When you think of Italy, you might picture yourself lounging on the south coast’s Italian Riviera, visiting Tuscany’s balmy vineyards, or savoring the heat of the city while discovering Roman ruins.
Even though Italy is typically thought of as a summer destination, there are plenty of possibilities if you decide to visit in the winter. You’ll get to visit many of the lesser-known Italian places that come into their own during the winter in addition to avoiding the peak tourist season in Italy.
Switzerland’s bordering country Italy has a lovely northern mountainous region, so whether you are after skiing, Christmas markets, or want to visit the large cities with less of a crowd, you’ll realize that Italy in winter has a distinct kind of beauty.
Best Places to Visit in Italy in Winter
Here is an Italy winter travel bucket list that will get your wanderlust going, whether you want to avoid the crowds of the spring and summer, get into the festive spirit, or simply explore a different side of this amazing nation.
1. Cortina D’Amezzo
Although the town does get crowded in the winter, you can easily stray from the crowds because it is small and encircled by the Dolomite mountains.
Whether you are a beginner or not, this is the spot to ski and snowboard even though it is rich with history (and occasionally, celebrities).
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In addition to having some of the top restaurants and wine bars for some Après Ski, Cortina features some of the best shopping in the Alps.
Venice, which is most popular in the summer, transforms into a winter wonderland between December and January. There is a reason why locals avoid the canals during the sweltering summers.
Even if the bridges and canals aren’t coated in soft white snow, St. Mark’s Square will still have Christmas lights and a sizable tree. If you’re lucky. To avoid the line, get your tickets in advance if you intend to visit the Doge’s Palace.
Venice Carnival, one of the world’s most aesthetically gorgeous celebrations, happens in February if you travel a little later in the winter.
The Luci d’Artisa is a stunning light installation that is present during Christmas in the city. The best Christmas markets in Italy are located in Turin, specifically in Piazza Castello and Piazza Solferino.
For further celebrations, you may also go ice skating, view a nativity scene or attend a Christmas concert in one of the city’s many churches.
Rome is one of the nicest cities in Italy to visit in the winter, but in December and January, you won’t find many tourists on the streets.
This is a huge benefit because there are fewer lines for popular attractions like the Colosseum than at other times of the year.
The religious significance of the city is its main attraction. Christmas celebrations are particularly important to the Romans because they are the home of the Vatican.
Along with the customary markets and festivities, the Pope parades through the streets in early December, but this is just one of the numerous events you may attend.
The third-largest city in Italy, Naples, is famous for scorching summers and delicious pizza. However, your viewpoint can shift if you see Mount Vesuvius clad in snow.
When there are fewer people around, you can explore well-known historical sites like Pompeii during the day while taking in the city lights and hand-made nativity displays at night.
When it becomes busier, this is also a beautiful place to spend New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day. Nevertheless, you’ll still uncover a lot of undiscovered locations.
To ensure that you don’t miss out on this magnificent adventure, make sure to reserve your day trip to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius in advance.
On the Italian side of Mont Blanc is Courmayeur, another of Italy’s most well-known ski areas.
Since there are no automobiles allowed in the hamlet, it is a wonderful area to wander and eat delectable Italian cuisine and wine while surrounded by mountains.
The distance between Turin and Courmayeur is only approximately one hour and forty minutes by car, making it a simple winter detour.
Alberobello is a great choice if you only visit one place in Italy during the winter for a variety of reasons.
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It is stunning in every season and is well known for its abundance of “Trulli,” which are little white houses with cone-shaped roofs. Wintertime snowfall transforms it into a wintry wonderland straight out of a fairytale.
The main activity is to stroll the streets admiring these adorable homes—you can even stay in one!—before relaxing with a hot beverage in a neighborhood cafe.
If you need some winter sun, Sicily is the place to go. Unlike the other places on the list, there is no snow or skiing in Sicily.
On the other hand, there is a Christmas nativity, a sizable carnival, interesting markets, and fantastic Christmas shopping.
Since Sicily is so small, you can see the majority of it in about a week, it makes sense to take advantage of the low tourist traffic and lower lodging costs to explore this magnificent island. Join a walking tour to see the ancient structures and markets in Palermo.
9. AMALFI COAST
Summertime travel to the Amalfi Coast is like something from a Hollywood film, but the movies don’t show you the throngs of vacationers.
Going in the winter means you will have stunning vistas and many of the hotels to yourself, despite the fact that the sea may be cooler and the sky may not be as blue.
While the weather along the coast is still quite mild, Amalfi hosts lavish celebrations for both Christmas and New Year. This will allow you to take in the history and take a much more quiet bus ride along the coast, stopping at the villages and wineries along the way.
For fans of wine in particular, the Tuscan countryside is a lovely location to soak in the winter sun. Even though the grape harvest may be finished, you may still stroll through the vineyards in the cool weather and partake in local wine tastings.
Truffle hunting, another popular summer sport, may also be done in the winter and is enjoyable; you might even find something of value to bring home with you. If you’re still in need of snowy weather, ski resorts are only a short drive away. Discover Tuscany right now.
Being Italian, I have spent a significant number of winters there and can say with certainty that it is a fantastic off-the-beaten-path choice.
Although an Italian winter vacation won’t be as dreamy as a picture-perfect summer vacation, it can still be great!
Italy has a milder winter than many other European nations, despite not being a prime location for winter sun.