Italy has a predominantly Mediterranean climate with mild, sometimes rainy winters and sunny, hot, usually dry summers. However, with such a large area and so many different geographical features—from high mountains to over 6,000 kilometres of coastline, you’ll find plenty of regional differences and even micro-climates.
Northern Italy and the Dolomites
In northern Italy and the Dolomites, expect hot summers good for swimming in mountain lakes, hiking the Dolomites and sunning yourself on cafe patios. Average temperatures are in the mid 20s C on the valley floors and cooler, of course, as you climb in altitude.
Winters in this part of Italy start in December and last through March (or April some years). Expect snow and temperatures that drop below freezing, but with tons of sunshine nonetheless.
As you might expect, Tuscany, Umbria, and other central locations boast hot summers (especially on the coasts and in the valleys) with July and August highs in the 20s C.
Winter temperatures average between 4 and 10 C with plenty of rain and the occasional dusting of snow. Expect the coldest weather in January and February.
In Rome, the coldest month is January. Averages are reported as low as 7 C. But Rome also boasts a surfeit of sunshine and as early as February, you’ll find days warm enough for sundresses and picnics.
As for summer, the hottest months—July and August—usually average in the low-20s C, though can reach into the high 20s C.
Rome also tends to be sunny year-round. Sunshine hours in summer average in the mid-teens. In winter, the average is around seven or eight hours daily.
In Naples and the surrounding area, hot, dry summers and rainy, mild winters are the norm. Expect January and February average around 5 C and July and August averages in the 20s C. As you travel south, temperatures rise slightly and this area almost never sees snow or ice.
The Liguria region—also known as the Italian Riviera—is a stretch of coastline running from the French border to the area around La Spezia and the famous Cinque Terre villages along the cliffs. Because of its geography, shielded by cold winter winds by the Alps in the north, the area’s climate is temperate, featuring mild winters with temperatures ranging around 10 to 15 C. Eastern Liguria is rainier than the west, with the west boasting almost as many sunny days as southern Italy. Snow and harsh weather conditions are rare.