Top five Italian cities to visit in winter

1. Venice

Also called a floating masterpiece, Venice is timeless and a city unlike any other. The Venetian architecture will let you travel back in time as you float through its winding streets, admiring priceless marble buildings, with a tranquil atmosphere of a city very much alive still with artists on every corner, and gondoliers powerful ‘OOOeeee!’, is an experience you won’t forget. 

As Venice tends to be a tourist destination first and foremost, you will rarely find reasonably priced accommodation in the city centre. It is the perfect opportunity to try out a campervan, and explore the outskirts for a  Prices start at £50 / day and will give you the freedom to move around as you wish, not relying on public transport. Find your campervan in Venice here with Yescapa.

Weather in Venice

The weather in Venice is very much a typical humid subtropical climate, letting you discover this fairytale-like city in both the warm summer months or with the crisp and refreshing air of January. Tourists are fewer in winter, allowing for less crowded attractions and off-season hotel prices. 

Winter tends to be rather mild, with an average of 7°C in January and lows which rarely go below 3°C. Discovering Venice in winter is not only more peaceful as crowds will be minimal, but a good deal cheaper allowing for more attractions that you would have in summer. 

What to do in Venice

Gondola tours

Venice’s mild temperature in winter means you will always be able to brace the lagoon and get to experience what walking on water feels like! Gondoliers have for many centuries been Venice’s trademark. You can choose to relax while your guide navigates through the city’s less travelled canals or if you are feeling more adventurous, you can also row your own Venetian boat, an experience you will likely never forget!   You can book your tickets in advance by visiting https://rowvenice.org/ or alternatively, tickets can also be found for a 30 mins gondola ride on various sites. 

Island Hopping

Island hopping will give you the opportunity to visit three different islands in a couple of hours, including activities like a glassblowing factory, a lace production or again the church of Santa Fosca Baptistery. With this half day tour, you will visit the island of Murano, Burano and Torcello without spending too long there, leaving room for plenty of other activities. A tour guide will also offer some crucial historical facts along the way. You will find the visits to each island is just enough time (roughly 40 mins), allowing for some unique photographic opportunities, while you visit some remote areas of the lagoon. 

Having a guide for half a day is a luxury not to be missed, as you’ll be able to focus on what you are visiting and not so much on maps! 

Different tours are available, for three islands or just the two Murano and Burano. Options are available on Venetoinsnide.com starting at €20 per person. 

2. Florence

Yet another Italian city which makes a great winter escape! We recommend visiting Florence in the low season. A Florence city break is something everyone should do at least once in their life. A city full of wonders, which offers both the best museums in the world, along with a social life you’ll wish you could bring home with you.

Weather in Florence

As high season tends to rhyme with crowds of tourists and long queues for museums in the blasting heat, Florence is a perfect destination for winter. The start of December is particularly pleasant, as the weather is dry and sunny, and tourists almost nonexistent

What to do in Florence

Art

Museums, museums, museums! If you are not a fan of the Renaissance, or if you care little for Michelangelo, you are probably not in the right place! Palazzo Degli Uffizi, one of the most thought out edifice ever built; is uniquely U shaped and filled with light.  Over 1500 artworks displayed through the 50 rooms it inhibits, you will get to see masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Giotto and plenty more! There are tickets available allowing you to skip the queue, although if you get there early enough, the queue should be relatively small.

Piazza del Duomo is just as breathtaking and is the essence of the Florentine Renaissance. This is where you will find El Duomo and various local artists, which will make this area as magical during the day as it is at night. When visiting El Duomo, you will also be able to climb up to the top of the Dome, 450 stairs high! The view will be well worth all the effort. Why not indulge in a gelato after?

Wine tour

Apart from all of the divine and culturally rich art history Florence has to offer, no trip would be complete without a trip to the Tuscany countryside. You will get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city and spend the day tasting some of the greatest Chianti the region has to offer. A special tour is available with a departure from Florence, generally from Piazzale Montelungo, Firenze FI, in a small group of 25 people maximum, with your own tour guide and you’ll get to taste some of the finest wines made locally. There are different tours available, but almost all include two wine tours with tastings served with typical side dishes from Tuscany. 

It is also possible to hire a campervan and visit the Tuscany countryside at your own pace, with the freedom of mobility and accommodation all at once. (This may be handy after a couple of glasses of Chianti!). 

3. Naples

Naples is located in the south of Italy more precisely in the Campania region and is home to the still active and world-famous volcano the Vesuvius. Naples has often been described as the masterpiece of Italy, encompassing history, art and architecture and the most divine food Italy has to offer. Naples dates back to 2000  BC and thus its history will be a big part of your stay in Naples. You will find that people are incredibly friendly and will spontaneously and willingly start a conversation about the weather (or anything really) should your level of Italian allows for it. Don’t be shy and give it a go! They tend to live at a slower pace that is typical of southern countries and their carefree attitude is contagious! 

Naples is also connected by ferries to various island around, such as Sardinia, Sicily, which can be interesting if you are planning to stay for a while.  

Weather in Naples

Due to its location, Naples weather is slightly warmer than the rest of Italy, with an average temperature of  15°C in winter, it is a nice upgrade from the weather in England in January!

What to do in Naples

Architecture 

Naples' Architecture will blow your mind! when walking through the city you will almost feel like you are walking through an outdoor museum. Naples is famous for its frescoes, especially the ones located in the ancient ruins, making them Christianity’s oldest frescoes. You will also get the chance to visit two royal palaces and three castles.

Food

The food is another thing Naples tends to do better than most cities in Italy. Due to its fertile soils, and closeness to the sea, Naples has over the centuries, been known for the place where you will find the best homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, or even cup of espresso! You can find the best restaurants by simply wandering through the city and letting your nose and heart guide you. You can also partake in the never-ending debate about who makes the best buffalo mozzarella, Caserta or Paestum… 

Remember, holidays are not a good time for dieting anyway!

4. Sorrento

The place where the lemons grow! Close to Naples, Sorrento is worth discovering on its own, as you will need more than a day trip to do all the activities available. Activities available include: diving, learning about the making of Limoncello, cruises, and fishing trips out to sea. 

Sorrento is also known for the western gateway to the Amalfi, this small southern Italian city lets you explore small villages from southern Italy, with their peculiar architecture and friendly culture. All in all, you’ll have plenty to do in Sorrento!

What to do in Sorrento

Sorrento is compact and you can easily visit the town on foot. This will set a more relaxed tone to your trip, allowing for numerous spontaneous coffee stops and the most scenic passeggiate (stroll). Mt Vesuvius and Naples can be seen from the distance and particularly enjoyed at sunset. 

You can also hire a campervan or motorhome if walking along up vertical streets isn’t your thing! Having your own campervan or renting a campervan from a local in Sorrento, means you can go and explore the surrounding, with all the flexibility in the world. 

Farm tour with tastings, pizza making and Limoncello -

This tour can be easily found online and is a good way to experience life on Italian soil, with stunning views, very different from typical farms. There you will also learn about the making of Limoncello, along with culinary secrets well worth the tour! You will become a true pizzaiolo. 

Explore the Amalfi coast

Organised tours can be booked in advance, where you will visit the Amalfi coast with your own driver. On this full-day escapade, you will explore Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. This can also be done by hiring a campervan should you wish to have more freedom to enjoy the landscape on offer.  


5. Rome

When looking at a map of Italy, Rome is set at the centre of the bootleg shaped country. Capital of the Roman Empire for nearly 360 years, it is now not only the capital city of Italy as we know it, but also holds the Papal State, the Vatican City, making it the capital of two states, with a country within a city. 

Weather in Rome

The weather in Rome is typically European with rather mild winters, although visiting in winter will still have all the advantages of enjoying an almost tourist and sweat-free holiday. Make sure to bring the appropriate clothing to cover yourself from the rain and other unpleasant weather for outdoor visits. 

Visiting the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel or again the Spanish steps is much more enjoyable without the heatwave that can be common in summer. While there are thousands of 

What to do in Rome

Italy is famous for its museums and Rome is no exception. The most famous probably being the Cappella Sistina (The Sistine Chapel).

The Sistine chapel

This enormous chapel, built over 500 years ago, holds some of Michelangelo’s best work. This Renaissance masterpiece welcomes in average 10 000 visitors per day, sometimes up to 20 000 in peak season. Although you will be in close proximity to other visitors, the magic this monument has to offer, along with the unique artwork and history combined, makes it one of the most worthwhile experience Rome has to offer in terms of art. 

The Coliseum

This historical masterpiece, known worldwide, attract billions of tourists each year. It goes without saying that it is much more enjoyable in the low season, and December seems like a perfect fit. Queues are so much more bearable and the heat won’t keep you from admiring the grandness this building has to offer. You can combine visiting the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Palatin. Visiting the three takes about 3 hours and you can easily find tickets online beforehand. This pass will also let you skip the queue which can be nice if you want to make the most if your day. Be aware that access to these sites can have a lot of stairs and not all of the three are wheelchair accessible. 

Wherever you are planning to visit (especially if you wish to do a road trip of all five cities) you can book your campervan or motorhome hire in Italy today via Yescapa!