I’ve already written about why winter in Prague is a great time to visit. Now you get to find out why you should visit Italy in winter!
The snow is falling and the crowds have fled to sunnier savannas. There is no better time to enjoy the cultural treasures of Italy’s great cities. While the Alpine resorts expect snow, most days are clear and cool. The further south you go, the warmer the weather though! Hotel prices are lower and you can experience once-a-year activities like truffle hunting and Roman Christmas celebrations in the Piazza Navona. Have I tempted you yet? Here are 4 more reasons why you should tour Italy this winter:
You will have a more authentic experience
Summer is the most common time to visit the island of Capri, but it’s in the winter that the island returns to its roots. Capri is a fishing community and you can enjoy fresh fish and the wild island beauty you don’t get on the resorts. Hotel and restaurant chains shut down for the low season but most bed and breakfasts in Capri will be open. That means you’ll get an authentic experience by travelling like a local.
It’s a unique kind of seafront experience
Head to Genoa, home of Christopher Columbus and more museums than you can visit on one trip. This historic, coastal city has moderate weather—perfect for a walk around Piccapietra Square or climbing the steps of the Lanterna lighthouse. From there you will have views of the city’s port, the sea, and the waterfront promenade. Be sure to visit the Palazzi dei Rolli, the group of palaces in Genoa’s historic center listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Winter is the perfect season for Italy’s rich foods
Creamy pasta sauces, thick cuts of meat, cheesy pizza, and exquisite coffee-infused tiramisu—there’s something about winter that makes you want to sit next to a fireplace and eat all the food! Just two hours away from Genoa is the beautiful city of Turin, a previous host city of the Winter Olympics. Whet your whistle with Cinzano, a Torino vermouth, to prepare for Agnolotti with roast beef sauce—a traditional pasta of the Piedmont region. Once you’re ready for dessert, head to the Guido Gobino for the Piedmontese chocolate made with gianduja called Gianduiotto. Of course, you can head to Bologna instead—this culinary capital relies heavily on meats and cheese in their food!
The cities are all dressed up for the holidays
If not just for the food, a trip to Bologna offers a wonderful Christmas experience. Across from Bologna’s cathedral, the across from Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro, is the city’s annual Christmas market. Buy plenty of local artisanal goodies. Nativity scenes and Christmas lights decorate squares and monuments everywhere. Alternatively, take a trip to Verona—home of the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Verona borders some of the former Austro-Hungarian so it has some Germanic influence—including their Christmas markets! Head to the Roman Arena where they host international nativity scenes with creches from different parts of the world.
The winter season is a great time to visit Italy. No matter where you go, it will feel like it’s just you and the locals enjoying everything the country has to offer!