November is one of the quietest months in Italy: tourism is on pause before the beginning of the Holiday season, the weather is quite moody, and there are no major national festivities. However, there are still several reasons why visiting Italy in November could be a great idea.
Here are all the tips and the best places to make the most of your trip to Italy in November.
Visiting Italy in November
Visiting Italy in November is not for everyone: the weather starts to get seriously cold, the days are quite short, and there are no major events on the calendar. However, if you are willing to put yourself on the line, you will quickly learn that a trip to Italy during the second to last month of the year is full of unexpected advantages.
First of all, November is right in the middle between the shoulder season and the Holiday period. This means that the crowds are significantly smaller, and the same goes for the prices of flights and accommodations (on average, the lowest of the year).
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In addition, the colder weather and the shorter days make for a great excuse to do more of the indoor activities you have always put off. Plus, who doesn’t like a nice cup of Italian hot chocolate and a slice of torta di mele (“apple cake”) on a rainy day?
If all of this has sparked your curiosity, we bet you won’t regret booking your next trip to Italy in November!
Weather in Italy in November
The best adjective to describe the weather in Italy in November is moody. Indeed, this is one of the rainiest months of the year, with a monthly average of around 101 mm. However, you don’t need to worry too much about this: on average, there are only 8-9 days of rain during the month. This means that when it actually rains, it rains pretty hard!
Another characteristic feature of the weather in Italy in November is the mist, especially in the first and last hours of the day, which adds to the cozy atmosphere typical of this time of the year.
When it comes to the average temperatures, these generally range between 3°C to 14°C (37°F – 59°C), with the minimum ones dropping even lower towards the end of the month. Therefore, don’t forget to take a raincoat and a padded jacket with you if want to have a pleasant trip to Italy in November.
If so far we have talked about the negative sides of the weather in Italy in November, we should also mention that some days can be quite warm and sunny as well. This is especially true in the southern part of the peninsula, where temperatures can hit up to 20°C (68°F).
The days around the 11th of November are known as the Estate di San Martino (“Summer of Saint Martin”). What this means is that after the first colds at the beginning of the month, the weather becomes warmer and sunnier for a couple of days, to the point that you might even be tempted to hit the beach. Unfortunately, these particularly favorable days do not last for long: l’estate di San Martino dura tre giorni ed un pochino (“it lasts for three days and a little bit”), as the popular saying goes.
Pros of visiting Italy in November
Even though November is rarely mentioned among the best months to visit the Belpaese, the pros of visiting Italy in November can be quite remarkable. All you need is an open mind and a fresher perspective!
Even though this might not be a real Italian tradition, in the last few years the majority of Italian shops and shopping centers are offering unmissable deals for Black Friday week. Surely worth a visit on those rainy November days.
Cons of visiting Italy in November
Unfortunately, there are also some cons to visiting Italy in November. The main ones are the following.
Especially in the second half of the month, the temperatures are starting to significantly drop. In addition, rain and mist are a regular occurrence on November days. This might not be ideal if you are into outdoor activities, or if you are quite sensitive to cold.
With the end of daylight savings at the end of October, the hours of light during a typical day of November are reduced to a maximum of nine. This is why you have to be strategic when planning your outdoor activities and make the most of them.
If nature in October is a riot of colors, by November most of the leaves have already fallen from trees. Therefore, don’t book your holiday in November if your plan is to admire the beautiful Fall foliage (consider planning your Italian trip in October, instead).
Read also our 7 tips for an October vacation in Italy.
The month of November can be easily considered the quietest month of the year when it comes to events and festivities. Besides the first of the month (All Saint’s Day), there are no major national vacations. Everything seems to sleep in anticipation of the Holiday period.
Events in November in Italy
November is not the most eventful month as far as Italian cultural and social life is concerned. The only national festivity is on the first of the month (All Saints’ Day) when all offices and schools are closed.
But don’t worry, as you might still be able to find some festivals and fairs that are certainly worth a visit. Examples are the Truffle Fair held in the city of San Miniato (close to Florence), and CioccolaTò, a festival dedicated to chocolate, organized in the city of Turin.
Ognissanti (1 November)
Ognissanti (All Saints’ Day) is the only official national festivity during the month. The day is generally spent attending the traditional Messa del Giorno dei Santi (catholic mess), having a lovely lunch with the family, and then visiting the cemetery to bring some flowers to deceased ones.
If the day falls close to the weekend, most families have the so-called Ponte (‘the bridge’ to the weekend, in other words: a long weekend), where they usually plan outdoor trips to the countryside or the mountains. The next ‘Ponte’ is scheduled for 2025. Then November 1 will fall on a Friday.
Lucca Comics & Games
Between the end of October and the beginning of November, the city of Lucca (in Tuscany) becomes a paradise for all comics, video games, and cosplay lovers. Hundred of events, competitions, and games are organized all throughout the city for one of the biggest events of its kind.
The closure of the Biennale d’Arte di Venezia
The end of November coincides also with the closure of the Biennale d’Arte, the international art exposition that is held every two years (generally from May to November) in the city of Venice. Several talks and workshops are organized to celebrate the closure of the exhibition. The next Biennale, dedicated to architecture, runs from May 20, 2023 to November 26, 2023.
Early opening of Christmas markets
If you want to start breathing the authentic Spirito Natalizio (“Christmas atmosphere”), you are in the right place. In the last years, several Christmas markets have anticipated their openings at the end of November, in order to accommodate tourists’ requests. Among the Christmas Markets of Trento, Vipiteno (close to Bolzano), the German markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) of Florence, and the Habsburg markets organized in the city of Arco (nearby Trento).
Useful tips for November
If you have decided to book your next Italian trip during the month of November, the following tips will help you make the most out of it.
1. Be prepared for the colder days
The weather in Italy in November is generally quite cold and rainy. Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer while sightseeing, make sure to bring a padded jacket and a pair of heavy pants with you. If you are particularly sensitive to colder temperatures, a thermal shirt is highly suggested as well.
However, don’t forget that some days of the month might be quite warm and sunny as well. Be strategic and have a pair of sunglasses and some lighter activewear always with you!
2. Make the most out of the daylight hours
The days are getting shorter and shorter as the month progresses. This is why you have to play in advance and make the most out of the fewer hours of light of the day. Plan your outdoor activities in the first part of the day (but not too early, as the temperatures are at their lowest in the first hours of the morning). Leave the afternoon for those indoor activities you have always put off (such as museum tours, Italian cooking classes, or even a relaxing evening in a wellness center).
3. Plan your trip around the Estate di San Martino
The Estate di San Martino (Summer of Saint Martin) is that time of the month (generally around the 11th of the month) blessed with unusually sunny and warm weather. Plan your vacation during these days if you are into outdoor activities such as mountain hikes, or bike trips to the countryside.
4. Book your flight and accommodation in advance
Even though November can be generally considered “low season”, try to book your flight and accommodation in advance. Not only the choice is greater, but you will also be able to make the most out of discounts offered during this month by most flight companies and apartment rentals.
5. Be flexible, put prepared
The weather in November in Italy could be quite variable. Be flexible with your schedule, and make sure to include some indoor activities in your plans (having a list of the museums and indoor cultural sites in your areas might be quite useful as well). Be also prepared to change your plans from one moment to another, as sometimes rain can be quite unforeseeable. Just in case, always check weather forecasts in advance.
5 places to visit in November
November is the right time of the year if you want to visit some of those popular destinations that are either extremely crowded or extremely hot during the other months of the year. Here are the 5 best places to visit in November.
1. Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre are five ancient fishing villages (namely Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore) located alongside a very suggestive and indented coastline. Each of them is characterized by colorful houses and vineyards clinging to steep terraces looking at the sea. The only downside to the Cinque Terre is that they are always crowded with tourists, especially during the Spring and Summer months.
This is why planning a trip there during the month of November could prove to be a very wise decision: the temperatures are not too cold nor too hot, the tourists are way fewer, and you won’t have any problem booking a table in one of the typical osterie (“taverns”).
Merano is a gracious city in the heart of the Alps. Although the existence of this city might be ignored by many, this was the favorite holiday destination of the Habsburg Empress Sissi. Merano is appreciated for its beautiful natural surroundings, the richness of its buildings, and (perhaps above all) for its thermal areas.
The Terme di Merano are indeed among the most renowned thermal areas in the country. What’s great about them is that you can swim outside even during the colder months, and admire the snowy mountains from one of the many hot tubs.
Naples is among the most vibrant, colorful, and lively cities in Italy. From Piazza del Plebiscito to Rione Sanità, the city exudes the true essence of “Italianity”. And let’s not forget that the city gave also birth to authentic Neapolitan pizza, the most loved food in the world.
Visiting Naples in November means being able to enjoy some pretty warm and sunny days, without the noise typical of busier months of the year.
November is surely not one of the most frequently recommended months to visit the Città del Gran Canale. However, if you dare to book your trip to Venice during this month, you will be awarded with some quite unique circumstances. First of all, the midst raising from the canals will create a ghostly atmosphere, while Piazza San Marco will look incredibly empty (ideal if you want to take some nice Instagram pictures). In addition, the line to go up the Campanile San Marco will be incredibly short.
And don’t forget to take a trip to the nearby islands of Burano and Murano, famous for their artisanal glass production.
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5. Lake Como
Lago di Como is only half an hour away from the hectic city of Milan, yet it is placed in an incredibly peaceful and pristine alpine area. The lake shores are surrounded by the small towns of Como, Bellagio, and Lecco, which are generally quite crowded during the Summer months.
This is why a November trip to Lake Como could be a great idea if you don’t mind the lower temperatures and the occasional wind. What’s even better is that during lower season months you might be able to book some of the luxurious villas overlooking the lake for super-discounted prices.
Visiting Italy in November is not for everyone. The weather is cold and rainy, the days are shorter, and many outdoor activities are off-limits. However, the prices of flights and accommodations are generally lower, and the most popular tourist attractions are less crowded. If you are into a quieter and more intimate Italian trip, then the month of November could be the best choice for you.