September is a popular month to explore Italy for many people – Italians, Europeans, and travelers from far-flung destinations like the US, Canada, and Australia.
Along with May, it’s known as one of the best months to travel in Italy. The weather is gorgeous, it’s harvest time, and Italians around the country are celebrating at sagre and festivals.
In the past, September was the end of the high season, but times have changed, and you’ll still find plenty of visitors enjoying Italy through the month (and even into October).
Even if it’s a little crowded, I highly recommend a September visit. You can sightsee without the extreme heat, maybe take a dip in the sea (or your agriturismo’s swimming pool), and in the evening, toast to a beautiful day while dining outdoors in a charming piazza.
In this article you’ll learn…
- if visiting Italy in September is a good choice for you
- what weather to expect in Italy in September
- which holidays Italy celebrates in September and which days things are closed
- my recommended places to visit in September in Italy, including where to go with kids
- the best activities and events in Italy in September
- which foods to try in Italy in September
- what to wear on a trip to Italy in September
- the best ways to travel around Italy in September
First time to Italy? 10th? Either way, you’ll want to check out our 200+ Essential Italy Travel Tips!
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Should You Visit Italy in September?
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 September:
4 Reasons You Should Visit Italy in September
- Pleasant weather.
- Visit beaches and mountains without the August crowds.
- Italians love outdoor dining, and September 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.
- Wine harvest
- Truffle hunting
- Festivals and sagre
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)
2 Reasons You May Not Want to Visit Italy in September
- Crowds in cities.
- Hotels and flights are expensive during this peak season.
Weather in Italy in September
Weatherwise, September is one of the most pleasant months of the year in Italy. Temperatures tend to be mild in most parts of the country – warm enough to swim and dine outdoors, but cool enough to make daytime sightseeing enjoyable.
The beginning of the month is typically warm and still feels like summer, while toward the end of the month, temperatures begin to fall, as we enter… fall.
Northern Italy has warm days, but the mountains can still have cooler evenings and there are occasional afternoon rain showers. Temperatures range from the upper-50s to the upper-70s (°F).
Central Italy tends to be warm, both day and night. Temperatures range from the lower-60s to the lower-80s (°F).
Southern Italy is the warmest part of the country, and both days and evenings still see high temperatures. Temperatures range from the 60s to the lower-80s (°F).
The entire country sees a big increase in rainfall compared to August, but it’s not the rainiest month of the year. I always have an umbrella handy, but don’t feel like I use it much until October.
Helpful Tip: Don’t rely on historical weather data. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you leave!
|Milan||78°F / 25°C||59°F / 15°C||25.8mm|
|Venice||75°F / 24°C||59°F / 15°C||21.8mm|
|Florence||80°F / 27°C||60°F / 15°C||27.3mm|
|Rome||81°F / 27°C||60°F / 15°C||19.8mm|
|Naples||81°F / 27°C||63°F / 17°C||26mm|
|Palermo||81°F / 27°C||70°F / 21°C||32.9mm||th|
13 Best Places to Visit in Italy in September
To be honest, it’s tough to find a place in Italy that isn’t pleasant in September. Still, here are some favorites (of mine, and based on my experience with travelers here):
|Location||What To Do|
|Piedmont||Taste wines; go truffle hunting|
|Emilia-Romagna||Sample local specialties; visit car museums|
|Tuscany||Visit vineyards; explore Florence and say hello to David|
|Umbria||See Assisi and smaller villages|
|Sicily||Visit archaeological sites; swim in the warm sea|
|Rome||Dine all’aperto; see the classics like the Colosseum and Roman Forum|
|Venice||Enjoy evening meals outdoors; visit the islands|
|Sardinia||Own the beaches after the summer crowds have left|
|Cinque Terre||Hike between the five villages; eat fresh pesto|
|Amalfi Coast||Hike the Sentiero degli Dei (Footpath of the Gods); have beachside aperitivo|
|Italian Lakes||Boat around the lakes; visit gardens and islands|
|Puglia||Hang at the beach after the summer crowds have left; see the trulli|
|Dolomites||Hike and explore Italy’s mountain playground|
Piedmont in September
Piedmont’s capital, Turin (Torino), is worth a September visit. Spend your days visiting the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale), the Egyptian Museum, and the one of Italy’s best car museums – NAUTO. Take advantage of some of Italy’s best sidewalk cafes during the afternoon or for aperitivo.
Then, hop in your car and head to the Piedmont countryside for the best of the region in September:
- Visit vineyards and sip famous wines like Barolo, Barbera, and Barbaresco
- Explore picturesque villages like Monforte d’Alba, Barolo, Neive, and La Morra
- Go truffle hunting for the Alba white truffle
- Enjoy (and photograph) the changing colors of the vineyards
- Learn about the Slow Food Movement in Bra
- Dine in one of Piedmont’s Michelin star restaurants
Good To Know: Autumn is one of the best times to visit Piedmont, and many people think so. If you’re planning a visit, book hotels as soon as possible. The region fills up with wine-lovers and truffle fans (the famous Alba Truffle Fair is in October).
Emilia-Romagna in September
Foodies delight in this often-overlooked region of Italy, and September is a lovely time to visit.
Summer in Emilia-Romagna is hot (inland in places like Bologna) and crowded (at beaches on the Adriatic). The crowds and heat have calmed down by September, making it a lovely time to explore the area.
Be sure to:
- Visit Bologna and explore its markets, climb its towers, and devour tagliatelle al ragù, tortellini al brodo, and other local specialties
- Check out one (or all!) of the area’s car and motorcycle museums. Our family loves visiting the Ferrari Museums and the Lamborghini MUDETEC Museum.
- Find your way through Mason’s Labyrinth
- Discover some of the region’s small villages, like Brisighella and Dozza.
- Marvel at the UNESCO mosaics in Ravenna
- Taste aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar) in Modena
- Sample prosciutto di Parma and parmigiano Reggiano in Parma
Emilia-Romagna is one of our favorite regions to explore with children. Read more about visiting Emilia-Romagna with Kids.
Tuscany in September
Tuscany is an ideal destination in September, in both the cities and the countryside. The cities have cooled off but are still warm and pleasant in the evenings. Head to the countryside for wine tasting, cycling, or hiking. And of course, indulge in treats like gelato, seasonal fruits (fichi -figs), and later in the month, ribollita.
Think about visiting:
- 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)
- Montalcino – sip on Brunello wine and visit vineyards
- Montefioralle – visit one of Tuscany’s smallest (and most beautiful) villages, set in the hills just above Greve in Chianti
- Cortona – lively town center, great restaurants and views
- Beaches Near Florence – including Forte dei Marmi
Get more ideas for Things to Do in Tuscany
Umbria in September
Explore Umbria’s cities, towns, and countryside villages in September. Some of our favorites include:
- Orvieto – visit the underground on a hot day; sample the local white wine; admire the Duomo
- Civita di Bagnoregio – Italy’s ‘dying’ city, reachable by a land-bridge and worth a quick stop
- Todi – a ‘real’ town; hang with the locals and check out the amazing views from town
- Spello, Gubbio, Spoleto – small villages
- Assisi – visit the hometown of St. Francis and see the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
- Castiglione del Lago – spend an afternoon in the town on the edge of Lago Trasimeno (Lake Trasimeno)
- Montefalco – taste its Sagrantino red wines
Sicily in September
The unbearable heat of August has gone (along with the crowds at the beaches), so now’s the time to hang at the beach and explore cities and sites like the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
It’s also a good time to visit the Aeolian Islands, off the north coast of Sicily. Watching Stromboli erupt against a starry evening sky from your boat in the sea – it’s an unforgettable experience.
Rome in September
September brings lovely weather – and crowds. You won’t melt while touring archaeological sites, but you will spend time waiting in lines and moving through other visitors at museums and sites.
Instead of only sticking to the main sites like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon, check out:
- the Domus Aurea
- the Terme di Caracalla
- Ostia Antica
- Centrale Montemartini (museum with ancient Roman and Greek sculptures in an old power plant)
If, however, you just want to soak up la vita bella (the beautiful life), make plans to visit Rome in September to:
- have lunch, dinner, and aperitivo outdoors on Roman piazzas or side streets
- window shop in the Monti neighborhood
- get a gelato at Fatamorgana and sit and watch Roman life pass you by
- go on a Vespa tour (only if you’re a confident driver!)
- go on a Roman food tour
Venice in September
Yes, it’s busy, so don’t visit Venice in September if you’re looking for a tranquil, intimate experience. But, if you’re ok with sharing the city with other visitors, it’s a lovely time of year.
The star of September in Venice is the Venice Film Festival. You can certainly keep an eye out for movie stars, but it’s even more fun to see a film!
And, if you’re in Venice on an even-numbered year (like 2024 or 2026), don’t miss the Biennale. This large-scale art exhibition is incredible – and even if you don’t consider yourself an ‘art’ person, take some time to visit some of the pavilions.
Sardinia in September
Sardinia has Italy’s most spectacular beaches (it’s like the Italian Maldives, with cooler water). You’ll be spoiled no matter where you go on the island.
The summer crowds have mostly gone, so you can relax at the beach or explore inland villages by car, on foot, or by bicycle.
We adore San Pantaleo in the evening – dining in the piazza and letting the kids play while we soak up the atmosphere.
Cinque Terre in September
Cinque Terre has gorgeous sunny days in September, and if you get hot hiking, you can always finish with a dip in the sea!
This is an excellent month to explore the area. It’s still busy, but less so than the summer.
Don’t stress about the weather – it’s typically gorgeous and warm (rain and muddy trails become an issue in October).
We love to:
- Hike between the five villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare)
- Relax at the beach and go for a swim
- Eat pesto, fresh seafood, focaccia, and lemon gelato
- Take ferry rides to see the villages from a different perspective
Amalfi Coast in September
Yes, it’s high season in Amalfi, but the weather is divine, so it’s worth sharing the area with others. Put on your linen dress (or pantaloni) and mingle with the locals and visitors in this coastal Italian paradise.
Highlights in September:
- Walking the Sentiero degli Dei trail. The best part is between Bomerano and Nocelle (in that direction).
- Renting a beach umbrella and spending the afternoon on Positano’s beach
- Shopping for ceramics in Ravello
- Eating lemon gelato while strolling in Amalfi
Italian Lakes in September
Don’t miss the classic towns like Como and Bellagio on Lake Como. And make your way to Orta San Giulio on tiny Lake Orta.
Visit a garden at one of the gorgeous villas on the Italian Lakes, including Villa Balbianello, Villa Borromeo, and Villa Carlotta.
Mild weather makes for a pleasant ferry trip around the lake, and you can sit outside for aperitivo lakeside or in the villages.
You can also head up into the hills for hikes – for excellent exercise and views!
Puglia in September
September is one of our favorite times to head to Puglia. We like to try to squeeze a visit in between August and when school starts in mid-September.
The weather is still amazing, so you can relax on a sandy beach or swim in the turquoise waters.
Dine on the region’s incredible seafood, fresh produce, and mozzarella (watch it being made!).
We love exploring the whitewashed villages during the day and visiting for dinner and a passeggiata in the evening. Some of our favorite villages and towns in Puglia are:
Dolomites in September
Early September in the Dolomites is usually dreamy. It’s not as crowded, as vacationers have mostly returned home, and the weather tends to feel like summer in the first part of the month.
Good To Know: The second half of September can be ‘iffy’ in the Dolomites – weather can change to feel more like fall and things begin closing up (lifts, mountain huts, etc).
There are so many amazing things to do in the Dolomites, including:
- Hiking all levels of trails. We love the hikes on Alpe di Siusi.
- Visiting mountain villages like Ortisei, Castelrotto, and Corvara in Badia.
- Cycling mountain passes or valley bike paths.
- Soaking in the thermal baths in Merano.
- Saying hello to Ötzi the Ice Man in Bolzano.
- Dining on canederli and kaiserschmarrn.
Good To Know: Some chairlifts and cable cars in the Dolomites close in mid-September. If you’re planning on doing specific hikes that require them, be sure to check the lift’s (or cable car’s) website for closing dates (and times, as hours may be decreased).
Activities and Events in Italy in September
Depending on where you are in the country and what the weather has been like, you may be able to watch or participate in the grape harvest.
Join one of Italy’s adorable truffle dogs as it searches for the elusive tartufo. You can find truffles in many places in Italy, but the most famous area is Piedmont.
Following the search, enjoy the fruits of your (er, the dog’s) labor and have truffle shaved on top of your pasta, eggs, or beef. Buon appetito!
Sagre and Festivals
September in Italy is full of festivals (mostly focused on food) and they’re a fun way to hang with locals and try regional and local specialties.
Helpful Tip: Look for paper signs in small villages advertising the sagre.
Milan Fashion Week
Check out the up and coming spring and summer fashions at Milan Fashion week. Or, grab a spot at a streetside café and enjoy the outdoor fashion show.
Venice Film Fest
International stars descend on Venice for its annual film festival. Join them!
Verona Opera Festival
Watch an opera in Verona’s world-famous Roman amphitheater.
Italy has beautiful scenes to photograph year-round, but you’ll find the iconic sunflowers blooming in September. It’s also a lovely time to photograph the famed cypress trees, mountain scenery, and beaches.
Soak in the Hot Springs
September is a nice time to visit hot springs in Italy because it’s not scalding hot and the August crowds are gone (yes, even hot springs are crowded in August in Italy!).
Evening soaks are particularly enjoyable. 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
Cycling and Hiking
September is one of my favorite months for cycling and hiking in Italy – pretty much anywhere in the country. We live in Tuscany, and it’s perfect weather for cycling here, but we also like riding in the Dolomites, Umbria, Puglia, and Sicily in September.
Likewise, September is a prime time for hiking here. With the summer extreme heat gone, you can spend more time hiking during the day and a little bit of rain settles the dust on the strade bianche (white / gravel roads).
What to Eat in Italy in September
Not-To-Miss Produce in Italy in September
- Uva – grapes
- Susine – plums
- Castagne – chestnuts
- Lamponi – raspberries
- Pere – pears
- Fichi – figs
Foods To Try in Italy in September
- Tartufi – truffles
- Funghi porcini – porcini mushrooms
- Ribollita – bread and vegetable soup
- Parmigiana di Melanzane – eggplant parmesan
- Risotto alla zucca – butternut squash risotto
- Gelato – perfect any time of the year
The Best Places to Visit in Italy in September with Kids
Even with the crowds, September 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
Italian School Schedule: While the exact dates vary by region, most Italian schools are back in session by mid-September.
Tuscany with Kids in September
Temperatures have cooled down a bit, so it’s easier to visit Florence with kids. You can also explore Tuscan towns and villages with your little ones.
Some of our favorite places to visit with kids in Tuscany in September 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 exploring the contrade and their symbols
Dolomites with Kids in September
The Dolomites are 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 September with kids.
Puglia with Kids in September
We love Puglia in September (and October), when the summer crowds have gone and the free beaches and beach clubs are easier to navigate.
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.
Sardinia with Kids in September
Looking for the ultimate relaxing beach vacation with your little kids in September? 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 September
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 September 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.
It’s still really busy in September in Lake Garda, but it’s manageable.
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
What to Wear in Italy in September
Your clothing choices will depend a lot on where you’ll be (weather in the Dolomites in September is different from Sicily in September), what you’ll be doing (Michelin star dining in Emilia-Romagna requires different clothing than cycling in Tuscany), and your personal style.
- Women – shorts and capri pants, tank tops and short-sleeve shirts, sundresses, pants
- Men – shorts (yes, Italian men wear shorts) and pants, short-sleeve shirts
- Breathable clothing in materials like linen and cotton
- Layers – cardigans, long-sleeve shirts, light sweaters (for changing temperatures)
- Sunglasses and sunhat
- Versatile shoes (for varying temperatures) – I often wear casual (non-sporty) sneakers or comfy sandals like Birkenstocks in September.
- Light jacket or fleece for evenings and cooler days
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 September
September is a fantastic month for road-tripping around Italy.
You can visit hilltop towns, find your favorite Italian lake, and with about 13 hours of daylight, you’ll have plenty of time for seeing the sites, taking photographs, and navigating before it gets dark.
Not a fan of driving in Italy? Don’t fret – train travel in Italy is easy, convenient, and picturesque.
Read our guide to Train Travel in Italy
Italy’s coastal towns are gorgeous in September, 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).
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.
Cycle Chianti roads, Dolomites mountain passes or valleys, mountain bike the strade bianche, or cruise on a beachside path.
Italy in September FAQ
September is an excellent time to visit Italy if you are ok with crowds and high prices. It’s a lovely time to explore Italy, so a lot of people come!
It can be toasty in some places in Italy in September. For example, you may see high temperatures in central and southern Italy, especially in the first part of the month.
If you do find yourself here in the heat, you can avoid exploring cities during the heat of the day, and instead relax in the shade (or by the pool or sea) and eat plenty of gelato!