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Winter in Italy


Due to the variety in its terrain, the weather in Italy in winter isn’t identical. The portion of Italy that borders France, Switzerland, Slovenia and Austria tends to have a warmer winter than other parts of Italy though there is some rain. The winter is mildest in the areas around Lake Maggiore, Como and Garda.

The Po Valley and Northern Italian Plain on the other hand experience snow and fog. The bora, strong gusty winds which brings very cold air from central Europe, blows in the area around Trieste making for very cold days.

The islands and the Italian peninsula get a combination of the winter in the previous two, though definitely milder than in the Po Valley. Cold, cloudy and rainy in unpredictable patterns is the weather in the coastal areas while the areas higher up are cold, wet and snowy.

This overall cloudy and wet weather leads to fewer visitors to Italy in the winter. It does make for lower travelling costs and a better feel for what the Italians are really like as local activities come to the fore since there are very few tourists to entertain.

The winter may have closed the resorts for the season but the cities come alive as the weather cools. The restaurants and bars are open and there are many Christmas markets out in the open.

The weather does not change the taste of the great Italian dishes. If anything the warmth of the kitchens are an even stronger attraction than usual. The smell of chestnuts roasting fills the kitchens. Pizza is absolutely delicious, no matter what the weather.

In fact if you’d like to learn how to cook Italian food, winter is the perfect time to take a cooking tour. There is absolutely nothing like learning Italian cooking from one of the masters in their hometown.

If you’d like to enjoy some winter sports, the Dolomites are the place for you to be. Go skiing on the slopes of the Italian Alps and when you are ready, have a cozy and leisurely lunch in the chateau. The air in Italy is festive at this time of year.

You will find life size nativity scenes everywhere. Presepi or nativity cribs can be seen in various churches. In fact, there is a competition among the churches in an area as to which of them will have the best presepi. Since Italy is a city of artisans it is hard to tell because all are beautiful. You can purchase all the figures you need to create your own nativity scene for your home.

If you are planning to be in Rome for Christmas, you won’t want to miss the Papal Midnight Mass at the Vatican. You will need to get tickets in advance as they are taken up quickly.

Since Christmas is also considered the season for giving, you may want to buy some presents. You won’t have to go far since the streets are filled with stalls selling many items to give as presents.

Italian winters may not be full of warm weather but they are filled with the warmth of the Italians. It is a great time to visit Italy.

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