avoid last minute bookings, air travel prices in the springtime and autumn are considerably cheaper than through the height of summer.
The Brewdog, via faenza 1. Besides the fact that this place has pretty damn good craft beer, the casual vibe and friendly bar-staff equals to fun for solo travelers craving a cold brew after a long day in town. I also like the fact that it is located on via faenza, a street that is growing in potential as a cool destination.
The price? 35 euros per person. Sure, we weren't in Venice - but we were simply a 20-minute drive from the town center. Since we were visiting Venice at the height of high season, that meant we not only got to save money, but that we were able to rest our heads somewhere tranquil, outside of the craziness of the center. While staying at a farm just outside Venice on a trip to see Venice might not be for everyone, it was for us.
Accommodation prices are, in most establishments, lower in the spring and autumn, doubling or even trebling in price for the months of July and August.