Fall is one of our favorite seasons to visit Italy. Find out why below, and check out some the best places to go during this underrated time of year.
September through November might be the perfect time to visit Italy. When the influx of summer tourists has begun to die down, but it is still warm enough to take a swim or enjoy a dinner under the stars. When prices begin to normalize and lines begin to disappear. When you can enjoy a fresh fall harvest of white truffles in the north or new olive oil in the south. When you can ride the metro without being suffocated by the summer humidity. When the color of the leaves begins to turn and a gentle breeze fills the air. When the cities begin to breathe again, free from the heavy embrace of traveling hoards filling every restaurant, every piazza, and every museum. When Italy begins to feel like Italy again. Here are some places to take advantage of during this transition from summer to winter:
The northern region of Piemonte lies west of Milan amongst rolling hills that explode with fall foliage as the summer weather begins to cool. Plus, October means one thing in Piemonte....white truffle season! This highly sought after delicacy, with its luscious earthy aroma, enjoys a a harvest season during the peak of fall, when you begin to see it incorporated into the regions foods; from pasta to carpaccio. Plus, no Piemonte dish is complete without a pairing of local wine such as a world famous langhe nebbiolo or barolo. Make sure to visit the famous Alba White Truffle Festival, which takes places in October and November, to fully emerse yourself in the cuisine and culture of the region during this very special time of year.
The region of Piemonte is full of charming little towns such as Barolo or Neive, and makes for a perfect place to spend a weekend driving through vineyards, and rolling hills, stopping for a quick meal or wine tasting along the way. Furthermore, the region's capital, Torino, is one of Italy's most underrated cities, filled with breathtaking baroque architecture and an endless array of amazing bars and restaurants.
Piemonte is easily accessible from Milan, and we recommend renting a car or a driver in order to fully take advantage of this region and all it has to offer.
Milan and the surrounding region
Italy's Northern metropolis often exists in the shadow of cities such as Rome or Venice, but offers visitors an amazing array of restaurants, museums, historical sites, and regional day trips. Plus it has what may be the most beautiful and impressive Duomo in all of Italy. For a real slice of Italian life, free of tourist traps, a visit to Milan, especially in fall months, can be a relaxing, refreshing, and luxurious experience for travelers looking for bit of authenticity and sophistication from their trip to Italy.
The charm of Milan is evident from the minute you begin walk its storied streets. From the historic network of trams that run throughout the city, to the lively bar and restaurant scene of the Navigli canal district, to the winding cobbled lanes dotted with vintage clothing stores and traditional cafes that lead to stunning Piazza del Duomo at the heart of historic downtown, Milan exists as a testament to Italian life both new and old. Luxurious yet approachable, sophisticated yet rustic and down to earth. As the weather begins to cool in the city, and the crowds evaporate, the city takes on an almost cozy atmosphere, as if it exists just for you. Plus, the fall and winter season is when the cuisine of the region really shines. Risotto, buttery polenta, luscious osso buco, and foraged wild mushrooms dishes rule the table during this time of year, usually paired with a powerful red wine from nearby Piemonte or Veneto.
But it's not only the heart of the city that makes a trip to Milan worth while. Within a bout an hour or two train ride of Milan Centrale you can reach wonderful towns such as Bergamo, Como, or Verona that make for picturesque day trips, especially during fall when these towns are less crowded.
Enjoy the coastal beauty of the island without the hoards of summer crowds and sweltering heat. You may also reap the benefits of off season pricing if you really wanted to stay at certain luxury hotel in Taormina but just couldn't justify the price during the summer months. The beginning of October also marks the start of the olive harvesting season in Sicily in preparation for the year's creation of delicious Sicilian olive oil.
We also recommend exploring the Noto valley during this season. Visit the charming baroque towns of Modica, Ragusa, and Noto, and sample the culinary delights this region is famous for such as chocolate, pistachio, and ricotta. Head down to Marzamemi to experience this historic fishing village free of summer holiday makers, or spend a day on Ortigia island in Siracusa exploring the charming shops and markets that line the cobbled streets.
Tuscany - It goes without saying that the picturesque rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside are stunning during the fall season, but September - November is also a perfect period to visit the beautiful coastline of La Maremma, when the high season has passed.
Rome - Much like Milan, a large city such as Rome can feel much more accessible in the fall months, when the hoards of tourists have largely subsided. Trust us when we say that the Trevi fountain looks much better without hundreds of people standing in front of it!
Want to visit Italy? Well then the time is now to design your dream vacation with the help of the travel experts at Isarti Travel.