Discovering winter sun in Italy: Our top picks for 2024

Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

Italy is a Mediterranean tourist hotspot. In 2022, the travel and tourism sector contributed to around 2.7 million jobs across the country, with leisure travel generating considerably more revenue than any other type.

Immense cultural highlights, including Renaissance masterpieces and towering volcanoes, attract visitors from across the globe. In summer, warm weather makes Italy the perfect playground for family holidays – but the country is still just as accessible all year round.

If you’re looking for a more affordable trip away from the hustle and bustle of the peak season, why not visit Italy in winter? We’ve explained a few things you should know before you go.

What’s Italy like during winter?

Italy is known for its hot, dry summers, but sunseekers might be surprised to learn that the winter months can be moderately cool and wet.

From colourful coastal towns set on the crystal-clear waters of the Amalfi Coast to the quintessentially romantic region of Tuscany, there’s so much to see and explore. If you’re travelling in winter, you’ll see all the same vistas – just without the crowds. Even the ancient urban centre of Rome should be quieter through the colder months, perfect for those contemplative trips to galleries and museums.

Embracing the chill: Cold weather activities in Italy

Italy boasts an array of winter activities for those seeking an active holiday. The northernmost regions border the Alps and cross into the Dolomites mountain range, giving amateurs and elite athletes plenty of opportunities to hit the slopes.

World-famous resorts including La Thuile, Selva Gardena and Alagna give Italy a deserving place amongst the best countries in Europe for winter sports.

The country offers skiing and snowboarding for everyone, with family-friendly resorts just a stone’s throw from some of the unruliest off-piste antics. No matter your experience, ski holidays in Italy promise to be amongst the most immersive and memorable winter adventures.

Winter sunseeking in Italy

Generally, Italian regions experience cooler temperatures in winter. If you’re looking for some cool winter sun, it’s possible to enjoy milder temperatures in some regions – but you’ll still need to bring a jacket for the evenings.

Regardless, two of the warmest locations through the harshest months of the year include:

  • Sardinia: Once an important centre of the Roman Empire, Sardinia became part of Italy in 1861. Tourists can discover turquoise coves, sandy beaches and bustling towns offering an immersive array of sounds, sights, and tastes. The weather in Sardinia is typically dry, but often cool through the winter months.
  • Puglia: This region sits on Italy’s southern peninsular and benefits from a warm Mediterranean climate. Spring arrives delightfully early in this part of the country, giving tourists a wonderful opportunity to see incredible sites before the crowds arrive. The town of Alberobello has earned UNESCO World Heritage recognition and should be included in any itinerary across the region.
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