Italy is among the most-visited countries in the world. However, most of it happens during the summer. Winter in Italy sees fewer tourists, and that’s just one of the reasons why it’s a great time of year to visit the country. With just a slight chill in the air, a bit of rain, and the off-chance of snow (unless you’re in the northernmost part of Italy), winter offers so many great chances to see a country that can often be very crowded. In winter, there will be fewer people in the museums, with non-existent or shorter lines as there are very few tourists around. The symphony, theater, and opera are all in full swing and the mountains of Italy offer many sports opportunities. So, here are the top reasons for visiting Italy during the winter:
- You can get hot deals on hotels and airfare (except during the holiday season, of course). You will be able to save quite a bit of cash.
- Ski resorts in Italy are some of the best in Europe.
- Go on hiking trips around Lake Como or Lake Garda.
- You will love the snow in the hills.
- Cultural performances in historic sites.
- Almost zero queues at museums.
- The weather is milder or cooler during the days–perfect for a walking tour.
Weather in Italy During Winter
The weather is obviously cold during the winter months. But it’s not so throughout the country. For instance, if you visit the coastal regions of Sicily and Sardinia, or the southern mainland, and you will find the weather to be quite mild. But head to the inlands of the north, particularly to the mountains and the lakes, and you are likely to get fresh snowfall. The hills of the north are actually an extension of the Alps from Switzerland. Even the popular tourist places of Florence, Venice, and the hill cities of Umbria and Tuscany can have some snowfall. Most of the rain in Italy happens during November and December. So, while there is rain in the winter, there is more during the fall. Otherwise, it will be crisp and clear.
Festivals and Ice Skating
Here are two more reasons for visiting Italy in winter.
You can try ice skating in Rome in one of the few outdoor rinks set up around town. The streets are decorated with Christmas lights and you will meet musicians singing carols close to Christmas.
Celebrations are held throughout the winter. There’s the Epiphany in January and Carnevale in February. Venice and Viareggio are famous for their Carnevale celebrations, with eleborate masks, costumes, floats, and parties. Venice Carnevale 2014 starts on February 15.