Pro tip: Avoid traveling in July if you can.
Everyone loves Italy. Below, A-List travel advisor Andrea Grisdale shares where to go — and, just as importantly, when's the best time to do it.
January: Florence and Rome
Put on your jacket and venture out into Rome to experience the city's hidden gems on an iconic vintage Vespa. Or, head into the hallowed halls of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence after the midday crowds disperse to enjoy a personalized tour of the museum’s masterpieces.
February: Venice and Viareggio
Venice is always an exciting city to visit, but during Carnival, the atmosphere is spellbinding. Take it all in amid the city locals and let yourself be carried away by the energy and charm that is the floating city — with plenty of fantastic hotels to choose from.
The city of Viareggio, in Tuscany, is another great choice for February, as its annual Carnival includes one of the best known papier-mâché float parades in the country. The streets buzz with activity; destinations like Forte dei Marmi, Carrara, Lucca, and Pisa are right on your doorstep; and you can easily arrange a day trip to Cinque Terre.
Famous across the globe for its food, wine, and stunning scenery, the Piedmont region is a treat for all the senses and surprisingly under-visited. Starting mid-March is the best season to taste local black truffles, along with decadent chocolate treats from the Cherasco commune, artisanal cheeses in the town of Bra, and wines of the Barolo appellation.
April: Amalfi Coast
Amalfi is a popular resort destination, but in April, you can truly enjoy it. Plan to spend time on the Path of the Gods, a hiking trail suspended between sky and sea, meandering mule tracks and vineyards with views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Or, book a special guided tour of local lemon gardens to taste lemon liqueurs.
Ischia is the largest island in the archipelago of the Campania region. If you're intrigued by volcanoes, this is the best time of year to enjoy trekking in mild temperatures and see volcanic activity.
In June, you're guaranteed sunny days and warm evenings, with very little humidity. Enjoy outdoor adventures like hiking and bike tours in the UNESCO-designated landscape, punctuated by a traditional lunch at a mountain rifugio.
July is high season almost everywhere in Italy, so if you're visiting during this month, contact your travel advisor far in advance.
Most Milanese locals are on holiday the entire month of August, so you can experience a truly private visit of places like Duomo di Milano cathedral after hours. The sunset views over the city are magical.
Following the busy summer months, September is the best time to cruise around La Maddalena archipelago, located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The ideal way to experience the dramatic scenery of this island-dotted paradise: a private luxury yacht.
Be a Tuscan cowboy for the day at La Forra riding club, an equestrian haven located on a hilltop, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.
Southern Italy has a reputation for its friendly locals, and Puglia is no exception. When walking around the small towns, especially during the fall and winter months, it's easy to interact with the locals and feel like you're a part of the community. From a cultural point of view, Lecce should not to be missed — it's often called the "capital of the Baroque."
December: Sicily and Naples
Don't miss the chance to visit southern Italy’s Christmas markets. Each of them has its own specialty, offering handcrafted wooden gifts, ornaments, festive food, traditional clothing, local products like torrone, hot wine, and more.
Andrea Grisdale is a member of Travel + Leisure's A-List and creates custom trips in Italy. The experiences mentioned above can be arranged as part of a tailor-made itinerary by contacting her team at IC Bellagio at firstname.lastname@example.org
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