October in Italy: Weather, Holidays & Festivals

Psst! Not many people know this, but autumn is gorgeous in Italy

In fact, it's possibly the best time to go. Why? Because the crowds have gone home, along with the intense heat. Yet it's still warm enough to sunbathe. 

There's the odd rainy day, but that's the time to make the most of everything else Italy has to offer, apart from stunning landscapes and a sublime climate. Pack swimwear, a light raincoat, plenty of layers, walking shoes, sandals, and knitwear. 

This is an opportunity you don't want to miss. 
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North Italy and the Lakes in October…

Some say a celebration of life is woven into every aspect of Italian culture. But never more so than at harvest time.

Ever wondered what it might be like to go truffle hunting in the silence and beauty of an ancient Italian forest?

Or what about attending a "taste wedding" where certain kinds of wine are "married" to delicious foods in menus created by chefs with a passion for fresh produce?

These are two of the many activities at the White Truffle Fair in Alba, a small city in northwest Italy in a landscape of vineyards not far from France's border.

Visiting Italy's Lake District  

Lake Garda, Lake Como, and Lake Maggiore are a truly magnificent trio of delights at this time of year. You can enjoy festivals dedicated to local speciality foods—chestnuts, mushrooms, polenta, pumpkins, apples, honey, wild boar, cheese, and chocolate. 

In the wooded mountains around the lakes, be transfixed by the autumn colours. Wander among stalls, attend workshops and get free tastings of whatever food takes your fancy. Find new Italian tastes everywhere you go, from the smell of chestnuts being roasted over an open fire to the taste of Bitto alpine cheese at the Mostra del Bitto. 

When it comes to culture, in the land of Roman and Greek archaeology, there's always plenty to do. Like Villa Melzi in Bellagio, palatial villas let visitors walk in their gardens. In Como, a hive of silk production since the 15th century, there's a silk museum. And botanical gardens, like the one at Villa Taranto in Verbania on Lake Maggiore, are a seasonal joy. 


On the southwestern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula, facing the Bay of Naples lies Sorrento. With views across to Vesuvius and a history going back some 2,600 years, this is a place of myth and legend. Sirens, singing songs too beautiful to bear, lured sailors to their watery graves in the turquoise seas around the rugged cliffs. 

Once again, the weather is mild here in October. It's perfect for swimming or boating trips, and beach clubs are open until mid-October. 

On cliffs overlooking turquoise waters, the town of Sorrento has panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It's famous for the Piazza Tasso, a café-lined square - come here, relax and watch the sunset. 

And if you fancy a hike (and incredible views), you can walk the trail along the Bay of Leranto. It takes you through olive groves, past villas, to the crystal waters lapping the beach of Leranto. From here, you can see Capri

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is 50 km of winding coastal roads and rugged cliffs on the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula. With beaches dotted along the coast, you can swim or sunbathe in October. 

And when you've finished with that, there's plenty to see and do. This area has fishing villages, citrus groves, beautiful villas, pastel-coloured piazzas, vineyards on terraces, and hiking trails. People have been coming here for fun since ancient times. 

This is an especially great time to go to Positano. With fewer people visiting, you'll have a chance to make the most of this famous coastal town. 


Moving to the island off the southern 'toe' of Italy, October is also an ideal time to visit Sicily. Once again, even this late in the year, you'll be able to relax and swim on relatively empty beaches. 

Sicily is a fusion of cultures, creating a truly unique experience in terms of food, architecture, language, and art. Some say it has a North African atmosphere. Its rich history includes a time when ancient Greek settlers came to live and worship their gods. You must also visit the Valley of the Temples if you get a chance. It's a unique archaeological site with seven temples, and the ruins are spread among fields of wildflowers and autumn foliage. 

And it wouldn't be Sicily without fresh, locally sourced food. Some claim that nothing tastes as good as Sicilian produce. Fruit, vegetables, and legumes are grown in the fertile volcanic soil (remember, Mount Etna is only a short distance away). 

Along with the delicious food, Norman palaces, Greek temples, beaches, and Roman ruins, October is also a time to check out the local harvest festivals celebrating local delicacies.  

As you can see, there are so many reasons why you should go to Italy in October. From the breath-taking northern lakes to the beaches of Sicily, Sorrento, and the heavenly (yet uncrowded) Amalfi Coast – there is so much to enjoy for the discerning few. 

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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