Winter is truly a magical time of year. It is a time when the world turns a complete 180 and changes landscapes in many parts of the world. Italy is no exception to the drastic change that happens every year. But what is truly magical about Italy is that the weather can vary depending on where you are in the country. The closer to the coast, the milder the weather will be. The closer inland you go, the colder it will be. There are many benefits to traveling to Italy during the winter, the colder season tends to be a slow time for tourism in Italy where lines to attractions and museums will often be much shorter or even non-existent. Travel expenses to Italy are also dramatically cheaper at this time of year.
Not sure what to do in Italy during the winter time? Here are our top picks of things to see and do in one of Europe’s best loved destinations.
1. Go Skiing
Sestriere, Italy was the location of the 2006 Winter Olympics and is tucked away in the Piedmont region. Those who want to try their hand at skiing and snowboarding in a new country, Sestriere is the place to do it. With a wide variety of slopes of varying difficulty levels, beginners and experts are both welcome.
2. Stay Indoors
Because the tourism market is slower during the winter time, lines to get into some of the worlds most famous museums are dramatically reduced, sometimes eliminated. Especially in the Vatican City, tourists may end up waiting hours in line just to get a glimpse of the Sistine Chapel. If getting a glimpse of the Pope is on your agenda, the Vatican conducts many papal ceremonies during winter. Keep in mind that museums will close earlier during the winter months however.
3. Take In the Culture
Italy is also known for hosting some of the most famous and best loved talents in the arts. Even if you are staying in one of the most beautiful hotels in Venice, when you’re in a new country you need to go out and experience it! Italy has some of the most beautiful symphonies and theatre productions in existence. From music to acting, even if you don’t speak Italian it’s well worth dabbling in the country’s culture scene at this time of year.
4. Festivals and Ice Skating
The winter time is not only a time for colder weather and snow, but also for festivals with religious traditions. Between the holidays, and Carnevale (think Mardi Gras but with more masks and less beads), there are many festivals happening all over the country that are worth being checked out. Also, Rome remains a special place year round, but during the winter, the city transforms into a true wonderland. During the holidays, the city is lit up with Christmas lights, vendors, street musicians, and delicious warm foods. If you’re looking for something more active, the Piazza di Spagna is home to an outdoor ice skating rink. Rome isn’t the only city with an ice skating rink during winter, the Tuscan city of Florence also has one by the Piazza della Liberta, and Venice has one in Campo San Polo.
Regardless of your tastes or preferences, not only is traveling to Italy a good idea economically (due to the lower costs of travel and accommodation), but there also plenty of things to do that rival the conventional summer attractions too!