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Italy in August

western qld
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Italy in August

My husband and I plan to visit Italy in August 2010 however we have been told this is a bad time to visit due to the crowds and the hot weather. Do you agree? Are there parts of Italy which wouldn't be too crowded? Are there any suggestions as to what to do at this time of year - e.g. air-conditioned hotel rooms etc? What do you consider to be the best time to visit Italy? I would particularly like to visit Rome, Florence, Venice, Positano. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. Cathy

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Italy in August

We always visit late September and October, though the places of interest are still busy, its not as bad as in the high season.

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2. Re: Italy in August

May/June to me is the best season. But if August is when you can go, then go. It's not just the crowds, it's that the city is almost empty of residents since they are all on vacation - or most of them are. Definitely get an air conditioned hotel.

Brisbane
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3. Re: Italy in August

We were there in October, it wasn't quite so hot, but yes you do need air-conditioning. There are still plenty of people and the locals head for the hills for their vacations, but all the tourist attractions are still open. It's nice to stay in one of the smaller towns in maybe Tuscany for instance, that way you will get to meet the real Italians. I mean just ordinary people, not people who are just there for the tourists. We will be there in August as well, but going on a cruise. Hope you enjoy yourselves. From twoausnomads

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Italy in August

I really have come to think that it is almost impossible for a newcomer to appreciate Venice during August. The crowds in St Mark's Square are impossible, but this is where the newcomer heads for. To see what I mean, see this photo taken last August on a day when 15,000 cruise passengers were in town: nickbooth.id.au/Europe09/Images/Venice/561-V…

western qld
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5. Re: Italy in August

Thank you for your help, I do appreciate the advice.

Florence, Italy
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6. Re: Italy in August

August is one of my favourite times in Florence because it's the only warm month when the city drains out of people - Florentines, tourists alike - and it's quiet. I do think that if you prefer being away from crowds August is good to visit but be aware that it's very hot! And airconditioning is a luxury here! If the heat doesn't bother you and you find a hotel with airconditioning then you should be fine. In August places by the sea tend to be teeming with (Italian and European) crowds, so you might find Positano a completely different experience in August than say autumn or Spring.

Witney, United...
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7. Re: Italy in August

I haven't been to Florence in August but did go to Rome last year at the beginning of that month. For someone from rainy England I found the heat pretty intense, it was in the thirties and had been hotter the week before.

On the other hand, everything looked wonderful in the bright sunshine, the fountains were refreshing and lots of gelato is a good idea (eaten in the shade). The hotel prices can be cheaper in August - air conditioning a must, though. The heat will limit what you can do but I didn't find Rome too overcrowded and if you can cope with hot weather and take things leisurely I don't think its a bad time to go.

washington, dc
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8. Re: Italy in August

We've been in Florence in August a few times - most recently in 2008.

On the most recent August visit, we noticed huge changes from the previous ones - when Florence was essentially shut down. In the olden times, hotels were open, museums were open, and that was about it. We got to know the local Chinese restaurant far, far better than we cared to. There was no entertainment at all. No serious shops were open. There were no Florentines around at all - except for those who worked in the hotels, museums, and few other establishments that ignored local custom.

In 2008, virtually everything was closed on Ferragosto. The rest of the month, most of our favorite restaurants were closed, but enough were open so we could eschew the dreaded Chinese. An astonishing percentage of high-end shops were open - along with almost all of the lesser-lights. It was possible to find a laundry-dry-cleaner, a cobbler, and other such services. There even was some music - if not much. We liked the concerts at the ex-church of Santa Monica, even if we were not thrilled by the concerts at St. Marks English Church. Most importantly, there were even a few Florentines in town.

Florence, Italy
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9. Re: Italy in August

Generally what you'll find is that there's always SOMETHING open, a restaurant might close for a week or two, but then another will be open at that same time and close the week after. So no matter what, things can always be found open, I find. Ferragosto (Aug 15) is the one day you might find it particularly hard to find something open so if you can plan your holiday around that, it's ideal.

washington, dc
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10. Re: Italy in August

I wouldn't say it's "ideal".

First of all, there's a whole lot less to do. Florence offers quite a bit of good music of all kinds - except in August.

While many restaurants are closed for the first half of August or for the second half, at least some of the best are closed for the entire month.

And the simple fact is that the percentage of people in the street who speak Italian is quite small.

But it is a whole lot less bad than it used to be.