Spending a long weekend in Italy gives you enough time to explore the country’s most beautiful places, from the historic cities of Venice and Florence to the picturesque island of Sicily and the scenic rolling hills of Tuscany. As a country that offers everything you could ever wish for in a holiday, Italy will leave you with a weekend break you’ll remember forever.
Below, check out our guide to long weekend breaks in Italy.
When is the Best Time to Visit Italy?
The colder season is the best time to travel to Italy for a long weekend break, as there are fewer tourists and the weather is comfortable and sunny. The weather in Italy varies according to season and location. While the country has a Mediterranean climate, the boot-shaped geography means that when the hilly region is snowing, Rome and other southern cities may simply be very cold.
Winter is the best time to visit Italy if you want to spend your weekend enjoying winter sports. In addition, many of the big cities are quieter and don’t have the busy tourist crowds. The winter months are also the best time to visit the Dolomites and explore the rugged terrains of the Alps. You’ll also love the festive atmosphere in Rome or Florence, where nativity scenes and Christmas trees drape the streets.
Summer in Italy means basking in the glorious sunshine and feeling the warmth of golden rays on your skin. The weather transforms into a symphony of bright skies and soft breezes, ideal for relaxing days on sun-kissed beaches, exploring fascinating streets, or drinking a rich espresso outside a quaint café bathed in sunlight. The lively energy of summer dominates every area as temperatures rise, urging you to savour the season’s glorious warmth and indulge in the sun-soaked beauty that Italy generously delivers.
Whether you choose winter or summer for your long weekend holiday in Italy, you will find various joys ranging from the attraction of snow-draped landscapes to the sun-soaked appeal of the Mediterranean, providing a great getaway regardless of the season.
Plan Your Excursions
When planning your weekend break in Italy, consider the excursions you wish to take. Being one of the world’s top tourist destinations, you’ll find plenty of amazing tours to book around Italy, a great way to make the most of your long weekend here. Depending on your interests, you can book an excursion centred around the historical sites of Rome, a walking tour of the colourful towns along the Amalfi Coast, or a visit to Tuscany’s top wineries.
Those who love nature and are fond of outdoor adventures may want to book a hiking excursion to Lake Como. Organised by experienced local guides, it will take you to discover the lush forests around the lake and some picturesque villages to immerse in the local culture.
A cycling excursion is another option for those who want to discover the great outdoors of Italy. Consider a cycling excursion to the Dolomites, offering an unparalleled outdoor adventure. The mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring remarkably stunning and unique landscape scenery.
Where to Stay in Italy
Italy is a vast country with numerous places to explore. If you need ideas on where to stay, refer below for the best places to stay in Italy.
- Rome – renowned for its classical ruins and historic sites, Rome is an ideal place to stay in Italy for those who love history. Aside from discovering buildings from Renaissance times, you can spend your days checking out quirky shops and neighbourhood trattorias. Some of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Rome are Trastevere, San Giovanni, and Piazza Navona.
- Milan – considered Italy’s fashion and design capital, Milan is the best place to stay in Italy if you want to spend your long weekend browsing through scores of shops and boutiques, dining at fancy Italian restaurants, or exploring Italy’s most fascinating sites. Some of the best areas to stay in Milan are the Brera neighbourhood, near the Duomo, or in Porta Nuova.
- Florence – as the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is an incredible place to stay for lovers of art and architecture. Home to fantastic museums and art galleries, it boasts a vibrant dining and nightlife scene. The best areas to stay in Florence for your long weekend trip are Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, and San Marco.
Book Your Activities
There are plenty of great things to do in Italy, which makes it a top destination for long weekend breaks. Many people book cycling holidays in Italy, as they are a great way to explore the outdoors on a shorter break here. Whatever activities you wish to do, be sure to book them ahead, especially if you’re visiting during the peak season. Aside from cycling, here are the other fun activities to do on your weekend trip to Italy.
- Tour the ancient sites of Rome – spend your weekend discovering the ancient sites of Rome. A guided tour of the city’s most iconic landmark will take you deeper into the city’s history.
- Book a boat tour in Lake Como – surrounded by mountains covered in lush greenery, Lake Como is a fascinating place to explore on a boat. You’ll pass through beautiful villages home to lavish villas surrounded by magnificent gardens.
- Ride a gondola in Venice – if you want to spend your long weekend in Venice, be sure to book a gondola ride, where you explore along the Grand Canal, passing by the Rialto Bridge and the Doge’s Palace.
- Hike Cinque Terre – if you want to spend your long weekend hiking, visit Cinque Terre. Your hike will reward you with spectacular coastal views and picturesque villages. Walk the cliff path connecting some of the region’s most beautiful towns, such as the trail from Monterosso to Riomaggiore.
- Explore Mount Etna – those heading to the island of Sicily for their weekend trip should take the chance to visit Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano. You can join a tour or explore by yourself. If you’re not into climbing mountains, ride the Funivia dell’Etna cable car to take you to the top, from where you can hike further or take a bus.
What to Pack for a Weekend in Italy
Don’t forget to pack everything you need for your weekend trip to Italy to guarantee an enjoyable trip. The things to pack for a weekend in Italy will depend on a number of factors, such as the time of the year and the weather conditions or the activities you wish to do.
Here’s a packing list to serve as your guide.
- Hiking Shoes
- Sandals or flipflops
- Light Shirt
- Waterproof Jacket
- Day bag
- Water bottle
- Portable charger
- European travel Adapter