Planning on visiting Italy in May?
May is a lovely time to plan a trip to Italy. The days are longer, the spring flowers are in bloom, and it’s not as busy as the summer season.
We have spent months exploring Italy throughout all four seasons, and we are sharing everything you need to know about traveling to Italy in May.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this guide will take you to the best places to visit, including Venice, Rome, Puglia, Florence, and Amalfi Coast.
Additionally, you’ll learn about May weather in Italy, the Italian holidays in May, and tips on how to pack for a vacation in May.
Read on to learn what it’s like to spend May in Italy.
May Italy Weather
The weather in May in Italy is pleasantly warm, making it an ideal time for sightseeing in the cities and for enjoying some of Italy’s natural beauty.
In the countryside, from northern to southern Italy, you’ll find colorful flowers and spring blossoms in bloom. And if you’re lucky enough, you may even get to enjoy the beach down south if the weather is warm enough.
In May, the average temperature ranges from 50°F-75°F (10°C-24°C) depending on where you are visiting. Here’s a breakdown below of what you can expect in different region around Italy.
Average Temperature in Italy in May
- Northern Italy: Average high temperatures between 59°F – 73°F (15°C – 23°C)
- Central Italy: Average high temperature between 63°F – 75°F (17°C – 24°C)
- Southern Italy: Average high temperatures between 64°F – 77°F (18°C – 25°C)
As you can see, southern Italy is the warmest place to visit in Italy during this month.
Does it rain in Italy in May? Yes, you should plan for spring rain storms here and there during the month of May. The afternoons can be stormy, but overall, you can expect decent weather, particularly in the second half of the month.
Our Experience: We visited everywhere from Genoa, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and down to the Amalfi Coast at the end of May. The weather was fantastic the entire time, and we wore shorts most of the trip.
We may have been lucky, but it felt like summer in Rome and Naples in May. Additionally, all of the major cities we visited in May were not as crowded as we were expecting, which was a huge perk.
Overall, with a mix of good weather and less tourists, May is one of our favorite months to visit Italy.
Here’s an overview of the weather throughout Italy in May:
|71°F / 22°C
|56°F / 13°C
|75°F / 24°C
|56°F / 13°C
|76°F / 24°C
|54°F / 12°C
|74°F / 23°C
|57°F / 14°C
|74°F / 23°C
|55°F / 13°C
|76°F / 24°C
|63°F / 17°C
|Cinque Terre, Liguria
|72°F / 22°C
|58°F / 14°C
|72°F / 22°C
|64°F / 18°C
|74°F / 23°C
|55°F / 13°C
Advantages of Visiting Italy in May
- Pleasant Weather: May offers warm, sunny days and mild evenings, ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
- Flowers in Bloom: The countryside and gardens are in full bloom, making scenic spots particularly beautiful.
- Fewer Crowds: While popular, May is before peak tourist season, allowing for a more relaxed experience at major attractions.
- Good Travel Deals: Since it’s shoulder season, you can often find better deals on accommodations and flights compared to peak summer months.
- Ideal time to visit the cities: Since it isn’t yet summer weather in Italy or high season, May offers ideal conditions for visiting the major Italian cities, such as Venice, Florence, Rome, and Milan.
Disadvantages of Visiting Italy in May
- Unpredictable Weather: While generally pleasant, May can sometimes have unpredictable weather patterns, including occasional rain.
- Higher Prices Than Winter: Although cheaper than peak summer, prices for travel and accommodation begin to rise in May.
- Early Summer Crowds: In popular destinations, early signs of the summer tourist crowds begin to appear.
- Limited Beach Days: While warm, it might still be a bit cool for traditional beach activities in some coastal areas.
- Limited hiking: Due to rain and leftover snow, hiking in areas of the Dolomites may not be available in May. Make sure to check online for the trail status before hiking in May.
13 Best Places to Visit in Italy in May
Wondering, where are the best places to travel in Italy in May?
From the cities in northern Italy to the beaches in Sicily, these are our top 13 places to visit in May in Italy to help you plan your trip.
1. Rome in May
May is one of our favorite months to visit Rome. It’s warm enough to enjoy dinner al fresco, yet it’s mild enough to enjoy sightseeing without the summer heat.
Is Rome crowded in May? Unfortunately, yes. You won’t get the insane crowds like you do during the summer months (June to September), but Rome is still quite busy in May.
During our visit to Rome in May, we booked all of our hotels and tickets for major sights well in advance because things were filling up fast.
Additionally, popular restaurants tend to book out in May, so make sure to call ahead and reserve. We usually call at least 1 week in advance.
Rome weather in May?
The weather in Rome in May sees highs around 75°F (24°C) and lows around 56°F (13°C). We wore a light jacket in the evenings, otherwise, we dressed in summer clothes during our trip to Rome in May.
Things to do in Rome, Italy in May
- Explore the ancient Roman sights, such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Pantheon,
- Visit the Trevi Fountain
- Climb the Spanish Steps and enjoy the views from Pincian Hill
- Visit Vatican city and see the Vatican museums and St. Peter’s Basilica
2. Florence in May
Planning to visit Florence in May? This is a beautiful time of year to explore the Renaissance city’s historic center and museums. May’s longer days allow more time for sightseeing and for enjoying glorious sunsets from Piazzale Michelangelo.
Additionally, Florence’s gardens, like the Boboli Gardens, are in full bloom bringing the city to life.
Is Florence crowded in May? May is the beginning of peak tourist season in Italy, so plan for crowds and lines at the popular sites. We suggest reserving your tickets and restaurant reservations in advance.
Florence weather in May?
The weather in Florence in May is lovely for sightseeing. The mild temperatures range from 76°F (24°C) as a high and around 54°F (12°C) as a low.
You can dress in summer clothing in Florence in May, but make sure to pack a rain jacket and umbrella in case there is unexpected rain.
Things to do in Florence, Italy in May
- Explore the Florence Duomo, baptistry, and bell tower
- Enjoy Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery
- Wander across Ponte Vecchio
- See Michelangelo’s “David” at the Accademia Gallery
- Visit the Boboli Gardens
3. Venice in May
We love exploring Venice during the springtime. The weather is usually nice for wandering the canals and the prices are a tad lower than summer.
With that being said, May is the very beginning of the high season, which means you should expect Venice to be crowded in May.
Book your hotels at least a couple of months in advance and reserve tickets online for the major sights in Venice to ensure you get a preferable time slot.
Venice weather in May?
The weather in Venice in May ranges from highs around 71°F (22°C) and lows of 56°F (13°C). Expect potential rainy days; however, Venice is pretty pleasant and mild this time of year.
May is one of the best times of year for exploring Venice because it’s not to hot and not too cold. Perfect for sightseeing and enjoying this enchanting city.
Things to do in Venice, Italy in May
- Take a gondola ride along the canals
- Visit the Rialto Bridge
- Check out St. Mark’s Square and St. Mark’s Basilica
- Explore the Doge’s Palace
- Visit Murano (famous for glass blowing) and Burano (known for its colored houses)
- Enjoy the beach on the Lido if it’s warm enough
4. Bologna in May
Bologna is one of our favorite cities in Italy, and May is a great time to visit. This underrated destination is known as “Italy’s Foodie City.” From homemade pasta to drool-worthy gelato, and savory cured meats, you’re in for a real treat here.
Additionally, Bologna is never as crowded as the more sought-after destinations in Italy, so May in Bologna will see less crowds than places like Rome and Venice.
- Parma – home to Parmigiano Reggiano and one of the most beautiful Duomo’s in the region.
- Modena – home to Balsamic Vinegar and the Ferrari Museum.
- Ravenna – home to the most beautiful Byzantine Mosaics that are a must-see.
- Dozza – A small village with an incredible wine shop and art painted on the buildings.
Bologna weather in May?
Located just 30 minutes north of Florence by train, Bologna has a similar climate to Florence. You can expect mild temperatures and some rainstorms here or there.
On average, the high temperatures in Bologna are around 73°F (23°C) and the lows are around 57°F (14°C).
Things to do in Bologna, Italy in May
- Go on a Bologna Food Tour
- Climb the longest portico in the world to San Luca
- Enjoy the views from the Asinelli Tower
- Appreciate the medieval architecture in Piazza Maggiore
- Explore the oldest university in the world
5. Verona in May
Verona is one of the most beautiful cities in northern Italy. We have visited this charming city multiple times and even spent a month there on one occasion.
With fewer crowds and ideal temperatures, Verona in May is a fantastic time to visit.
Surrounded by rolling hills, there are many wonderful things to do in Verona – from visiting stunning churches and unique museums to enjoying memorable sunsets from the hillside. You will love your time in this romantic city, also known as the birthplace of “Romeo and Juliet.”
Additionally, Verona is a great home base for exploring the greater region. Here are a few of our favorite day trips from Verona:
- Lake Garda
Verona weather in May?
With highs of 74°F (23°C) and lows of 54°F (12°C), you can expect nice weather in Verona in May. Since it is still the spring season, plan for potential rain showers in the afternoon.
Things to do in Verona, Italy in May
- Visit the ancient Roman Arena
- Step into literary history at Juliet’s House
- Admire the panoramic view from Catel San Pietro or at the top of Torre dei Lamberti
- Enjoy the spring flowers at the Giusti Garden
6. Milan in May
May is an excellent time to visit Milan, as the city enjoys late spring weather and mild temperatures. It’s an ideal time for exploring the historic sights, vibrant neighborhoods, and fashion districts around the city.
Make sure to enjoy aperitivo outside near the Naviglio canals on a sunny day – it’s one of our favorite things to do in Milan.
Milan weather in May?
Weather in Milan in May is pleasant and warm. Temperatures range from 74°F (23°C) highs and 57°F (14°C) lows. Rainstorms are not uncommon, so you should pack a rain jacket or umbrella just in case.
Things to do in Milan, Italy in May
- See The Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci
- Visit the Duomo and get tickets to climb to the roof
- Shop at the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II
- Aperitivo by the canals
- Visit the stunning Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
7. Tuscany in May
Tuscany is one of Italy’s most idyllic regions, and May is a fantastic time to plan a trip here. With rolling hills, vineyards, charming farmhouses, and quaint villages, no wonder if it’s one of the most sought-after destinations in Europe.
In May, the wildflowers are at their peak in the Tuscan countryside and the vineyards start to turn green. It is a gorgeous time to visit this region and to take a road trip to some of the small towns.
Whether you’re staying in Florence or in one of the smaller towns, here are a few places we recommend visiting in Tuscany:
- San Gimignano
Tuscany weather in May?
Tuscany weather in May greatly varies from the first half of the month to the second half. Expect to see highs ranging from 63°F – 77°F (17°C – 25°C) during early May, and highs of 66°F – 82°F (19°C – 28°C) in late May. In our opinion, this is wonderful weather for exploring the Italian countryside and enjoying the stunning countryside.
8. Turin in May
Located in the northwest corner of Italy, Turin is one of our favorite hidden gems in Italy. Home to historic cafes, elegant buildings, and some of the best chocolate in Italy, Turin in May is a wonderful time of year to visit.
If you’re looking for a unique city escape or want to spend time in a less-touristy Italian destination, then we highly recommend checking out Turin for at least a couple of days.
Turin weather in May?
Weather in Turin in May is cooler compared to the rest of Italy, since it’s located far up north near the mountains. However, you’ll still enjoy nice weather and temperatures ranging from 57°F – 70°F (14°C – 21°C).
Things to do in Turin, Italy in May
- Explore the beautiful Royal Palace of Turin
- Visit the Museo Egizio, an art museum dedicated to Egyption art
- Try some Gianduja chocolate from Caffarel
- Check out the Mole Antonelliana Museum
- Enjoy the views of Turin from the Church of Santa Maria del Monte dei Cappuccini
9. Puglia in May
While Puglia is known for its crystal-clear waters and gorgeous beaches, visiting during the shoulder season is actually one of the best times to visit. With its Mediterranean, dry climate, Puglia is one of the best beach destinations you can visit in Italy in May.
We recently spent time traveling around Puglia during the shoulder season, and there were fewer tourists than in the summer. With temperatures just starting to warm up, you may or may not get to enjoy beach time during your visit in May.
Either way, we recommend taking a road trip and exploring the small towns around the Puglia region. A few of our favorite towns to visit are:
- Polignano a Mare
Puglia weather in May?
The weather in Puglia in May offers wonderful spring weather without melting in the summer heat. It gets pretty hot here during the summer months.
High temperatures average around 74°F (23°C) and low temperatures around 55°F (13°C). Although not very common, you could have a few rainy days in May.
While it’s warm enough to wear summer clothes and short sleeves, we recommend bringing a light jacket for the evenings.
10. Sicily in May
Sicily is the largest island in Italy and in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s also the furthest south you can go in Italy, which means it has moderate temperatures year-round.
Beat the summer crowds and head to Sicily in May. With warm weather, little rain, and a lot of sun, this is the perfect place to go in Europe if you’re looking for a warm spring escape!
May is a wonderful time to experience the Italian culture in Sicily, without all of the high season tourists. Take it slow, wander the streets, and enjoy the true meaning if La Dolce Vita.
Here are a few can’t miss places to visit in Sicily:
Sicily weather in May?
In May, Sicily enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate, sunny days, and mild evenings, making it an Ideal time for both sightseeing and relaxing by the beach.
Average daytime temperatures typically range between 68°F to 77°F (20°C – 25°C). Additionally, the sea temperatures start to warm up in May, so you can take a dip in the sea if you please!
11. Cinque Terre in May
Cinque Terre are five villages that sit on the Ligurian coast. These colorful, charming villages are one of the most popular destinations in Italy and for good reason. With the Mediterranean sea, endless views, and lovely beaches, it has a bit of everything.
Visiting Cinque Terre in May is amazing! During our visit in May, we enjoyed the most perfect temperatures, people were even sunbathing at the beach, and the crowds were slim compared to when we have visited during the high season.
Additionally, the hiking trails should be open in May. Of course, this depends on the weather and if there are rainstorms. Make sure to check the trail status before planning hike.
With all that being said, being one of the most visiting destinations in Italy, we highly recommend making your hotel and restaurant reservations well in advance. While May still isn’t peak travel time, it can get busy and things book up.
Cinque Terre weather in May?
The weather in Cinque Terre in May is ideal or hiking and enjoying the colorful towns. Temperatures typically range from mild to warm, averaging around 72°F (22°C) highs and 58°F (14°C) lows.
Things to do in Cinque Terre, Italy in May
- Enjoy the beach in Monterosso al Mare
- Hike the Vernazza to Corniglia trail
- Experience the sunset in Manarola
- Take in the views in Riomaggiore
12. Amalfi Coast in May
With longer and warmer days, visiting the Amalfi Coast in May is a great idea. May starts the beginning of the peak tourist season along the Amalfi Coast, but it’s not nearly as crowded as June, July, and August.
May is a wonderful time to both enjoy the beaches and do some sightseeing. Towns such as Ravella, Sorrento, Atrani, and Positano are all worth visiting.
Take a boat to Capri for a day trip or hike one of the most popular trails, the Path of the Gods.
Amalfi Coast weather in May?
With highs of 79°F (26°C) and lows of 65°F (18°C), you’re in for an amazing spring vacation in Amalfi Coast in May. While rain is uncommon in May, you could get a few rain showers here and there.
13. Umbria in May
Umbria is a hidden gem located in central Italy. This quieter region is located right next to Tuscany and is just as beautiful as it’s neighbor but with less tourists.
In May, Umbria’s landscapes transform into green hills covered with wildflowers. The temperatures are ideal for enjoying the Italian lakes, such as Lake Trasimeno, or for road tripping around the towns.
Assisi, Orvieto, and Perugia are a few places worth visiting. Stay in a local “agriturismo” or farmhouse and enjoy this calmer season at a slower pace.
Umbria weather in May?
A mix of rain showers and sunshine is to be expected in Umbria in May. Afternoon temperatures are around 70°F (21°C) and evening temperatures are around 47°F (8.3°C).
Cost to Visit Italy in May
You’re probably wondering – Is Italy expensive in May?
May is the beginning of the tourist season, so prices can be somewhat higher than during the off-peak months, but generally lower than the peak summer months of July and August.
For the best hotel rates in May, try visiting earlier in the month or to stay in less-touristy cities, such as Turin, Bologna, and small towns in Umbria.
Trains are usually the same prices year-round. However, we always recommend buying high-speed train tickets at least 3-4 weeks in advance to get the cheapest rate.
Holidays & Festivals in Italy in May
Labor Day (La Festa del Lavoro): Labor Day is a national holiday in Italy celebrated on May 1st. Most people get work off and many museums, restaurants, and other destinations are closed. Transportation around Italy is also limited on this day. Try to avoid traveling on this day if you can.
Festa della Sensa | Venice: This is one of the biggest festivals in Venice that is held annually in May. The event celebrates the age-old relationship between Venice and the sea.
During the celebration, there is a unique ceremony known as the “marriage of the Sea,” where the Mayor of Venice symbolically casts a ring into the lagoon, commemorating Venice’s maritime dominion. Following this is a grand water parade of rowing boats and historic vessels.
If you have the chance to visit Venice during this festival, we highly recommend planning your trip around this important cultural event!
Other holidays and festivals in May in Italy:
|May 1-4, 2024
|Calendimaggio (May Day of Assisi) – A traditional festival that celebrates the arrival of spring.
|May 17-29, 2024
|Infiorata di Noto – A flower festival held in the small town of Noto where carpets of flowers cover the streets.
|Monterosso, Cinque Terre
|May 18, 2024
|Sagra del Limone (Lemon Festival) – An annual festival that celebrates the lemon harvest.
|May 26, 2024
|Vogalonga Regatta – A non-competitive rowing event that covers around 30km (19 miles.
What to wear in Italy in May?
Trying to decide what clothes to pack for Italy in May? It’s important to remember that spring weather can be unpredictable and you may get cooler temperatures and rain on your trip.
- Pack an umbrella, light jacket, rain jacket, a sweater, and some pants for cooler days and evenings.
- For warmer days, bring short sleeve shirts, blouses, dresses, skirts, shorts, sandals, and any other warm-weather clothes you typically weather.
- Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring Italy’s cobblestone streets and historic sights. Don’t forget a pair of sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen for protection against the sun, especially in the more southern regions.
- Additionally, when visiting religious sites, remember to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.
Getting around Italy in May
Whether you rent a car, take the train, or fly from north to south, there are plenty of ways to get around Italy. Here are a few tips to help you easily navigate your way around:
- Train travel in Italy: Taking the train is one of the best and most convenient ways to get around for your trip to Italy. Book your tickets online in advance via Trenitalia.com, the official website for booking train tickets. Download the app for the easiest use. For high-speed trains, try to reserve your tickets at least 3-weeks ahead of time for the best prices.
- Renting a car in Italy: Taking a road trip through Italy in May is a great idea! Especially because the countryside will be beautiful and green. We have rented a car more times than we can count in Italy and it’s one of the best ways to explore some of the more hidden gems in Italy. Rent your car through Discover Cars, our go-to rental car site for Europe, to get the best prices.
- Traveling by air in Italy: There are plenty of airports to get you around Italy. If you’re planning a trip up north (Venice or Milan) and down south (Sicily or Puglia) on the same trip, then flying is the quickest way to get around.
Travel Tips for visiting Italy in May
- Book in advance: May is the start of the tourist season, so it’s wise to book your accommodations, train tickets, and entry tickets to popular attractions in advance to ensure availability. Here are a few sites we recommend booking in advance: Uffizi Gallery & Accademia Gallery (Florence), Vatican Museums, Colosseum and Roman Forum (Rome), The Last Supper (Milan), and St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace (Venice.)
- Pack accordingly: With May still bring the spring season, you’ll have to pack for rain and warm weather. Also, be prepared to pivot plans if needed due to rain.
- Reserve restaurants: Popular restaurants book out. If there is a certain restaurant that you want to eat at, we always recommending calling in advance to make a reservation. Try to call at least one week ahead of time.
- Be prepared for holidays: May 1st is a national holiday in Italy (Labor day), and many businesses, shops, and some tourist attractions may be closed. Plan accordingly, and try to avoid traveling locally on this day.
May in Italy: Frequently Asked Questions
Is May a good month to visit Italy?
Yes, based on our experience, May is a great month to visit Italy. With pleasant weather and fewer crowds, it’s an ideal time to explore both the countryside and the cities before the peak season and heat of the summer.
How hot is Italy in May?
Depending on where you visit, the weather greatly varies. Overall, you’ll experience highs between 60°F – 76°F (16°C – 24°C).
Is Italy crowded in May?
Italy is moderately crowded in May. While it is not as crowded as the peak summer months of July and August, May marks the beginning of the tourist season, attracting a considerable number of visitors. Popular destinations like Rome, Venice, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast might see larger crowds, especially around major tourist attractions.
Are Italian beaches busy in May?
No, the beaches in Italy are not busy in May. You can enjoy the beaches in the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, and in Puglia without the crowds. These regions start to get especially busy starting in late June.
Is Italy rainy in May?
Expect some rainstorms here and there during the month of May, particularly in the first half of he month. Overall, you should expect clear weather for the most part.
Where is the warmest place in Italy in May?
The warmest places to visit in Italy in May are Puglia, Sicily, Amalfi Coast, Rome, and even Tuscany. The southern regions tend to be warmer in May; however, depending on the year, you could experience hot weather up north as well.
More information for your trip to Italy
ITALY TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE
Italy Travel Insurance – Should you get travel insurance for Italy? YES! We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out Safety Wing to find the best plan for you.
Italy Rental Cars – Is it safe to rent a car in Italy? Yes! We’ve rented a car in Italy too many times to count, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.
Italy Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in Italy, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to Italy, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.
Italy Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.