Italy in May: Vibrant Destinations, Quieter Streets

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A trip to Italy in May is a feast to the senses. With spring rapidly turning into summer, days are dominated by clear skies and bright sun, although visitor numbers are yet to climb to their July and August peaks. The climate is perfect for admiring the landscapes of Tuscany and treating yourself to handmade gelato in Florence’s ancient piazzas. Since Italians are yet to head off on their own vacations, traveling to Italy this month gives you the chance to see the country at its most authentic.

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Italy weather in May

A sunny day during summer in Turin, Italy.
Soak in the pleasant weather while taking a stroll around the city of Turin, Italy.

Italy’s weather in May can be defined by a single word – pleasant. Temperatures are ideal for exploring without the need for endless layers of clothes, with thermometers hitting an average of 18°C to 24°C in the north around Milan and Turin, and 24°C to 30°C in the southern half of the country. Rain is a rare occurrence and winds are generally light, meaning you can stay outdoors from morning until night with nothing more than a t-shirt and maybe a light sweater. Sea temperatures are still a little chilly in places, at 16 to 25°C, although island trips are not affected by the waves of the winter months.

For the seasonal overview, read our travel article on the best time to visit Italy.

Weather in Italy in May - Rainfall and Temperatures

Apr May Jun
Avg Daily (°C) 20 24 29
Avg Nightly (°C) 8 13 17
Avg Daily (°F) 68 76 85
Avg Nightly (°F) 47 56 63
Avg Rainfall (mm) 18 33 6

Why Visit Italy in May

Temple of Aesculapius in the gardens of Villa Borghese in Italy.
Marvel at the exquisite Italian architecture in Villa Borghese Gardens which has many buildings and museums.
View from a pavilion at the public park Giardino Giusti, Italy.
Get a peek into 15th-century-Italy in Giardino Giusti where many original structures from the era have been preserved.

Not only is the weather in Italy in May excellent, but crowds at the top sights of Rome, Florence, and Naples are still on the manageable side. Schools are also yet to close down for summer, giving the country a more sophisticated feel. Below are some top reasons to visit Italy.

  • Less crowded highlights: We will not pretend that Italy in May is devoid of tourists. However, queues outside monuments and museums are much shorter than in July and August, giving you more time to discover.
  • Vibrant countryside: Flowers of vivid colors erupt out across the country during May. There are colorful blossoms everywhere in Riviera Dei Fiori, in Liguria, and one can enjoy Rome’s Villa Borghese Gardens and Verona’s Giardino Giusti in their full glory during this time of year.
  • Boat tours: The disappearance of rough waves turns boat trips to Capri or along the cliffs of Cinque Terre into experiences that do not require a strong stomach.
  • Quieter streets: With the country’s children still in school, you can enjoy quieter strolls in the streets of Italy and through its countryside in May.

Where to go and what to do

The vault and dome over the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy
Wonder at the brilliance of the Sistine Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy

There is an incredible array of places to visit in Italy, with no less than 58 UNESCO World Heritage sites to choose from. You do not have to be devout to appreciate the magnificence of the Vatican City, home to the grand Saint Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Other popular destinations in the country for art lovers are Florence and Venice. The balmy weather makes hikes to hilltop villages such as Siena and Fiesole a much more pleasant experience during this month while exploring Rome will captivate you with its highlights no matter how many times you have been there before. Cover the miles connecting the Colosseum with the Pantheon by foot before heading out to discover the Amalfi Coast.

Check out our travel guide for more ideas on things to do in Italy and find out for yourself how long to stay in Italy to tick it all off!

It is no lie to say that a vacation to Italy in May is about as good as it gets! Fine food, excellent weather, and a long list of attractions mean that May in Italy is suitable for travelers of all tastes. Connect with our travel experts in the country for a customized tour to Italy.

You might also want to check out our tours to Italy in May.

More Information

Published by Tim Green, updated on August 8, 2022

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