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What to expect when travelling to Italy in summer 2023

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What to expect when travelling to Italy in summer 2023
The Amalfi Coast is a popular summer holiday destination for foreign visitors to Italy. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP.

From weather forecasts to transport strikes, here's what to consider when planning a trip to Italy this summer.


Covid travel restrictions are a thing of the past these these days, so travellers to Italy no longer need to worry about making sure their health certificate is up to date or locating the nearest test provider to their hotel.

But if you're planning a trip to Italy this summer, there are still a few things to be aware of. From climate conditions to planning for the crowds, here's what you should know.

Transport strikes

Flight delays and train cancellations are unfortunately not unusual during summer in Italy, and quite often you'll find it's because of strike action.

A series of strikes have hit Italy's transport sector in recent months, and they're set to continue for some time. A 24-hour airport staff strike is planned for Sunday, June 4th, and further walkouts are anticipated throughout the summer.

Workers across the country are protesting low wages and job insecurity amid soaring inflation, including transport staff, from airline workers and airport ground staff to bus, tram, metro and train personnel.

READ ALSO: Why are there so many transport strikes in Italy?

That means travel in and out of Italy, as well as within the country, is likely to be disrupted in early summer.

However, Italy's strike laws mean industrial action affecting the transport sector must be paused during the peak summer travel period from the end of July to the beginning of September.

Woman in front of departure board at Fiumicino airport in Rome

Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP


Italy is known abroad as a warm and sunny summer holiday destination, but anyone visiting in the hottest months needs to be aware of the likelihood of extreme temperatures plus the increasing frequency of storms and wildfires in the country.


The summer of 2022 was Europe's hottest in recorded history, and Italy sweltered under a series of intense heatwaves which, while extreme heat and humidity pose a risk to health in themselves, also led to a high number of devastating wildfires and a record drought.

READ ALSO: No more 'dolce vita': How extreme weather could change Italian tourism forever

So can we expect to see a repeat of last year's extreme temperatures in 2023?

So far, spring has been unseasonably wet and stormy spring this year, with heavy rain causing deadly flooding in the northeast in mid-May.

As summer begins, meteorologists say Italy can expect temperatures of around 1.5C to 2C above average in June and July.


Like last year, a series of heatwaves caused by African anticyclones are expected to make their way towards Europe, creating particularly hot and humid conditions throughout the summer months.

If you're planning a beach holiday, this may not affect your plans - but if you want to spen time exploring towns and cities, you'll want to make sure you pack accordingly and take plenty of precautions against heat stroke.

Temperatures are expected to soar in Italy in the coming months.

Temperatures are expected to soar in Italy in the coming months. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP.

Shop closures and empty cities

Every August, Italy's cities effectively shut down and its inhabitants empty out as everyone escapes the heat and heads for the beach or mountains.

Of course, things don't come to a complete halt - you'll still find some shops, restaurants and cafes open. But most employers give their staff the month off, as it's simply too hot to work effectively.

READ ALSO: Ferragosto: Why the long August holidays are untouchable for Italians

That means that if you book a holiday in Rome or Florence in August, it's mostly other foreign tourists you'll be rubbing shoulders with.

Expect to see Chiuso per ferie ('Closed for the holidays') signs everywhere you go, and don't plan on getting anything done.


That said, if you come in June or July, you can look forward to outdoor film screenings, concerts, and festivals in the evenings; and even heading into August you'll still find some nighttime events scheduled.

Packed beaches and hiking destinations

Are you planning on spending your summer holiday in Italy on the beach? So is every resident Italian - or at least, they are if you go in August. July is less packed, and late June/early September is the best time to avoid the crowds.

The same holds true for popular mountain destinations like the Dolomites in the Italian Alps: expect to share your day-hike of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo with hundreds, if not thousands, of other holidaymakers if you go in August.

READ ALSO:  The Italian beaches you might want to avoid this summer

If you want to avoid the crowds, be prepared to do your research.

You'll never find a totally deserted beach, but you can find out which ones get the most packed.

Check out our recommendations of which beaches on the Italian coastline are best avoided - and where to go instead.

You'll want to know which beaches to go to avoid the crowds in August in Italy. Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

When it comes to popular hikes, your best bet is to get as early a start as possible. If you hit the trail by around 7 or 8, you'll get those mountain views almost to yourself - and be done for the day by lunchtime.

(Almost) no Covid rules

There are no longer any Covid-based travel restrictions in Italy, or national requirements for visitors to be vaccinated or wear masks in almost all situations. But that doesn't mean there are no rules at all.

While Italy's new government has not made any official announcements recently about Covid-related rules, an outgoing health hinistry official told press that a requirement for people who test positive for Covid to quarantine for five days, or until they test negative - whichever happens sooner - remains in place.


Italy's other remaining Covid rule - that masks be worn in certain areas of hospitals and residential care facilities - was renewed on May 1st; so anyone visiting a friend or family member in hospital should come equipped with a mask.

READ ALSO: Has Italy still got any Covid rules in place?

Individual businesses and venues can also still require visitors to wear masks as an entry requirement, although this is now rare.

It's not uncommon, however, to see some people on public transport or in shops or at movie screenings choose to mask up as an extra safety precaution.


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