Travel in Italy in August

Although the major tourist sites will still be open in August, keep in mind that all Italians that can, head to the beach or mountains to stay cool. Be flexible because the restaurant or shop you were planning to visit may be closed for part of August. The pace in Italy is slower and the beaches are crowded.

Weather in Italy in August

August is generally the hottest month in Italy, and air conditioning is not as common. If being cool is important to you, definitely check to make sure your accommodations have air conditioning, or at the very least a fan. Well there are articles about average temperatures, it is very hard to tell these years as we have been breaking records. You can bet that Italy in August will reach about 30°C everywhere.

Holidays in Italy in August

Life in Italy slows down in August, but that doesn’t mean the celebrations stop! The national holiday of Ferragosto on August 15th means many offices will be closed, including the Vatican museums, however, most state-run museums will remain open.

  • August 5 – Festa della Madonna della Neve, Rome – The festival of “Our Lady of the Snow” celebrates miraculous snow that supposedly occurred on Esquiline Hill in August in the 4th century, where the Virgin appeared in a dream asking a church to be built in her honor, Santa Maria Maggiore. To celebrate, white flower petals (”snow”) fall from the sky at midnight, and there is music and a light show!
  • August 10 – Notte di San Lorenzo, Florence – A free dinner of pasta, watermelon, and yogurt is hosted to celebrate the co-patron of Florence, along with a procession and music. It is known as the night of the shooting stars because it is said that on the night of San Lorenzo’s martyrdom, his tears were seen as shooting stars. Due to the earth’s proximity to the constellation Perseids, meteors are more common around this time of year!
  • August 15 – Ferragosto/Assumption of Mary- Ferragosto is a national holiday celebrated on August 15th. The holiday originates from the festival of the Roman emperor August, who made a holiday in August to rest after hard weeks traditionally worked in agriculture. It is also the day Catholics celebrate the assumption. It’s known as a holiday where everyone heads to the beach, BBQs, and celebrates the summer. If you run into a friend on August 15th, be sure to wish them a “Buon Ferragosto!”.
  • August 16 – Palio dell’Assunta, Siena – The second round of the Palio (the first is held in July) is in honor of the Assumption. This famous and historic horse race with contestants representing the city districts. A must-see if you’re in Siena!

So where should you travel in Italy in August?

Avoid the crowded beaches and sweltering cities by heading to the Dolomites. I recommend staying in a chalet near Badia, which is near the Parco Naturale Puez Odle and offers plenty of gorgeous hikes. The food leans more Austrian, so be sure to try a Bretzel and my personal favorite, Canederli. Canederli are bread balls favored with speck and herbs, usually served with broth. After a long day of hiking, enjoying an aperitivo with a Trento DOC white wine is a must.

Check out my Thatch Guide to the Dolomites here!

Get in touch if you’d like help planning your trip to Italy in August!

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