Traveling to Italy in September: What You Need to Know


Thinking about going to Italy, but don’t want to fight crowds or suffer through intense heat? Traveling to Italy in September September might be your answer. This shoulder season month presents a perfect opportunity to explore this beautiful country, but is it the right time for you? Here’s an in-depth look at what to expect when visiting Italy in September.

Thinking about going to Italy, but don't want to fight crowds or suffer through intense heat? Traveling to Italy in September September might be your answer.

Our family has lived in Italy during September and last year I came back to visit in at the end of August and beginning of September for my daughter’s birthday. September is one of my favorite months to visit this beautiful country because I love the sun and the beach, but also don’t love being swelteringly hot and being around thousands of people. September offers the perfect balance of pleasant weather and lower crowds.

“We loved the trip planned for us by i Heart Italy. September was the perfect time for our family to go. Not too hot and not too crowded, but we were still able to enjoy some beach time. Thank you for planning a great trip for us!”

-Jenny (i Heart Italy travel planning client)

If you’re looking for help planning your next trip to Italy, let us do the heavy lifting and plan the trip of a lifetime for you. Our Italy travel experts will suggest accommodations, find the best deals on rental cars and public transportation, connect you with local tour guides, help you plan out each day, and create custom maps and printable itineraries customized to your needs. Read here for more information.

Italy in September – What we’ll talk about

  • The pros and cons of traveling to Italy in September
  • Holidays and Events in Italy in September
  • The weather in Italy September
  • The Best Places to Visit in Italy in September
  • What needs to be booked ahead in September

Pros and Cons of Traveling to Italy in September

Here’s a secret, September is actually my favorite time to visit Italy (along with May and October). This wonderful month still offers busy cities with attractions open, but avoids the high season of August crowds as most Italians and tourists are ending their summer break.

September weather is still very pleasant, but not overwhelmingly hot and not yet too cold. You’ll find plenty of food festivals, Italian culture, and have a wonderful time enjoying sunny days at the beach or visiting the capital city of Rome. But September is not without it’s negatives. Let’s explore the pros and cons of visiting Italy in September:


Pros of visiting Italy in September

  1. Pleasant Weather: The weather in Italy in September brings a break from the scorching summer heat, offering mild average temperatures, especially in the northern regions. It’s an ideal time for outdoor exploration.
  2. Fewer Summer Crowds: With the peak tourist season winding down, you’ll encounter fewer summer crowds in major tourist spots, making your experience more relaxed.
  3. Harvest Festivals: You’ll be visiting Italy at the beginning of harvest season. September is the time for grape harvesting, and many regions celebrate with wine festivals. It’s a perfect opportunity to indulge in local culture and flavors, and to enjoy wine tasting.
  4. Cost-Effective Travel: Accommodations and flights can be less expensive than during the peak summer months. Hotels are generally priced lower than the summer months, although more and more people are catching on that a September trip to Italy is a great idea, so you still won’t save a tone of money, but you will definitely save a lot of money on flights to Italy in September.

Cons of visiting Italy in September

  1. Unpredictable Weather: Southern Italy may still experience summer heat, while an occasional rainy day might dampen plans in other parts. If you’re spending time in Northern Italy, especially the Dolomites, you may experience more severe thunderstorms. These will be less likely in early September, but if you’re visiting toward the end of the month, they may become more likely and more frequent.
  2. Limited Beach Time: While the sea is still warm, beach facilities might start to close down, especially in late September. And you’ll also have cooler a weather forecast later in the month. So if you’re looking for a beach vacation, you may want to take the time of month in September and the sea temperatures into consideration. However, you’ll be avoiding the crowded beaches of peak season when Italians and tourists share the beach!
  3. Shorter Days: As fall approaches, days begin to shorten, giving you less daylight for sightseeing. But still, Italy in September will see a good amount of sun and sunny weather.

Holidays and Events in Italy in September

One of the great benefits of visiting Italy in September is enjoying local festivals around the country. It’s a great way to experience local culture and enjoy local cuisine. Here are a few of the most popular festivals in Italy in September:

  1. Festa della Rificolona:
    The Festa della Rificolona, celebrated in Florence, takes place on September 7th and is a cherished tradition dating back centuries. Marking the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, the festival is famous for its colorful paper lantern parade, where children and families walk through the city streets carrying illuminated lanterns on long poles. Accompanied by live music and a festive atmosphere, participants make their way to the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata to attend a special church service. The lanterns symbolize humility and are a tribute to farmers and peasants who once journeyed to the city by night for the feast. The event also features local food, traditional songs, and a lively ambiance, capturing the rich cultural heritage of Florence.
  2. Regatta Storica in Venice:
    On the first Sunday of September, Venice comes alive with its historic boat race, which is organized into four separate categories: a children’s race, women’s race, men’s race in six-oar boats, and the champions’ contest in two-oar vessels. The festivities kick off with a vibrant procession of ornately decorated boats, reminiscent of the 16th century, with rowers dressed in period costume navigating through the canals. During this grand parade, the Doge, his wife, and various esteemed Venetian officials are escorted along the Grand Canal by gondoliers adorned in traditional attire.The canals are lined with motorboats and gondolas filled with photographers and spectators, all eager to capture the splendor of the day. Many hotels in Venice even arrange special boat services to ferry guests closer to the action, providing an unparalleled view of both the parade and the races. Don’t miss the thrilling Campioni su Gondolini race, a highlight of the event, where Venice’s swiftest gondoliers race down the Grand Canal, speeding toward the finish line. Make sure to arrive early to fully enjoy this unique Venetian experience.
  3. San Gennaro Feast:
    The San Gennaro Feast is a prominent religious and cultural festival celebrated in Naples, Italy, on September 19th, in honor of Saint Januarius, the city’s patron saint. This significant event includes a grand religious procession where the vial of the saint’s blood is carried from the Cathedral to the Church of Santa Chiara, and often, a miraculous liquefaction of the blood is witnessed, seen as a good omen for the city.
    Alongside the spiritual observance, the streets of Naples come alive with vibrant festivities, including live music, fireworks, food stalls serving traditional Neapolitan dishes, and various cultural exhibitions. The fusion of faith and festivity marks this as a unique and deeply cherished event in the Neapolitan calendar.
  4. Wine Harvest Festivals:
    Various regions celebrate the grape harvest with festivals filled with wine tasting, food, and music. Wine Harvest Festivals in Italy during September are joyous celebrations that mark the beginning of the grape harvest season, a critical time in winemaking. Various regions, especially those known for their vineyards like Tuscany, Piedmont, and Veneto, host festivals that allow visitors to participate in grape picking and stomping.

    These events offer not just a hands-on experience with winemaking but also a chance to sample some of Italy’s finest wines, often paired with local cuisines and traditional music and dance. Wine Harvest Festivals encapsulate the rich cultural heritage and passion for winemaking in Italy, turning vineyards into lively social gathering spots, full of laughter, culture, and of course, excellent wine.

Weather in Italy in September

The weather in September in Italy is one of the main benefits of traveling during this time. It’s an especially good month to visit if you’re not a fan of the intense summer heat. September temperatures are generally moderate, depending on where you visit Italy. Here is a breakdown of weather in different regions of Italy:

  • Northern Italy:
    In Northern Italy, September heralds the transition from summer to autumn, bringing milder temperatures that are typically ideal for exploring the region. Temperatures during this month generally range from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F), although evenings can be cooler. While the summer heat subsides, there’s still plenty of sunshine to enjoy, and rain is relatively infrequent.
    The mild climate makes September an excellent time for outdoor activities like hiking and sightseeing, but packing some layers for the cooler evenings is advisable. Northern Italy’s September weather combines the best of summer warmth with the freshness of approaching autumn. If you’re looking to visit the Italian Lakes like Lake Garda or Lake Como, or the Dolomites and don’t mind a chance of rain and cooler temps, September is a good choice.
  • Central Italy:
    In Central Italy, the weather during September offers a nice mix of summer warmth and the first hints of fall crispness. Daytime temperatures tend to hover between 20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F), gradually cooling as the month progresses.
    The scorching heat of the summer months gives way to a more comfortable warmth, perfect for outdoor exploration, sightseeing and eating handmade pasta al fresco dining in a piazza. While the chance of rain slightly increases, it remains generally dry, with clear skies and gentle breezes.
  • Southern Italy:
    In Southern Italy, September remains relatively warm and inviting, maintaining a summer-like feel while offering a slight respite from the peak summer heat. Temperatures typically range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F), making it ideal for beach-going and coastal activities.
    The sea remains warm enough for swimming, and the days are often filled with abundant sunshine. Rainfall is minimal, although occasional showers can occur as the month progresses. So if you’re interested in an Italian beach vacation and still want warmth, I would definitely consider visiting the southern regions of Italy in September.

Weather in Italy in September

DestinationTemperature RangeAverage Rainy Days
Rome59°F-80°F6 days
Florence59°F-80°F9 days
Venice57°F-77°F9 days
Amalfi68°F-78°F10 days
Dolomites44°F-65°F6 days
Sardinia63°F-83°F5 days
Sicily70°F-83°F6 days

Best Places to Visit in Italy in September

Vineyards and olive trees in a small village, Tuscany
  1. Tuscany: September brings the grape harvest, making it the perfect time to tour vineyards and enjoy local produce and wines or enjoy Saturnia hot springs. September is a fantastic time to stay in an Agriturismo and experience real Italian culture.
  2. Cinque Terre: With fewer crowds and mild weather, it’s a great time to explore these picturesque villages on the coast, somewhere I personally try to avoid during the summer months. You can enjoy fresh seafood outdoors while enjoying a cool ocean breeze. And the water is still warm enough to swim in during September. Learn more about Cinque Terre here.
  3. Rome: The pleasant climate and reduced tourist numbers allow for more enjoyable visits to iconic sites like the Colosseum and Vatican. Learn more about Rome here.
  4. The Amalfi Coast: I tell everyone I know to avoid the Amalfi Coast during high season. September is a much better time to visit this highly popular place. You may want to plan for some rain, especially toward the end of the month and into early October. Learn about my favorite hidden gem on the Amalfi Coast.
  5. Sardinia: If you still crave beach time, Sardinia’s beautiful shores remain inviting, and the water is still warm. Read more about what to do in Sardinia and the best beaches in Sardinia here.
  6. Sicily: Explore historic sites in Palermo and Catania or hike Mount Etna. The weather remains warm, but not unbearably hot. Read more about Sicily here.
  7. The Dolomites: If hiking is your passion, the Dolomites offer breathtaking views and comfortable hiking temperatures. We visited the Dolomites in early September and the weather was absolutely perfect. It’s the best time for hiking due to lower crowds, but the hiking trails are still dry before the rains come. Learn more about the Dolomites here.
clear water in Capriccioli beach, Sardinia
clear water in Capriccioli beach, Sardinia

What Needs to be Booked Ahead for Italy in September


Despite fewer crowds, September can still be a busy time in the big cities and most popular sites. It’s still recommended to book your accommodations and train travel well in advance of your visit. You can find our accommodation guides for each city here:

International Driving Permit Italy

Rental Cars

Definitely book your car ahead of time to get the best rates. Also, be sure to get your International Drivers Permit before visiting Italy. It’s the law!

If you’re planning to rent a car in Italy, we recommend booking with Rental Cars. We’ve had the best luck finding the best deals on this site and love their detailed search features.

Tours & Attractions

You’ll definitely find most famous attractions less crowded in September, but it’s always a good idea to book the most popular sites ahead, even in off and shoulder season. Here’s what I recommend booking in advance:

What to wear in Italy in September

What to wear in Italy in September can vary by region, as the weather transitions from summer to autumn. Here’s a general guide for packing:

Northern Italy:

  • Daytime: Light layers, short-sleeve shirts, and summer dresses.
  • Evening: A light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
  • Outdoor Activities: Comfortable footwear for walking, hiking boots if planning to hike.

Central Italy:

  • Daytime: Casual summer wear, T-shirts, skirts, or light trousers.
  • Evening: Bring a light sweater or shawl as it can cool down.
  • Sightseeing: Comfortable walking shoes or sandals.

Southern Italy:

  • Beach Destinations: Swimsuits, beach cover-ups, flip-flops, and sun hats.
  • Evening: Light layers, summer dresses, or casual shirts and trousers.
  • Exploring Towns: Comfortable footwear and sunglasses.

General Italy Packing Tips:

  • Sun Protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats are advisable across all regions.
  • Dress Code: If planning to visit religious sites, have appropriate attire to cover shoulders and knees.
  • Umbrella: A small umbrella or raincoat can be handy in case of unexpected showers.

You can learn more by reading What to Pack for your Trip to Italy.

September’s weather in Italy blends warmth with cooler periods, so packing a mix of summer clothing with a few warmer pieces for the evenings is the key to being comfortable and stylish throughout your trip.

September in Italy offers a balance of pleasant weather, cultural experiences, and fewer crowds, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Italian life more authentically. While some weather unpredictability and reduced beach activities might be drawbacks, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Whether you’re strolling through the vineyards of Tuscany, exploring the historic streets of Rome, or enjoying the coastal charm of Cinque Terre, September offers an unforgettable Italian experience, blending culture, gastronomy, and natural beauty into a trip of a lifetime. Make sure to check local guides and weather forecasts to plan your trip accordingly, and you’ll find Italy in September to be nothing short of ‘la dolce vita!’


Travel to Italy in September is a great option. If you want a warm or beachy experience in Italy without the massive crowds and high airfare of the summer months, explore Italy in September. You’ll find festivals, mild weather, and lower prices.

FAQs About Italy in September

Is September a good time to visit Italy?

If you’ve read the article above, I think you know the answer, but yes, Italy is a great place to travel to in September if you’re looking for lower crowd levels, better airfare, but enough warmth to be able to enjoy the sun and sea.

Can I swim in Italy in September?

Of course, you can swim any time of year you like, but if you want warm water and sunny beaches, September is a good time to visit Italy, especially in the south.


Is Italy still hot in September?

Yes, there are many places in Italy that will still be hot, especially in early September. But it will be cooler than visiting in July or August.

Where is hot in Italy in September?

If you’re looking for summer weather in September, try to stick to southern Italy. Sicily is a great option for hot weather in September.

Is Italy too crowded in September?

Italy in September is still going to be crowded in the main cities and at famous attractions, but will be far less crowded than during high season.

Is it better to go to Italy in September or October?

This depends on where you want to go in Italy and what kind of trip you want. If you’re looking for a beach holiday, I would visit in September. If you’re looiking for milder weather in the south, I would visit in October.

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