Would you like to know more about visiting Italy in October? Read on, and we’ll reveal all our local secrets, including weather, places to visit, and events!
Let’s start with a bang! October is probably my overall favourite month to visit Italy. October marks the heart of shoulder season, a really great time to enjoy the country.
In October, the weather in Italy is still nice and warm, the summer crowds are a thing of the past, and prices for accommodation and transport are much more affordable compared to the busier high-season months.
It is usually still warm enough for the beach, especially in Southern Italy. Sicilians head to the beach until November, if the weather cooperates. In Northern Italy, you may be lucky and be able to enjoy the beach early in the month, but beach clubs usually close by the end of Sept.
In the Alps, October is a quiet month. October and November mark the only period of slow business between the busy summer and the start of skiing season in early Dec. Some hotels and restaurants may close for holidays or maintenance, but it’s still a good time to visit – the trails are usually very quiet.
Let’s move on to looking at October weather in Italy!
Weather in October in Italy
October is the month marking the transition between summer and autumn in Italy. I know that very well, because my birthday is in the first part of the month, and it’s usually still nice and sunny – but the weather takes a turn for the worse by mid-October most years.
There are also marked differences between Northern and Southern Italy. In the south, you may expect summer-like weather for the entire month. Daytime highs are usually around 20/24°C, dropping to about 15 at night. Also, heatwaves pushing the mercury up to 35/40°C are unlikely, making it a great month to discover Southern Italy.
In Northern Italy, you may expect chillier temperatures of around 10/18°C during the day, dropping further at night, especially in the latter part of the month. Rainy and cloudy weather is also likely, and snow usually starts falling on the Alps.
Daylight Saving ends the last weekend in October, so make sure you take note of the exact date, especially if you have planes or trains to catch! After the end of Daylight Saving, the sun sets around 5 pm – so plan your sightseeing accordingly!
Where to Go in Italy in October
Let’s start with my hometown! October is a very good month to visit Italian cities, since the weather is still quite good, but the tourist crowds are nothing compared to summer.
This is also true in Milan – also, in October there are no large trade fairs or events, meaning accommodation is quite affordable!
It’s still warm enough to go sightseeing and even dine alfresco, especially at lunchtime. Going for a walk or bike ride along the Navigli is a really fun way to spend a sunny day, and if you’re unlucky and the weather is grey and rainy you can explore one of Milan’s many museums.
I can’t believe I haven’t spoken about Turin yet! It’s one of my favourite Italian cities, and it’s still quite underrated and undiscovered by mass tourism.
Turin was Italy’s first capital, and you can still visit some sumptuous palazzos dating back to the time of the Savoia royal family. The best known are Palazzo Madama and Palazzo Reale, conveniently located in the city centre, but we also recommend Reggia di Venaria, UNESCO-listed and a convenient day trip from the city.
Turin is also a city with stunning piazzas and a vibrant cafe culture. Don’t miss trying bicerin, a tasty local concoction made with coffee, chocolate, whipped cream and a drop of liqueur. Just what you need if the weather turns chilly in late October!
Wait, I was just talking about cafe culture, right? So I just have to mention Trieste, another one of my favourite cities, located close to Italy’s border with Slovenia.
Trieste was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire for about four centuries, so you’ll find lots of Viennese-style cafés, and even the local cuisine presents some marked Central European influences – hand-sliced ham with grated horseradish is a popular lunchtime dish, and there’s no better place to enjoy it than Buffet da Pepi!
Trieste is also famous for the bora, a sharp, gusty wind that can reach hurricane-like speed. It’s most common in the winter, but it may also blow in October – if this is the case, take refuge in a cafe or a museum!
Two other must-visit locations in Trieste are Piazza Unità d’Italia, probably the most beautiful square in Italy opening up to the Adriatic Sea, and Miramare Castle, in a stunning location right on the coast.
October is also time for the Barcolana, a large regatta and cool event for sailing lovers!
Ah, Rome in October! There is truly no better month than October to visit the Eternal City, for the reasons already mentioned above – low tourist numbers, nice weather, and affordable prices.
Rome weather in October is just lovely. You’ll find plenty of warm, summy days, so much so that there’s even a term to describe them – ottobrate romane. The sun still shines high in the sky, and the trees along Roman parks and avenues burn with Autumn colours. Trust me, it’s just magical!
Similarly to what I said about Milan, make sure you book your tickets for museums and attractions beforehand – especially for the Vatican Museums!
At the start of the post I mentioned that October is still a good month to enjoy warm weather, especially in Southern Italy.
A good place to do so is Pantelleria, a tiny 10 x 5 km island southwest of Sicily. The island is very rocky and volcanic in origin – there’s very little shade, making it unbearably hot in summer, but in October it’s just perfect!
Pantelleria offers lots of hiking opportunities and some stunning stretches of rocky coast, where it’s still warm enough to swim in October. There are no beaches though – so, if beaches are your jam, opt for Lampedusa or Linosa instead!
Pantelleria is also a cool food destination – it’s famous for Passito, a golden-hued dessert wine, and for its capers, which you’ll find everywhere!
Ok, so you want a beach holiday? Basilicata could be a good option! This Southern Italian region is often overlooked in favour of places like Puglia and Sicily, but it offers some amazing beaches – and a lot more!
There are actually two stretches of coast in Basilicata – the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coast. The Tyrrhenian coast is wild rocky, with cliffs and coves, while the Ionian side is calmer, with wide sandy bays perfect for families. Two popular places are Maratea (Tyrrhenian) and Policoro on the Ionian side.
However, there is a lot more than beaches in Basilicata! Matera is an absolute gem, and in the northern part of the region you’ll also find tiny but picturesque villages like Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, and hiking opportunities in the Dolomiti Lucane – Basilicata’s very own Dolomites!
Ok, I hear you. You have come to Italy for sunshine and beach time. In October, Sicily is your best bet – as Italy’s southernmost region, summer (almost) never ends!
For the highest chances of warm weather and sunshine, head to the southern part of the island – especially the Siracusa region, which recently recorded the hottest ever temperature in Europe. Spiaggia di Calamosche near Noto is one of the best beaches in Sicily.
Another place where you’ll find stunning beaches is the western coast of Sicily – Scala dei Turchi near Agrigento is stunning, and brutally hot in high summer, so in October it’s just ideal. Also, don’t miss visiting the spectacular Valle dei Templi nearby, some of the best Greek ruins outside of Greece!
October Events and Festivals in Italy
Do you love sailing? No doubt you’ll know about Barcolana, the world’s largest regatta, taking place in Trieste on the second Sunday of October!
The Barcolana has taken place yearly since 1969, and it’s unique not just for its size, but also because it sees amateur and sailing pros racing side by side on a 15-mile course.
It’s fun attending not just if you are a sailing pro – thousands of boats zipping between Miramare Castle and Piazza Unità d’Italia make for cool photo opps, and the atmosphere in the city is super cool!
Chocolate lovers, take note of this chocolate extravaganza festival taking place in Perugia every October. Why Perugia, you may ask? Well, because it’s home to Perugina, maker of the famous Baci chocolates!
You’ll find stalls across the city centre selling all sorts of chocolate goodies – including chocolate fountains, chocolate kebabs and chocolate specialties from all over the world. There are also talks and masterclasses related to the wonderful world of chocolate – and lots of family-friendly activities!
Fiera del Tartufo
Are you more of a truffle kind of person? I’m not talking about chocolate truffles, but about legit white and black truffles? If the answer is yes, you should definitely head to Alba in the Langhe region, AKA Italy’s truffle capital!
The Fiera del Tartufo (Alba’s International Truffle Fair) takes place in October and November, with lots of different events spread over the course of two months. The main event is the truffle market, which can be visited by anyone.
There are also cooking shows, truffle-themed tasting menus and lots more – and the Langhe/Roero area is just wonderful in October!
Fellow runners, this is for you! If you are the kind of person that likes to travel for marathons, definitely make a note of the Venice Marathon, taking place on the last weekend of October!
The course starts in Stra, on the mainland, in front of a stunning Venetian villa, and runs through Mestre before finally getting to Venice – you’ll be running down alleyways and over bridges, past canals and through Piazza San Marco, before making it to the finish line.
The course is flat and fast, ideal if you are looking for a PB!
Halloween is not an Italian celebration per se – fancy dressing and revelry is traditionally done at Carnevale, usually falling in February/March. However, American culture has reached Italy long ago, so you’ll find Halloween-themed nights at bars, clubs, and restaurants all over the country.
Having said that, there are two villages hosting cool Halloween celebrations – Triora near Imperia, Italy’s self-styled ‘City of the Witches’, and Corinaldo in Marche.
Looking for more month-by-month Italy guides? There you are!