The Ultimate Guide to Italy in May

So, you want to visit Italy in May? We don’t blame you! May is widely considered to be one of the best times of the year to experience Italy. Thanks to the bright sunny days, mild temperatures, and quietness May offers, you can comfortably explore many popular spots whilst avoiding the crowds and heat of summer. 

Spring is a beautiful time to visit because you can enjoy the stunning blooms, with gardens often being at their peak. You will be able to enjoy florals lining the streets, shorelines and parks which means the air is filled with the glorious scent of spring. Italy in May really is a feast for the senses.

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It comes as no surprise that the cities in Italy are hotspots for tourists, with Rome and Venice being top of the list for most visitors. Travelling in May will allow you to enjoy the beauty and history of each city at a slower pace without so many crowds. 

Nobody needs an excuse to visit art-filled Florence, but this might persuade you to go sooner rather than later. Visiting in May allows you to see the colours and culture not just of famous paintings but of the idyllic Iris Garden which is only open to the public for one month a year. The garden is open from the 2nd–20th of May each year. Giardino dell'Iris has been a symbol of Florence since 1251 and specialises in the cultivation of iris flowers. 

The Biennale International Art Exhibition 

The Biennale International Art Exhibition in Venice takes place from the 20th of April to November 24th 2024. This is the 60th Biennale International Art Exhibition and will surround the theme Stranieri Ovunque (Foreigners Everywhere). Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, the exhibit focuses on addressing inclusion and migration through architecture. It is bound to be a fascinating exhibit in one of the most architecturally beautiful cities in the world. 
If you’re a lover of historical architecture, nowhere does it quite like Venice. The stunning canals wind through the cobbled streets, under historic bridges, and past some sensational examples of Gothic architecture. For a true glimpse into this side of Venice, consider taking Citalia’s Discover Venice on Foot walking tour, where you can discover some of the best this historic city has to offer alongside a professional guide. 

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With mild temperatures and clear skies, visiting Italy’s famous lakes such as Lake Garda or Lake Como in May can be spectacular. These two areas are extremely popular in the summer months, so visiting in spring means you get to enjoy the lakes how they should be, calm and tranquil. 

International Book Fair

Readers unite! The International Book Fair takes place between the 9th to the 13th of May in Turin. The fair promises to be full of fantastic opportunities to explore the world of literature. Divided into seven sections, the event is all about discovering the relationship between literature and other art forms, including cinema, romance, and art, to name a few. 

Situated in northern Italy, Piedmont in itself is one of the most romantic places in Italy. With the exceptional expanses of vineyards in the Piedmont countryside, bustling city of Turin, and magnificent Lake Maggiore, it’s no wonder this is the meeting point for literature lovers. Surrounded by the mammoth Alps on three sides, Piedmont is a true artist's dream destination. 

Italy in May is always a winner, and the same goes for holidays in Piedmont. The weather warms up and there are far fewer crowds, meaning you can get a front-row seat to some of Italy’s best events, including the International Book Fair. 

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Italy's sunsets in spring are on another level, particularly in the countryside. Watch the sun get lost behind the rolling hills. If you’re looking for a magical Italy in May experience, Tuscany could be the spot for you. Florence, the capital of this region, can be too hot to fully enjoy in the summer and too cold in the winter, so the spring climate is ideal! 

Cantine Aperte

Wine lovers are in for a treat, with Cantine Aperte (Open Wine Cellars) on the last weekend of May. Starting in 1993, this event sees wine producers of Tuscany open their doors to the public for a wine tasting spectacular. 

Taking place throughout the Tuscan countryside, this is a fantastic opportunity to discover the history of wine in Italy and taste the many variations of grapes. One of the biggest draws to Cantine Aperte is the chance to try some lesser known wines from smaller family-run wineries, providing a first hand glimpse into some of Italy’s best wines. 
Tuscany countryside holidays are all about dreamy rolling hills, lush vineyards, and romantic piazzas. Possibly the most famous wine of the region is the red Chianti Classico, an absolute must try when on holiday in Tuscany. The small town of Radda in Chianti will transport you back in time, with historical stone buildings and sensational views over the rolling vineyards. If you’re looking for the ultimate wine tasting holiday in Italy, Radda should be at the top of your list. 

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The natural beauty of the Amalfi Coast is unmatched, with the weather in May in Italy bringing everything out for a showstopping Italy holiday. The hotels begin opening in April, so considering it’s an area that books up very quickly, this could be your chance to find some last-minute availability. The gardens will be glorious, with flowers in full bloom and the sun will likely be shining! 

La Festa dei Lavori 

May 1st is a bank holiday in Italy, known as La Festa dei Lavori (Workers Day). While there are no specific events surrounding the day, this is a fantastic chance to celebrate like an Italian and experience the culture amongst the locals. 

On La Festa dei Lavori, most friends and families head to the park for a picnic, taking the chance to feel the fresh bursts of floral air in spring. If you’re visiting Italy over May 1st, it’s time to pack your picnic basket with some delectable delights, including freshly baked pastries, and head to the nearest park. 

Along the Amalfi Coast, some of the most beautiful gardens invite you to enjoy the lush green splendour with the locals. Some of the best gardens in Italy can be found in romantic Ravello. Experiencing the Amalfi Coast from above the clouds is a once in a lifetime, head up the Path of the Gods in Positano for the ultimate view over the Amalfi Coast. 

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Beach lovers, Italy’s islands offer some of the best summer sensations in Europe, with many flocking to Sicily for their summer holidays. Sicily in May is a stunning time in the year when the weather is heating up, the flowers are in full bloom, and the large crowds haven’t yet arrived, making it a great time to enjoy what this stunning area has to offer, including history hunting and mammoth mountains. 

Italy Infiorata festivals

Spring means flowers and lots of them. Floral festivities in Italy are some of the best. Each year hundreds and thousands of petals line the streets of villages and cities throughout Italy. Starting in the 13th century in Genzano di Roma, Infiorata (decorated with flowers) celebrations now take place throughout Italy. While many towns and neighbourhoods partake in the celebration, one makes the list of the absolute must-see Italy flower festival celebration. 

Taking place in Noto, Sicily, Infiorata Noto offers some of the most colourful and spectacular flower carpets over the Flower Festival. The redesign of Noto after an earthquake in the 17th century now provides some of the widest boulevards and grandest piazzas in Italy. Both provide the perfect canvas for the brilliant flower displays, particularly the main boulevard Corso Vittorio Emanuele. 

The dates for the Infiorata festivals change yearly to coincide with the Corpus Domini feast. In 2024, the infamous Italy flower festival will take place between 17-21 May. 

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Italy Weather in May

Knowing the average temperatures in Italy in May allows you to plan your ultimate trip to Italy.
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Suggested Destinations & Trips

Call us today to speak to one of our Italy Experts for further travel advice, hotel recommendations or to begin planning your next Italian holiday.
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