Summer in Italy is: Fresh orange juice in the morning, at Bar Centrale. Piles of olive pits at aperitivo hour, after the sun sets. Fresh figs at the beach, with a good book.

And also: a huge chunk of afternoon where it’s too dang hot to do anything but hunker down and wait for a cool, jasmine-scented evening breeze.

You could basically bake biscotti on the hot, crispy cobblestone in the middle of the day here.

So, while Italy in the summer is fab –– you gotta know how to handle the heat if you wanna make the most of your trip.

Here’s a handy-dandy rulebook to bookmark for your next visit!

Italian Summer Rule #1: Get the private beach experience

You’re on the coast. You’ve checked out a Cinque Terre tour –– wine tasting, hiking between villages or strolling through secret alleyways. And now –– it’s time to sink your toes into the sand.

Here’s the thing about beaches in Italy: if you want to go when it’s really hot, the best option is to head to a beach. And here’s the lowdown on the private ones you’ll see all over Italy. 

You can rent a beach lounger and umbrella for between €12-25 for two people, and it’s totally worth it. You’ve got change rooms! Showers! Lockers! Tons of food and drinks, right there. All you gotta do is show up with your swimsuit and towel and hang out all day, just like the locals. They’ve got a swim-eat-lounge-read-eat-swim routine that’s pretty easy to get on board with.

And if you want to go to the free beaches in the extreme heat, get there early in the morning and leave before 1PM if you don’t want to totally fry. But if you’ve got some shade (or you’re a total water baby and refuse to leave the ocean) and can stick it out, wait until 5PM-6PM and watch the sunset.


Summer in Italy under an umbrella

Summer in Italy at the beach on the rocks or with an umbrella

Italian Summer Rule #2: Snap up your hotel room quick

You’ve got to know what’s easy to book in Italy during the summer, and which ones you’ve got to get cracking on ASAP.

If you’re planning for a Tuscan summer: 

Cha-ching! You’ll find a ton of availability because it’s not a typical summertime destination. Tuscany is sizzling hot in the summer, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a low-key vacay where your itinerary includes lots of much-needed sleep, reading, writing, family time and Chianti. In that order.

If you’re heading to the Amalfi Coast or Italian Riviera: 

Get on the booking train as soon as you’ve booked those dates off in your travel plan. It gets super busy at these spots –– with everyone from North America flying in to Germans driving down –– everybody wants a beach umbrella on the Italian coast if they can snag it.

We recommend booking accommodation here at least three months in advance, especially if you’re planning to go in July or August. Seriously! For our Italy tours, we book our hotels at least a year in advance (or in some cases, 1.5 years!) –– cause we want the best.

Summer in Italy in Cinque Terre

Summer in Italy including cacti

Italian Summer Rule #3: Tours don’t have to be sweaty

If you ask us, the best tours aren’t about trying to cram a ton of sights in without caring about the heat –– they’re thoughtful about *how* you experience them.

That means we wouldn’t want you waiting in line to get into The Accademia in Florence at 2.30PM, just because everyone else is.

That’s exactly why our summertime tour schedule is totally designed around the weather. 

For example, we’ll usually hit up non-air-conditioned places early in the morning, so it’s not sweltering –– and then save any afternoon tour time for cool spots with AC. We care about creating tour experiences that prioritize comfort and hospitality. Because you’re on vacation, right? You gotta enjoy everything you’re absorbing without worrying about your gelato melting into a puddle within seconds.

If you’re visiting Florence or Cinque Terre in the summer, these are the best day tours to book if you wanna hang with us:

Florence tours:

Cinque Terre tours:

Summer in Italy having a picnic with a view

Summer in Italy on a boat tour

Italian Summer Rule #3: Keep it coastal

Want to visit Italy in the fall, winter or spring? Pretty much any itinerary will work for you! It’s beautifully fluid like that.

If you want to visit anytime between June and August though, you should definitely be planning for some time on the coast.

Any spot near the ocean in Italy is where you’ll experience its true beauty in the summer.

Wonderfully warm water to dip into. Stunning sunsets, before your salty hair has dried. Sandy feet in sandals.

Staying on the Italian coast in the summer is truly the best way to embrace the heat: all you gotta do is book your stay and plan not to be moving around a ton. In the other seasons, it totally makes sense to spend a 2-3 of nights in a couple of different spots –– but in the summer, plan to hunker down for a while in a coastal town. With the heat, your priorities should be swimming, reading that book you saved for a vacay and finding a sweet beach lounger.

Summer in Italy on a boat tour
Summer in Italy exploring the city  Summer in Italy Hiking the coastal trails

Italian Summer Rule #5: Plan your itinerary around the heat

In the summer, the best itineraries embrace more relaxed time between places. It works because everything in Italy moves slower between June and August. More siestas, less exploring in the afternoons.

And to boot –– not every city in Italy handles the heat well. Venice in the summer sounds dreamy to most, but it also means slightly stinkier canals and lines that curve around the block.

We’ll say it again: just book a spot on the coast –– in advance.

Try include one of the islands. Sardinia, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands are perfect. Think about what an Italian would do for their summer vacation –– not a traveler who hasn’t a clue.

Stay in one of the villages in Cinque Terre (not La Spezia, though). Or check out Levanto, Bonassola, Sestri Levante, Santa Margherita Ligure or Portofino.

And if you wanna know about all the Cinque Terre tours we’ve got pre-planned for you, here’s what’s on our menu:

You’ll be able to choose from a handful of our curated experiences and experience these cities (their incredible sights, food and more) the way you would with an Italian friend.

Because secret wineries and strolls through under-the-radar spots are always better with good company…

And we help you enjoy summer in Italy without breaking a crazy sweat!

View all Florence tours and Cinque Terre tours.

We hope your trip is all kinds of unforgettable, regardless.

Write us at ciao{@}italianfix.com and tell us where you’re traveling next. We would love to help!

Summer in Italy at the Beach

Summer in Italy in Cinque Terre


Photos by Katrina Tan

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