True, November isn’t typically the month you think of when planning a trip to Italy. The warm summer days are long gone, the grape harvest has passed, and the weather throughout the country has started to turn a little… blah.
But, don’t let that turn you off of a visit in November. There are plenty of reasons to visit, especially if you love exploring museums and eating Italian food – without crowds!
While you won’t get pool and beach time in, you can still find opportunities for hiking and cycling, although you’ll need to be flexible and willing to wear rain gear.
If you can be flexible with your schedule (you don’t have to visit the Roman Forum on a specific day), you can work with the weather by visiting museums and indoor attractions on rainy days and visiting outdoor attractions in better weather.
Have I got you thinking about visiting Italy in November?
In this post, you’ll learn…
- if visiting Italy in November is a good choice for you
- what weather to expect in Italy in November
- which holidays Italy celebrates in November and which days things are closed
- my recommended places to visit in November in Italy, including where to go with kids
- the best activities and events in Italy in November
- which foods to try in Italy in November
- what to wear on a trip to Italy in November
If you’re looking for something specific, check out the Table of Contents below so you can jump ahead to what you’re looking for.
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Should You Visit Italy in November?
November in Italy kind of feels squeezed in between two big months – October is full of autumn festivals and December brings magical holiday cheer. It’s easy to look past November, but it’s actually an ideal time to visit Italy for many people, especially those who want to explore cities and museums without crowds.
It’s not the month for you if you want to lounge at the beach, wander Florence in a sundress, or hike the Cinque Terre.
4 Reasons You Should Visit Italy in November
- Fewer Crowds – November is one of the quietest months in Italy. Most autumn visitors have returned home and holiday visitors won’t be back until December. Larger cities will still have visitors but will feel almost empty if you’ve visited at other times of the year. You won’t be stuck waiting in long lines for museums and attractions and you don’t need to worry about making reservations for most restaurants (except for high-demand restaurants like some with Michelin stars).
- Fall Festivals, Food, and Colors – Autumn brings colorful foliage, delicious belly-warming food, and a variety of festivals throughout the country. Tuck into a cozy restaurant, enjoy an outdoor aperitivo in Southern Italy, or listen to Jazz in Rome with… Romans.
- Lower Prices – Budget travelers will delight in a trip to Italy in November. You’ll likely find excellent prices on hotels, flights, and car rentals. But, selection may be limited as some hotels and shops close up for the winter season in November.
- Christmas Markets – Most don’t begin until early December, but some towns and cities open their markets in late-November. Get a jumpstart on Christmas cheer!
Good To Know: It’s always best to reserve tickets for any museums or events you don’t want to miss. Many museums limit entry numbers so you’ll want to book in advance. I always recommend booking advance tickets to popular museums and sites:
The Last Supper (Milan)
The Uffizi Gallery (Florence)
The Accademia (Florence)
The Colosseum (Rome)
The Vatican Museums (Rome)
Why You May Want to Skip a Visit to Italy in November
The Weather – November weather in Italy tends to be dreary and wet. The days are shorter, it’s chilly, and the skies are usually grey. If you’re ok with that, you’ll be fine (and maybe pleasantly surprised with some sunny days!). Otherwise, choose a different month for your visit.
Weather in Italy in November
As mentioned above, Italy’s November weather can be described as:
What does that mean?
Northern Italy sees highs around 10°C (50°F) and the days and evenings are chilly. You’ll definitely need a coat (not a jacket) for a trip to the north in November.
Central Italy is more mild but still cool, with daily highs around 16°C (60°F). While you may be able to peel off some layers on a sunny day, in the evenings you’ll want a coat and warm layers.
Southern Italy has milder weather and is where you’re most likely to catch some sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Daily highs are around 20°C (68°F) and you can usually get away with a jacket (vs. a coat).
The entire country experiences rain during November – the wettest month of the year in Italy.
No matter where you go in the country, you’ll always need to have your coat (or a jacket in the south) and umbrella with you! Weather can be unpredictable but expect to see a lot of clouds and some rain. Remember that the days are shorter, too.
Note: Please don’t get upset if you don’t book a November trip to Italy because of the weather and then the weather ends up being beautiful. The weather can’t be controlled – these are just the trends. Last year in Tuscany, our November was gorgeous – but that’s atypical.
November Temperatures and Precipitation in Italy
|Milan||54°F / 12°C||41°F / 5°C||31mm|
|Venice||55°F / 13°C||42°F / 6°C||20mm|
|Florence||60°F / 16°C||45°F / 7°C||51mm||rainiest month|
|Rome||63°F / 17°C||45°F / 7°C||48mm||rainiest month|
|Naples||65°F / 18°C||49°F / 9°C||54mm||rainiest month|
|Palermo||67°F / 20°C||57°F / 14°C||46mm|
Holidays in Italy in November
November 1st – Ognissanti or Tutti i Santi (All Saints Day)
All Saints Day is a national holiday in Italy. Workers and schoolchildren have the day off. Traditionally, the day is celebrated by attending mass, then having a long family lunch. This is followed by a visit to the cemetery of loved ones to pay respects, leave flowers, and tidy up gravesites. Those that don’t attend mass or visit the cemetery may take walks with family or friends in the countryside.
As a visitor, know that while most things are closed, in larger cities, you’ll find things still open in tourist centers. If the holiday is near a weekend, many workers make a ponte, or a ‘bridge’ and take nearby day(s) off to make a long weekend. Trains and public transport may be busier on and around the holiday, so it’s best to book ahead if you need to travel on those dates.
November 2nd – Giorno dei Morti (All Souls Day)
All Souls day is not a national holiday (everyone goes to work and school in the morning), but you’ll still see people cleaning gravesites, leaving flowers, and visiting deceased family members.
Italian schools don’t have a long autumn holiday, but sometimes children get the day before or after November 1st off. So, the weekend close to November 1st will probably be busier than normal in kid-friendly destinations. Also, European schools have 1-2 week breaks in late-October and early-November, so keep that in mind when booking hotels and activities.
Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but if you’re in town, know that you can find places to celebrate the holiday in larger cities. And don’t forget to learn how to say Happy Thanksgiving in Italian!
10 Best Places to Visit in Italy in November
In alphabetical order:
Emilia Romagna – Visit producers of some of Italy’s most treasured foods in Parma (prosciutto di Parma, parmigiano reggiano cheese), Modena (aceto balsamico) and Bologna (mortadella). Check out the world famous mosaics in Ravenna. Or, visit some of Italy’s car museums and factories (Lamborghini and Ferrari are both near Modena).
Florence & Tuscany – Florence has plenty to keep you busy during November. Stop in the world-famous Uffizi and say hi to Michelangelo’s David. Wander the piazzas, have aperitivo with the locals, also do a day trip to the countryside for the olive harvest. Go for hikes in the vineyards if the weather allows. Attend local festivals. Soak in the hot springs. In Tuscany, most small villages (like Pienza, Montepulciano, and Montalcino) will begin closing up for the winter, but they’re still worth a stop. Larger Tuscan towns and cities (like Florence, Siena, Lucca, and San Gimignano) remain lively even in November.
Lake Como – The lake is definitely quieter in November, but that can be a good thing! Como is still lively, but smaller lakeside villages pretty much close up for the winter when the last tourists leave. You can still take ferries on the lake (limited schedules), and there are pleasant hikes and walks in the area. This is a great time to look for discounts on luxury villa hotels!
Milan – You’ll need to bundle up, but you’ll be able to visit sites, shops and restaurants without crowds. This is the time to visit Milan if you want to know what it feels like to live there.
Naples – The heat of the summer months is long gone, so stop in for a slice of pizza or spend more time and explore its museums and cultural sites. Visit the famous presepe street (Via San Giorgio Armeno) before the crowds arrive for the Christmas holidays. This is also a nice month to take a day trip to Pompeii – without the heat and throngs of visitors.
Puglia – I recommend visiting Puglia in other months if you can (even October), but if you only have November, you can still have a wonderful time. You’ll have some sunny days (no swimming), delicious food, no crowds, and excellent accommodation rates (even on luxury masserie). Try the freshly-pressed olive oil, sample just-made mozzarella. Head to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello, and stop by the villages of Martina Franca, Ostuni, and Locorotondo. Nearby Matera is also a nice place to visit in November.
Rome – It’s so much nicer to visit Rome now than during the hot summer, even if you have to carry an umbrella for occasional showers. It’s about as low of a low season you can get in Rome – but you’ll still see plenty of other visitors. Head to the Vatican Museums, Colosseum, and Roman Forum without hordes of tourists. Walk the shopping streets and have your coffee with local Romans.
Sicily – Explore towns and archaeological sites without the intense heat. Cities to check out in November – Palermo, Siracusa, Taormina, and the Val di Noto (especially Ragusa Ibla).
Umbria – Like Tuscany this time of year, you’ll find the region has delicious seasonal food and you can visit sites without large crowds. Cities and towns to see in November – Orvieto, Assisi, Bevagna, Spello, Spoleto and Perugia.
Venice – We love Venice in the winter. It’s one of our favorite times to visit. True, November isn’t technically winter, but you’ll still get a break from intense crowds and heat. Walk right onto vaporetti, take your time looking at the mosaics in the Basilica, hang out in an almost-empty Piazza San Marco, and see the city like a local does. Expect rain, but enjoy the quiet.
Destinations to Skip on a November Trip to Italy
Cinque Terre – If you’re going for the classic hikes between the villages, you may be disappointed as poor weather can cause trail closures (safety reasons). Sure, you could luck out and get great weather, but if it’s a dream destination, don’t set yourself up for possible disappointment – visit during a different month.
Amalfi Coast – Most towns close up for the winter beginning in November. It’s lonely and quiet. I wouldn’t recommend visiting during November.
Dolomites – It’s too early for skiing (although it’s possible you’ll find a couple of ski resorts open in late November), and the weather is not good enough for regular hikes. You could go for the thermal baths (Merano) or Christmas markets that open in late November – the region has Italy’s best holiday markets.
Activities and Events in Italy in November
Activities in November
- Cooking classes – This is an excellent time to learn to cook some of Italy’s best cold-weather dishes. Each region has specialties, which may include risotto, polenta, pasta, or seasonal produce and foods (like truffles or olive oil).
- Olive oil harvests – The raccolta takes place in the autumn, with the exact date depending on that year’s weather and where you are in the country. Our family (in Tuscany) typically harvests our olives at the beginning of November. Some agriturismi invite visitors to participate in the harvest, including watching the press at the local frantoio and sampling the freshly-pressed oil.
- Christmas markets – Late November marks the opening of some of Italy’s Christmas markets (most open on December 8th).
Events in Italy in November
L’Oro di Spello – A multi-day Umbrian celebration of the liquid gold – olive oil. A parade of decorated olive trees makes its way through town, along with music and dancers.
Firenze Marathon – The popular international marathon (and second largest in Italy, behind Rome) makes its way through closed city streets and past notable monuments and piazzas.
Sagra del Tartufo Bianco (San Miniato) – The celebrated white truffle takes the stage in this small Tuscan town. Local restaurants and shops focus on truffles for three weekends in a row. See San Miniato resident Emiko Davies’ blog for insider tips on the festival.
San Martino Puppet Fest (Siracusa) – A multi-day puppet festival in Sicily with shows, workshops, guided visits, and other activities. For kids and adults! Run by Teatro Alfeo, Siracusa.
Festa di Santa Cecilia (Rome) – Each November 22nd in the Trastevere neighborhood, Romans celebrate St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music and musicians.
Festa della Salute (Venice) – To honor the Virgin Mary (and the end of a 17th-century plague), mass is held hourly in the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute and a temporary bridge is constructed from the church across the Grand Canal. There is also a small market and fair.
Roma Jazz Festival – Jazz lovers should check out the variety of jazz performances in the multi-week festival in the Italian capital.
Alba White Truffle Fair – Piedmont is on the map thanks to its wine and its truffles. The prized white truffle has a two-month (!) fair dedicated to it, and November is smack in the middle. If you like truffles, it’s worth a visit. You don’t have to buy anything, but you probably will.
Cioccolatò (Torino) – Not far from Alba, you’ll find another treat – chocolate. Torino (Turin) hosts a chocolate festival that includes chocolate workshops, tastings, and demos.
Roma Europa Festival – The music, theatre, and dance festival takes place in venues throughout Rome
Torino Film Fest – The late-November film festival in Turin is one of Italy’s most important. It takes place in venues throughout the city and it’s accessible to visitors.
Merano Wine Festival – The early-November wine festival has wine tastings, expert talks, cooking demos, and more in the spectacular setting in the Dolomites.
What to Eat in Italy in November
Not-to-Miss Produce in Italy in November
Look for the following in covered markets and grocery stores in Italy:
|cavoletti di Bruxelles||Brussels sprouts|
Food You Should Eat in Italy in November
|ribollita||‘reboiled’ bread and vegetable soup|
|pappa al pomodoro||bread and tomato soup|
|minestra di verdura||vegetable soup|
|olio d’oliva||olive oil|
|fettunta||‘oily slice’ – bread drizzled with newly-pressed olive oil|
|schiacciata dei santi||thin and crunchy focaccia with walnuts, figs and raisins|
|castagnaccio||dense chestnut cake with pine nuts, raisins, rosemary|
|castradina||mutton and cabbage soup|
|tortelli di zucca||fresh pasta with pumpkin filling|
|tagliolini al tartufo||fresh pasta with truffles|
|digestivi||Italian digestifs – the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day|
The Best Places to Visit in Italy in November with Kids
Unfortunately, November in Italy is not a great time to spend outdoors (although November weather sometimes surprises us and we get a lot of sunny days). So, don’t plan on time at playgrounds or swimming in the sea or a swimming pool.
In general, the best places to visit in November in Italy with kids have indoor activities (usually museums or special activities like cooking classes).
Older kids and teens will be fine throwing on a rain jacket and exploring more outdoors, but it’s a pain in the bum to drag a baby around outdoors in November in Italy.
Helpful Tip: If your budget and travel schedule allows, avoid Italy in November if you’re traveling with younger children. The entire family will enjoy a visit to Italy much more in another month (holiday celebrations in December, beach time and outdoor activities in the late spring through early autumn).
Florence and Tuscany – See David at the Accademia; find a favorite painting in the Uffizi; pick out a book at RED Feltrinelli; check out the Città del Sole toy shop; join a cooking class; get a gelato (yes, even in November!); sip on hot chocolate and people watch. There are plenty of things to do with kids in Florence, and when the weather looks good, head into the countryside for the olive harvest or to an agriturismo to visit animals and learn about life on an Italian farm.
Venice – Winter in Venice is one of our favorite times to visit Venice with kids. November is a quiet month and you’ll enjoy visiting with little ones because you won’t need to fight the heat or high season crowds. Take leisurely vaporetto rides; shop at the Rialto Market; get hot chocolate; climb the San Giorgio bell tower; soak up the mosaics inside St. Mark’s Basilica.
Rome – Like Venice, Rome in November is so much easier than in the heat of the summer. Sure, it’s not empty, but if you’ve got kids with you (or a stroller), you’ll appreciate the smaller crowds. Visit the Explora Children’s Museum; take a kid-friendly tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Lake Garda – As a flexible option (meaning, don’t make strict plans – just visit if the weather looks ok), make a day trip or overnight trip to Lake Garda. Kids will love the theme parks in the Lake Garda area. Make sure you check the opening times – for example, Gardaland is only open on the weekends. You can also visit the smaller villages like Sirmione or Riva del Garda.
Puglia – Even though you won’t get swimming time in, on sunny days you can play in the sand. There are fun towns to explore, like Alberobello with its trulli. And, kids love mozzarella-making demos and November is the best time to see how olives are harvested and pressed.
What to Wear in Italy in November
- Layers – dress like an onion
- Warm coat (not a jacket, unless you’ll be in the south)
- Warm shoes
- Warm hat (beanie/toque)
- Rome and further south see warmer temps (although still chilly, especially at night), so you’ll want to have lighter layers too.
- Slippers for the hotel
- Quality travel umbrella
Important Tips for Visiting Italy in November
- Pack a quality travel umbrella. They’re difficult to find here in Italy (the streets and shops are full of cheap umbrellas that stop working after a day or blow apart in a mild storm), and you’ll want a small one that you can tuck into your bag while visiting museums, shops, and restaurants.
- No matter where you decide to visit, make sure you make direct contact (phone or email) with museums, restaurants, etc to make sure they’ll be open. Don’t rely on Google or online directories.
- If possible, avoid travel in Italy if you’ll be using a stroller. It’s not fun to deal with strollers in Italy in the rain.
- Wear warm, water-resistant shoes. If you choose to wear waterproof shoes, make sure they’re breathable.
- Build some flexibility into your schedule so that you can take advantage of sunny days when you get them.
- Take a cooking class or at least try autumn dishes in the area you’re visiting.
- Try to get a taste of freshly-pressed olive oil! If you’re in an area that’s harvesting, try to attend, help, or watch the press at the frantoio. Kids love seeing the pressing of the oil too.
IMPORTANT: 2022 saw huge increases in electricity bills throughout Italy. This means that many businesses in smaller towns and villages can’t afford to stay open with just a trickle of visitors coming in. Always call ahead if you’re set on visiting a particular shop, restaurant, or attraction.
Is Italy closed in November?
No, Italy doesn’t close up during November, even though most tourists are gone. The country does celebrate a national holiday on November 1st (All Saint’s Day), and almost everything is closed.
How cold is it in Italy in November?
In the northern part of the country, daily lows can be around freezing (0°C / 32°F), while southern regions experience mild to cool weather with daily highs in the upper 60s (F). You’ll need at least a jacket (Southern Italy), and more likely a coat (for the rest of the country).
Is November a good time to visit Rome?
November is an excellent time to explore Rome. The heavy crowds have disappeared until the December holiday season, and you’ll get a break from the hot summer heat. Take the chance to visit Rome’s popular museums and monuments and to dine in restaurants with local Romans. There will still be plenty of visitors – but there’s plenty of room in Rome!
Is November a rainy month in Italy?
November is Italy’s rainiest month. Most Italian cities and regions see more rain in November than any other time of the year. Pack an umbrella and expect the rain and you’ll be fine – and possibly pleasantly surprised with rain-free days!
Are gas stations open on November 1st?
Some will be closed, but larger gas stations and those on the Autostrada will remain open. Remember, even if the gas station is closed, it likely has a self-service machine so you can still pay and pump your gas. Read more about Italian gas stations and driving in Italy.