Although summer is the most common time of year for Americans to travel to Europe, one country has been exploding in popularity during the fall too.
If you missed out on the “European summer” trend this year that brought record-breaking crowds to this country, there’s still time to plan a fall trip to this destination — and you just might save money and have a better vacation too.
Italy is one of the most popular international destinations for Americans this fall. Normally most popular in the summer, fall is becoming an increasingly popular time to visit.
Here’s why fall is the best time to plan a trip to this beautiful European country:
1. Fewer Crowds
Summer in Italy is peak season, with the months of July and August seeing the highest crowds. However, things considerably cool off (both literally and figuratively) in September and October.
If you want to visit Italy without having to fight your way through the crowds, fall is a great time to travel.
During the summer months, things can get out of control, especially in major tourist hotspots. Portofino, Italy went as far as imposing a €270 ($300) fine on tourists who block a popular pedestrian walkway to take selfies.
But during the fall, you won’t have to wait in a massive line at popular tourist attractions like Rome’s Colosseum or Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice. You won’t find yourself elbowing through crowds in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery or searching in vain for an open spot on the beach in Positano.
Instead, you can enjoy fewer crowds and a calmer pace of travel during the fall. Many popular spots are devoid of crowds during the fall since it’s still an underrated time to travel to Italy.
2. Better Weather
Another benefit to visiting Italy in the fall is the milder weather.
Unfortunately, Italy has been suffering from extreme heat waves during the past few summers.
In July, temperatures hit a record-breaking 118° F (48° C) in parts of Sardinia and Sicily, the latter of which suffered from debilitating and destructive fires sparked by the extreme heat.
Throughout the rest of the country, temperatures were regularly above 100° F (38° C) this summer. Such extreme heat takes the fun out of exploring Italy.
It’s hard to enjoy sightseeing at the Colosseum or the Roman Forum under the scorching sun, and it makes other outdoor activities like hiking in Cinque Terre unpleasant and borderline dangerous.
This is why fall is such a great time to visit Italy. In the southern part of the country, the weather cools down considerably, but it’s still warm enough that you can have a beach getaway in a destination like Sardinia or the Amalfi Coast.
In the northern part of the country, fall also brings pleasant, cooler weather to destinations like Venice that can be unbearable in the summer.
3. Cheaper Prices
Finally, cheaper prices are drawing more and more travelers to Italy during the fall.
From early June through the end of August, travelers can expect to pay elevated prices for hotels in Italy. Not to mention, flights are also much more expensive.
With flight prices up more than 25% in 2023, many travelers found the cost of a trip to Italy to be too much this summer. However, flights during the months of September, October, and November tend to be significantly cheaper than flights during the summer.
You can also save a fortune on hotels in Italy during the fall, especially in coastal destinations like the Amalfi Coast, Ischia, or Cinque Terre where fall marks the beginning of the “shoulder season” slump in tourism.
Although fall is becoming a more and more popular time of year to visit Italy, you can still take advantage of these benefits right now while it remains somewhat underrated.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com