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Many travellers and tourists fall into the trap of thinking that Italy peaks in the summer. However, when winter comes around and the crowds die down there are some truly extraordinary things you can see and do.

Spending winter in Italy may not be something you’ve previously considered, but the country is just as spectacular at this time of year as it is over summer (maybe even more so!). So, take a look at some of the wonderful events and experiences you can attend, making your winter break to Italy unforgettable.

Take a Cooking Class

Italy is famous for its delicious food and fine wine, and taking an authentic cooking class will open your mind and taste buds to some sensational flavours.

Take a cooking class from a local chef and learn how to replicate some of the most exquisite Italian dishes at home. This is a great activity to do if the weather isn’t on your side, as you can escape the harsh weather whilst still enjoying your holiday.

Italian Cooking

Stay in Dream Accommodation

Winter is the perfect season to travel in as the majority of airlines drop their prices. You can then use your saved money to stay at a luxury boutique hotel, right in the heart of Rome.

A popular choice is the Casa Montani, which is only a 15-minute walk from the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Saint Peters.

Head to the Theatre

Purchasing a ticket for the theatre in Italy is one of the smartest moves you can make. You will not only escape the cold but will also get the opportunity to view some of the most unique shows in Europe.

Italian theatres are famous for their astonishing beauty and architecture, but be sure to do your research as some theatres only open in the seasonal months.

Attractions

In the summer season, Rome is incredibly busy. Tourists flock to popular historic attractions, and it is almost impossible to take in the beauty of these structures. However, winter brings a whole different atmosphere to the city.

Popular places like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the Sistine Chapel are noticeably quieter, which means you will be able to enjoy the view without getting lost in the crowds.

Rome colosseum

Visit A Winery

For the self-proclaimed wine enthusiast, visiting a winery may be the perfect winter activity for you. The grape harvest would have just finished but the cellars are now full of new-born bottles. Enthusiastic owners will love to show off their new creations to you on your visit.

Enjoy the Mountains

If you would like to indulge in some winter sport, then head to the mountains. Italy is a peninsula and this makes for beautiful scenery. However, having two of the higher mountains chains in Europe makes the winter even better.

You can explore the Alps and Apennines and try out skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, and trekking. There are more than 400 Italian ski areas throughout the country.

Snow Mountains

Take Your Time in a Museum

Visiting a museum can be an extraordinary experience, even more so when in a country with as much cultural heritage and history as Italy.

Hosting 2/3 of the worlds artistic heritage, it’s no wonder the museums here are always packed during peak season. In winter, crowds are considerably reduced making your visit peaceful and relaxed.

Italy is one place you must visit in your lifetime as it is full of rustic charm, delicious food and a fantastic atmosphere, which can be better enjoyed in the winter months. So, it is definitely time to start planning that last-minute winter break!

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

    18 Comments

  1. I love off-season travel. Europe is great in wintertime – much better than hot crowded summer!

    • Amen to that! With you 100% :)

  2. I’ve just come back from Cortina – so I can vouch for the Italian Mountains in winter. And I love taking cookery classes when I’m travelling. I also rather like visiting busy cities like Florence out of season – so much easier to get into the museums and galleries

    • Absolutely – winter in Italy has so much going for it, and it’s so fabulous to be able to experience the city as a local once the main crowds depart.

      Hope you had a fabulous time in Cortina :)

  3. I love love love Italy… i definitely wanna visit a winery and live in a dream hotel… Great post and lovely photos… Thanks for sharing with us…It’s such a useful post :-)

    • Thanks Hra, so glad you enjoyed the post! And, Italy being so close to Greece maybe you could plan for a visit soon :)

  4. South of Europe is a year-round destination. In winter, it gets cold, but not as cold as the northern countries. It’s way less crowded than during summer and the local social life is still on! Txs for sharing this :)

    • Absolutely Joan – enjoying the local social life is one of the big draws for us – we really love being able to immerse ourselves once the main slew of tourists have left :)

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

  5. I’m wanting to experience a cooking class and this gave me the idea of off season would be the ideal time to try this. I agree, museums work all year long, but are especially interesting in the colder time of year.

    • Absolutely – off season is fantastic, because the lack of tourism usually means a more immersive and hands on experience with more personal attention from the instructor. And yes, we love exploring museums in the winter time. Great way to escape the cold, and skip the summer queues.

      Hope you have the chance to travel soon :)

  6. Visiting a place with a real winter is quite an attraction for me as I live in a tropical climate. I’ve been to several places in winter but never Italy. Love your suggestions and I will definitely consider Italy when planning my next winter trip.

    • I’m in Australia, and our seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere, so a white Christmas has always held appeal. I love experiencing real winter too because it’s so different to what we get here. It’s cold without the decency of snow lol!

      Definitely consider Italy for your next winter trip :)

  7. Oh gosh yeah for sure! I was in Milan in the Winter last year and failed to visit the Alps right up north and regretting my decision bitterly. The scenery in The Dolomites looks absolutely incredible in Winter!

    • Sounds like you have the perfect excuse for a return trip!

  8. I’d definitely take a cooking class! I love to cook and would enjoy a class based on a specific region or country. After all the cooking and eating, I’d probably need to stay in a dream accommodation because I wouldn’t be able to move. Great tips for the winter break!

    • Haha the combination of cooking, eating and then retiring in luxury is a pretty good one!

  9. Thanks for the article. I am considering a winter trip for a month or two. Want to return to Montepulciano, but researching so areas with more temperate weather. Any recommdations that are special in Southern Italy?

    • Hi Patty, exciting that you’ll be heading back to Italy! My favorite country :) For temperate weather during winter, have you thought of Sicily? It’s probably the best weather you’ll find in Italy during winter and is an incredible destination :)

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