More times than not, I am a smart traveler. I do my research, and I look up the best times to visit a location. However, sometimes you just have to make plans when it works. When I planned Italy, I planned for July. It was the best time that worked for my three girlfriends and I. It just seemed to fit, and it made no sense to prolong the trip into the Fall. By the way, Italy pretty much closes down in August, so I suggest not to plan your visit then.
In short, we took off to the beautiful country of Italy in July. It was peak tourist season, and we quickly discovered why it is advised not to visit this beautiful country during this time. However, we were in beautiful Italy, and we had to make it into the best time that we could. If you are traveling to Italy during the months of May to July, read these tips for peak tourist season in Italy. It will save you much confusion and frustration.
Tip #1 // Spend your most time in smaller cities
Spending the majority of your time in smaller Italian towns have several benefits. First, small Italian towns are adorable, and in my opinion, more lovely to visit than huge cities. It is here where you experience the culture. Because it is not as popular of a destination, you will encounter much less crowds and people. I suggest Perugia, Lucca and Pisa.
Tip #2 // Prebook museum visits, church excursions and more
I quickly discovered that many of the famous places in Italy (i.e. Vatican and The Last Supper) is better enjoyed by prebooking a ticket. The Last Supper in Milan was booked for two weeks even before I stepped into the ticket office. So learn from my mistake. If you really want to see something, book your tickets online before you leave for Italy. You will save yourself a headache.
Tip #3 // Beware of Pick Pockets
Because this is the peak season of Italy, it is also the most dangerous time to visit. Pick pockets are everywhere waiting for the opportunity for an easy couple hundred bucks, leaving you later with stress and anxiety. Come to Italy prepared for this. Lock your luggage and wear a zipper purse. [Check out my travel hacks for Italy.] If you are traveling with friends, talk about watching each others back.
Tip #4 // Book accommodation four months before
This might sound aggressive; however, I believe the only reason we had decent places to stay in Italy is because I booked four months before our departure. There is no harm in planning early and booking early. I used great websites like Booking.com and AirBnB.com to find great priced accommodation through out this trip.
Tip #5 // Dress light (but don’t forget a blouse)
Italy in July is like walking through a sauna. The most pleasant times are at 8:00AM in the morning. With little to no air conditioning, Italy can be difficult during this time. So when booking your accommodation, make sure that the location has air conditioning. Never assume. In all, come to Italy with light cloths. You will be walking many, many hours in the hot sun. However, bring a light blouse to cover your shoulders, because churches will not allow you to enter without looking modest.
Tip #6 // Prices jump
Yes, it is true. In June and July, you will find the prices in Italy jumping to soaring numbers. Keep this in mind as you budget for your trip. You will spend 15 Euros on a meal and a museum ticket is usually not less than 10 Euros. Italy is expensive.
Italy in June and July is beautiful; however, it can be a bit frightful with the influx of tourists. Keep this in mind as you plan your trip and use these tips for peak tourist season in Italy.
When is your favorite time to visit Italy?