weather in Italy in May: your essential travel guide

Weather in Italy in May: Your Essential Travel Guide

Planning to visit Italy in May? This guide covers all you need to know about the weather in Italy in May and much more.

Leveraging thorough research, personal experiences, and tourist feedback, we offer a comprehensive weather-tailored guide for Italy in May. Our analysis ensures dependable and authentic travel expectations.

This guide goes beyond weather patterns. It integrates crucial aspects such as recommended places to visit, what to wear, as well as events specific to May in Italy.

Weather in Italy in May: What to Expect

The weather in Italy in May is usually quite pleasant, making it a great time to explore this beautiful country.

In May, Italy starts to warm up nicely with the arrival of spring. The average temperature ranges from 14°C to 25°C (57°F to 77°F).

The southern parts of Italy, including cities like Rome and Naples, are usually warmer than the northern regions like Milan or Venice. So, if you’re a fan of warmer weather, the South might be the place for you!

Rainfall during May can vary. Northern Italy tends to be a bit wetter, with an average of 7-10 rainy days in the month. Southern Italy, on the other hand, is usually drier, with about 4-6 rainy days. So, it might be a good idea to pack a light raincoat or umbrella, just in case.

Average Temperatures in Italy in May

LocationHighLowAvg. Rainy Days
Northern Italy72°F / 22°C57°F / 14°C7 rainy days
Central Italy75°F / 24°C59°F / 15°C7 rainy days
Southern Italy77°F / 25°C59°F / 15°C4 rainy days
CityHighLowAvg. Rainy Days
Milan72°F / 22°C55°F / 13°C8 rainy days
Venice72°F / 22°C57°F / 14°C8 rainy days
Florence74°F / 23°C55°F / 13°C8 rainy days
Rome75°F / 24°C57°F / 14°C6 rainy days
Naples75°F / 24°C57°F / 14°C4 rainy days
Palermo75°F / 24°C59°F / 15°C5 rainy days

One of the best things about Italy in May is the amount of sunshine you’ll get. Expect around 10-12 hours of daylight with 7-8 hours of sunshine each day. This gives you plenty of time to explore Italy’s stunning landscapes, historical sites, and delicious cuisine.

In conclusion, May is a fantastic time to visit Italy. The weather is warm but not too hot, and the longer daylight hours give you plenty of time to explore.

Just remember to pack some light layers for the cooler evenings and a raincoat for those occasional showers. Enjoy your trip!

Planning a trip to Italy? Read our guide to the 21 safest cities in Italy for travelers for a worry-free trip.

Should You Visit Italy in May?

weather in Italy in May: Colosseum, Rome

Pondering a trip to Italy in May? This section will provide valuable insights to help you make that decision.

Reasons to Visit Italy in May

Visiting Italy in May is a fantastic idea for several reasons. Firstly, the weather is simply delightful. The warm, sunny days are perfect for exploring beautiful cities, countryside, and coastlines. Plus, the longer daylight hours mean you have more time to enjoy all the sights and experiences Italy has to offer.

Secondly, May is a time of numerous early-summer festivals and events. These provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Italy’s rich culture and traditions. You can enjoy everything from food and wine festivals to music and art events while soaking up the vibrant Italian atmosphere.

Another advantage of visiting Italy in May is that it’s less crowded with tourists. This is before the high season in June kicks in so that you can explore popular destinations more leisurely.

However, it’s worth noting that weekends can be busier and more expensive as locals also enjoy exploring their country. Visiting popular destinations on weekdays is recommended to avoid crowds and higher prices.

In conclusion, May is a great time to visit Italy. With its warm weather, long days, numerous festivals, and fewer tourists, you can enjoy a more relaxed and authentic Italian experience.

Reasons Not to Visit Italy in May

Despite the many attractions, there could be some downsides to visiting Italy in May. Let’s explore those potential challenges.

May marks the start of the peak tourist season in Italy. This means that popular tourist spots could be crowded, and you may find yourself spending more time in lines than actually enjoying the attractions.

In addition to the crowds, the start of the peak season also means a surge in prices. Accommodation and transportation costs tend to increase during this time, which could significantly inflate your travel budget. If you want to save money, visiting Italy in May might not be the most economical choice.

Lastly, while the daytime temperatures in May are generally warm and pleasant, the evenings can still be quite cool. This means you’ll need to pack warm clothing such as jackets and sweaters, which could add to your luggage and make your trip less convenient.

What to Wear in Italy in May

Packing the right clothes when planning a trip to Italy in May is important. The weather during this time is typically warm and sunny, but it can also be unpredictable, with occasional rain showers. Therefore, it’s best to pack a mix of light clothing and a few warmer items.

During the day, you can wear light clothing like T-shirts, shorts, or dresses. Bringing a light jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings is also a good idea. If you’re planning to visit religious sites, remember to dress modestly. This means covering your shoulders and knees.

Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes. Italy is known for its cobblestone streets, and you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking. A sturdy pair of sneakers or comfortable sandals are a must.

Lastly, don’t forget to pack a raincoat or umbrella. May is known for occasional rain showers in Italy, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared.

Recommended Reading: 135 Basic Italian Phrases for Travel (with a handy PDF Cheat Sheet)

Where to Go and What to Do in Italy in May

Here are some of the best activities to do and places to visit in Italy in May, when the weather is warm and pleasant, perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

1. Sightseeing

Rome: Explore the ancient ruins of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. May is ideal as the weather is comfortable for walking around these vast sites.

Related Reading: Tour Rome by Golf Cart: Best Private Tours

Florence: Visit the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo. The city is less crowded in May, making it a perfect time to enjoy Renaissance art and architecture.

2. Wine Tasting

Tuscany: Enjoy wine tasting in the beautiful vineyards of Tuscany. The weather in May is perfect for exploring the countryside and savoring the local wines.

Related Reading: Best Vespa Tours from Florence: Discover Tuscany’s Beauty

3. Hiking

Cinque Terre: Hike the scenic trails of Cinque Terre. The weather in May is ideal for hiking, and the coastal views are breathtaking.

4. Boat Tour

Lake Como: Embark on a boat tour across Lake Como. The delightful weather in May provides the perfect condition for this venture and serves as a fantastic means to appreciate the stunning architecture surrounding the lake.

Related Reading: 10 Best Things To Do In Lake Como, Italy for a Perfect Gateway

5. Beach Activities

Amalfi Coast: Unwind on the stunning beaches of the Amalfi Coast. With the arrival of May, the weather begins to turn warm, offering a great time for basking in the sun and taking a refreshing swim.

Holidays and Closures in Italy in May

Here are the significant dates in Italy during the month of May that could potentially affect your travel plans due to closures and celebrations.

May 1: Labor Day

This is a national holiday in Italy, similar to many other countries around the world. Most businesses, including shops and some restaurants, will be closed. Public transportation may also be limited. It’s a day when Italians celebrate workers’ rights and achievements.

Ascension Day (40 days after Easter, usually in May)

This is a Christian holiday that commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven. While it’s not a public holiday, it’s widely observed in Italy, particularly in the Vatican City. Some businesses and attractions may have reduced hours or be closed.

Pentecost (50 days after Easter, usually in May)

This is another Christian holiday, marking the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. Again, while it’s not a public holiday, it’s widely observed in Italy, particularly in the Vatican City. Some businesses and attractions may have reduced hours or be closed.

Last Sunday of May – Mother’s Day

While not a public holiday, it’s widely celebrated across Italy. Restaurants may be busier than usual as families go out to celebrate.

Recommended Reading: 10 Italian Mother’s Day Quotes That Will Touch Your Heart

Remember, these dates can affect the opening hours of attractions, shops, and restaurants and may also affect public transportation schedules. It’s always a good idea to check ahead when planning your itinerary.

Festivals and Events in Italy in May

Infiorata di Noto (Image:


In May, the country comes alive with a plethora of popular and well-known festivities. Here are six of the most established events.

1. Infiorata di Noto (Noto)

Held on the third Sunday of May, this enchanting flower festival transforms the streets of Noto, a Sicily UNESCO World Heritage site, into a vibrant tapestry of floral art.

Skilled artists create intricate and colorful designs using petals and other natural materials, resulting in breathtaking temporary masterpieces.

2. Festa della Sensa (Venice)

This ancient tradition takes place on the first Sunday after Ascension Day and commemorates the symbolic marriage between Venice and the sea.

The highlight of the festival is the “Marriage of the Sea” ceremony, where the mayor of Venice throws a gold ring into the water to symbolize the bond between the city and its maritime heritage.

Suggested Reading: Day Trip to Venice from Florence: Discover the magic of Venice in one day.

3. Calendimaggio (Assisi)

Celebrated in the charming town of Assisi, Calendimaggio is a medieval festival that brings the Middle Ages back to life.

The event features historical reenactments, processions, music, and traditional games, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the region.

4. Cantine Aperte (Various Locations)

Wine enthusiasts flock to Italy in May to participate in Cantine Aperte, an open-cellars event that allows visitors to explore the country’s renowned wineries.

From Tuscany to Piedmont, this festival offers wine tastings, vineyard tours, and the opportunity to meet winemakers, making it a must-attend event for wine lovers.

5. Festival of Sant’Efisio in Cagliari, Sardinia

This colorful and lively festival takes place from May 1st to the 4th. It commemorates the martyrdom of Saint Efisio with a grand procession featuring traditional costumes, horse-drawn carriages, and religious relics. The Festival of Sant’Efisio uniquely blends religious devotion, folklore, and Sardinian traditions.

6. Giro d’Italia (Various Locations)

As one of the most prestigious cycling races in the world, the Giro d’Italia attracts both professional cyclists and passionate fans.

The race takes place over three weeks, with stages traversing breathtaking landscapes and iconic cities across Italy, showcasing the country’s natural beauty and sporting prowess.

Weather in Italy in May FAQ

Have any lingering questions about the weather conditions in Italy during May? This section should address your questions.

Is May a Good Time to Visit Italy?

Indeed, May is a good time to visit Italy. The weather is warm and sunny, there are numerous early-summer festivals and events, and it’s less crowded with tourists compared to the high season in June.

However, weekends can be busier and more expensive, so visiting popular destinations on weekdays is recommended.

Is Italy Crowded in May?

Yes, Italy tends to be quite crowded in May. This is the start of the high season, with numerous late-spring and early-summer events attracting many visitors.

Additionally, the pleasant weather allows for outdoor activities such as sunbathing in Southern Italy, further increasing the number of tourists.

How Much Does it Rain in Italy in May?

In Italy, the average rainfall in May generally varies from about 0.6 inches (15mm) to approximately 5.7 inches (145mm). The average number of rainy days in this month is around 7.

Is it Humid in Italy in May?

Italy can be somewhat humid in May, but it varies by region. Coastal areas and Northern Italy tend to be more humid than the inland and Southern regions.

What Should I Wear in Italy in May?

When traveling to Italy in May, pack light, breathable clothes like t-shirts, shorts, or dresses for warm, sunny days.

Include a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, covering shoulders and knees.

Comfortable footwear is essential due to Italy’s cobblestone streets. Pack a raincoat or umbrella for unexpected showers.

Consider including a few chic items in your luggage to fit in with Italy’s fashionable locals.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a foodie, Italy in May has something for everyone.

Keep in mind that the information for the weather in Italy in May is based on historical data, so it’s always a good idea to check the forecast closer to your trip. Enjoy Italy!

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