Visiting Italy in August – Reasons to Visit and What to Expect

italy in august

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If you’re planning to visit Italy in August, look no further than this guide. From the ancient Colosseum in Rome to the beautiful Italian lakes and coastline, there is so much to experience. August might have some hotter temperatures, but if you can handle that, it’s a great time to enjoy all that Italy has to offer.

Now, you may have heard rumors through the grapevine and are now asking yourself – does Italy close down in August? The simple answer is no. While August is one of the hottest months of the year, this doesn’t affect any major tourist or important sites you might want to see, as these are still up and running. Some restaurants in the bigger cities might close because many Italians enjoy their summer vacations, but for the most part, they remain open for tourists.

With that said, if you don’t mind the heat, then August can be one of the best times to visit Italy. Major cities are quieter as the locals leave for their vacations, and fewer tourists are around. Since many Europeans flock down to the coastal, country, and lake areas, like the Amalfi Coast or Lake Como, you can expect those places to be more crowded.

Without any further ado, it’s time to delve into everything you need to know about exploring Italy in August, including the weather, the best places to visit, festivities, and a few tips along the way.

Weather in Italy in August

august in italy

One of the biggest talking points when planning a trip is the weather, and it’s one of the top considerations you should make before visiting Italy in August. You can expect variations in temperature depending on whether you’re in southern, central, or northern Italy. However, August is generally one of the hottest months of the year.

Northern Italy has the lowest temperatures in general, ranging between 64°F (18°C) to 85°F (30°C), but these are still very high for some people. Central Italy is slightly warmer, between 70°F (21°C) and 90°F (32°C), and finally, Southern Italy is the hottest, between 80°F (26°C) and 90°F (32°C). In some cases, Southern Italy has been shown to reach above 100°F (38°C), so keep that in mind.

Now, with the proper attire and sun protection, all you really need to escape the scorching feeling of those hot days is a dip in the pool or some beach time. It’s also vital to stay hydrated, so be sure to drink lots of water during the day.

With the general weather conditions out of the way, let’s look at some of Italy’s top-visited cities and areas to help you plan.

  • Rome Weather in August: So, exactly how hot is Rome in August? Big cities like Rome and other places in central Italy aren’t as hot as in the south, but you can still expect pretty high temperatures. On average, the daily temperature is between 62°F (19°C) and 88°F (31°C), with barely any rain.
  • Florence Weather in August: Florence has somewhat similar weather conditions to Rome, with average temperatures between 64°F (18°C) and 90°F (32°C). The summer breeze will give you some reprieve from the hot weather and the occasional light rainfall throughout the entire month.
  • Venice Weather in August: You can expect the so-called floating city to have slightly more bearable weather conditions, with daily temperatures between 64°F (18°C) and 82°F (28°C). Couple that with the cool breezes from the north and between five to nine days of rain, and you’ll find it more pleasant.
  • Tuscany Weather in August: Another fan favorite for tourists is Tuscany. The weather can be sweltering, with average highs between 84°F (29°C) and 91°F (33°C). These can shoot up as high as 110°F (43°C) during heatwaves, but those are infrequent, so you just need to keep tabs on weather updates. Rainfall is also rare.
  • Amalfi Coast Weather in August: The Amalfi Coast is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Italy, both for international tourists and locals. The nice weather permits you to enjoy the beautiful beaches to the fullest, with daily highs averaging between 75°F (24°C) and 86°F (30°C). The coastal breezes and around six days of light rain make the heat feel much less scorching.
  • Italian Lakes Weather in August: Other trendy places to visit during August in Italy are the lakes, like Lake Maggiore, Como, or Lake Garda. While it varies from lake to lake, more rainfall is expected throughout the month, and temperatures are cooler. At Lake Garda, expect temperatures between 64°F (18°C) and 84°F (29°C) and five days with rainfall. Como sits between 64°F (18°C) and 77°F (25°C), and Maggiore between 64°F (18°C) and 81°F (27°C). Both Como and Maggiore have an average of nine days with rain.
  • Cinque Terre Weather in August: As previously said, Italy can become very hot in August, and Cinque Terre is no exception. The temperature ranges between 68°F (20°C) and 82°F (28°C), but the ocean provides a welcome cooler breeze. Don’t expect too much rain, with only four days of slight rainfall on average in August.
  • Sicily Weather in August: Sicily is one of the most gorgeous Italian islands and one of the hottest places in southern Italy. In the past, Sicily has recorded a record high temperature of 120°F (49°C), but only on occasion. Generally, you can expect average highs between 77°F (25°C) and 86°F (30°C). Rainfall is also rare, apart from the occasional brief showers. 

Best Places to Visit in Italy in August

italy august temperatures

Now that you know what the weather and temperature in Italy in August look like, it’s time to dive into the best places to visit to make the most of your trip.

Each region has its unique appeal, things to do, and places to see, but you need to make plenty of considerations before planning your trip to Italy. For starters, are you willing to put up with the heat to visit big cities and popular tourist attractions? If not, the coast might be more your speed. On the other hand, are you willing to deal with larger crowds and higher prices for the sake of cooler weather?

Whether you want to visit beach and mountain destinations or stick to the city, your options are endless. Either way, plan ahead and explore all of your options, so without any further ado, here are some of the best places to visit in Italy in August.

The Coast in August

august italy weather

Coastal towns and places like Lake Como or Lake Garda are popular spots for both tourists and many Italians enjoying their vacations. After all, summer is the peak tourist season in many regions, the coast included, and August sits just toward the end of it.

You can expect average temperatures in the ballpark to be between 77°F (25°C) and 90°F (32°C), but it generally feels much cooler along the coast, which is why so many visit during August.

Consider visiting places like the Amalfi and Ligurian Coast (Liguria), Sicily, Calabria, or Puglia. The coast boasts some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, like Positano along the Amalfi Coast or the Baia delle Zagare in Puglia with those iconic rock archways. In addition to these stunning beaches, you can indulge in the most delicious food. Sicilian fresh seafood is a must-try, with mussels, sardines, tuna, and prawns – you name it.

If you visit Italy in August, Puglia, Calabria, and these other coastal areas will be packed with tourists and Italians alike, so expect crowds. Due to this high demand in the peak season, you need to book your accommodations and activities ahead of time to make sure you get all the benefits. Another downside to visiting the coast in August is the increase in prices. You’ll likely pay much more at this time of year, but it’s certainly worth it for the location and experiences.

Want some extra travel tips? Here are some articles for some quick help and inspiration.

The Mountains & Dolomites in August

best places to visit italy in august

If you want another escape from the Italian summer heat, then the mountain areas might be a good bet. Whether it’s the Cinque Torri, Seceda, or Marmolada range, the Dolomites get a lot of traffic all year round, even more so in the summer. However, this dies down toward the end of the month. It’s extremely popular for hikers as it’s nice, warm, and sunny and lets you enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

Temperatures in the Dolomites range between 37°F (3°C) and 52°F (11°C) up in the mountains, but surrounding towns can range anywhere from 68°F (20°C) to 95°F (35°C). It all depends on altitude. You might need a couple of extra layers in the early evening or at night, as it can get a bit chilly. Also, it rains a bit more in the mountains, with about 15 days out of the entire month experiencing rain.

Mountain resorts and hotels can get quite pricey during summer, so expect to spend a pretty penny. Although, it’s always worth the extra splurging to visit charming mountain villages like Santa Maddalena, Ortisei, or Cortina d’Ampezzo. Smaller towns like these might seem uninviting, but these hidden gems are worth the visit. From ancient structures like Castel Tasso (or Reifenstein Castle) to popular trails for trekking, there is plenty to keep you busy.

If you’re adding the Dolomites to your itinerary, why not learn more with these extra guides?

Major Cities in August

bologna italy in august

Everyone who goes to Italy wants a taste of the classic attractions. The Colosseum in Rome, the Duomo di Milano in Milan, or even the Uffizi Gallery in Florence – these are all must-sees.

There are generally fewer crowds in the big cities due to the heat and the fact that locals have left for the coast on their vacations. On average, you can expect temperatures between the high 70s (above 25°C) up to 95°F (35°C), sometimes higher. These temperatures are nothing a little hotel pool or air conditioning can’t fix.

You don’t have to worry about significant tourist attractions being closed, as everything from the Vatican museums to famous churches remain open. However, you might find many restaurants closed or smaller family-run businesses taking a break for the time being.

Consider adding cities like Rome, Siena, Milan, Turin, Umbria, Bologna, or Florence to your itinerary. There is great availability for certain attractions and sights, and if you visit at the right time, you might see some festivities (more on that next). All in all, as long as you can deal with the heat, you can enjoy the perks of fewer crowds in some of your favorite locations.

TOP TIP: To contest the heat, ensure you have appropriate clothing, SPF sun protection, and a water bottle. It also helps to book accommodation with air conditioning.

Festivities and Public Holidays in Italy in August

fireworks august in italy

What else makes Italy worthwhile besides the otherworldly scenery and architecture? Well, the people and their culture, of course. In August, Italy hosts plenty of phenomenal festivals and activities that give you an inside look into the beauty and culture of the locals. While August isn’t as busy as other months regarding festivals, there are a few key events to note.

Keeping each festival and national holiday in mind is essential for itinerary planning, as each event may impact your access to and availability of certain attractions. Not to mention, you may want to participate in these events yourself. Here is a quick glance at key holidays and festivals in Italy in August.

  • August 5th — Festa della Madonna della Neve: Celebrated in Rome, the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows is dedicated to the saint of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. The church was built in the saint’s honor after she appeared in Pope Liberius’ dream in the year 352. The following day, locals found snowfall that had seemed almost miraculous over that summer night at the site shown in his dream. Hence the name Lady of the Snows.
  • August 14th — Festa dei Candelieri: The Festival of the Candlesticks in Sassari, Siena, is a fascinating celebration dedicated to Madonna dell’Assunta. It’s a popular celebration for tourists worldwide who travel here to witness the carrying of large wooden candle-like structures toward the Church of Saint Mary of Bethlem. The festivities continue with dancing, traditional toasts, and a final blessing at the end.
  • August 15th — Ferragosto (Assumption Day): The main national holiday for Italy in August is Assumption Day, honoring the assumption of the Virgin Mary to heaven. You can expect most stores, restaurants, bars, and shops to be closed for the day while patrons head home to celebrate with their families. Celebrations nationwide involve music, dancing, fireworks, processions, and feasts. It’s a day to remember.
  • August 16th — Palio di Siena (Palio horse race): As the name suggests, this bareback horse race is hosted twice yearly in the Piazza del Campo in Siena. Each of the two celebrations of the Palio di Siena is in honor of a different saint, but August 16th is named the Palio dell’Assunta to honor the assumption of Mary. The phenomenal celebration involves ten riders dressed in colorful garments representing some of the districts of Siena. There is also a blessing ceremony and a historical parade before the race.

What to Wear in Italy in August

italy august temperatures sun

So, you’ve got your flights and accommodation booked, your destinations, and your itinerary planned — what now? It’s time to start packing. Knowing how to pack for Italy and what to consider when doing so is essential.

You can always listen here for a helpful guide to planning your outfits for Italy, but for now, here is a glance at some must-pack items.

  • Light clothing — Due to the heat, it’s important to pack lightweight clothes to stay comfy and keep you from overheating. Loose-fitting shirts, shorts, skirts, or dresses are all good to bring along. 
  • Sandals — Comfortable sandals are essential when traveling in Italy due to much exploring and walking. You wouldn’t want that ruined by an uncomfortable shoe.
  • Hat — A hat or cap is great for that extra sun protection for your eyes, and you can’t go wrong with adding a pair of sunglasses to the mix.
  • Light jacket or sweater — For cooler evenings or when you’re farther up north, you might get a little chilly, so a light sweater or jacket is always helpful.
  • Swimwear — Don’t forget to pack swimwear, whether visiting the coast or swimming in the hotel pool. That way, you can take a breather from the heat and take a dip in some cool water instead.

Is August a Good Time to Visit Italy?

visit august italy weather

All in all, yes – August is an excellent time to visit Italy, as long as you remember a few key takeaways.

August is one of the hottest months of the year, but if you’re adequately prepared and take the necessary precautions, you won’t struggle too much. That means dressing appropriately, staying hydrated, and taking advantage of pools or beaches.

If you’re visiting the coastal areas, like Puglia or Calabria, you need to keep in mind that many Italians head down there as well for their vacations. That means those areas will be a little more crowded and pricey. Plus, that leaves fewer crowds in cities like Rome, Milan, or Bologna.

With all that in mind, there are plenty of sights to see and things to do when visiting Italy in August. It’s time to get ready to explore Italy on your next August trip.

READ: Would you rather visit Italy in peak springtime? Consider visiting Italy in May instead.

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