Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Southern Italy in January and February? (

kc3305 Dec 14th, 2011 07:43 AM

Southern Italy in January and February?
We usually vacation in Europe in May/June. Due to work in 2012 my only vacation window is 3 weeks in January and February. . Obviousy, the weather will be colder and the daylight shorter but would it severely interfere with time in Southern Italy - Amalfi Coast, Capri, Sorrento, Naples, potentially Sicily and the other first timer spots? Would the majority of restaurants, shops be closed in Capri and Amalfi Coast? Would the weather be miserable? I realize this is a very broad question but this is the very beginning of my planning and I would appreciate some input before I go further especially from people who have done these areas during January and February. Thanks.

nytraveler Dec 14th, 2011 09:39 AM

On the Amalfi coast a significatn number of hotels and restaurants will be closed, although there will stil be places to stay and to eat. Ferry services are either cancelled or run much less frequently. You may not see Blue Grott of muchon Capri - since it requires flat seas - and in winter they are often rough If you don;t mind a half deserted summer resort with temps in the 40s and rain (could be warmer, but no guarantees) it will be OK. I wouldn;t do it.

Sassafrass Dec 14th, 2011 02:23 PM

I would definitely not go to the Amalfi Coast in January to February only because I think it is most beautiful in nice weather when you can sit outside and enjoy the water, views and sunshine. That is what the AC is all about for me. Of course, you could visit Naples and Pompeii, but that is only for a couple of days.

If you must go to Europe then, consider cities where things are open no matter what, or consider Spain. It won't be warm, but there is so much more to do that allows you to be inside plus you can pop into cafes for something hot.

Another option would be a place where cold weather is good for the experience. Switzerland, Austria, etc. where snowy landscapes are the draw.

JudyC Dec 14th, 2011 05:05 PM

I have visited southern Italy in January, February several times, even spent two weeks for walking holiday near Sorrento on Christmas & New Year 2010.

The weather could be a bit chilly or raining, or bright and cold, it really depends on where you are from, to me (from northeast America), it is still quite pleasant to walk around, and better yet for sightseeing as all tourist are open and almost empty. Certainly it's not warm enough for beaches, but plenty of outdoor activities.

Some hotels and restaurants are closed, but still enough open for one's need. I remember enjoying several lovely lunches outdoor at some fishing villages.

The further south you go, the chance of nicer weather could be. Once I spent three weeks in Puglia one January several years ago, It was 15-20C with bright blue sky everyday.

Another year, I took a walking trip in western Sicily in the
winter, it was very pleasant to walk as lots of wild flowers were blooming.

A_Brit_In_Ischia Dec 15th, 2011 01:21 AM

We've lived on Ischia, across the Bay from Capri, since early 2003 and that's hardly an ideal time to be visiting, with (except in cities such as Naples and Salerno) more places closed than in any other season!

A quick look on will show you what's available in the area - although I'd guess that, after the Christmas to Epiphany mini-season, such hotels etc as are open won't be very busy....

Depending on quite where you're going, you might well risk booking only a first day or two - and then, if the weather should turn out to be really horrid, scoot away to somewhere it matters less?

Not a time when we travel much, other than to Perugia for a New Year trip, but Rome remains our off-season favourite; regardless of rain, sleet or snow there's always plenty to see and do:

That said, down here it's unusual to get more than a couple of days' foul weather in a row - and, other than up in the hills, it rarely gets properly cold - so you may not need an escape route?

To get an idea, try:

... and perhaps have a look at the climate stats - Naples:



ekscrunchy Dec 15th, 2011 03:56 AM

These winter months should be an excellent time to visit Sicily. Or Naples/Pompeii. Or Rome. I've visited all of those destinations in January and would recommend.

You could plan a few days in Naples and if the weather is favorable, take daytrips to the AC and Sorrento peninsula. Then head to Sicily. Or Puglia. Or both! You want to concentrate on towns that are not dependent on tourism, because those (Positano, etc) are likely to be kind of shuttered.

travelfrog Feb 4th, 2013 08:54 AM

Dear kc3305. Did you go already? i am going to be in Naples at the end of February and in doubts if u should go for a day to Sorento and AC...

A_Brit_In_Ischia Feb 4th, 2013 09:58 AM

If here by now, they'll have a bit of a mix - rain at times, but also some very pleasant weather as well!


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:00 AM.