Italy in September


I know I’m not supposed to play favorites, but all things considered, September is – at least so far – my favorite month in which to visit Italy. The reasons are both weather-related and festival-related, as you’ll see below.

Weather in September in Italy

By the end of August, all of Italy has typically hit its peak in terms of temperature – and that means September often includes gloriously hot days followed by cool nights. In the latter half of the month, it’s even starting to feel quite fall-like, and it’s not unheard of for there to be brief rainstorms (complete with thunder and lightning) during September.

Whereas August was vacation month for many Italians, September is back-to-work and back-to-school month – so it’s business as usual when it comes to open hours for attractions and shops, even though the weather remains summerlike in many places throughout the country. That means foreigners can take advantage of beach weather after the Italians have left Italy’s beach towns.

Temperatures in September don’t generally climb to the uncomfortable peaks of the summer months – more temperate conditions overall make this a fantastic month for outdoor pursuits like hiking or exploring Roman ruins, but the occasional short rainstorm makes an excellent excuse to duck into a museum now and then, too.

September is technically part of the autumn and therefore might be considered part of Italy’s fall shoulder season, but prices tend to remain stuck at high season levels in much of the country – especially popular spots like Tuscany – for the entirety of September. In the south, however, prices will drop faster in September even though the mercury takes longer to fall.

Temperatures in September vary depending on where you are in Italy, but as a general rule of thumb these are the ranges:

  • Northern Italy: 55-75°F (13-24°C)
  • Central Italy: 65-80°F (18-27°C)
  • Southern Italy: 70-80°F (21-27°C)

>> Be sure to check a current weather forecast for Italy before you leave home, as the weather can change. Check my Italian weather page for seasonal temperature and rainfall averages in a few Italian cities.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE TRAVEL GUIDES

Holidays in September in Italy

There aren’t any nationwide holidays in Italy in September, but there are several local festivals and events that are well-known.

Venice’s Regatta Storica is a day of historic boat races through the Grand Canal, and while it’s certainly not put on specifically for tourists it’s great fun to witness if you’re in town. Naples’ patron saint, San Gennaro, has his feast day during September, and there’s usually a week’s worth of celebrations associated with it. The International Film Festival in Venice often begins in late August, but stretches into early September – if you’re into celebrity-watching, then the Venice Lido is the place to be during the festival.

September also marks the beginning of the food festival season in much of Italy, as it coincides with the harvest season. You’ll find the calendar stuffed with festivals celebrating everything from truffles to prosciutto to wine, and it’s not hard to see why that kind of agenda would be popular with foodies and travelers alike.

There are other local events and festivals that take place throughout the country in September, so be sure to check the local tourism office’s calendar of events for any city or town you plan to visit. It can be fun to take part in a local festival, but only if you know it’s happening – getting caught in the middle of something unexpected is sometimes fun and sometimes not-so-fun.

>> Check my holidays in Italy page to find out some of the things going on this September in Italy.

Why go to Italy in September?

You don’t have to be a food-centric traveler to see the appeal of visiting Italy when it’s celebrating its harvest. In this country so famous for its food, being a part of local festivals honoring a local food is a reminder not only of how proud Italians are of their cuisine but also how regional Italian food really is. Not only that, it’s a pretty tasty way to travel.

Besides the food festivals, of course, there are other reasons to love Italy in September. The holdover of some of the August heat coupled with slightly cooler nights make it far more pleasant to be outside – and there’s something about the color of the light in Tuscany in September that’s hard to explain but beautiful to witness.

As mentioned earlier, however, September is still considered part of Italy’s high season in most parts of the country – notably the most popular places tourists visit. That means the high prices of June and July don’t start coming down for good until late September (at the earliest). Some places may begin to drop their rates in early or mid-September, but you’re still going to pay more in September for the big-ticket items for your trip – your Italy airfare and Italy hotels – than you will even a month later.

Despite the fact that a September trip to Italy will cost more than a shoulder season trip would typically cost, this is a month – much like May – when a trip is often worth the extra money you’ll spend on it.

photo by ralphunden


22 thoughts on “Italy in September

    • roland

      Jessica:

      My wife no longer works for a school and we wanted to visit Italy when the tourist crowd is lighter but the weather is still warm. We would probably be going south of Rome. Any suggestions on months?

      • Jessica Post author

        Hi, Roland:

        I think September is actually a great month to visit Italy – it’s still the tail end of high season up north, but in the south (where tourism is lighter anyway) you won’t run into the crowds you’d find in the north even in September. Unless, that is, you’re going to the Amalfi Coast – then you’ll find crowds through October. Head for Sicily, Calabria, and other parts of Campania in September and you’re likely to enjoy excellent weather and see far fewer tourists.

        Ciao,
        Jessica

  • Will

    Planning a visit to Puglia in September 2011 with family and add ons about 10 people in all. Looking for villa with swimming pool. Any suggestions? Thanks Will.

    • Jessica Post author

      I’ve not been to Puglia (yet), but I’d begin my search with a vacation rentals site – most of them have an option to only search for places with pools, which makes narrowing your options down quickly much simpler.

      This is the BootsnAll list of rentals in Puglia (it’s sometimes spelled Apulia), and if you click on “Advanced Search” you’ll see a place to check the box for “swimming pool.”

      http://vacationrentals.bootsnall.com/vacation-rentals/italy+apulia+2+85

  • Ricky

    We’re planning on heading to Italy for our honeymoon in September. We’re trying to decide whether to go with one of the tour groups or just try and come up with our own itinerary. Would you suggest staying in one region of Italy or trying to go all over the country. We’re planning about a 2 week trip.

  • Yolanda

    Going to the Southern part of Italy Sept. 19 thru Oct. 13. Sicily for 9 days, then Cosenza, Lecce, Alberobello, Matera, Sorrento, then up to Rome to come home. We’ve been to Italy in Sept. but never this late. Know the weather will be wonderful…hopefully on the cooler side.

    • Jessica Post author

      Yes, the weather should be great – September is typically one of the best months to be in Italy weather-wise. It may not be “cool,” but it’ll likely be cooler than it was in August!

  • Natalie

    Hi Jessica,

    I’m traveling to Italy (Rome, Amalfi Coast, Florence, Orvieto, Milan, Venice, Cinque Terre) in September. I love fashion and shoes,but am having a hard time trying to figure out what to wear. I wear heels a lot, but know I can’t walk for hours a day in them. Do you have any suggestions for cute, fashion-forward shoes to wear with casual dresses, pants? Also-are dresses with a cardigan okay or pants and light-weight jacket? I’ll be there from Sept 1-26.
    Thanks!
    Natalie

  • Mary

    I am going to be studying abroad in Florence late August through December. Any overall suggestions as to what to buy there and what to bring along. Are there any “american” foods or novelties that I may become homesick for while there? What are clothes and shoe sizes like there, do they sell sizes for bigger people as well as small people or only at certain stores? Any other suggestions/advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  • Line

    We will be traveling through Italy (Milan to Sicily) from mid-September to mid-October and I was wondering if I should bring my swimming suit? Will it still be warm enough?

    Thank you for your information.

    Line πŸ™‚

  • Yvette Wilson

    Hi I am going to Italy for the first time next September. I am traveling with a relative who is going for a medical conference in Taormino Sicily. After that I want to go to Abruzzo, Chieti, Francavilla a Mare to search for relatives. What is the best way to plan the second half? I need every detail! and of course this will be on an extreme budget!

    Yvette

Comments are closed.