Italy in February. Expert, trip planning guide: Italy weather, best places to visit, festivities, what to book when, February in Italy travel tips.
February is a month of transition in Italy.
Early February is still very much the heart of the winter, especially in the north.
However, as the month progresses, temperatures start to rise and blossoms to appear on the trees and balconies.
Overall, I love February in Italy and find it a good time for many activities, albeit not all!
In this guide, I will share what February in Italy is like, the best places to see and those that are not that great at this time.
I hope it will help you decide the best time to go to Italy for you and helo you plan your stay at best.
Happy travel planning!
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Is February a good time to visit Italy?
Italy is a good month to visit some parts of Italy, but not all.
Still very much a winter month, February is a good month to visit Italy’s museums and art cities, where it is easy to find refuge from the cold and rain in museums and churches.
It is also a good month to travel to Italy if you want smaller crowds, February being the low season in Italy (with the huge exception of carnival in Venice, see below!)
February is not a good month to visit Italy if you want to visit coastal areas such as Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast, which start opening again and get peasant towards April.
Italy in February: need to know dates
February doesn’t have national holidays in Italy but a couple of events are useful to keep in mind as they can impact your plans.
14th February, Valentine’s Day: if happening close to a weekend, it usually gets hotel prices to shoot up, especially in cities and destinations perceived as romantic (Venice, Rome, Florence, spa hotels)
Mardi Gras and Carnival week: the exact dates of carnival change every year but it usually falls in February / early March.
This can have huge consequences in locations famous for carnival celebrations such as Venice, which gets very busy and expensive at this time.
February in Italy’s most famous sites: what to expect
Is February a good time to visit Venice?
February is a peculiar month in Venice: this is when the city usually hosts the carnival and this is such a huge event, it will vastly impact on your travels.
In more general terms, February is cold in Venice, with temperatures between 9C/1C (an average of 40F) and some rainy days.
You will need coats and scarves at this time however, the weather is usually enough for long walks around Venice’s labyrinthine city center.
The low crowds outside of the carnival week make February a good time to visit Venice for a quieter experience.
Is February a good time to visit Florence and Tuscany?
February is not a bad time to visit Florence.
The city can get cold and you will need to wrap up well however, Florence is full of museums and churches so finding refuge for the cold is not a problem!
February is also a wonderful time to sample Tuscan food, which is warming, filling, and perfect with a glass of local red!
The Tuscany countryside gets chilly in February and you can also get snow at higher altitudes.
However, as the month progresses, you can get some lovely, milder days, great for visiting hilltop villages and historical towns.
What is Rome in February like?
I love Rome in February. At this time, the weather is overall mild, ranging from warm in the sun to chilly in the shade: it is the perfect weather for sightseeing!
Crowds in Rome in February are moderate: you still need to book attractions in advance, but you can usually get away with booking a couple of weeks before you go rather than a couple of months or more!
What is Lake Como like in February?
February is not the best time to visit Milan and Lake Como.
Lake Como is a lovely area, with lovely views and pleasant towns, but it is not a place with much to do and, in February, this can be a problem, the view of the lake only entertaining anyone for so long.
You cannot go boating at this time but if you come here as a day trip from Milan on a sunny day, you may be lucky and get some beautiful view of the mountains!
Is Cinque Terre in February worth it?
February is not a great time to visit Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre paths tend to be closed, rain is frequent and many hotels and tourism services shut, the season starting again later in the year, towards mid-March.
If this is your only opportunity to visit Cinque Terre, I would recommend you consider a day trip and wait for a dry day to reach them from Genoa or Tuscany.
What is the Amalfi coast like in February?
The Amalfi Coast is not at its best in February.
While the area is always beautiful, the Amalfi Coast is very much a good weather destination, one you want to enjoy when the sun hits the water and when you can sit outside for dinner.
January doesn’t really allow you to do that.
At this time, the weather is not very cold but rainy and grey and tourism services operate at minimum capacity, many being closed altogether.
You cannot swim or go boating on the Amalfi Coast in winter which means it can be a disappointing time if you were planning on visiting the coast with kids.
I only recommend you come to the Costiera in February if you are happy to experience cold weather landscapes, more conducive to contemplative moods than outdoor pursuits!
What to pack for Italy in February
Early February tends to be cold in Italy, so you will need to pack a coat, scarf, gloves, woolen sweaters and winter shoes.
The second part of the month is usually milder, but you still need winter clothing, especially when in the shade, early in the morning or in the evening.
You can find my packing list for Italy in winter here however, these are your must have:
- All your travel documents (passport, Visa, Insurance, etc)
- A good crossbody bag for travel (safe and stylish!)
- Broken in walking shoes (find my shoe recommendations here)
- Clothing essentials
- Jeans / long trousers / pants
- Long sleeve tops (short sleeves for layering only)
- Warm sweater
- Coat, scarf, gloves, winter
- Power bank
- Travel adapter
- Italian phrasebook
- Portable travel umbrella
- Phone/ Camera
- Portable car booster seat if traveling with kids
What to book in advance in Italy in February
February is relatively quiet in Italy however, its main attractions get booked out well in advance.
I recommend you book as soon as your trip is confirmed and you opt for tours and tickets with good cancellations options like the ones I recommend below via GetYourGuide
Colosseum, Rome: the official site gets booked out months in advance (although you may be in luck if only looking for one or two tickets). However, guided tours are usually available on GetYourGuide here
Vatican, Vatican City, Rome: tickets sell out fast and operate on a time slot system. You can get them on the official site of the museums or choose a guided tour via GetYourGuide here: I highly recommend them as the museums are vast and easily overwhelming, without a guide.
The best places to visit in Italy in February
These are my favorite places to visit in Italy in February and activities to seek out.
- Visit romantic Venice
- Explore Florence’s many museums
- See Rome’s city center without the crowds
- Admire Pisa’s leaning tower and Piazza dei Miracoli without the crowds
- Go skiing on the gorgeous Italian Dolomites
- Taste all the glorious Emilia Romagna food with local food tours (tortellini, parma ham, parmigiano are perfect winter foods!
- Defrost in stunning Sicily
Visiting Italy with kids in February
February is a hit and miss time to visit Italy with kids.
Outdoor time is likely to be shorter than in other seasons but you can compensate with many indoor activities and classes, guaranteed to keep the children entertained.
- Discover the family-friendly side of Milan
- Explore child-friendly Venice
- Find out why we love Florence with kids
- Discover why we think Rome with kids is simply the best
- Warm-up taking a pizza-making class for kids
- Have fun taking a kid-friendly mosaic class in Rome
- Dress up for carnival! Everywhere in Italy, children dress up for carnival week, make sure you join them!
I hope you found this guide to Italy in February useful. Happy travel planning!
About the author: Marta Correale is an Italian mama of 2, born and bred in Rome. Avid traveler, Marta graduated in Classics at the University of Rome and married her love for history and travel in a career as a travel writer. She is the writer and editor behind Learning Escapes, a successful travel blog about cultural travel with kids, the creator of the successful Mama Loves Rome, an in-depth travel site about her native city of Rome and co-editor of the global family travel site Little City Trips.