Travelling to Italy in November? You may be in for a treat! Read on to find out what to expect in terms of weather, crowds and more!
Are you an autumn person? Do you love that sweet time of year when trees start to change colour, clouds descend and mist rises, and everything just looks magical? If the answer is hell yeah, then you need to visit Italy in November.
November is actually a wonderful month to visit Italy. First things first – it’s probably the best month to avoid the crowds, and snap great accommodation deals as an added bonus.
The weather cools down considerably, there are fewer hours of sunshine, it may also rain quite a bit, and this seems to scare people off – leaving Italy to true connoisseurs who don’t care about the cold.
If you are planning to come to Italy to bask in the sunshine, then November is probably not the best month. But if you don’t care, read on!
Let’s have a look at November weather in Italy!
Weather in November in Italy
November is the first month when autumn actually feels like autumn in Italy. Ok, technically the season starts at the end of September, and nice, sunny weather is not uncommon all through the month of October.
By the start of November, the weather has usually cooled down considerably. Rain also becomes more common – November is the rainiest month in Italy, and you may encounter both heavy rainstorms and drizzle for hours on end.
To give you an idea of average weather, in Northern Italy average highs hover around 10-15°C, dropping to about 6-8°C at night, whereas in the South they may get up to 20/22°C and average lows are about 10-15°C.
However, you may encounter ‘warm spells’, especially during the first half of the month, where it gets nice and sunny and you may even be tempted to hit the beach.
In the Alps, November is a very quiet month. The ski season kicks off in early December and the weather is often not ideal for hiking, so you may find that some hotels and restaurants close their doors for the month.
By November, Daylight Savings time has also ended, and it’s dark by 5 pm. So plan your sightseeing accordingly, perhaps including museum visits in the afternoon!
Where to Go in Italy in November
Venice is busy pretty much year-round, but November is probably the quietest month. True, the weather isn’t ideal – forget sun-soaked alfresco lunches with canal views. Yet, Venice is perhaps even more beautiful when the mist rises from the canals and the place looks out of a dream.
In November, you may also encounter acqua alta, the phenomenon of when the water level rises and the calli and campi (streets and squares) get flooded. However, in 2020 the MOSE tide barrier was finally put into function, and high tide should be less of an inconvenience from now on.
I really, really recommend visiting Venice in November if you can. During the week, tourists are at their fewest, but you’ll see some more day-trippers during the weekend.
2) Val di Mello
Up until a few years ago, autumn leaf displays were never a thing in Italy. After all, Italy isn’t like Latvia or Vermont where the leaves turn vivid yellow, orange and red – in most places, the trees are a drab brown.
In most places, that is – not all! Val di Mello is a true hidden paradise of foliage (autumn leaf colour). It’s a side valley of Valtellina, approx 2 hours drive from Milan, where the autumn colors are simply stunning – don’t ask me why!
You can hike along a comfortable path with little altitude difference, making it a perfect destination for the entire family, and a great option if you want to head to the Alps but don’t fancy anything too strenuous!
3) Val Vigezzo
This is another local secret – for international tourists, that is, because Italians know about it very well!
Il Treno delle Centovalli is a popular sightseeing railway connecting Domodossola with Locarno, just across the border in Switzerland. Every October/November, you can travel onboard a special ‘foliage train’, taking visitors through a scenic stretch of forest with a vivid autumn display.
The journey takes approximately two hours, and tickets start from €33. Be warned though, they sell out very fast – especially on the Domodossola-Locarno journey. If you can’t find any tickets, have a look for trains departing from Locarno, usually offering more availability!
Now, be warned – the next four places to see in Italy in November are very well-known. I’m recommending them because November is one of the least popular months for tourists, so you’ll maximise your chance to avoid the crowds!
Let’s start with Tuscany. First things first – Tuscany is not a single place but a region, including Florence, Pisa, Siena, Lucca, and several more popular towns and villages. One of the most popular ways to visit Tuscany is renting a villa, or a room in an agrotourism or farmhouse offering accommodation – and November is a great month to do all that!
Towns and villages will be far less busy – that is true for larger places like Florence and Siena, as well as smaller ones like San Gimignano and Volterra, packed with tourists in spring and summer.
You’ll also be able to get better deals on accommodation and car rental, and if the weather turns bad, you can just spend the day visiting wineries and sampling delicious food. Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia are wonderful locations to choose as your base in Tuscany in November!
Ok, so I recommended visiting Rome in October, but it’s also amazing in November as well!
Rome in November may be a little cooler and a little less sunny, but you’ll be able to enjoy something in short supply during other months – peace and quiet. You’ll find far fewer visitors in ‘hot’ destinations like the Colosseum and Vatican Museums, but we still recommend booking tickets before you visit!
But don’t forget there is more to Rome than big-ticket attractions – lesser-known neighbourhoods like the EUR, Garbatella or Coppedè district are fun to explore for a taste of local life. Another place I love is Ostiense, home to the stunning Centrale Montemartini museum and to lots of street art!
6) Amalfi Coast
Here’s another well-known tourist destination, perfect to visit in November! Now, don’t get me wrong, the Amalfi Coast is beautiful in summer, but narrow streets and lack of parking make it a real nightmare to visit.
In November, it may be chilly to swim in the sparkling sea, but it’s warm enough to hike, visit villages, enjoy lunch outside and sit on the beach. You may miss out on the ‘holiday’ feel of the place, but trust me, your visit will be a lot more enjoyable without the crowds!
Not-to-be missed places on the Amalfi Coast include Minori, Maiori and Ravello, as well as uber-famous (and Insta-perfect) Positano. Another activity we recommend is the Path of Gods hike, a 6.5 km hike with stunning coastal views.
If you are indeed visiting the Amalfi Coast in November, just extend your trip a little and spend some days in Naples!
I’m pretty sure you are aware of the #1 reason to visit Naples – PIZZA. Yes, it is that good. But there’s plenty more to see and do – you can visit the stunning Museo Archeologico, with its ‘secret’ section with X-rated art, head for an underground tour to the Catacombs, take the stunning Mergellina-Posillipo coastal walk, visit Rione Sanità or the fascinating historic centre.
In November, Naples is not as brutally hot as in summer, but there are still plenty of warm and sunny days to enjoy. If the town is too rough and ready for you, take a day trip to Pompei and Herculaneum, or choose to stay in Sorrento instead!
November Events and Festivals in Italy
Tutti i Santi (All Saints’ Day)
November 1st is All Saints Day, a public holiday in Italy. There are no festival or special occasions to speak of, but you may encounter closures, and transport will run on a Sunday schedule.
If the weather is nice, and the day falls before or after a weekend, you may encounter lots of Italian tourists taking advantage of the long weekend, which might translate into higher accommodation and train ticket prices.
Giorno dei Morti (All Souls Day)
The following day (November 2nd) is All Souls Day, which is NOT a public holiday. On this day, Italians often visit cemeteries to bring flowers to the graves of their families and friends – if you are planning to visit any cemeteries for tourism purposes, please be respectful of their grief.
If you are visiting Milan and surrounds in late October/early November, make sure you taste pane dei morti, biscuits-like sweets made with cocoa, dried fruits and nuts. They are delicious and really energetic, perfect for a snack while sightseeing!
Any runners looking for their perfect first-time marathon? Head to Ravenna on the second Sunday in November!
The Ravenna Marathon offers a full distance, half marathon, and 10 km option, just in case you’re not quite ready for the full 42.195 km distance. It’s perfect for first-times as it’s usually not overcrowded, the course is 100% flat, and it passes by locations where you can see the famous Ravenna mosaics (after you’re done running, of course).
After your race, you’ll get a stunning handmade mosaic medal as a reward!
Madonna della Salute Festival
As we said at the start of this article, Venice is a great place to visit in November! The Madonna della Salute Festival falls on November 21st – this is one of the most heartfelt festivals in the city, still celebrated by thousands of Venetians every year.
The event dates back to the plague epidemic that ravaged Northern Italy between 1630 and 1631. Not knowing what to do to stop the spread, the Venice Government invited people to join a procession in honour of the Virgin Mary, promising a the construction of a new church.
The prayers did help – shortly after the procession, the plague disappeared, and the Doge ordered the construction of stunning Santa Maria della Salute. The festival commemorates the first procession, with parades and masses being held around Venice, plus outdoor shows and degustations all over the city.
A traditional dish to try this time of year is castradina, a soup made with cabbage and salted mutton.
Looking for more month-by-month Italy guides? There you are!
- Italy in March – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in April – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in May – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in June – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in July – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in August – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in September – Where to Go + Weather
- Italy in October – Where to Go + Weather