All you need to know to plan a trip to Italy in October: weather, what to pack, best places to visit in Italy in October, recommended booking timeline, travel tips.
October is a wonderful month to visit Italy.
At this time, the Tuscan hills start turning golden, tables start to see autumnal produce such as delicious mushrooms and pumpkins, and the temperature is ideal for sightseeing in Italy’s cultural cities, the oppressive heat of the summer well and truly gone.
While October can also bring rainy days, this is still very much a pleasant time to visit Italy.
Easily October, especially in the South, can still even feel summery while the end of the month is very much the autumn, albeit usually a sunny, bright one!
October in Italy is the fall.
However, this doesn’t mean the country gets into low tourism season: while for some areas of Italy October is quieter, for others such as Rome, October is very busy and this means long lines and high prices.
In this guide, I will tell you all you need to know to plan your trip to Italy in October at best.
Happy travel planning!
Disclaimer: this is a seasonal travel guide about Italy in October, meant to help you decide the best time of the year for your visit. It does not address the current state of travel. For official information please always refer to official info before making any plans.
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Is October a good time to visit Italy? How how is Italy in October?
October is one of the best months to visit Italy, especially if you are interested in cultural tourism and city exploring.
For this, the weather is ideal: despite the occasional rainy day, October tends to be mild and, in the South of Italy, still usually warm.
Slightly less but still very much on the pleasant end of the spectrum in the north, in the area of Milan and Venice.
October is, on the other hand, not a good month if you are hoping for a sea and sun vacation or you have your heart set on the Amalfi Coast of Cinque Terre.
While both areas are still accessible, October is the start of the low season and you will have reduced ferry services and a reduced number of restaurants and hotels open.
Is Italy busy in October?
How busy Italy in October is, depends where in Itay you go.
October in Italy’s most popular destinations: what to expect
Is October a good time to visit Venice?
I love Venice in October and consider it one of the best months of all for a trip to the Serenissima, albeit with a caveat (see below).
In October, Venice tends to be quiet, even for this ever busy city, and the weather is chilly but mild, perfect for long walks and the occasional stop for food in a Venice’s bacaro.
The only problem in Venice in October is that it can get the dreaded acqua alta.
This is usually an annoying but also characteristic event, that can even turn into a fun travel story once back home, however, it can also turn into a problematic and very damaging one, like it happened during a recent winter.
If going to Venice in October, keep an eye on the weather and the news but don’t renounce your trip for fear of acqua alta, unless you know almost for a fact that it is foreseen for your dates.
What is Lake Como like in October?
October is a wonderful, beautiful month on Lake Como but one to enjoy the lake views, more than its waters.
At this time, the lake has magical foliage and colder temperatures, perfect for hiking and tuck into the area’s delicious food.
October is not a time for swimming in Lake Como, July and AUgust be better for that.
Is October a good time to visit Cinque Terre?
October is a tricky month to visit CIbque Terre, mostly due to the high chance of rain.
When it rains, in Liguria, it pours and this is a bit of a nightmare in localities knows for their hiking paths and coastal views.
This is not to say that going to Cinque Terre in October is a bad idea, it only means it hit and miss when it comes to weather.
Pay particular attention at the time of your visit if you intend to hike: paths tend to close at this time so the flexibility of your plans is a must.
Is October a good time to visit Tuscany and Florence?
Tuscany is a land of food, wine, art, and hilly landscapes and it is absolutely magical in October!
The weather in Tuscany in October tends to be sunny and mild but the land start producing all the wonderful autumnal produce Tuscan cuisine does so well.
Mushrooms, risotto, wild boar ragu: October is the perfect time for mixing sightseeing and a foodie escape!
Is October busy in Rome?
Rome is very busy in October!
This may come as a surprise to many but October in Rome is a glorious, dry, sunny month and visitors know it, meaning you have long lines and high prices, especially towards the beginning of the month.
Advance booking of accommodation and main attractions is mandatory (see below).
If you go to Rome in October, you may be lucky and get there for the so-called ‘Ottobrate Romane’, beautiful sunny days with almost a summery feeling, typical of the season!
Is October a good month for the Amalfi Coast?
October is not a great month to visit the Amalfi Coast.
Rain is frequent here in October and the tourism season tends to slow down towards the end of September and come pretty much to a halt mid-October, meaning a reduced number of services and hotels.
However, there are good reasons to come to the Amalfi Coast in October too.
If you don’t mind the potential bad weather and you don’t want to go swimming/ boating (this is not the time for either), you can have a lovely, crowd-free stay. Sorrento, in this case, is my locality of choice.
What to book in advance if planning a trip to Italy in October
This is my list of those you should book in advance, with a link also to providers with good cancellation options, for peace of mind.
For accommodation, I recommend booking.com which you can access here.
They have an excellent selection and great cancellation options (please check the rules for each room as they have different prices depending on the flexibility of your reservation).
I recommend the following attractions as soon as your trip is confirmed:
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.
What to pack for October in Italy
October in Italy is a time of transition and layers are a must.
You can find my full packing list for Italy in the autumn here, however, this is a quick overview of essentials:
- All your travel documents (passport, Visa, Insurance, etc)
- Broken in walking shoes (find my shoe recommendations here: October is not the time for sandals)
- Clothing essentials
- Jeans / long trousers / pants (no shorts)
- Short and long sleeve tops
- Light jacket
- Reusable water bottle
- Power bank
- Travel adapter
- Italian phrasebook
- Portable travel umbrella
Where in Italy is best in October? My favorite things to do in October in Italy
October is a great place to explore Italy and some of my favorite experiences to seek out in this season are:
- Experience the famous Ottobrate Romane with a long-ish stay in Rome
- Go on a food tour of Emilia Romagna, the land of Parma ham and Parmigiano!
- Go on a road trip around Tuscany
- Soak up the last summer sun with a road trip to Puglia and Matera
- Visit Sicily without the crowds
- Get lost in romantic Venice
October in Italy with kids: the best things to do
October is a fun month to visit Italy with family, with good temperatures and a lot of entertainment options.
Among my favorite things to do in Italy with kids in the autumn, there are:
- Eat tons of pizza and gelato (yes, October is ok for gelato!)
- Visit the child-friendly side of Florence
- Explore the family-friendly side of Venice
- Discover why Rome with kids is the best
- Learn to make pizza with a family-friendly pizza class like this one we took in Rome
- Escape the rain with an art class like this mosaic class we took in Rome
I hope you enjoyed this overview of Italy in October and it helped you plan your trip. Safe 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.