Visiting Italy in February: best places to visit, main festivities and events, what to expect from the weather in February in Italy.
February in Italy is a month of transition and a hit and miss time for a visit, in terms of weather.
In most of Italy, February is the time when winter starts loosening its grip and this comes with days as different from each other as they can get.
It is not unusual to find yourself taking your coat off at lunchtime in February one day, and reach for an extra scarf at the very same time the day after!
If you are hoping for long days, warm weather and dinners out, you need to go to Italy later in the year however, there are good reasons to go to Italy in February.
In this article, we are going to look at the weather in Italy in February, best places to visit in Italy in February and tips for visiting Italy in the winter.
Please note: this is a seasonal travel guide about Italy in February, meant to help you decide the best time of the year for your visit. For official information and travel advisory that may affect your trip, please refer to your Government travel advisory. Check here for official info if traveling from US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand.
Italy in February 2021: need to know
Several exceptional rules and regulations are in place in Italy for February 2021.
This may affect your ability to enter the country, the documents needed to do so, movement between regions, movements within a certain locality (local curfews are in place) and hospitality services including museums, restaurants and hotels.
Wearing of protective face masks is compulsory indoor and outdoors.
Please refer to the latest news for an up-to-date overview of the situation and always abide by local and national rules at all times.
Italy in February: what you will find in this article
- Overview of weather in February in Italy
- February festivities and events in Italy
- Recommended places to visit in Italy in February
- February in Italy with kids
- What to book in advance for February in Italy
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The weather in Italy in February: what to expect
February in Italy sees the seasons turn from winter into spring however, how quickly that turns happens and what weather conditions you will actually get, will vary depending on where in Italy you are (and on the year of your visit)
In general, the weather in Italy in February sees the winter slowly release its grip, temperatures beginning to rise and blossoms starting to appear on trees.
However, while Rome and the South in February mix cold days with positively mild ones, the north of Italy tends to stay colder for longer and even see snow: February is a good month for skiing in the Alps!
At a glance, the weather in Italy in February is:
|Name of the place||Temperature low/high||Days of rain|
|Milan, Lombardy||3C/37F – 10C/50F||4|
|Venice, Veneto||1C/34F – 9C/48F||4|
|Florence, Tuscany||3C/37F – 12C/54F||7|
|Rome, Lazio||3C/37F – 14C/57F||7|
|Amalfi, Campania||9C/48F – 14C/57F||7|
|Palermo, Sicily||9C/48F – 15C/59F||7|
In practice, these temperatures mean you need to wear winter clothes but may experience milder temperatures in the middle of the day that, on a good day, may allow to you take off your coat,
It is however possible and well documented for February to bring even very cold temperatures so proper coats, scarves and winter shoes in Italy in February are a must.
February festivities in Italy you need to know about
The main festivity you need to take into account if planning a trip to Italy in February is the carnival.
Carnival happens on different dates each year, but usually falls during the month of February and can have a big impact on your plans, if you are interested in visiting Venice and Viareggio, the two carnival capitals of Italy.
If you are not, the carnival is unlikely to impact your trip much.
Unless you are in a locality with a special parade or series of events, carnival doesn’t affect museums/attractions opening hours and will mostly show itself in the form of kids wearing costumes and lovely carnival sweets in the shops!
The best places to visit in Italy in February
Italian Dolomites – best for skiing
If you eyeing Italy for skiing in February then you are in luck!
Italy in February has lovely skiing conditions in several localities and has slopes for all abilities.
Popular places to go skiing are, among others, Val d’Aosta and the Dolomites, at the two ends of the Alps, respectively in the West and the east.
Among the many places to check out, there are:
- Val Tournanche
- Val Badia
- San Candido
Venice in February
Talking about visiting Venice in February can only start from a mention of Venice carnival, one of the city’s most traditional and important yearly events, happening in February.
Venice carnival is a huge event and you cannot ignore it so my advice is: if you want to experience it, go for the carnival while if you want to avoid it, go before or after.
Basically, there is no avoiding the carnival in Venice during carnival week so you need to plan accordingly!
The pros of visiting Venice at carnival is the chance to participating to a unique and ancient tradition, that can be lots of fund and a one in a lifetime memory
The cons is that the price of accommodation in Venice skyrockets at this time and the crowds are intense.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you wrap up as Venice in February is beautiful and romantic but cold!
You can find our guides about Venice here:
- Venice itinerary recommendations
- Best areas to stay in Venice
- What to eat in Venice
- Venice with kids (see below)
Rome in February
February is a lovely time to visit Rome. During this month, the weather is overall mild, ranging from warm in the sun to chilly in the shade: it is the perfect weather for sightseeing!
Crowds in Rome in February are moderate: you still need to book attractions in advance, but you can usually get away with booking a couple of weeks before you go rather than a couple of months or more!
You can find my detailed guide to visiting Rome in February. here.
Florence and Tuscany in February
Tuscany is beautiful but cold in February, most suited to travelers interested in food and wine than outdoor pursuits.
Great places to enjoy in winter in Tuscany are:
- Florence – cold yet so rich in museums and indoor attractions, it won’t leave you disappointed
- Val d’Orcia – Unesco World Heritage Site as an area of great natural beauty, this area is cold in winter however, it is also mostly free from the crowds of the summer and a wonderful foodie destination
- San Gimignano – delightful medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site, very busy in the good season but lovely and quiet in winter. One of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany!
- Siena – One of the most beautiful small towns in Italy, with a wonderful historical town center
- Lucca – a pretty town with a lovely center and the option to cycle along its medieval walls
- Montalcino – wine town, perfect for wine lovers (Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino are from here)
- Montepulciano – one of the prettiest villages in Tuscany and my personal favorite, it is famous for its vino nobile (red wine)
- Pienza – built in the Renaissance as the ‘perfect city’ as known for the delicious cheese ‘pecorino di Pienza’, it is lovely in February when you can eat it hot (cacio cotto), and wash it down with a nice glass of local red
- San Quirico d’Orcia – a delightful medieval town in the heart of stunning Val d’Orcia, good for a romantic weekend of warming food and church visits
- Monticchiello – a delightful country hamlet perfect to immerse yourself in relaxing country settings and sip warming red wine while sitting in front of the fire
- Bagno Vignoni and Saturnia, two thermal localities with some of the best thermal springs in Tuscany, an absolute delight when the air outside is cold!
February can be a lovely month to visit Sicily. At this time, you will not be able to enjoy the stunning beaches and waters of this gorgeous island however, you will find great weather conditions for sightseeing, an activity you will never tire of, in Sicily!
Outside the scorching heat of the summer, you will be able to enjoy all the main sights in Sicily and you won’t even have too many other people to content with, February being low tourism season here.
You can find our travel guides to Sicily at the following links:
Other places you may want to visit in Italy in February
Cinque Terre – February is not the best time to visit Cinque Terre as it will be too cold to swim/go boating and too wet for trails to be open.
However, this can be a good time to visit the Cinque Terre villages, especially if you get a nice sunny day.
If you are in the area and the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can also consider a trip to Genoa, which is lovely and full of beautiful museums, perfect even on rainy days.
Amalfi Coast – February is low season on the Amalfi Coast and this has pros and cons.
The pros of coming at this time is that usually you have lower crowds than later in spring and summer and the prices are usually a little more affordable too, both excellent reasons to come!
This is also a time when the terrible traffic of this area is often less intense, meaning you can actually drive here, one of the most scenic ways to see the area
On the cons list, however, you have a reduced ferry system that will limit your option of seeing the islands and enjoy the coast from the water.
February on the Amalfi Coast is also rainy and potentially cold and while this wouldn’t be standard, this year saw snow here! So if you are going to the Amalfi Coast hoping for lazy breakfasts under the lemon trees, this is just not the time!
February in Italy is all about managing expectations and I feel this is particularly true in this much dreamed-of area.
You can find our guides to the Amalfi Coast at the following links:
- How many days to spend on the Amalfi Coast: itinerary recommendations
- The best towns to visit on the Amalfi Coast
- Visiting the Amalfi Coast with kids (see below)
February in Italy with kids
February is a hit and miss month to visit Italy with kids.
While they will have their fix of gelato even at this time, February in Italy is not a time for the beach, outdoor pursuits, or playing in fountains so small kids may find it a little frustrating.
If you go, I recommend you stay in the big cities so you can easily mix time sightseeing with time in the playground and indoor kids attractions,depending on the weather on the day.
Destinations I feel work well with kids at this time are:
Florence with kids – full of lovely children museums perfect even on rainy days
Venice with kids – cold but quiet, unless you head there for the busy days of Carnival
Tuscany with kids –Even if they won’t’ be ab;e to partake of the lovely local wine, the kids are likely to enjoy the region’s small towns and the hot springs
Rome with kids – full of indoor and outdoor attractions for all ages
Sicily with kids – mild and beautiful perfect for family sightseeing and the occasional day on the beach (for sandcastles, not swimming).
Looking for family destination ideas in Italy? Find my selection of the best places to visit in Italy with kids here.
What to book in advance for spending February in Italy
February is less busy than other months in Italy (Venice at carnival excluded) but some attractions need to be booked in advance even at this time.
This is also the case in 2021 when crowds are lower but advance booking is compulsory to ensure compliance with current regulations.
Attractions that need advance booking are:
- Last Supper (Milan)
- Uffizi Gallery (Florence)
- Vatican Museums (Vatican City, Rome)
- Colosseum (Rome)
- All attractions in Venice
Trains do not usually need to be booked in advance however, high-speed train on popular routes such as Rome to Florence do tend to book out or only have very expensive tickets available.
The cheapest way to get train tickets in Italy is via the official railway service website trenitalia.it
I always recommend booking accommodation in advance and my favorite booking engine is booking.com.
They have a large selection of accommodation options and excellent free cancellation opportunities too.
I hope you found this quick overview of what to expect in Italy in February useful. Safe travel planning!