May or September for Italy Travel?

Old Feb 14th, 2024, 07:56 PM
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May or September for Italy Travel?

Hi guys,

Iím starting to plan another trip and would like your opinion on the best travel time to go to Rome and Tuscany. The two weeks available are the last week in May 2025 around Memorial Day or the first week of September 2025 around Labor Day.

What dd think is best for airfare prices and lower crowds?
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Old Feb 14th, 2024, 09:26 PM
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Moved to the Europe Forum, tagged for Italy, and added Italy to the thread's title
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Old Feb 14th, 2024, 09:45 PM
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Six of one. Half dozen of the other.

End of May runs into the June 2nd long weekend. It's smaller than many other long weekends but it still causes a bump up.

Start of September you tend to have all the people who didn't travel during the height of September traveling. That includes people who might work in tourism but also includes school groups. Families with younger kids might also wait to travel. Height of summer is when schools are out. September all the people that don't need to worry about school can travel. The last half of August can be a bit quiet but that turns around in September. Not to mention the weather often is a bit cooler. Making city breaks more appealing than the beach.

IMHO the big difference is the weather.

May things are warming up and it feels new . September after a long hot summer feels hot .

Airfares no idea.
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Old Feb 14th, 2024, 09:47 PM
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Both timeframes will be crowded and expensive. You might get better weather late May.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 04:03 AM
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Both are beautiful. The hills in Tuscany will be green in May and golden in September. I agree that the weather is probably nicer the end of May and hotter in September. Crowds will be tough to avoid, Airfare is hard to predict. If you have miles that may help in reducing your cost and looking at airfare sales.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by lrice
Hi guys,

Iím starting to plan another trip and would like your opinion on the best travel time to go to Rome and Tuscany. The two weeks available are the last week in May 2025 around Memorial Day or the first week of September 2025 around Labor Day.

What dd think is best for airfare prices and lower crowds?
Slightly confused; Memorial Day is in February in Italy while Labour Day is in May.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 05:14 AM
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May has the best weather of any month for most purposes.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler
Slightly confused; Memorial Day is in February in Italy while Labour Day is in May.

OP is la Yank -- In the USA Memorial Day is late May and Labour Labor Day is early Sept.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj
OP is la Yank -- In the USA Memorial Day is late May and Labour Labor Day is early Sept.
only slightly ;-)
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 07:19 AM
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We were in Lake Como, CT and Tuscany in the first 2 weeks of October last year and it was HOT!
I am always a May fan, everything is green and the service industry is more eager to see you.
Our guide in Florence said the season last year started in February and when we were there in October, it had not slowed down that much. She was wonderful, but admitted she was pretty exhausted. Go with the best airfare, but I don't think you are going to avoid the crowds with either one.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 08:32 AM
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coral22 is right, crowds are there right through the year. We spent Thanksgiving week in Rome last year and I was stunned to see how crowded it was, Iíd imagined early November to mid December would be relatively calm. No shoulder season anymore!

We always like to travel April/May, the weather is mostly good and spring flowers are out. Fares are also better than in summer. September rarely works for us, so that isnít an option.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 09:52 AM
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If you're looking at apartment or house rentals in Italy, May prices are often slightly better than September. IME prices go up in June and stay there until the end of September.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 10:59 AM
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Following along with this thread. We hope to visit Italy in 2026 either May or September. Good advice here.
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 06:27 PM
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I don't think you can count on the weather. I have been to Italy several times in September, and it has always been quite warm. I was there the last two weeks of May in 2022, and it was very hot!
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Old Feb 15th, 2024, 09:54 PM
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I guess it is a toss-up. School in the US is just getting out for summer at the end of May so there is a chance to beat some of the family travelers. The beginning of September may be similar regarding crowds but it does seem like September is so hot lately!

Thanks all!
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 06:18 AM
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We haven't had mild, pleasant temperatures In May or September recently. Last year high temperatures in Rome at the end of May and beginning of September were in the low 30s C (high 80s F), and humidity was about 60%. It was a bit hotter in Florence.

As for crowds, these are both very high tourist seasons. The summer holidays for schools have little to do with it. I can't find exact statistics, but a tourism website said that high season in Rome is from April 1st through October 31st. A similar website for Florence said that only the months of February and November are considered low season. (I would guess that high season is the same as Rome.)
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I myself would prefer May, because I think the chance of decent weather is better.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 07:54 AM
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Our guide in Florence last October, said they usually look forward to a break from November 1 until right before Christmas. She said that she was booked through the rest of the year and her season had started in February.

I think the old charts Indicating optimal weather can be thrown out. It was the only time we could go and travel friends were very concerned about having cold, rainy weather in October last year at Lake Como. Our first day there was 86 and it was sunny our entire trip. In successive years we have just missed record heat in Ireland, Paris and Italy and that was in May and October.

I know the OP has the limitations of May and September, but if others are contemplating a big city, warm weather destination, I think I would move back to at least April.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 05:00 PM
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Irice, thanks for this particular question. It addresses an important moving-target issue for many. I certainly have read all the above closely closely.

I am done. the tourist woman in Minori who did not know Irice and her husband after all but Zebec the idiot posted it anyway and confused things no end
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Old Feb 21st, 2024, 09:20 AM
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September is still a busy time in Rome and in Tuscany. I was in Rome in mid November and it was still quite busy, the hotel staff said traditionally it should be a quiet period but no longer. Spent 10 days in Florence with day trips to countryside in early November and it was still quite busy there too.
Things have changed.
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Old Feb 21st, 2024, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by raincitygirl
September is still a busy time in Rome and in Tuscany. I was in Rome in mid November and it was still quite busy, the hotel staff said traditionally it should be a quiet period but no longer. Spent 10 days in Florence with day trips to countryside in early November and it was still quite busy there too.
Things have changed.
Exactly what I said either here or on another thread. We were in Rome for a week at Thanksgiving and I was stunned to see how crowded it was. The Spanish Steps and piazza at the bottom were mobbed, Piazza Navona and the Vatican too. Thereís no shoulder season anymore!
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