Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Looking for advice on best months to travel to Italy and England/Ireland 2025

Looking for advice on best months to travel to Italy and England/Ireland 2025

Old Mar 21st, 2024, 04:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Looking for advice on best months to travel to Italy and England/Ireland 2025

Hello everyone,
Most of our reservations are made for Australia/New Zealand for this October/November, so I am now thinking ahead to 2025. I am 74 and my husband is 77, so we want to do as much international traveling as possible in the next few years. So we are planning on 2 or 3 month-long trips per year. I admit I am getting anxious about how many traveling years we have ahead of us especially for international travel. Hopefully, at least 5 more years but one never knows.

So, for 2025 we are planning on 4-5 weeks in Northern Italy and 4-5 weeks in England and Ireland. I want to maximize the best time of year to travel regarding weather. We don't want to travel in scorching heat but we also don't enjoy chilly rainy weather either. I know one can never predict what the weather will be from year to year. But honestly, I think I have been blessed by the weather Gods! We have had perfect or near-perfect weather in all of our trips over the decades, with the exception of some chilly rainy weather in Nova Scotia in June one year. Otherwise, we have been very lucky with weather. Greece in May was glorious; Scotland in June was spectacular; and Croatia in September was perfect, to name a few. I hope I can continue replicating that!

The months I am thinking of are May, or June, and/or September. We won't go to Italy in June because I know it will be too hot and crowded. I've been following lrice's thread on Italy, and was convinced May is best for Italy. Then I re-read denisea's TR from London from last May, and London looks gorgeous with all the flowers in bloom. Will the flowers be blooming in June and September in London and other parts of England? Will September be too hot and too crowded for Italy? Is Ireland's weather similar to England? All things considered, weather is our #1 priority and then crowds or lack thereof is our second consideration.

I would love to hear everyone's viewpoints and personal experiences. Obviously, I know the weather varies from year to year and from hour to hour.

Thank you!
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2024, 07:14 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 596
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Karen,
What exciting adventures you have planned!
We had absolutely perfect weather in Ireland in the last 2 weeks of May 2022. We had some pouring down rain on the day we arrived and some nighttime showers but that was it. It was 60-75 degrees and sunny. When we got home, we checked the weather in Ireland and it was rainy for a week, so you never know. One of the things we liked about May, was that the crowds hadn't arrived yet, and it made Killarney delightful. A few weeks later there was record heat in Ireland and many accommodations there don't have A/C so that is a consideration.

We were in Italy for 2 weeks starting on October 8, 2023 and our first 3 days were in Lake Como and were in the mid 80s which was a little warm for us. It cooled down the rest of our trip to about 75 and we didn't have any rain.
Tuscany was very pretty this time of year with the mature grapes and the fall colors, but the rolling hills were brown and not the fresh green that they would be in spring. Tuscany was our favorite, so beautiful and restful, and hiring a driver for a day made it perfect.
When we were in Florence, it was still pretty crowded, and our walking tour guide said the season had started in February and she was booked through the rest of the year. Florence had record heat last summer, the week before we were there it was still 90.
We also visited CT and really enjoyed it, mostly because we spent 2 nights and could enjoy it without the crowds in the morning and evening. It was a little crowded during the day but we checked the cruises in port site and made sure that on our full day there, very few cruisers we were there. The day before had 10,000 in port. We went with another couple (I definitely thought of you, haha!) and I was willing to eliminate CT but I was out voted 3-1 and I am really glad we went.
coral22 is online now  
Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 12:00 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,784
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Due to Climate Change it is hard to make climate decisions like this, while the British Isles, being stuck in the Atlantic suffer regular changes of weather, day by day, sometimes hour by hour.

I would base on coming to Italy in May and then travel on to the Islands in late May or early June.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 05:25 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,332
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
May is the sweet spot to be in Italy for a trip of your length.
shelemm is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 05:37 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,540
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Karen, we spent a little over 3 weeks in Sicily and Naples/Amalfi Coast mid April to early May in 2022 and the weather was perfect, though sunny but cold at the start in Palermo. On previous visits we found May to be ideal, spring flowers are out and crowds not as much as later in the season. In 2014 we spent a fortnight in Rome and Venice and I donít remember it being very hot, nor crowded, but that was 10 years back.

Last year we went to Rome for Thanksgiving week and I was stunned at the number of tourists. One of our guides told us she was booked through from February to December, no shoulder season at all. Again we had good weather, overcast a couple of days but no rain, sunny for the most part.

Youíll find flowers out in the UK and Ireland till late into fall, so donít worry about that. Itís been almost 6 years since we went there, but I think British weather is harder to predict. Around September should be good, but be prepared to layer and carry a waterproof jacket.

We were in Ireland in June 2017 and August 2015 and had bright sunshine right through, though August was obviously much warmer, with temperatures in the low eighties. Days were long, so we stayed inside during the hottest part of the day and went out again around 5ish.

I agree with you, so many places we want to see, how do we do it? Iím getting closer to 70 and my husband is 73, so I want to travel as much as possible in the next some years. My mother travelled well into her eighties, so maybe Iíll inherit her good healthÖ😉
geetika is online now  
Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 07:04 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you everyone for your very helpful responses.

coral22, we are planning on an Italian itinerary similar to yours with the addition of Venice, Bologna, and Milan. We could do a mid-September to mid-October trip considering that September could be too hot in Italy. I don't want to be away for all of October or November because several of our grandchildren have fall birthdays, and we will miss their birthdays this year because of our Australia/New Zealand trip. Happy to hear you liked the CT which is on our itinerary right now.

bilboburgler, we don't want to do these trips back to back because each one will be about 4 - 5 weeks so that means being away for 8 - 10 weeks which would be too much for us. I do understand about climate change, of course, but so far we have been very lucky with perfect weather for all of our trips.

Stephan, I appreciate your detailed and organized response.

shelemm, you are very convincing for May!

geetika, I remember now that you visited Italy in 2022, and then you continued on to Greece. We were in Greece in May 2022. I hope that we will be like your mother, too! We have so many countries we want to visit. Haven't been to South America yet, so thinking of Argentina and Chile. And SE Asia; maybe Japan and Taiwan if we live long enough. And Romania, Hungary, Austria . . . . the list is endless.

Based on these replies, May does seem to be the "sweet spot" for Italy as shelemm says!
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 07:18 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,540
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Karen, we go to Budapest, Krakow and Warsaw for 14 nights next month, then Quito and Galapagos in July. Want to plan something for October, but not sure where, itíll be in Europe I think.

Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam on my wishlist, also Argentina and Chile. Want to go to Jordan and the Holy Land, but the political situation makes me hesitate. And then I keep wanting to go back to France!

Weíre thinking of Australia/New Zealand for April/May 2025, and the UK later that year. Thatís about how far Iíve gotÖ
geetika is online now  
Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 10:55 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,007
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Karen, I don't think you can depend on the weather, especially over a year ahead. I've been to Italy several times the first couple of weeks in September, and it has always been quite warm.

On the other hand, I was there the last two weeks of May in 2022, and it was very hot, 80 F in Florence and Spoleto and high 80's in Rome, even a day or two at 90.
SusanP is online now  
Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 12:41 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SusanP, thank you for your comments. I know it's not possible to have the same weather every year but I just like to know generally what to expect. As I mentioned in my original post, so far, I have been spot on in choosing when to travel. Maybe just pure luck. But I choose the month based on weather research and people's firsthand experiences, and so far that has worked for me. Keeping my fingers crossed my luck continues. We don't mind temps in the 80's but we really wilt when it's in the 90's.

Geetika, you have some awesome trips coming up this year! You will love Krakow! Haven't been to Budapest or Warsaw yet.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2024, 01:31 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 596
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have been to Venice on a different trip during the last 2 weeks in May and that was a great time to go! It sounds like with your conflicts in the fall, Italy in May will be perfect for you.

You are lucky you do ok with temperatures in the 80s, we really start to wilt if we are out and about and especially if we are doing any hiking, if it is too much above 80.

Our go to go times to travel have been the last 2 weeks in May and the last 2 weeks in September, but for Italy, we were coordinating schedules with another couple and we had to push it into October. That weather was great but was that unusual or the new normal, who knows!?!

We wanted to go to England in April after reading the great trips reports from last April, but we were pushed to the end of the month because of conflicts. We are tempted to push our future travels back to the first 2 weeks of May and forward to the first 2 weeks of October with the recent weather patterns, but then I worry about rain. Where is that crystal ball when you need it?

We are looking at Japan for April of 2025 and now they are experiencing a much earlier cherry blossom peak this year, so that trip might be sooner, also.
coral22 is online now  
Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 08:20 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 343
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We started in the Midlands (UK) early March and are currently in Rome.
UK was cold at around 10 degree (Celsius). Currently its around 20 in Rome.
The only problem with being in Rome exactly at this time of year is that there are a lot of school kids on school excursions in the last week before holidays start. So my advice would be start your trip one or 2 weeks after school holidays are over in this time of year. You'll be able to plan your packing fairly reliably if you do that because your first week here will be probably the coldest week, especially if you start north then go south - but my advice would actually be to start south (ie italy) and head north (ie england and then ireland) as it gets warmer. If you do it in September then the weather will get colder as you go along and I think that's harder to pack for.....or easier if you don't plan on re wearing the same clothes for multiple days because you're not sweating so much.

I hope that helps a bit
bhuty is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 08:44 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think May, or September and October, would be great times to be in Italy but much depends on which part of Italy you are planning.

And just to put a wrench in the ....(not sure)..wrench in the plans??? Anyway, you can't always predict. We spent most of last May (2023) in Sicily and we saw rain more days than not.
We're heading back to Sicily in September so I'm hoping for more sunny days.

I've done many trips to Italian coastal areas in September and I've noticed that at a certain point in the month, the winds change and the damp and rain begins to appear...not sure of the reason for this but many Italian hotel owners have told me that this is common. Of course if you are not going to coastal areas/resorts, it does not matter as much.


Last September (2023) we returned to southern and central Italy, and had great weather for the second and most of the third week of the month, but as September progressed the weather got worse and by the time we arrived in Termoli on the 22nd, it was pouring rain for many of the following days...

I'm with you on trying to take many trips while we still can do so!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 01:37 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ekscrunchy, thank you for your helpful comments. Looks like you've had a lot of rain on your trips. I can honestly say that we have had spectacular weather on all of our trips except for Nova Scotia in June about 15 years ago. We tend to be lucky with May, June, and September. We made many trips to France when our daughter lived there, and I think we visited France in just about every month of the year, and had excellent to very good weather. A couple very hot days in July in Provence one year, and some chilly days in December but no precipitation.

Our Italy trip will be to Northern Italy. My very loose itinerary right now is Venice, Florence, Bologna, somewhere else in Tuscany (maybe Lucca), probably Cinque Terre, Milan and Lake Como.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2024, 01:39 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bhuty, I appreciate your comments especially while you are on vacation! We are not considering March. The months we are considering are May, June, and September. Leaning towards May for Northern Italy.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2024, 04:49 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 47
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One great advantage of visiting the UK and Ireland in May is the long days - sunset is not until close to 10pm by the end of the month. Coupled with being a perfect time for flowers and gardens I would say go May and visit Italy in September and maybe mid September into October to avoid the chance of hot temperatures.
JohnEW2912 is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2024, 08:17 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have been to Ireland in very early June and had great weather. We have never been to England that time of year. We had a brief stop in London in March one year before a visit to southern Spain and it was quite chilly with a bit of snow. We have visited in early October and were blessed with good weather. We too have been lucky with the weather for the most part. I think May in England / Ireland sounds perfect.
We have also been to Rome, Florence, Venice in October twice, once for an anniversary trip and once with our teenagers in tow. We found the temperatures to be perfect both trips although the second time it was much more crowded. So far we’ve not ventured outside those cities. It is on our list though, future plans and all. I think September in Italy could work as well. I know you’ll have a wonderful trip regardless of what you end up deciding. I can’t wait until we can travel for weeks at a time. I’m a bit jealous of all of these month long adventures.
Cjar is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2024, 01:36 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by JohnEW2912
One great advantage of visiting the UK and Ireland in May is the long days - sunset is not until close to 10pm by the end of the month. Coupled with being a perfect time for flowers and gardens I would say go May and visit Italy in September and maybe mid September into October to avoid the chance of hot temperatures.
Thank you so much for your comments! Right now we have tentatively decided Italy in May and England/Ireland in September. But I will share your advice with my husband.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2024, 01:42 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Cjar
We have been to Ireland in very early June and had great weather. We have never been to England that time of year. We had a brief stop in London in March one year before a visit to southern Spain and it was quite chilly with a bit of snow. We have visited in early October and were blessed with good weather. We too have been lucky with the weather for the most part. I think May in England / Ireland sounds perfect.
We have also been to Rome, Florence, Venice in October twice, once for an anniversary trip and once with our teenagers in tow. We found the temperatures to be perfect both trips although the second time it was much more crowded. So far weíve not ventured outside those cities. It is on our list though, future plans and all. I think September in Italy could work as well. I know youíll have a wonderful trip regardless of what you end up deciding. I canít wait until we can travel for weeks at a time. Iím a bit jealous of all of these month long adventures.
Cjar, thanks for your helpful comments. Right now we have tentatively decided on Italy in May and England/Ireland in September. But I won't know for sure until my husband sorts out a trip to China with his siblings. They want to visit their home village before they are all too old! If their trip is too close to May, we will then go to England/Ireland in June (too hot for Italy, I am sure) and Italy in September or September/October.

I really appreciate everyone's helpful advice.
KarenWoo is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2024, 12:22 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 343
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"If their trip is too close to May, we will then go to England/Ireland in June (too hot for Italy, I am sure) and Italy in September or September/October."

Karen, that is good thinking. Just be aware that my possibly wrong observation is that Rome is filled with school excursions right now leading up to Pasqua and end of terms holidays and so if that's true then I assume that the 2 weeks before end of term in Sept/Oct would also be full of school kids. Certainly I'd choose school kids than tourists in summer (in rome) but the point being is that if you can organise your italy trip to be outside of rome during the end of term school excursions and do rome before that or after the holidays are over then it'll be a quiter visit (in theory)
bhuty is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2024, 05:11 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4,498
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bhuty
"If their trip is too close to May, we will then go to England/Ireland in June (too hot for Italy, I am sure) and Italy in September or September/October."

Karen, that is good thinking. Just be aware that my possibly wrong observation is that Rome is filled with school excursions right now leading up to Pasqua and end of terms holidays and so if that's true then I assume that the 2 weeks before end of term in Sept/Oct would also be full of school kids. Certainly I'd choose school kids than tourists in summer (in rome) but the point being is that if you can organise your italy trip to be outside of rome during the end of term school excursions and do rome before that or after the holidays are over then it'll be a quiter visit (in theory)
bhuty, many thanks for your helpful comments and the tip about Italian school excursions. Unless we change our minds, we are actually not planning on visiting Rome on this trip. We spent a week in Rome in the late 70's (I know, a long time ago!), so for this trip we want to concentrate on places we've never seen. However, we are considering a second trip to Italy in 2026 to visit the Amalfi Coast, Naples, etc. and we might include Rome at that time.

Just curious, what is the weather like in Rome and other places you have visited at this time of year?
KarenWoo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -