From North to South, including the islands, Italy is full of amazing destinations and proudly owns some of the most attractive artistic and cultural treasures in the world.
If you are planning to visit Italy and you have the flexibility to choose the period of the year when to go, the ideal choice would be to pick periods when tourism is lower.
When planning your trip to Italy, you can save money by:
Traveling during off peak season.
Booking your airplane ticket at least 2-3 months in advance.
Avoiding main holidays or city-specific major festivities
Not following the masses. Eat, buy, and shop in places away from the main touristic itineraries.
When Is The Low Season In Italy?
Low season can be considered the periods from April to the end of June and the months of September and October. These are also months with wonderful weather, since they are neither during the Italian hot summer or cold winter.
During low season you’ll have better opportunities to:
enjoy the cities you are visiting because of smaller crowds
see a more realistic Italian life-style, since most of the people around are natives and last but not least, save money.
September and October...
....are two other favorite months to enjoy great temperatures and low costs.
If you like shopping, then you may want to go to Italy during the sales periods. You may be surprised to hear that sales in Italy are strictly regulated by law, and official calendars are published every year. Typically sales are allowed during change of seasons, i.e. January and July.
The most enjoyable period to visit Venice is from end of March to the end of May, and the months of September and October.
During the carnival season, usually in February - but it changes according to when the Easter Holiday falls each year - Venice becomes the stage for professional and amateurs in costumes of all kinds. It’s quite wonderful to see, but of course it is not the cheapest period to visit.
Venice can be flooded with high tides during the winter months, especially in the months of November and December.
The best period to visit Sardinia is from April to June. In April the whole island blooms with flowers, the landscape colors showcase yellows from broom and mimosa bushes, blues of lavender mixes with the wild bushes of white and purple cistus, purple orchids fill the paths, red poppies color the yellow corn fields; the spring landscape is a festival of colors.
Sardinia is best known for its wonderful beaches, where it’s comfortable to bath from May to October. The peak tourist season is in July and August, but September and October are great months to go to the beach
Avoid Traveling at Ferragosto If You Can
Typically Italians take their vacations in August, especially the weeks around the 15th of August, which is called Ferragosto. That is a major holiday in Italy, with fireworks, parades, air shows, etc.
If you plan to visit during that period, be aware the cities become ghost towns. Most shops and business close, inhabitants go to the beach or travel, to the point that barely no one is around… well, no one but the tourists. Also, since August is the peak vacation period for Italians, reservations get quite costly.
Stay Away from Popular Touristic Itineraries
The best way to save money while on vacation is to spend your money away from the usual touristic itineraries.
Choose a hotel in a less touristic area, look for restaurants and shops used by locals.
Don’t get trapped by shining and fancy tourist shops, you can save lots of money and get better quality for the price if when it’s time to purchase you stir away from the main attractions.
Ask for directions and advice at your hotel front desk, or even to people on the street. The average Italian is very happy to be helpful.
Major Italian National Holidays
New Year's Day, January 1
Easter Sunday, the date varies each year
Easter Monday, the day after Easter Sunday
Liberation Day, April 25
Labor Day, May 1
Republic Day, June 2
Assumption Day, or Ferragosto, August 15
All Saint's Day, November 1
Immaculate Conception, December 8
Christmas Day, December 25
Saint Stephen's Day, December 26