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People on the beach in Lake Garda, Italy.

Italy in August – Your 2024 Complete Guide from Someone Who Lives Here

You’ve probably been warned not to visit Italy in August.  It’s hot, the beaches and mountains are crowded, and prices are through the roof*. 

That’s all true.

But, you may need to visit Italy in August.  Maybe it’s the only time you have off of work.  Or, it’s summer break for your children and this is your one opportunity to visit bella Italia.

I’ve been planning Italian vacations since 2004 and I’ve seen so many travelers have an amazing time in Italy in August.  The keys to a successful vacation in Italy in August are to:

  • Know what to expect (like I said above – heat, crowds, high prices, some closures)
  • Embrace the chaos and crowds
  • If you’re on a budget, take advantage of free activities and money-saving tactics (more on those later)

I always like to remind people that visiting Italy in August means you get to soak up a special part of Italian culture.  Italians are happy and vibrant in general, and that just multiplies when they’re all on vacation!

With some planning and managing of expectations, August can be an excellent month to explore Italy.  Let’s go – Andiamo!

*Prices are high at the beach and in the mountains.  You’ll find some good deals in cities, but remember that Italian cities aren’t pleasant in August.  They’re hot and many restaurants and shops close up so their owners can go on vacation.

In this article you’ll learn…

  • if visiting Italy in August is a good choice for you 
  • what weather to expect in Italy in August 
  • which holidays Italy celebrates in August and which days things are closed 
  • my recommended places to visit in August in Italy, including where to go with kids 
  • the best activities and events in Italy in August
  • which foods to try in Italy in August 
  • what to wear on a trip to Italy in August 
  • the best ways to travel around Italy in August 

First time to Italy? 10th? Either way, you’ll want to check out our 200+ Essential Italy Travel Tips!

Should You Visit Italy in August?

August is a popular month to visit Italy for many people – both by choice and by necessity. 

Most Italian workers get their annual vacation time in August, but companies tend to spread the breaks out more now (vs ‘closing up shop’ for a week or two each August in the past).  So, you won’t see the country ‘shut down’ mid-August, but you will see huge crowds of vacationing Italians throughout the month. 

In addition to Italians on holiday, you’ll also find Europeans and international travelers flocking to Italy in August to soak up sun at the beach and explore the mountains. Families also visit Italy in August, when kids are out of school for the summer.

Infographic of advantages and disadvantages of visiting Italy in August.

Trying to decide when to visit Italy? Check out our monthly guides:
Italy in January
Italy in February

Italy in March
Italy in April
Italy in May
Italy in June
Italy in July
Italy in August
Italy in September
Italy in October

Italy in November
Italy in December

Let’s go into a little more detail on visiting Italy in August:

4 Reasons You Should Visit Italy in August

  1. Italy has about 14 hours of daylight per day in August (Rome), which means you’ll have plenty of time for exploring, taking photographs, relaxing at the beach, or going for a walk in the vineyards.
  2. August in Italy means beautiful weather for swimming and playing at the beach.
  3. August is a great time to head up to the mountains in Italy.
  4. Italians love outdoor dining, and August is the perfect time to join them. Sip on an iced coffee at a café, enjoy an evening aperitivo or dine all’aperto in a charming piazza.

Note – It’s always best to reserve tickets for any museums or events you don’t want to miss.  I always recommend booking advance tickets to popular sites like:

  • The Last Supper (Milan)
  • The Vatican Museums (Rome)
  • The Colosseum (Rome)
  • The Uffizi Gallery (Florence)
  • The Accademia and Galleries (Florence)

3 Reasons You May Not Want to Visit Italy in August

  1. In August in Italy, you’ll find crowds in most places, especially at the beach, in the mountains, and at major landmarks inside and outside cities. Expect long lines, busy sites, and full restaurants.
  2. I mentioned the sunshine as a reason to visit Italy in August, but it’s also important to recognize the heat!  Cities can feel unbearable at times.  And, many hotels, B&Bs, and agriturismos don’t have air-conditioning, so you can’t always escape to your hotel for a cool break.  The summer months also bring pesky mosquitoes.
  3. Hotels and flights are expensive during this peak season.

Weather in Italy in August

Infographic with black silhouette map of Italy showing weather average for northern, central, and southern Italy in August.

August is one of the hottest months of the year in Italy (along with July).  You’ll find high temperatures throughout the country, from northern Italy to southern Italy, from the mountains to the sea.

Northern Italy is hot, but the mountains can still have cooler evenings and there are occasional afternoon rain showers.  Temperatures range from the upper-60s to the upper-80s (°F).

Central Italy tends to be hot, both day and night.  Temperatures range from the upper-60s to the upper-80s or low-90s (°F).

Southern Italy is the hottest part of the country, and both days and evenings see high temperatures.  Temperatures range from the lower-70s to the upper-80s (°F).

Both central and southern Italy see little precipitation in August, so you can leave your umbrella and rainboots at home!

Most Italian cities are uncomfortably hot during the day in August. 

Helpful Tip: Don’t rely on historical weather data. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you leave! 

Infographic with black silhouette map of Italy showing weather averages for August in Italy in six major Italian tourist destinations.
CityHighLowPrecipitationNotes
Milan86°F / 30°C66°F / 19°C18.2mm
Venice84°F / 29°C67°F / 19°C23.1mmhottest month
Florence90°F / 32°C66°F / 19°C12.1mmhottest month
Rome89°F / 32°C66°F / 19°C5.4mmhottest month
Naples88°F / 31°C70°F / 21°C3.5mmhottest month
Palermo87°F / 30°C75°F / 24°C1.7mmhottest month
Average temperatures and precipitation source: timeanddate.com

Holidays in Italy in August

One of Italy’s major public holidays falls in August – Ferragosto. 

August 15th – Ferragosto

Translation: Feriae Augusti – (Augustus’ rest/holiday)

What It Celebrates: The Feriae Augusti  lasted the whole month of August and included a range of festivals and celebrations of the gods – the most important being that of Diana, goddess of the hunt, of animals and nature, which was held on the 13th of August.

The Feriae Augusti come from another Roman tradition – the Consualia, festivals celebrating the end of agricultural work, dedicated to Conso, who, for the Romans, was the god of the earth and fertility.

What’s Going On: Today, Italians celebrate Ferragosto by going on vacation and playing, resting or relaxing with friends and family.

Traditions: Italians head to beaches and to the mountains.  It’s vacation time! Italians who are at home may go for a walk in the countryside or gather casually with friends and family.

National Holiday: Yes

Open/Closed:  Almost everything is closed (including government offices), but a few museums, restaurants, and shops will remain open, especially in busy areas. For example, the Vatican Museums in Rome are closed, but the Uffizi Galleries are open.  It’s best to plan ahead and make any purchases the day before.

School Holidays: Italian schoolchildren are on summer vacation in August, along with their counterparts throughout Europe.  Popular destinations include the beaches and Lake Garda.

Worker Holidays: Most Italian workers take their annual vacation in August, so expect more crowds, especially at the beach.  

9 Best Places to Visit in Italy in August

You won’t see any major cities on my list of top places to visit in Italy in August.  Instead, beach and mountain destinations dominate. 

Wherever you decide to head, keep the following in mind:

  • Beaches are crowded.  You can also cool off at swimming pools or in lakes or rivers.
  • Try to book accommodation with air-conditioning, and/or a swimming pool.  Alternatively, reserve a hotel or agriturismo at a higher elevation. 
  • The mountains are also a popular destination, but there’s much more room to ‘spread out.’  However, you’ll need to book accommodation well in advance, especially if you want to stay in mountain huts (rifugi).
  • Wherever you are, take a break during the day.  Hide in the shade (or A/C), sit down, have a cool drink, and rest.
  • Eat a lot of gelato!
  • Pre-book any museums or sites to save yourself from waiting in line outdoors.
  • Visit must-see outdoor sites and landmarks in the morning or evening.  Many museums extend their hours during the hot summer months.
LocationWhat To Do
The DolomitesHike and explore Italy’s mountain playground
TuscanyLounge by the pool at your agriturismo
UmbriaVisit hilltop villages; attend Umbria Jazz
SardiniaRelax at some of Italy’s most gorgeous beaches
BeachesFind your favorite spiaggia and soak up Italian beach culture
Italian LakesBoat around the lakes; visit gardens and islands
PugliaExplore the small whitewashed towns; hit the beach
Amalfi CoastHike the Sentiero degli Dei (Footpath of the Gods); have beachside aperitivo
Cinque TerreVisit the five villages; swim in the sea
Honorable Mentions – Le Marche, PiedmontDiscover some of Italy’s most beautiful coastline; go wine tasting

Dolomites in August

Laghetto di Fie in the Dolomites, Italy.

We love the Dolomites year-round, but summertime is our favorite time to visit.  Keep in mind that August in the Dolomites is very busy, so don’t expect to have the mountains to yourselves.  Popular trails and destinations will be busy (for example, the Tre Cime, the Cinque Torri, and Alpe di Siusi), so you may need to scoot over on trails or wait in lines for chairlifts or for a table for lunch at a rifugio.

There are so many amazing things to do in the Dolomites, including:

Good To Know:  Expect afternoon thunderstorms in the Dolomites in August, but don’t worry – they usually pass through quickly.  And they’re beautiful from your hotel balcony, hugo spritz in hand.

Tuscany in August

Famous Val d'Orcia cypress tree cluster in Southern Tuscany, Italy.
The Val d’Orcia’s famous cypress trees in the summer

While Florence isn’t ideal in August, there’s still plenty to explore in Tuscany:

  • Lucca – typical Tuscan living; cycle the town’s walls; attend the Lucca Summer Festival; hit up a beach near Lucca
  • Montepulciano – sample the town’s famous wines; explore the cool underground
  • Pienza – have an evening aperitivo that includes the area’s pecorino cheese
  • Hot Springs – take an evening soak under the stars in one of Tuscany’s hot springs
  • Pisa – walk to the Piazza dei Miracoli (home of the Leaning Tower of Pisa) in the early morning
  • Montalcino – sip on Brunello wine and visit vineyards
  • Cortona – full of life and festivals, I love the town in the evening in the summer
  • Montefioralle – visit one of Tuscany’s smallest (and most beautiful) villages, set in the hills just above Greve in Chianti
  • Beaches Near Florence – including Forte dei Marmi

Get more ideas for Things to Do in Tuscany

Umbria in August

Piazza dei Consoli in Deruta, Italy.
Deruta

Like Tuscany, Umbria is toasty in August, but you can have a nice visit by exploring in the morning or evening, or just spending your time at the pool at an agriturismo, cooking meals with market ingredients, and sipping on chilled vino bianco.

  • Orvieto – stay cool underground in the towns tunnel network and St. Patrick’s well
  • Assisi – stop by St. Francis’s village in the morning or early evening
  • Small villages – explore Bevagna, Spello, Gubbio, and Spoleto

Sardinia in August

Boy sitting on the beach in Sardinia, Italy
My son at the beach on the northern coast of Sardinia

You’ll find some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches in Sardinia, from the luxury resort towns in the north to hidden gems on other corners of the island.

August is high season on the island, but you can still find space, especially if you travel by car or small boat. 

Don’t forget about inland Sardinia – there are tiny villages worthy of a stop (we love San Pantaleo) and be sure to try Sardinia’s local cheeses.

Good To Know:  Expect very high prices at resort towns in Sardinia in August, especially on the north coast.  I’m talking €20 Coca-Colas.

Italian Beaches in August

Italy has thousands of kilometers of coastline – rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, and stony shorelines.

Make your way to a wild beach or a beach club and celebrate summer with the Italians. 

Italy’s best beaches are in Sardinia and Puglia, but you’ll also find gorgeous beaches in Liguria, Tuscany, Le Marche, Campania, and Calabria.

Don’t forget sunscreen!

Good To Know:  All Italian beaches will be busy and crowded in August.  On some beaches, you can stretch your arms out and touch your neighbor.  If you want a little space, be sure to book a beach lounge chair and umbrella at a beach club.  If this isn’t your style (crowded beaches or beach clubs), stay clear of Italian beaches in August! 

Italian Lakes in August

Put on your large sunglasses and live the glam summer life in the Italian Lakes.  Don’t miss the classics like Como and Bellagio on Lake Como.  Also check out Lake Maggiore’s Isola Bella and Stresa.  And make your way to Orta San Giulio on tiny Lake Orta.

Puglia in August

People on a street in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy.
My husband and kids in Alberobello

Puglia is popular with vacationing Italians, and if you go, you’ll see why.  Delicious seafood, crystal clear waters, and whitewashed villages draw visitors.  Expect crowds, but delight in soaking up Italian culture, staying up late with the locals, and getting the ultimate suntan. Don’t miss:

Amalfi Coast in August

Beach umbrellas and loungers line the beach in Positano, Italy.
Positano

While you won’t be alone, it’s worth braving the crowds for the perfect weather, fresh seafood, and beachside meals. 

Capri, Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello are classic stops, but don’t be afraid to explore smaller villages in the area.

Put on your linen dress (or pantaloni) and mingle with the locals and visitors in this coastal Italian paradise.

Helpful Tip:  If you decide to hike the famed Sentiero degli Dei (Footpath of the Gods), start at 7:00 or 7:30 to avoid being on an overcrowded route from Bomerano to Nocelle.

Cinque Terre in August

View of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre, Italy from above.
Colorful Vernazza

Cinque Terre has gorgeous sunny days in August, and if you get hot hiking, you can always finish with a dip in the sea!   

Good To Know:  While the viste from the trails are spectacular, a ferry ride gives you another viewpoint.

Honorable Mentions – Le Marche and Piedmont

Le Marche is crowded in August because many Italians (especially families) visit its beaches, but you’ll still appreciate the ‘undiscovered’ feel to the area and the gorgeous coastal scenery.  Read more about Visiting Le Marche.

Piedmont’s vineyards are worth exploring in the summer months.

Destinations You May Want to Skip on a August Trip to Italy

Just to be clear – you can (and many people do) have a lovely vacation in these places in August.  It’s just important to manage expectations:

  • Sicily – I love Sicily, and I think I’ve been on the island on every month of the year.  August (and July) are my least favorite times to visit because it’s so darn hot! 
    If you’re visiting Sicily just to relax at the beach, August is a great time to visit.  But, if you want to visit some of its archaeological sites or explore cities like Palermo, don’t come in toasty August (especially with kids). 
  • Lake Garda – We always drive by Lake Garda on our way up to the Dolomites and the Autostrada is lined with RVs from Northern Europe making their way to Lake Garda.  Lake Garda is gorgeous, and people know that, so they flock to it in the summer.
    If you want to visit, be prepared to join many other visitors from Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia – and see restaurant menus and activities that cater to their desires.

Good To Know:  If you’re visiting with kids, you’ll still have a blast – it’s such a kid-friendly place.  Just be ready for the crowds.

  • Cities like Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice – These cities are amazing, but they’re stiflingly hot in August.  You’ll notice that locals escape on the weekends, and you’ll probably feel like escaping too.
    If you really want to visit these cities, make sure you have accommodation with air-conditioning, you stay out of the mid-day sun, and you eat plenty of gelato! Read my Tips for Your First Trip to Venice.

Good To Know:  My husband and I love Florence in the evening in August.  If you venture away from the Duomo to neighborhoods like Sant’Ambrogio or Santo Spirito, you’ll find quiet piazzas and lovely weather – perfect for dining all’aperto and date nights!  (It’s quiet because most Florentines have escaped the city.)

Activities and Events in Italy in August

Italy has festivals throughout the summer.  Some are large (like concerts of international superstars), and others are tiny (food festivals in small villages). 

Palio di Siena – August 16th

Twice per year, Siena’s contrade (neighborhoods) have a bareback horse race in the Piazza del Campo.  The second race of the year takes place in August.   If you’re in town around one of the Palio dates, see the contrada websites for info on events like dinners in the neighborhood streets.

Verona Opera Festival – throughout August

Watch an opera at Verona’s world-famous Roman amphitheater.

Summer Concerts

While we don’t get many international superstars in the summer (they’re usually touring in the US), there are still some great concerts in Italy in August.  Check TicketOne and Ticketmaster Italia for the latest summer rosters.  Italy has quite a few August concert festivals, including Lucca Summer Festival and Rock in Roma.

Photography

Italy has beautiful scenes to photograph year-round, but you’ll find the iconic sunflowers blooming in August.  It’s also a lovely time to photograph the famed cypress trees, mountain scenery, and beaches. 

If you can get up early, you’ll catch some scenes from daily Italian life, like vendors setting up markets.  Because the sun rises so early, most visitors will be sleeping, so you can catch some quiet moments wherever you are.

Soak in the Hot Springs

While I would never recommend soaking in Italian hot springs in the middle of the day in August, they are pleasant after dark.  Look up at the stars and enjoy the fact that it’s not freezing when you get out to towel off!

Read about the Best Hot Springs in Tuscany

What to Eat in Italy in August

Not-To-Miss Produce in Italy in August

Summer peaches on sale at a market in Italy.
Fresh peaches at the market
  • Melone – cantaloupe
  • Anguria – watermelon
  • Albicocche – apricots
  • Pesche – peaches
  • Fichi – figs
  • More – blackberries
  • Mirtilli – blueberries
  • Pomodori – tomatoes
  • Zucchine – zucchini

Foods To Try in Italy in August

  • Ferragosto dolci – Ferragosto sweets
  • Panzanella – bread salad (make your own panzanella when you get home)
  • Insalata caprese – tomato and mozzarella salad
  • Prosciutto e melone – cantaloupe wrapped in cured ham
  • Fiori di zucca – zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and then fried
  • Granita – slushie, perfect on a hot summer day!
  • Insalata di finocchi e arance – fennel and orange salad
  • Gelato – any flavor you can get your hands on!

The Best Places to Visit in Italy in August with Kids

Even with the crowds, August in Italy can be fun with your family, because there are so many kid-friendly destinations and activities at your fingertips.  For example, your family can:

  • Play at the beach
  • Explore mountain trails
  • Find your favorite playground
  • Splash in your countryside villa’s swimming pool
  • Play soccer with local kids in the piazza

If you’re visiting with your family, you’ll enjoy seeing other Italian and European families out and about at family-friendly beaches and sites throughout the country. 

Good To Know:  If your kids don’t do well with crowds (or you’re worried about keeping track of little ones), the beach in August probably isn’t the right choice for you.  For example, I prefer to go to the beach in Puglia outside of August because when visited during August I found myself stressed out keeping track of my kids at the beach – it’s so full that I was constantly scanning and searching the sand and the water.   If you’re set on the beach, look into accommodation with a private beach or using a beach club.

No matter where you decide to go, keep in mind that you’ll need to keep your children cool and protected from the sun.  Helpful tips include:

  • Avoiding sightseeing (or beach time) during the heat of the day
  • Staying hydrated
  • Keeping cool with gelato!
  • Using a sunshade on your stroller or using a breathable baby carrier
  • Spending time in the water – at a swimming pool, beach, or river
  • Bringing a sunscreen that you know works for your child.  We have sunscreen here, but the brands may be different than what you normally use. 

Tuscany with Kids in August

While Florence is toasty, you can still explore Tuscan towns and villages in the summer months. 

Some of our favorite places to visit with kids in Tuscany in the summer include:

  • Lucca – ride bikes on the city walls, explore the playgrounds, get gelato
  • Montalcino – climb the tower, get a gelato, go to the playground; it’s a small village and easy to visit with kids
  • Siena – kids love learning about the Palio and you can participate in the pre-race celebrations; explore town and hide in the shady streets

Helpful Tip:  This is the time to slow down and enjoy Italian life.  August in Tuscany is the perfect time to rent a villa or stay at an agriturismo with a pool and have lazy days relaxing by the pool and letting your kids play in the Tuscan countryside’s vineyards and olive groves.  Shop at local markets and make lunch at your accommodation, and head into small villages in the evening for dinner, a passeggiata, and hangin’ out.

Read more about
Florence with Kids
Florence with a Baby or Toddler
Florence with Teens

Dolomites with Kids in August

The Dolomites is one of our family’s favorite places to visit.  In fact, you’ll find us there every summer, out exploring our favorite places and finding new ones to add to the list.  I typically avoid August, because of the high rates for accommodation and the crowds, but it’s still manageable with kids – especially if you base yourself in a small village like Fiè allo Sciliar.

The area is extremely kid-friendly, with excellent playgrounds, delicious food, fun hikes for the entire family, refreshing rivers and lakes – and you can visit the Ice Man in Bolzano!

You really can’t go wrong with a Dolomites visit in August with kids. 

Helpful Tip:  Book your accommodation as soon as you can.  There are a lot of family-friendly hotels and apartments in the area, but it’s a popular destination for Italian and European families.

Read more about
Visiting the Dolomites with Kids
Ortisei with Kids
Alpe di Siusi with Kids
Bolzano with Kids

Fiè allo Sciliar with Kids
Castelrotto with Kids
Lake Molveno with Kids
Seceda with Kids
7-Day Dolomites Itinerary with Kids
Italian Castles to Visit with Kids

Puglia with Kids in August

Puglia is another favorite of ours, and you can’t beat the atmosphere in August.  Warning – it’s crowded (and pricey), but if you’re okay with that, Puglia’s beaches and villages are excellent for a family vacation. 

Our kids are happy to spend a day at the beach club (and my husband and I don’t complain), and the evenings visiting towns like Alberobello, Monopoli, Polignano a Mare, and Ostuni. 

Read more about
Puglia with Kids
Locorotondo with Kids
Alberobello with Kids
Monopoli with Kids
Ostuni with Kids

Polignano a Mare with Kids
Grotte di Castellana

Helpful Tip: Book a beach club (vs using the free beaches).  You’ll appreciate the extra space and family amenities (toilets, restaurants, changing cabins, etc).  Puglia’s beaches get very crowded in the summer – like a can of sardines.

Good To Know:  It’s totally normal to see families out late at night (think 9:00pm dinner, followed by kids playing in the piazza).  While you don’t have to get on a late schedule, it is fun to mingle with Italians and their families.

Sardinia with Kids in August

Looking for the ultimate relaxing beach vacation with your little kids in August?  Head to a turquoise water beach in Sardinia.  Sardinia’s beaches are our favorites with small children.  Not only are they gorgeous, but most have sandy beaches (fun for play) and shallow, clear water that goes out for a long distance. 

There are spectacular beaches around the island, and if you get bored, you can head inland into the mountain villages.  We adore San Pantaleo and an evening at a restaurant in the piazza feels like a film (and you can let your kids play with the local kids in the piazza while you finish your meal).

Lake Garda with Kids in August

My kids are always itching to go back to Lake Garda (mostly to visit the theme parks), and I’m happy to head back too. 
The weather is beautiful in August and the lake is set up for families.  You can stay at a family-focused resort or campground (our kids love Bella Italia in Peschiera del Garda), complete with waterslides, kid-friendly restaurants, family entertainers, and more.

Some of our favorites places at Lake Garda include:

  • Sirmione, especially climbing the castle and going to its beaches
  • Gardaland, one of Italy’s most popular theme parks
  • Canevaworld, a water park
  • LEGOLAND Water Park, for small children
  • Piazza Ferdinando di Savoia in Peschiera del Garda – perfect for mom and dad’s aperitivo (kids can play in the piazza)

Read my guide to Lake Garda with Kids and Our Favorite Lake Garda Beaches

Note:  I listed Lake Garda as a ‘place you may want to avoid in Italy in August’ above because it gets packed with European visitors.  However, if you have kids, it’s worth facing the crowds because it’s such a kid-friendly destination.  Just be prepared to wait in long lines at the area’s theme parks.

Be sure to check out
10 Basic Italian Phrases for Kids

Best Places to Visit in Italy with Kids
Things to Do in Italy with Kids
Italy Packing List for Kids
Italy Packing List for a Baby or Toddler

How to Travel in August in Italy on a Budget

I mentioned that prices are high in August in Italy because demand is high – Italians and Europeans flock to Italy’s beaches and mountains.  So, if that’s where you try to stay, play, and eat, you’ll pay dearly for it. 

You can save some of your €s by:

  • avoiding beach and mountain towns
  • making meals out of Italy’s amazing summer produce (more below).  Instead of paying for a meal at a restaurant, shop at local markets and whip up a simple caprese salad with some prosciutto e melone and a bottle of chilled vino bianco. 
  • attending free concerts and summer events.  You’ll find them everywhere in the summer – from village food festivals to concerts in piazzas.
  • participating in the passeggiata and other Italian cultural moments.  They’re free and you’ll soak up a bit of local life.

What to Wear in Italy in August

  • Women – shorts, tank tops, sundresses
  • Men – shorts (yes, Italian men wear shorts), short-sleeve shirts
  • Breathable clothing in materials like linen and cotton
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sandals and/or breathable sneakers
  • Light jacket or fleece if you’ll be in the mountains

Helpful Tip:  If you want to visit churches and religious sites, you’ll need to dress appropriately (modestly).  Bring a light scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders and/or wrap around your waist to cover your thighs.

You may want to check out our Italy Packing List

Suggested Modes of Transport for Italy in August

Car

As long as your car has air-conditioning (skip the vintage FIAT 500 rental), August is a fantastic month for road-tripping around Italy. 

You can visit hilltop towns, find your favorite Italian lake, and with about 14 hours of daylight, you’ll have plenty of time for seeing the sites, taking photographs, and navigating before it gets dark.

Helpful Tip:  Avoid road travel on the Autostrade dell’Italia’s giorni da bollini neri (black stamp days) – these are days when traffic is at a standstill and if you dare to enter the Autostrada, you may spend all day there.  Just before August, you can Google ‘giorni da bollini neri agosto’ and you’ll see charts that show the ‘black’ days.  Also avoid ‘red’ (rossi) days if possible. 
In general, you’ll want to avoid roads that head toward the beach on Friday and away from the beach on Sunday. 

Read more about
Driving in Italy
Renting a Car in Italy
Important Italian Road Signs

Train

Not a fan of driving in Italy?  Don’t fret – train travel in Italy is easy, convenient, and picturesque.  Keep in mind that most regional (slow) trains don’t have air-conditioning, so be sure to book high-speed trains during the month of August.

Read our guide to Train Travel in Italy.

Boat

Italy’s coastal towns are gorgeous in August, and one of the best ways to see them is from the sea.  Take a ferry ride between villages in the Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast, or take a ferry to Sardinia, Sicily, or one of the smaller groups of islands, like the Aeolian Islands (north of Sicily).

If you’re set on a certain journey (for example, you’ve booked a beach hotel in Sardinia), you must reserve your ferry tickets in advance.  Tickets can sell out in August.

Walking

Walkers can hit the trail in the mountains or on one of Italy’s long-distance trails like the Via Francigena.  Or, head out on day hikes in vineyards, on strade bianche (‘white’ / gravel roads), or on a long, sandy beach.

If you can, hike in the morning, and always carry enough water, and bring your hat and sunscreen.

Bicycle

Cycle Chianti roads, Dolomites mountain passes or valleys, mountain bike the strade bianche, or cruise on a beachside path.

If you’re planning on covering big distances, start early in the morning, rest during the hot midday hours, and continue in the late afternoon. Be sure to bring plenty of water and fill up in villages and towns whenever you get the chance.

I prefer to only ride in the early (like just after sunrise) morning where we live in Tuscany so that I can beat the heat.  However, I’ve had clients cycle in Italy in August in the middle of the day and have a blast (and a refreshing post-ride dip in the hotel pool).

Italy in August FAQ

Is August a good time to visit Italy?

August is an excellent time to visit Italy if you are ok with crowds, higher prices, and heat.  If, for example, you’re looking for a relaxing vacation in Tuscany and are happy to spend your days lounging at the pool and your evenings enjoying Tuscan cuisine at an outdoor restaurant, it’s perfect for you! 

Is it too hot in August in Italy?

The heat’s relative.  For example, if you’re coming from the hot climates of Arizona or Florida, the heat in Italy in August may not seem bad to you.  But, for others, the high temperatures in Italian cities and at exposed archaeological sites will be too much.

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