Italy in November: Where to Go and What to Do

While you might see Italy as a summer destination, November can be the best time of year to visit if you are looking to escape the crowds and avoid the heat.

Italy’s high season runs through the busy European summer from May to September. During this period, the weather is scorching hot and nationalities from across the world flock here on their summer holidays.

In summer, you’ll spend hours queuing to get into the Colosseum in Rome, and you’ll be jostling crowds in the streets of Venice while trying not to get sunburned. Even in the shoulder season, you’ll be amongst the crowds. But in November, Italy is positively quiet.

The weather might not be as good, but it’s a great time to explore the country’s best sights and attractions, with few other tourists around to get in the way of your photos!

The Weather in Italy in November

The primary reason why Italy isn’t such a popular travel destination in November is because the weather isn’t quite as glorious as at some other times of the year. This isn’t the coldest month of the year by any stretch – that’s yet to come – but the country does experience its highest levels of rainfall.

So pack a raincoat, because wherever you are in the country you might run into a few storms or heavy showers during your stay. But don’t worry too much. The rain never lasts too long, because this is the Mediterranean and the climate here is still remarkably dry.

Temperatures in November vary across the country. The further north you are, then the colder it’s going to be. Northern Italy can be verging on freezing, as temperatures can drop almost to zero in places such as Milan.

In the mountains, destinations such as the Dolomites are already well below freezing at night, given the higher altitude. In mountainous regions, snow begins to fall in November, but you can’t expect skiing to really begin until December, so many of these places are off-limits this month.

In central Italy, temperatures are much more pleasant with the oppressive heat of summer replaced by cool, calm climes. Yes, it will probably rain in cities such as Rome or Pisa, but you can expect highs in the day of 15-17 degrees Celsius.

If you’re coming from anywhere further north, then this is positively hot.

Head further south and the Mediterranean climate is very much still on show. In Sicily you can enjoy temperatures that rise well into the 20s during the day. The sun still shines and you can hit the beaches, while scoring great deals on resorts and flights too.

dolomites-mountains

Where to Go in Italy in November

Rome

No other city in the world has such enthralling layers of history and culture as the Italian capital, Rome. And November is a great time to visit.

You’ll have none of the crowds of summer, but all of the incredible attractions are very much open for business. Visit the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, and stroll at your own pace through the Roman Forum and the Roman Colosseum.

You can enjoy great restaurants and, if you have a nice, dry evening, you can even enjoy al fresco dining on the ancient streets of Rome.

Turin

Turin is one of Italy’s most underrated cities. It never sees the crowds of places like Rome or Venice, even in high season.

November is the best time to visit what was once the Italian capital, because this is when the iconic Turin Film Festival is held. It’s a lively time to be in town.

This is the heart of the Piedmont Region in the north, and you’ll also find that there are countless food festivals celebrating the harvests in November.

Milan

While it might be cold in Milan, it’s still a good time to visit the northern city if you want to experience this iconic destination without the crowds.

Make sure you’ve got warm clothes, because temperatures drop drastically at night, but rest assured you can climb the tower of the Duomo for autumnal views and not worry about the length of the line.

Florence

Florence was the heart of Italy’s renaissance, and the historic city is well known for its beautiful architecture and excellent museums.

This is one of Italy’s top tourist destinations, so there’s no better time to visit than November if you want to have the city (almost) to yourself. If it’s the history and art you’re interested in, then November is perfect too, because you can spend most of your days in galleries and exhibitions.

Venice

Like Rome and Florence, Venice is one of the most popular cities in Italy. In fact, with its iconic canals and fascinating history, Venice has grown to become one of the most visited cities in the world.

In summer, you can’t move for people and the price of everything goes up exponentially. In November on the other hand, there’s barely a soul in sight in comparison to the high season, and it’s a much more enjoyable place to be, even if the sun isn’t shining.

Sicily

Sicily is Italy’s largest island, and it’s a Mediterranean paradise for those looking for some end-of-year sunshine in Europe.

The island is known for its sun-drenched beaches and warm waters. While there’s less sun and the water is colder in November, it’s still a beautiful place to visit. The real bonus is the fact that you can score wonderfully cheap deals on beachfront Sicilian villas.

Of course, there’s so much more to Sicily than its beaches. You can use November as an opportunity to go hiking in the cooler weather and explore the many ancient ruins that are dotted across the island.

grand-canal-Venice

What to Do in Italy in November

Museums

November is arguably one of the least popular times of the year to be in Italy. But for those who venture here, it’s the best time to visit the country’s famed museums. In summer, and even in the shoulder seasons, you’ll find enormous queues at many of the most famous museums in Italy.

In every city and in particular in the most touristy places, museums are always incredibly busy in peak season. In Florence, you can be waiting for hours to get inside the Uffizi Gallery, while in Milan there are endless waits for entrance to the best sights.

In November, you miss all of this. There’s no need to buy fast track tickets, plus when it rains, there’s no better place to seek shelter than inside a museum.

Roman Ruins

Equally, November is a great time to visit Italy’s wealth of Roman ruins. Like the museums, queues are likely to be much shorter and you won’t be jostling for the best pictures.

In Rome, you can explore the Colosseum at leisure, while close to Naples you can spend hours visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii, the Roman city that was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted.

November is the perfect time to delve into what is arguably the most fascinating and important period in Italian – and western civilisation’s – history. So use the peace and quiet as a good opportunity to explore the country’s wealth of Roman ruins.

Iconic Landmarks

Like museums and ruins, November is a fabulous time of year to visit Italy’s most iconic sights and landmarks. In no other season can you find sights such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Milan Cathedral without any of the tourists.

It’s a good time to get a selfie without the crowds, while you don’t have to wake up at 6 am to get a photograph without anyone else there to jump in at the worst moment.

Mediterranean Beaches

Head south if you’re looking for hot temperatures and plenty of sunshine, because the Mediterranean is still warm in November. Popular holiday destinations such as Sicily or the beaches in the south of the mainland are practically empty this time of year.

It’s a great opportunity to get a steal on a package holiday resort on the coast, and to make the most of the last vestiges of the European summer before it fades away.

Food

No trip to Italy is complete without indulging in the best food that the country has to offer. So there’s plenty of eating to be done in November, along with food festivals and seasonal favourites – including truffles!

If it rains, you can jump into a cafe and enjoy some freshly brewed Italian coffee, or sit down in a restaurant and dig into the hearty Italian stews that emerge in autumn. You’ll find plenty of great pasta dishes and pizza everywhere you go, too!

National Holidays in Italy in November

November is a quiet month for holidays; there’s only one national holiday scheduled throughout the whole month. All Saint’s Day is a national holiday in November, and it falls on the 1st of November.

For visitors though, that means you don’t have to worry about planning your trip around busy public days off, because there’s none of that in November!

Events and Festivals in Italy in November

While there might fewer public holidays in Italy in November, there are plenty of events and festivals held throughout the month, so it can be an exciting time to visit the country.

This is very much a cultural time of the year. While you won’t find many music festivals or big concerts like you have in summer, there are plenty of smaller-scale events, such as the Roma Jazz Festival, which is on all through November, or the legendary Turin Film Festival, held the last weekend of the month.

November is the end of the harvest season, and many towns and cities have wonderful local festivals and celebrations. One of the best foodie events this time of the year is the magnificent Truffle Festival found in north-west Italy, while in Piancastagnaio, Sienna, you can enjoy festivities devoted to the love of chestnuts.

It might be a little early for some, but November is also when the country starts gearing up for Christmas. In the big cities towards the end of the month, Christmas markets start to open, and it can be a great chance to visit them before they start to become much, much busier in December.

truffle-in Italy

Top Tips for Visiting Italy in November

  • Pack a raincoat and bring an umbrella, because you will get wet otherwise.
  • You can get great deals on accommodation and hotels, and on flights too, because this is definitely low season.
  • Double-check the opening times of museums and attractions, because they can change for the low season.
  • While Italy is quiet in general, certain events such as the Roma Jazz Festival or the Turin Film Festival can still be busy, so book tickets in advance.

FAQs

How cold does it get in November?

November isn’t the coldest month in the calendar in Italy, but it’s certainly going to be frigid in comparison to summer and autumn. In the north, temperatures can reach as low as 2 or 3 degrees Celsius, but head south and you can still enjoy that Mediterranean warmth!

Does it rain in November?

Unfortunately, November is the rainiest month of the year, but rainfall varies across the country. Take a raincoat with you, but don’t expect there to be constant showers. More often than not, the rain in Italy is short-lived.

How busy is Italy in November?

Italy can be incredibly quiet in November, especially compared to high season. But of course, some iconic sights such as the Colosseum will never be empty. It’s the perfect time to visit if you want a level of peace and solitude that you just can’t find any other time of the year.

November is a great time to visit Italy. You’ll not only beat the crowds, but you can score great deals on travel too. From Rome to Sicily, there’s so much to see in Italy, and November is a great time to be there!

 

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