If you are planning to travel in Italy in February, this little guide will help you plan your trip best. The first thing to know is that it is still quite cold throughout the Peninsula. This might be a time better suited to explore the Southern tips of Italy, jump over to Venice to experience the elegant Carnevale, or head to the Alps for a ski weekend. The good news is this is quite a low season for tourism, so you are bound to find some great deals. Here is what you need to know.
Weather in Italy in February
Travel in Italy in February can be a great idea, or maybe not depending on where you want to go. Know that this time of year many central and northern regions can have a fair share of grey days. Most places will be still quite cold and damp, so pack layers to stay warm.
In southern regions, you may be able to go out with a sweatshirt, but it definitely will not be warm enough for the beach. And Central regions will have more sunny days, but still will have a damp chill to them.
However, this dreary weather means that there usually is plenty of snow in the Alps of Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, or Trentino. Plus it means you can fill your days wandering the museums without fear of missing out on a beautiful day. This may mean it is the ideal month to visit Rome or Florence.
Here are a few average temperatures to give you an idea of how to pack:
- Northern Italy: 25-40°F (-4-5°C)
- Central Italy: 40-55°F (5-13°C)
- Southern Italy: 50-60°F (10-16°C)
Holidays in Italy in February
Well of course if you are going to travel in Italy in February you cannot miss Carnevale! The exciting time of year is right before Lent where Italy celebrates with delicious pastries, colorful costumes and décor, and plenty of parades or events.
Venice is, of course, the place to visit the most exciting Carnevale, with the whole city filling with music, parades, and events. If you happen to be in the region of Piedmont for a ski weekend, you can also swing down to Ivrea where their Carnevale celebration involves the famous battle of the Oranges. Unfortunately, this has been canceled the last few years due to Covid, but keep it in your calendars for future years!
A more local event, beloved by Italians is the Sanremo music festival, a song competition to decide Italy’s Eurovision candidate. You can’t miss catching a glimpse of this on TV if you are traveling in Italy in February.
And while Valentine’s Day may not be as big a celebration as it is in the US, you can find a few excellent chocolate festivals to explore. My favorite is that of Terni, where you can even find relics of Saint Valentine himself. Here in this little Umbrian town chocolate producers from all over come to share their creations, you can find anything and everything you might imagine made out of chocolate. I’d say this festival is a must if you find yourself in Central Italy.
February 2023 Dates to Remember:
- February 3–5: Festa di Sant’Agata, Catania
- February 4, 12, 16, 19, 21, 25: Carnevale di Viareggio, Tuscany (one of the biggest, known for their impressive floats)
- February 4–21: Carnevale, Venice (the party usually heats up on the weekends!)
- February 19–21: Ivrea Carnevale
So where should you travel in Italy in February?
Personally, I would say, skip the price hikes of Venice Carnevale and use February as the best month to enjoy a weekend in the mountain. Even if you are not a big skier or snowboarder, the beauty of the snowcapped mountains, and the peace you’ll find at a cozy chalet is too good to pass up.
If you are planning on skiing, look into Sestriere, Courmayeur, Bardonecchia, Val Tournanche or Cervinia for places in Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta. In Lombardy you can check out Bormio, and heading into the Dolomites you can look at Cortina, Val Badia, and San Candido.
All of these areas will also have some relaxing spa hotels, that might give you the best of indoor and outdoor Italy in February.
If you aren’t quite interested in snow sports and just want to have a cozy weekend in the Italian Alps, here are some of my favorite hotels in Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta for just that:
Granuit in Sauze di Cesana – a sustainable restructured villa in the center of Sauze di Cesana, while there is no spa on-site, it is an extremely cozy stay. It is close enough to walking paths, ski routes, and other resort spas so that you can stay on a budget and still experience all the region has to offer.
Chalet des Artistes in Valtournenche – quite literally the mountain villa of a local artist, this hotel is quite comfortable, spacious, with the added luxury of bathtubs. They also have wonderful views of the valley and are located a short drive away from Cervinia where there is a ski establishment, plenty of activity organizers, spas, restaurants, and more. You can easily enjoy some cozy romantic time here, and step out for an evening in the nearby ski town.
Hotel Miramonti in Cogne, currently offering the best pampered weekend deal I have found. Enjoy a room with a view of the Mountains, and an in-house Spa and restaurant. Two nights, with dinner, breakfast, spa and pool entrance, one aperitivo, and a massage each comes to just 480 euro for the basic room. Quite a steal around these parts!
And if you’d like to add a little more luxury you’ll want to have a look at these:
Auberge de La Maison in Courmayeur, boasting an incredible heated pool with views of the Alps, an in-house spa, and beautiful wooden decorated rooms.
Le Massif also in Courmayeur another excellent spa and mountain stay.
Then the Bellevue Hotel & Spa in Cogne right next to Miramonti, is just a step up in terms of elegant décor, and luxurious ambiance, with increased prices to match.
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