Italy in October: all you need to know

Matera italy in October

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!

Please note: this is a seasonal travel guide about Italy in October, meant to help you decide the best time of the year for your visit. For official information and travel advisory that may affect your trip, please refer to your Government travel advisory. Check here for official info if traveling from US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand.

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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.

Also, this is not the time for bathing in most of Italy: for that, your best bet is to come to Italy in July or August.

Please note: in 2020, to respect current regulations, trains and other means of transport operate at reducd capacities and attarctions operate with an advance-booking-necessary ticketing system. Book in advance all your tickets to avoid disappointment and expect potential last minute changes due to the ever changing situation.

Is Italy busy in October?

How busy Italy in October is, depends where in Itay you go.

In general, Rome in October is at peak tourist season (so yes, very busy) and so is Milan, if you are there during events, common in this season.

October 2020 will see fewer visitors than usual however, below are the most commong trends in terms of crowds and weather.

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.

Find all our travel guides to Venice here:

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.

Find our guides to Cinque Terre here:

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!

Find our travel guide to Florence and Tuscany here:

Is October busy in Rome?

Rome is very busy in October!

Piazza Navona, Rome

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!

Find my guides to Rome here:

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.

Find our guides to the Amalfi Coast here:

What to book in advance if planning a trip to Italy in October

2020 has been a year of very low tourism in Italy however, this doesn’t mean advance booking is not necessary, actiually: booking is more important than ever!

To ensure the respect of current regulations, museums and attractions operate on a time-slot system and booking is mandatory.

Below, you will find my favorite ticket providers: they have good cancellation options (Many up to 24h before your tour), for peace of mind.

For accommodation, I recommend 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).

Image of Matera Italy in October with text: October in Italy essential trip planning guide

I recommend the following attractions as soon as your trip is confirmed:

Last Supper, Milan: often booked out weeks in advance, book as soon as your trip is confirmed via their official site here or via GetYourGuide here, which offers excellent cancellation options.

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)
  • Face covering (masks are compulsory in indoor attractions, shops, restaurants 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
  • Cardigan
  • Light jacket
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Power bank
  • Travel adapter
  • Italian phrasebook
  • Portable travel umbrella
  • Phone/Camera

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:

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:

I hope you enjoyed this overview of Italy in October and it helped you plan your trip. Safe travel planning!

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