Everyone dreams of travel to Italy for different reasons: the wine, the fashion, the scenery (different but clearly equally fantastic reasons). While this country has something to offer everyone during every season, we think that Italy is particularly lovely in the fall, and it doesn’t get enough credit for all those fall festivals, delicacies, changing colors, and of course the wine. Read on for a few of our favorite reasons for travel to Italy in the fall!
Italy’s Piedmont region is known for its production of two delicious things: white truffles and red wine. Autumn is the peak time of year for both of these products, and in fact the world famous International Alba White Truffle Fair takes place every year in the town of Alba from mid-October through mid-November.
The Barolo wine region is conveniently located a bit southwest of Alba — imagine quaint hillside villages and vineyards as far as your eye can see. The town of Barolo itself is a bit touristy, but you can travel between each of the small hillside villages to taste wines in tiny local wineries and restaurants.
Piedmont region by train: Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region and is easily accessible by Trenitalia trains from Rome (most trains are about 4-5 hours), Milan (1-2 hours by train), and Florence (3 hours by train).
The poplar tree originated in Lombardy, the northern region of Italy where you can find Milan and Lake Como. The region really shows off its poplars during autumn, when the trees all turn stunning shades of gold. If you’re looking for a beautiful countryside stroll through some epic fall colors, this is the place. The leaves also turn very pretty colors all along the Lake Como villages — as if the Lake Como villages weren’t pretty enough already, right?
And if you’re more of a city person, fear not: you can still enjoy the changing colors in any of Milan’s parks and gardens — of which there are about 80. One of the largest and most popular is Parco Sempione, with everything you’d want in a park: paths for jogging, photogenic bridges for taking cute photos, expansive green lawns for reading and sunbathing and picnics, and 8 entrances to ensure that you’ll get lost at least once (but at least you’ll have many escape route options).
Lombardy by train: Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region and is a great starting point for travel, as many Trenitalia trains arrive and depart from Milano Centrale train station. Web-only e-ticket fares are available on Trenitalia trains from Milan to Florence (1.5-2 hours), Milan to Rome (3 hours), Milan to Venice (2.5 hours), and beyond.
Have you ever been to Italy during the summertime? It’s hot. Really fun, but really hot. When I visited Italy one July a few years ago, it was 110 degrees the day we were wandering around Rome, trying to appreciate the Colosseum while cooling ourselves off with gelato. Italy in the fall is ideal: you still get all the beauty of Italy’s famous sites and delicious gelato, but you don’t need to eat the gelato in order to cool yourself off every 10 minutes.
Here are a few ideas for fun outdoor activities for travel to Italy in the fall:
- Borghese Gallery and gardens walking tour (Rome)
- Evening rooftop tour of Milan’s Duomo
- Walking tour of Genoa’s historical shops
- Venice gondola ride and serenade
- Pompeii guided small group tour
Off season in any region of the world means the same thing: lower prices, fewer crowds. Since Italy is one of the most visited countries in the entire world, it really helps to visit in the off season to ensure less time waiting in line for attractions and landmarks and lower prices on food and accommodations to help your money go even further.
Here are even more train tips to help you save some money and beat the crowds:
- Book in advance whenever possible. This is true for everything: airlines, hotels, you name it. Trains are no exception. If there is a specific train you want to take on a specific date, try to book it in advance.
- Web-only fares with Trenitalia. We offer web-only pricing for Trenitalia e-tickets — so you can get the best deal for your travel, which is pretty great!
- Traveling during off-peak hours. If you really want to beat the crowds in every way, try traveling during off-peak hours. This means avoiding the weekday morning rush before 9am and the evening rush around 5-6pm. Weekends are also generally busier.
Fall is a very festive time in Italy not just in terms of weather and harvesting but also in terms of events and culture. Try the Rome Film Festival in October, and as we mentioned earlier the International Alba White Truffle Festival takes place this month as well. There’s also a balloon festival in Matera in southern Italy, and a very famous annual chestnut festival held in a town called Lazio, just a bit north of Rome.
Italy is a very religious country overall, and so All Saints Day on November 1 is a massive holiday throughout the country.