Spring in Italy is a magical time. Swathes of wildflowers carpet the rolling fields and valleys as the warming sun chases away the last of the snow from the mountains and lakes. From March to May, the season of Spring, called Primavera in Italian, brings new life to the fields and renewed excitement to the county’s beautiful towns and cities. If you’re taking a spring vacation in Italy, take a look at our guide to seasonal attractions, destinations, and weather.
Weather during Spring in Italy
As in all of Europe, Spring weather in Italy could best be described as unpredictable. It’s a shoulder season in the country. This means that along with fewer crowds, there are lower prices than in the peak of summer. The weather is rather changeable during this season.
Average Spring weather in Italy by destination
|Place||Max temperature (F/C)||Min temperature (F/C)||Average rainfall days||Average snow days|
Data calculated based on average numbers across the months of March, April, and May
What to pack for Italy in Springtime
When packing for a vacation in Spring, being prepared is key. With such a wide variety of weather throughout the season, the success of your trip depends on being able to take whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Here are a few of our top recommendations for an Italy packing list.
- Light layers: By taking clothes that you can layer on or shed as you need to, you’ll remain comfortable whether you’re pounding the pavements in Rome or cruising the coastal roads of Amalfi. T-shirts, vests, light sweaters, and collared shirts are great for chic layered looks. They are also far lighter to pack than bulky clothing that might end up being too warm.
- A good raincoat: Have you seen the average rainfall table above? Italy can be pretty wet in Spring, so having a proper waterproof coat is a must.
- Comfortable, waterproof shoes: Chances are, you’ll be doing a lot of walking on your Italian vacation. With so many places to go and amazing sights to see, you’re going to want to ensure that your shoes are up to the task. Walking shoes made of waterproof material are an absolute must-pack item. You can also buy waterproofing spray to give them an extra level of protection for inclement elements.
Where to visit during Spring in Italy
It is easy to argue that many favorite Italian destinations are at their best in Spring. With fewer crowds, lower prices, and a delicate Spring light perfect for photography, it is certainly one of the most beautiful times to visit.
The Dolomites in Spring
The Dolomites Mountains are in the north of Italy, bordering Switzerland to the north. It is one of the most dramatic landscapes in Europe. The mountains are a favorite with hikers, skiers, nature lovers, and photographers year-round because of its unique views and natural beauty. The Dolomites is an interesting, variable place in the Spring. In March, the mountains often still have a decent covering of snow, making them popular for a late-season ski vacation. Through April and May, all but the highest peaks see their snow melt away, to be replaced with dreamy fields of wildflowers. Many of the region’s best hikes and trails begin to open up in May, although some don’t open until June.
Spring on the Amalfi Coast
One of Italy’s most popular vacation spots, The Amalfi Coast is a stunner at any time of year. But in Spring, when the flowers are blooming and the fragrant scent of the region’s famous lemons fills the air, it has an extra-magical feeling. April in the Amalfi Coast is one of the finest times of year in the region. The colorful, tumbling buildings are lit by the soft golden light of the gradually lengthening days; an unforgettable sight.
Driving the Amalfi Coast in April is also a much calmer experience than in the height of Summer. You will have the time to appreciate the glorious views around every bend, without scores of other tourists jostling for space. Visiting the towns and cities of the area is also a dream in the Spring. The likes of Sorrento, Capri, Positano, and Naples will be far quieter than in peak season. Instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with other people, you’ll be able to enjoy lower prices and peace and quiet to explore these amazing places.
Tuscany in Spring
The green heart of Italy is indisputably Tuscany, with its famous rolling hills, golden light, and crumbling hilltop towns. For experiencing the best that nature has to offer, there is no better time to visit Tuscany than in the Spring. After the dreary months of winter, the fields and valleys of the region are washed in delicate greens and bold yellows. Visiting Val d’Orcia, famous for its iconic, undulating landscape is beyond magical in Spring. The hill towns of Tuscany are also magnificent in the Spring. Without the crowds, walking the narrow streets of San Gimignano or Siena feels like taking a trip back in time.
Springtime in the Italian Lakes
In the north of Italy, the lake district is a glittering, luxurious vacation destination that attracts visitors for its incredible landscapes and exclusivity. In the Spring, the likes of lakes Como, Garda, and Maggiore are a little calmer and quieter, giving you all the space and time you need to really appreciate how wonderful these destinations are. Early in Spring, the mountain backdrop is still capped with sparkling white snow, falling away into the crisp, clear water of the lakes. Through April and May, more color is added to the scene by clusters of wildflowers, giving the scene a painterly appearance that is utterly charming.
Italian cities in the Spring
If you’re looking for a great compromise between cost, weather, and crowds, Spring is the time to visit Italy’s brilliant cities. The best month to visit the likes of Florence, Rome, Venice, and Milan depends on your expectations, In March, the prices will be at their lowest, as will the crowds, but the weather is almost winter-like in many Italian destinations. Conversely, May has the best weather in Spring, but the hours of sunshine and average temperatures aren’t the only things on the rise; the number of people getting in on the off-season vacation fun is also at the highest number in Spring. For city breaks, April is a good compromise between the 2. Just make sure that you avoid the Easter events that take over Italian cities for a week around the date itself.
Speaking of events…
Spring festivals and events in Italy
Easter in Italy
Easter is a hugely important time in the Italian annual calendar, particularly in Rome. Events and services last for at least a week, sometimes longer, in March or April depending on the date on which Easter Sunday falls. Easter is a magnificent time to experience a cultural critical event in Italy, but it’s worth remembering that many attractions and restaurants will be closed. For more information on Easter in Italy, take a look at our guide to Easter celebrations in Europe.
Fiesta Della Donna
Every year on March 8th, International Woman’s Day is marked all over the world. In Italy, it is known as Fiesta Della Donna, and it is celebrated all over the country. Traditionally, men bring flowers, usually yellow mimosa, as a gift to the women in their lives. Restaurants get in on the celebration by offering have special meals, and groups of women will often go for lunch or dinner together. Small local festivals and concerts take place in towns and villages, and in large cities, historic sites and museums offer free or reduced prices for women.
Feast Day of San Guiseppe
Italian Father’s Day, also known as the Feast Day of San Guiseppe, is held on March 19th. The day is celebrated with bonfires and pageants with scenes from the life of Saint Joseph. Also on this day, children give gifts to their fathers, and a special snack is enjoyed. Zeppole, a type of filled pastry similar to a donut is a unique treat made for this particular festival.
The Commemoration of Caesar’s Death
The old saying says to beware of the Ides Of March but if you happen to be in Rome on this particular Spring day, you’ll get to enjoy a fascinating historic event. March 15th is the day that Caesar was famously assassinated, and what better way to mark this violent, gruesome event than replaying it year after year? That’s what modern-day Romans do, with events at historic sites across the city, including at the Roman Forum, and an exact re-enactment of Caesar’s death is held at the Torre Argentina archaeological site.
Mandorla in Fiore
Down in the south of Italy, on the island of Sicily, early March sees the beautiful Mandorla in Fiore festival, which translates as ‘almonds in bloom’. The festival marks the beginning of the Spring harvest in the Agrigento region. There are culinary and artistic events, celebrating the bounty of nature and local food and culture.
Festa Della Primavera
Across Italy, the ‘festival of Spring’ marks the changing seasons and the lengthening of the days with a country-wide celebration. On March 21st, regional food is enjoyed, wine is free-flowing, and normally closed historic and cultural sites are open to the public.
Festa di San Marco
St Mark’s Square in Venice is a spectacular place on any day, but on April 25th, it is the hub of an incredible Venetian party. The Festa di San Marco celebrates the patron saint of the watery city. The day is marked with awesome events and spectacles. There’s a gondolier’s regatta, where scores of the city’s iconic black boats take to the canals in a parade and events in St Mark’s Square itself. Traditionally, men give their wives or girlfriends the bocolo (a blooming red rose), and, in some years, people wearing red and green form a giant rose in St Mark’s Square.
Also on April 25th, the whole of Italy has a holiday to celebrate the Festa Della Liberazione, on the anniversary of Italy being liberated from the Nazis at end of WWII. Schools and workplaces close for the day, in which Italians enjoy good food, outside events, and the company of others.
Another public vacation is on May 1st. May Day is an ancient festival marking the official first day of summer. Across Italy, workplaces and schools close for the day, and parades and festivals are held in individual towns and cities.
Italian Gardens in the Spring
Gardens and Spring go together like flowers and bees. Italy’s spectacular gardens are a riot of color and a cacophony of sweet smells during the Spring, and there is no better time to pay them a visit.
Villa d’Este in Tivoli, east of Rome, is one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy. Created in the 16th century, it is full of fountains, waterworks, and statues, some of which come from 2nd century Hadrian’s Villa. It’s about an hour by train from Rome, plus a 10-15 min walk to reach the garden.
Villa Garzoni Garden is located between Lucca and Montecatini Terme in Tuscany. It is an 18th-century garden, with a mixture of grand Renaissance and Baroque features. There are winding pathways lined with statues, intricate flower displays, clipped box hedges, water features, and a twisting labyrinth to explore.
Villa Lante, to the north of Rome, is a beautifully terraced garden, featuring fountains, statues, and topiary. There are also two small historic villas on the site villas with ancient frescoes, combining the region’s nature and history in one fantastic day out. There is a free public car park on the site.
For something a little different, the Park of Monsters in Bomarzo, just north of Rome, is a frightfully good day out. It’s also known as the Sacred Grove, and features statues from the 16th century, showcasing mythological gods, animals, and historical figures.
Book your Spring vacation home in Italy with Top Villas
Spend your Spring vacation in a beautiful Italian villa. We have an exquisite selection of wonderful homes in amazing locations across Italy, including Lazio (for Rome), Tuscany, Venice, and the Amalfi Coast. Visiting Italy during another season? Take a look at our guide to the Best Time To Visit Italy!