Traveling to Italy in July: What You Need to Know

Beach in Calabria in July || creative commons photo by Piervincenzo Madeo

Beach in Calabria in July || creative commons photo by Piervincenzo Madeo

There has never been any debate about July in Italy – it’s always been right in the middle of summer, and also of the high tourist season. This means hot weather, high prices, and big crowds.

Despite the crowds and expense, visiting Italy in July has its appeals – the weather, for instance, is always warm. No matter when you go to Italy, it’s a good idea to do your research in advance to find out what to expect when you go – and in the high tourist season, that’s even more important.

If you’re traveling to Italy in July, here’s what you need to know about weather and holidays.

Weather in Italy in July

When you look up the temperature averages for different parts of Italy, the ones I’ve listed below are the kinds of ranges you’ll find. I have a hunch those averages are a few years out of date, however, because it’s noticeably hotter in Italy in recent years. Still, the averages are a starting point.

The bottom line is that it’s hot in Italy in July.

Summers in Italy often get hotter in August, but July is plenty hot. And, not only that, but humidity is high throughout much of the country, too. Even if you think you’re used to hot and humid weather, keep in mind that when you experience that at home you’re not usually engaged in the same kind of go-go-go itinerary as you are when you travel. At home, on hot days, you relax in your yard or stay inside with the AC on. In Italy, you’re heading from one attraction to the next.

My advice is to give yourself a less-packed schedule in hot weather, to allow for plenty of time to rest and refresh in between sights if you need it. And it should go without saying (but here I am saying it), but please remember to stay hydrated and protected from the sun.

Some average temperature ranges for different parts of Italy in July are:

  • Northern Italy: 65-85°F (18-30°C)
  • Central Italy: 65-90°F (18-32°C)
  • Southern Italy: 75-90°F (24-32°C)

And, as always, check the current extended forecast for where you’re actually going just before you leave – when you’re packing is the perfect time – so you can find out in advance if it’s unseasonably cold or warm.

Read more on my Italy weather page

Holidays & Festivals in Italy in July

The holiday calendar in Italy in July isn’t as full as you might expect. There are small local festivals and celebrations in different cities and towns, but no national holidays.

The first of Siena’s two annual runnings of the Palio takes place in early July and Verona’s Opera Festival runs throughout the summer. It’s always a good idea to look into the city or local websites for information about smaller festivals that may not be well-known, but are often great fun to see.

Why should you go to Italy in July?

Going to Italy in July means you’ll be in the sun a lot, which is ideal if you’ve got beaches on your itinerary. It also means you’ll be dealing with big crowds (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re prepared for it) and higher prices (that’s usually not welcome news).

You’ll have a harder time finding quiet spaces away from crowds in July, but if you do things like book museum entry tickets well in advance then at least you won’t wait in the hours-long lines that form outside the Vatican Museums or Uffizi Gallery. You’ll find higher prices on things like airfare and hotel rooms, but – again – planning ahead can save you from being stuck with only the costlier rooms.

Generally speaking, however, if you’re on a really tight budget, summer in Italy is a tough nut to crack. You can sometimes save money by avoiding the bigger tourist cities, but even that’s difficult in the peak of summer.

The bottom line is that if your travel budget isn’t your primary limiting factor, if you aren’t unsettled by crowds, and if you like warm climates, then July in Italy could be a great option for you. Again, plan and book as much as you can in advance to avoid waiting in lines, stay hydrated and protected from the sun, and give yourself breaks to recuperate throughout the day. Taking it slowly helps a great deal, and can make a July trip to Italy a real summer to remember.

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