Spring at Terre Margaritelli vineyard near Perugia: © Concierge in Umbria
The first Monday of each month, we examine common questions our clients have about traveling to Italy. This month, we tackle a perennial stickler: when is the best time to visit Italy?
Each Italian season has its own charms. Summer brings music festivals and hiking in the Alps and Dolomites. Fall is for figs, foliage, and foraging for the elusive white truffle. And winter is time for skiing, Christmas holidays, and filling up on the hearty winter fare both require.
But we think spring is the best season of all.
Here are three reasons why:
Gull in Ischia: © Concierge in Umbria
In the summer, Italy is not only hot. In many places it is humid. And crowded. (Two conditions that definitely don’t help each other.) Thanks to its ample Mediterranean coastline, in much of Italy temperatures already creep into the 70s by April. Near the sea and in the tropical pocket around the Lake District, the weather is already nice enough for a bagno (dip in the water) in April or May.
Fried artichokes: © Concierge in Umbria
Though every season has its own delicacies, spring is blessed with more than most. Delicate stalks of wild asparagus find their way into subtle risottos and spring pasta “alla carbonara”. Fava beans, a snack that is the sign of warmer times on their way, are eaten on their own or sautéed as a side or base for soup or pasta. Edible fresh flowers garnish dishes while their non-edible cousins adorn the table and the yard.
Easter lunch: © Concierge in Umbria
One of the best spring experiences is actually food related. Foraging has remained an everyday practice in Italy, and spring is the best time to uncover nature’s hidden treasures. But spring in Italy offers many other reasons to get outside. Many towns schedule their Palio in May, such as our favorite, the 900-year-old Festa dei Ceri (Festival of the Candles) in Gubbio. And if you can time your trip for Easter, Holy Week, and the Monday national holiday Pasquetta, you’ll see a whole new side of Italian culture.
Spring is the ideal time to get out of Italy’s storied cities and experience the delights of its countryside and smaller towns. If you’re looking for ideas for your own spring Italian vacation, we’re happy to help.