Yes, we know, Italy is known for its pristine lakes, amazing beaches, state of the art culture, hidden historical stories and this little spot called Venice. We also know that tourism is never off, yet massively booming from just before Easter till about the end of September. So we are here to tell you to skip those tourism days and enjoy Italy in the fall. We understand there might be some restrictions this year, but put it in your to-do planner and just go. It is amazing in the fall.
You will miss the massive crowds
This of course is the biggest treat to visiting Italy during the ‘off-season’ named fall: there is so much more space for you to breath, walk, enjoy just simply discover. Most cities come to rest after those busy months and you can just pick the fruits of the vine: cheaper accommodation, small to no queues, rested citizens and restaurant holders, just a great and relaxed atmosphere. When Kati and I think of mass tourism, we think about Venice. We have given tips to travelers to stay over night during the busy seasons to experience Venice without being so crowded. But Venice in fall is the moment to go. The gondolas still run. Gelato is still being sold and the pigeons on the San Marco square don’t migrate for winter. Just like we said, the only thing missing, is the thousands of tourists. So we can promise you an amazing, peaceful time in Venice in fall.
You visit Italy for its history and you can’t wait to see Rome and all its beauty? Fall is the time to go. The days are getting shorter and the city is beautifully lit up. All those historical buildings get a beautiful light shone at them. There are also some special tours like for example during Halloween and concerts are more often present as well, lesser people, more time and space for the historical art to be combined with the musical one. All sights will stay open, not like in other countries where fall means renovations, Rome lives on not being renovated, people don’t need to renovate history, so no worries about scaffolding. This counts for all mayor historical cities, just go and enjoy them at a softer pace, with smaller tour groups or on your own and only you in your Instagram pictures.
Alright, we know you’ve heard all about the Italian gelato. And for sure you don’t want to miss that, but surprise surprise, yes you can eat gelato even in fall and in winter. Plus most gelato is made with fresh fruits, and when are most fruits in season? Yes you guessed it right, fall. Even though the best gelato places always maintain quality, it is no lie that in fall the quality of the base products are just a little bit fresher and some new seasonal flavors are possible to be tasted and enjoyed, hello to limited editions. Think about green apple, pear and all those berries. Aside from the gelato it is also truffle season in Italy. Just imagine that handmade pasta, some fresh creamy sauce topped with just freshly found truffles. We know you’re getting hungry right now, yet is true, there are so many autumn flavors to have in Italy it is almost insane why not more people visit Italy in fall. There are roasted chestnuts, which is the Italian fall snack, all the game and pumpkin is on the menu as well, combined of course with grandma’s ravioli. Since it is the season for many types of food, there are also loads of harvesting moments you can enjoy and even experience. Think about the grapes and the olives. Have a look around and you’ll find orchards allowing visitors to pick their own fruits. Nothing more satisfying then eating your hard labor, yes under the Tuscan sun. Another amazing thing about all that food, is that the food festivals just pop up like the mushrooms in the forests. Those are called ‘sagra’ in Italian. These focus on the local traditions and food and will be a highlight of your trip. You’ll get to meet the real locals and experience their traditions that have passed on from generation to generation. And as we all know, Italy has the best food in the world. Finger licking good, that is fall in Italy.
Kati and I love the food all year round, but fall is really special. Discover restaurants and out-of-way places that you would not have had time for during the busy season. This alone is worth a trip to Italy in the fall.
Cold days vs Hot days
Fall starts in most European countries around the 21st of September, and you can feel it. Belgium, France, not even to mention rainy England. But not Italy no, you can still reach an astonishing 28 degrees Celsius (yes that is how they talk about the temperature in Europe) which is in the 80 Fahrenheit on an autumn day. We know some of you might live in sunny California, but unfortunately not all of us. So yes, you can still enjoy beautiful sunny days, walk around in shorts and dresses and even take a swim in the ocean. So yes, in places like Sicily and Puglia you can still be found sunbathing and grabbing that tan in the middle of fall. Just think about all those jealous people when you show them your bikini photos in the middle of fall. And all of this without being scorched by the sun, like it happens during August and all those other sweaty tourists standing way too close to you. Italy has the advantage of being a long country in shape, booth shaped btw have a look at it, so the more south you go, the higher that thermometer will climb. Autumn doesn’t need to be scarf cold weather, yet if that is the vibe you search, then they have that too! They have the mountain range called the Dolomites and if you want those cute cold days and stunning tree leave colors, then just head up a few 100 meters from the ocean level and hello colder crisp clear blue sky days. Italy has a temperature for anyone, any time of the year.
Italy has many parks and trails where you can enjoy the amazing changing in leaves. Many locations to go to and these are some of our favorites. The Umbra Forest, a woodland of old beech, oak and maple trees whose leaves turn a range of warm hues in fall. A bit off the beaten track, just 20 km from Trento is the enchanting place called Bersntol. This gorgeous valley has many marked itineraries past fields, woodlands, farms, and alpine huts. Just have a look online whatever region you’re going and we can ensure you that you’ll find a beautiful forest to enjoy all the changing leaves. When talking about colors we can’t ban Cinque Terra out of our thoughts. This beautiful and all-time favorite destination surely still meets your expectations during fall season. It for sure has 100 times less tourists and the buildings all have their beautiful color year-round. We do agree that it is the most beautiful without any rain; so aim for the beginning of fall for Cinque Terra.
Coming up from the parks and trails, hiking in autumn is incredible this time of year. No scorching sun. Not too much snow so you can still find the trail and just an amazing view just like always. There are all kinds of hikes to be found in Italy, from all kinds of length. Our favorite hiking spot is definitely the Dolomites. There are all kinds of tracks depending on your level and no matter where you go, that beautiful and so unique mountain range follows you everywhere. Another great thing about the Dolomites is that it really has become famous due to Instagram and for once it does a good thing, people are really on top of their game to keep the region beautiful and clean. Plus there is no longer the need to visit Bali to be on a swing. Yes you read that right, you can swing right in front of the Dolomites, with in fall season: no queues! And yes, we hear you! These are the names of those hikes that you should take in the Dolomites: Cadini di Misurina Hiking Trail, super short yet ends on an amazing viewpoint. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hiking Trail, the most famous one and it’s a loop.
So it might be that you go to Italy for skiing, before all the winter sport tourist head over and that is possible. You’ll have to go quite high in the Alps and have a bit of luck but it is possible you can ski already during fall season. Go for some langlauf walks or just enjoy the casual walk in the snow. It can happen overnight. It can stay there for just an hour or you can arrive on the 10th of October to a winter wonderland in the Dolomites. Skiing in Italy is always considered less expensive than skiing in Switzerland. Italy makes it all possible. And don’t you worry about the famous après ski. Even though it is a French name, the Italians know how to have a decent one as well.
Many people also consider Italy with the Mekka for shopping. And it is true, the Italians do have an amazing style. Their materials are also of very high quality and it is the country to stock up on those timeless sweaters, scarfs and jackets. There is also a big demand for handmade shoes in Italy. The quality of the leather is known to be one of the best worldwide. Plus a lot of shops still offer to make your clothes to your size. No more oversized garments for you. At the beginning of fall there is also the Milan fashion week. We know we spoke about beating the crowds in fall season, yet here you’ll have to expect some big crowds. Which will be amazing to look your eyes out to all the special and extraordinary clothing styles. It sure is an experience of being seen.
Italy is also known by anyone for its Garda lake as a summer destination. Yet all these lakes are such a beauty during fall as well. Sirmione is one of Lake Garda’s most popular tourist destinations and we’ve told you before, during fall it is just you and Sirmione. The flowers are still there and the changing of leaves makes your visit just a little bit more magical. Yes you can still take the cable car to the top of the Monte Baldo range, the highest mountain range on Lake Garda. Offering endless trails for hiking, mountain biking and Nordic walking, this mountain range is very easily accessible by taking a cable car from the village of Malcesine on Lake Garda’s eastern shore. Available till the end of November. While talking about lakes, we can’t skip the beautiful likes in the Dolomites. These as well are real jewels during fall season. Way less tourists and very often wind still for the perfect glass mirror effect pictures.
We hope by now you’ve realized that Italy isn’t just a beach destination with history on top of it. Italy for sure is a year-round destination and has such beautiful food, sights and experiences to offer in fall season. Our favorite trip to Italy was in the fall when we drove from Germany and stayed in Positano. It was incredible and without the crowds we were able to rent a Vespa and ride the entire coast. Also, Sorrento was magical. So think a little outside of the box, and plan that trip to Italy in the fall. You will not regret it.
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