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A tour of Italy in August can be hot, and unforgivingly so. With the sun at its most oppressive, locals leave cities and flock to the peninsula’s beaches! Explore the Vatican City’s museums, see sunflowers in Tuscany and visit the historic Marche while you are in the country during this time. Alternatively, consider heading to the wonders of the north for a cooler clime. Not one to shy away from crowds? Do as the Italians do and head for the beaches.
Prepare for an oppressive heat when you visit Italy in August. This is the hottest month in the country and, if you do not plan properly, soaring temperatures might even ruin your itinerary. Temperatures vary throughout the country with averages of 18 to 30°C in the cooler north. Temperatures in Central Italy hover between 21 and 32°C, while southern parts of the country see mercury rise anywhere from 26 to 32°C. Naturally, beaches are jam-packed in August, especially in southern regions like Sicily. Consider escaping the crowds and heading north, where the stunning Dolomite offers a breezy respite, or South Tyrol, which boasts majestic castles. Alternatively, stick to indoor attractions of cities like Venice, Florence, and Rome, home to countless museums and stellar restaurants.
Read our article on the best time to visit Italy for a seasonal overview.
Most will tell you not to visit Italy in August, given the unbearable heat and thick crowds. There are, however, a few reasons why this month can be favorable for some travelers.
- Cities are less crowded: Believe it or not. Cities across Italy are less crowded during August. That is because Italy’s traditional holiday, Ferragosto, runs from August 15 to September 1. During this time, locals leave cities and smaller establishments close, giving you the chance to take in the sights at your leisure.
- Museum hopping: Culture vultures visiting Italy in August will enjoy a treasure trove of experiences. Major highlights like Uffizi and the Vatican Museums remain open along with a few major restaurants.
- Shorter queues and lower prices in cities: With beaches being the star of the season, hotel room prices in cities plummet, while museums and attractions enjoy relatively shorter lines. If you do not mind the heat and can bear with some establishments being closed, now is a great time to wander through urban areas.
- Off-the-beaten-path attractions: With foreigners and locals thronging most touristy destinations, August is a great time to go where the crowds are not. Go wine tasting in Alto Adige, gawk over the natural marvels of the Italian Alps in Trentino and snap pictures among pastel buildings and tumbling bougainvillea in Santa Margherita.
- Secret sandy getaways: Although popular beaches across the country are packed like sardines during this time of year, you can find relatively empty stretches of sand if you look around and plan properly. Consider Sardinia’s expansive beaches if you’re looking for some breathing room or head for the hidden coves of Dino Island. Read our article on the best beaches in Italy.
There are plenty of things to do in Italy at this time of year. While most flock to the coast, some travelers opt for cooler climes and less-crowded destinations. Consider the mountainous north if you enjoy a temperate weather. The Dolomites, with their bare, jagged cliffs, are ideal for sightseeing, mountain biking, and hiking. Enjoy your own slice of the azure sea in the Amalfi Coast during a boat tour and go on a wine-tasting trip in Tuscany.
You might also want to take an off-the-beaten-path in Marche where you can explore walled villages and underground cities while also enjoying Verdicchio wines. If you must hit the beaches, head to Sicily. Read our article on how many days to spend in Italy.
If you are wondering what to pack for a trip to Italy in August, think summer attire. While you will want to wear breathable summer clothes, remember that several of the country's cathedrals have a strict dress code. Have a bottle of water with you at all times, as it is easy to get dehydrated when walking around the city. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and always carry an umbrella and a hat.
Travelers looking for solitude may find August to be a difficult time to visit Italy due to the crowds. Some might find city sightseeing at this time of year rather disappointing, as several establishments are closed. However, If you have set your heart on visiting the country in August, you will be blessed with a magical summer with the sun bringing the best out of the country’s sights. August in Italy is not as bad as it is made to be, and you can make your visit much more bearable by preparing in advance and taking the road less traveled. Contact our travel experts in Italy to help you with a tailor-made trip to Italy in August.
You can also browse through our list of available Italy tours in August.