Welcome to Italy in May! One of the best months to travel in my opinion, it’s early enough that you miss the summer crowds, but the weather is perfect for exploring all corners of Italy. Let’s see what Italy has in store for us this month
Weather in Italy in May
The weather in Italy in May is generally pleasant, with bright days and flowers in bloom. However, it is also a popular tourist month, so prices may be higher and streets more crowded. Here are some temperature ranges for a few cities in Italy during May:
- Turin: 50-74°F (10-23° C)
- Rome: 50-77°F (10-25° C)
- Palermo: 57-77°F (14-25° C)
Lately, we are still in a drought, so don’t expect too much rain, however it’s always good to be prepared.
Holidays in Italy in May:
May is a lively month in Italy and you will come across many festivals and holidays, here are just a few to remember.
- May 1 – Festa del Lavoro – a public holiday in Italy and is a day to commemorate and celebrate workers’ rights and achievements. Many businesses and shops may be closed on this day. But Italians often celebrate by taking advantage of the spring weather with picnics and trips out of the city.
- May 14 – La Festa della Mamma – Unlike Father’s Day. Mother’s day is not marked by any particular culinary treat, but don’t forget it! Given the great weather, it might be the perfect time to bring over some delicious gelato or fresh strawberries to your suocera.
- May 6 – May 28 – Giro d’Italia -The Giro d’Italia is an annual multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in Italy. The race usually takes place in May or June, and it is one of the three Grand Tours of cycling, along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. The race is known for its challenging courses and scenic routes through the Italian countryside. Locals love to watch it for the competition and also for the scenic views.
- May 15th, Festa dei Ceri, also known as the Race of Candles in Gubbio. Three teams compete to carry large wooden structures, or ceri, topped with statues of saints through the narrow and winding streets. The ceri represent St. Ubaldo, St. George, and St. Anthony, and are carried by members of their respective teams. The race is a thrilling spectacle with crowds cheering on their favorite team. The festival also includes music, dancing, and delicious food and drink, making it an unforgettable experience.
- May 19 – 23 – Infiorata di Noto – A celebration of the arrival of spring and an opportunity to showcase local artistic talent. Visitors from all over the world come to admire the colorful flower carpets covering the streets, enjoy cultural activities and events, and taste local cuisine. The festival includes a float parade, live music, and a wide range of food and drinks.
- May 20-21 Festa della Sensa in Venice – A celebration to honor the city’s alliance with the sea. This year’s celebration, Festa della Sensa 2023, has many exciting events, such as traditional Venetian boat sailing, a gold ring-throwing ceremony, a regatta, a religious procession, and food and drink stalls. It’s a great opportunity to experience Venetian culture and history.
- May 28 – Vogalonga, Venice – this is a non-competitive rowing event that draws thousands of rowers and spectators from around the world. It was first held in 1974 as a protest against the increasing use of motorboats in the city’s canals and has since become an annual tradition celebrating Venice’s rich history of rowing and cultural heritage. Participants row through the city’s canals, passing famous landmarks such as the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. All types of non-motorized boats, from traditional wooden boats to modern racing shells, are welcome. Along the route, there are also food and drink stalls, live music, and entertainment.
- May 28 – Il Palio di Ferrara – a centuries-old horse race happening twice a year. It involves ten horses representing different neighborhoods of the city. A lively event often overlooked for that of Siena, this is just as exciting to witness!
So where should you travel in Italy in May?
If you’re planning to visit Italy in May, this is a great time to visit much of the country. Of course, the Italian countryside is always a great choice, especially during the spring season when the blossoms are in full bloom.
You can rent a car or bike and explore the rolling hills and picturesque countryside of many Italian regions. Here are a few local flower festivals happening around Italy that you might not want to miss.
- May 1st – Bolzano Flower Festival
- May 13th – Infiorata Flower Carpet Festival
- May 19th – Flower Festival in Noto
- May 20-21st – Perugia Flower Show
- May 21st, 28th – La Maggiolata Lucignano
While there’s nowhere you could go wrong visiting Italy in May, I also have recently been inspired to explore Liguria. A Northern Italian region is often overlooked except for the high tourism to Cinque Terre. But beyond these charming fishing villages, there is much to explore. If you’d like to start with the capital of Genova, this guide might help you explore the best of the city. Otherwise, when the weather is good and warm, I highly recommend a long weekend in Sestri Levante!
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