Visiting Italy, there are some things you may expect to find. Great food, top wine, amazing historical architecture, wonderful fashion, some of the world’s best artworks and statues, and of course, Italians.
But visit Italy in August and you may be forgiven for thinking you’ve landed in the wrong place. Where are all the locals?
In August, mid-Summer, when temperatures rise, Italians generally have a mass exodus from their cities and towns to head for cooler locations such as the mountains or the seaside.
But what about the fact that it is also the busy period for visitors to Italy who are keen on experiencing Italy for themselves? Ask an Italian, and they may answer with just a deep shrug of the shoulders, hands upturned mid-air.
For most people, the best time to visit Italy is probably May and June, when the temperatures are not too high. July is good too if you are used to the heat. On the other side of the mid-summer break is September and October, also great times to visit Italy. Towards November and things start to cool down a little, except in the kitchen where some great hearty dishes start to appear on the menus. From December through to February, it’s lovely to be in Italy if you want to experience the quieter period of the Italian calendar, but do expect that many activities are just not operating during the low-season time. We’re now back to March-April when the weather begins to defrost a little, and activities begin to recommence for the season.
But back to August. Many services are not available, many stores close, transport goes onto reduced summer scheduling, and it may not be as easy to do all the things you may like to during your time in Italy.
If you do decide to experience Italy like a local and head to the nearest beach, you can either choose to utilize the free beach space each coastal council has, or else to pay from around 20 euro per person for use of deck chairs and umbrella, and the beach-side bathroom and shower facilities. Italians use these facilities to ensure they leave the shores looking as pristine perfect as they did before arriving. There are also quaint little beach huts occasionally available for rent to store valuable items.
There are also some swimming pools in Florence and other great ways to take a dip to cool off.