Weather in Italy in August

Is August a good time to go to Italy?

August is the busiest time in Europe and Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, among France, Portugal and Spain. Not only do most European and American tourists come at this time of year, but Italians and other Europeans also take their holidays in August. It is better to come in the quieter and cooler tourist season, but when travelling in August, expect long queues at major attractions, high prices, large crowds and hot weather. Many small shops and hotels will close during the last two weeks of August for the ancient holiday period of ferragosto, but major attractions will still be operational. However, because many Italians evacuate major cities and flock to the coast during ferragosto, plan for a sea-sand-sun holiday in early August and then visit the major cities in the quiet half of the month.


Climate in Italy in August

August is a hot, dry month and is sometimes so hot that even the Italians wish they were elsewhere. Temperatures often climb into the low 30s (90°F) at the coast, as well as major cities and some inland areas, and it won’t drop below 15°C outside of mountainous areas; major cities can be significantly warmer than other areas because of urban heat island effects. Water temperatures are often 25°C (73°F) at the coast and, in combination with the summer heat, create ideal conditions for beach holidays. While rainfall is generally low, the coast is wetter and more humid than anywhere else is. Stay hydrated at all times, especially during hotter days and occasional heat waves. 


What’s on in Italy in August

When planning the trip, consider using the midday for indoor activities in order to avoid the noon sun, especially in major cities. Museums and major attractions are famous for their visual artworks, but book a ticket to a concert at the Sferisterio, Rossini or Puccini opera festivals and indulge some of the other senses. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for brightly coloured posters because they often lead to small local festivals otherwise unknown by most tourist websites.

Italians are proud of their heritage and often dress up in medieval garb to recreate the Middle Ages and there are a number of such festivals in August, including the Medieval Palio in Veneto, La Quintana in Ascoli Piceno, Giostra di Simone in Montisi and, the three week long, Escape of the Ox festival in Montefalco. As if there were not already so many cultural gems, visit the Venice Film Festival, the Estate Romana in Rome and the Estate Firenze in Florence, three sensational arts festivals. 


What to pack for a holiday in Italy in August

It’s best to travel light because it gets really hot so, don’t pack a heavy bag because the many cobbled streets will make big bags cumbersome and tiring. Sunhats, sunglasses and, especially, sunscreen are essential whether travelling in the city or at the beach.

Pack for comfort, but keep it sharp in order to blend in with the trendy locals. Take some loose long sleeved shirts, T-shirts, comfortable and decent shorts, one or two light tops for the evenings and a light raincoat or small foldable umbrella, especially for the south. 

Swim shorts, speedos and bikinis are great for beaches, but bring a sarong or light covering for sun protection. Many churches and monasteries require both men and women to cover up well and pack something smart for a good restaurant or special event. 

For footwear, flip-flops are good for the beach, but otherwise some sturdy sandals, or comfortable and breathable walking shoes or trainers are best for the city. With little rain, some people might prefer to carry a small umbrella instead of a light raincoat, so bring both along and see which is preferable.