Traveling to Italy in August: What You Need to Know

Italy in August

Traveling to Italy in August: What You Need to Know

By August, most people have a mix of emotions: you’re probably over the heat but also sad that the season is coming to an end. Why not squeeze out the last bit of summer with that holiday in Italy in August?

Whether you’re just playing around with the idea or making final plans, below you’ll find all the information you’ll need for the best time on your late summer vacation. Learn about the weather so you know what to expect and find out where I recommend staying in Italy during this unique month.

There’s a range of pros and cons when you’re visiting Italy in August. It’s festival season and there are special cultural experiences to be had all over the country. But in some regions, it’s still one of the hotter months of the summer. So, keep reading below so you can be sure you have all the information details ironed out!

Weather in Italy in August

Italy’s weather in August largely depends on where you are. You should definitely still expect summer weather this month, but that means different things in the northern and southern regions. Basically, the average temperature in Italy in August by region is as follows:

  • Central Italy: 70-90°F (21-32°C)
  • Northern Italy: 65-85°F (18-30°C)
  • Southern Italy: 80-90°F (26-32°C)

And Italy is famously hot and humid in the summer, particularly in the southern coastal regions. June and July are the worst, while you might get a bit of relief in August. But this month is still warm and sunny, so you can just cool off at the beach!

If you’re really trying to avoid the humidity, plan your trip for the central or northern regions. It’s not so humid in the northern and southern regions of Italy in August, but it’s still a tradeoff. These parts of the country are more prone to storms, so just be flexible and maybe bring shoes that you’re ok getting wet.

Pro Tip: Check that Your Hotel Has AC

Be aware that many places in the country don’t consider air conditioning essential. You shouldn’t assume that there’s AC where you’re staying! Look for descriptions on websites or call the concierge directly.

The same goes for restaurants and shops— they might be hot inside! Also, many cities you visit will require a decent amount of walking. Carry water with you everywhere and respect the soaring temperatures if you’re going to be outdoors.

It’s Still the High Season

You’ll have an amazing, memorable time in Italy in August if you remember that it’s still the high season! There’s no way around it: you’re going to see high season prices for travel and lodgings. But if you’re taking a holiday in the summer, you probably already planned for that!

August is a unique month to visit Italy because it’s when locals close shop and go on vacation. That translates to you, the tourist, in a few different ways. If you’re heading to the biggest cities, like Rome and Venice, you won’t notice much of a difference. Attractions will be open and you’ll have plenty of company! The same with coastal areas like Puglia, the Amalfi Coast, or Sicily. Expect lines and book beach cabanas ahead of your arrival.

In busier metropolitan cities, the only difference you’ll see will be shops that are closed. Some close for Assumption Day in mid-August. Some open after the holiday while others stay closed until September. But it’s random. For example, expect Vatican City to be closed on August 15th and 16th, while places like the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona will be as bustling as usual.

If you’re visiting the bigger cities in August or enjoying the warm beaches of the coast, my tip is to remain flexible. You might go shopping and find 1 shop closed while the 1 next to it is open! Keep that in mind when looking for restaurants and hotels, as well.

Pro Tip: Avoid the Crowds by Heading to the Country

August is a great time to take advantage of the smaller cities and more rural villages of the interior of Italy. With all the locals heading to the coast, it’ll be quiet with much thinner crowds. You can enjoy the local experience with touristy attractions closed.

Central Tuscany will be quiet during the holidays before the prep for the fall harvest. And you’ll be able to find good deals on hotels in more rural areas.

Holidays and Festivals in Italy in August

One of the biggest draws for Italy in August is the fun local holidays and festivals you’ll find across the entire country! I already mentioned the biggest one, which is Ferragosto. It’s an old public national holiday that begins on August 15th and honors the hard work of the agricultural community. It’s associated with the Day of Assumption that’s also on August 15th, and you’ll see local churches hosting religious processions on that day.

Over the years, it became a time for Italians to put work aside and head to the coast for vacation. For some, it’s a long holiday weekend while others shut down their businesses until the beginning of September. In local towns and villages, as well as the bigger cities like Rome and Naples, you’ll find special events, fireworks, and live music scheduled during this time.

There’s also the magical Notte di San Lorenzo in mid-August. Also called the Night of Wishes, it celebrates the annual sighting of the Perseids meteor shower which becomes easier to see in some regions during this time of year. It’s largely celebrated with festivals and viewing parties across the entire country.

Besides that, there are dozens more August Italian holidays specific to different regions and towns of this old country. In the northernmost regions of Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, a lot of the medieval towns host medieval-themed festivals in August. You’ll find cool music summer concerts and special carnivals at ancient sites across Rome.

The gorgeous countryside of Montefalco in Umbria is a perfect choice for Italy in August.

In Montefalco in central Italy, there’s La Fuga del Bove, a 3-week-long festival with great food, fun events, and historic costumes. And in Venice, you can attend the Settimane Musicali di Stresa. It’s 4 weeks of performance art events and live orchestras on Lake Maggiore outside of Milan.

Pro Tip: Check Local Tourism Boards

Wherever you’re going in Italy in August, there will be events you can attend! If you know the region you’re heading to, I suggest checking the local Italian Tourism website for events. You can search by region and it’s easy to navigate. It’s the best way to look ahead and find out about local and touristy things on the calendar.

Where to Visit

So where should you go during your vacation to Italy in late summer? It all depends on what kind of experience you want to have. There’s a reason that places like Rome, Venice, and Florence are the most popular places to visit in Italy. These larger cities have historic landmarks and natural beauty that needs to be seen in person! And if you can tolerate the crowds and August weather in Italy, you won’t regret it.

But if you want a break from the heat, consider heading north. Bordering Austria and Switzerland is a region of Italy that looks like something out of a fairytale. There are the Dolomites Mountains with ski slopes that are still popular for a range of outdoor activities in the spring, summer, and fall. Or explore the picturesque region of South Tyrol with its sprawling nature preserves, lush forests, crystal clear lakes, and quaint villages.

With hot days and cool nights, inland Tuscany is a dream. Stay away from the coast where all the locals are enjoying their vacation (and higher hotel rates!). Head inland to the lesser-known towns for a quiet retreat full of medieval architecture. Consider Poppi or Pontassieve for great accommodations but also for a local Italian experience.

If you really want to head south and enjoy the few remaining beach days, think about visiting Camerota in the southern part of Campania. It’s much less crowded than the popular Amalfi Coast with a similar feel. There are serene beaches, ancient ruins, and oceanside cliffs without the lines and waitlists. 

Tips for Avoiding Crowds in Italy in August

FAQ about Traveling to Italy in August

Are the beaches in Italy busy in August?

You’re going to have company if you’re visiting Italian beaches, no matter where you go! You can guarantee crowds and lines at the popular beach destinations in Tuscany, Campania, and Puglia. If you must visit a beach but want a little space, consider taking a day and traveling to the secluded beaches in Sardinia or Sicily’s national parks!

CALA BRANDINCHI, SARDINIA – August 2017 – Cala Brandinchi beach with Isola Travolara in the background, red stones and azure clear water, Sardinia, Italy.

What should you wear in August in Italy?

Always default to summer wear when visiting Italy in August. Think about breathable fabrics and light colors. You can always bring a few layers if you’re heading to northern Italy.

If you’re in the cities, bring comfortable shoes for walking and a hat to combat the sun. Just remember if you’re going to tour the Vatican City or one of the country’s cathedrals, most of them have a strict dress code.

Is it worth going to Italy in August?

August is your last chance to enjoy the high season in Italy! It’s also an exciting time with so many seasonal holidays and festivals going on across the country. And August is when locals go on vacation so you get the small towns and villages all to yourself.

Enjoy Your August in Italy

Visiting Italy in August can be whatever you want it to be. If you want to join the crowds on the coast or in Rome and Venice, they’ll welcome you with open arms. August is also a magical time with cultural events, music and art festivals, and some of the most beautiful holidays of the year.

When you head to Italy this time of year, it just takes a little planning and knowing what you want out of your experience abroad. You can get out of the heat and head to the Italian Alps or attend one of the biggest concerts of the year in the ancient ruins of Rome. It’s really up to you!

3 thoughts on “Traveling to Italy in August: What You Need to Know

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