People who have travelled to Italy during the off season months of January, February or March would be absolutely stunned by the number of tourists that they would find in the month of June. The tourist season kicks off in Italy in April, with May and June the two of the busiest months in the country. The main reason for these many people travelling to the country in June is because of the excellent weather. It is a good time to visit, but for those who don’t mind the crowds or the high prices of hotel rooms and airfares.
At times, it might seem there is no slack tourist season in Italy, since no matter when you visit, you’ll always find people: June is the best time to visit Italy in terms of weather but, for those planning to travel on a low budget, it is best to avoid it. In June, car rentals, airfares, hotels and pretty much all services involved in tourism tend to be more expensive. From eateries to craft and souvenirs shops, prices may well be higher than in the Autumn or the Winter.
Weather in June
As we said, June in Italy is touristically high season: with schools closing in the middle of the month, locals, too, begin their vacations in June. At the beginning of the month, weather is much like it is in May, pleasantly warm, but not very hot. However, towards the end of the month temperatures can rise very steeply in most parts of the country, especially in the South. Seaside resorts are always filled with tourists from all over the world because of the hot climate, and even locals flock to the seaside, fleeing the often unbearable heat of the cities. June, 21st is the longest day of the year and definitely one of the hottest, too.
There are benefits, too, though: wet days are very uncommon in June so it is possible for visitors to enjoy many great days outdoors.
In June, temperatures in Northern Italy are comparatively cooler because of the proximity to the Alps. In Milan and other parts of the North, the average temperature usually remains between 13 and 25 degrees Celsius (55 to 77 degree Fahrenheit), with only a few wet days.
In Central Italy, including cities like Rome, temperature is approximately between 16 and 25 degrees Celsius (61 to 77 degree Fahrenheit). In June, wet days in cities like Rome are not very common, but if they occur, the temperature might plunge down.
In Southern Italy and the sea coast, including Palermo, temperatures are definitely among the highest in the country. In June, they remain between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). Wet days are quite uncommon in the month of June so outdoor conditions are enjoyable.
Overall, precipitations are quite uncommon and more likely to occur in the Northern regions of the country.
Where to Visit in June
In June, visitors should be ready to fight hordes of tourists, no matter where they plan to visit. All the major cities like Rome, Naples, Venice, Bologna and Milan are usually overwhelmingly crowded. Those planning to visit these cities should consider getting their hotel rooms booked well in advance. However, if you are looking for some quiet time and do not fancy too much crowd it’s best to forget large cities and head towards small picturesque villages. June is an excellent month for seaside activities, too, as temperatures are warm and the water starts getting pleasant.
Festivals in June
Many celebrations and festivals are held in the month of June in Italy. Beside local Saint’s days, celebrated pretty much everywhere in the country, there are several other interesting events you could take part in, as even the smaller villages in Italy celebrate local festivals. Outdoor music festivals and food festivals are quite common. The main benefit of visiting local festivals is that they provide a valuable glimpse in the life of the locals and make the vacation unique. Some of the most important festivals in Italy during the month are:
- La Festa della Repubblica: on the 2nd of June, Italy celebrates the birth of its Republic. It is a national holiday and most public places and stores remain closed throughout the country. On June 2, 1946 Italians were called to vote on a referendum, to decide if Italy should continue to be a Monarchy or become a Republic. It was the first time women were allowed to vote in Italy.
- Tortellini sotto i Portici in Modena: on the same day, the 2nd of June, Modena celebrates Tortellini sotto i Portici (tortellini under the colonnade), a nice occasion to taste this local-become-global delicacy.
- Feast of the Corpus Domini: the Corpus Domini is a Catholic feast celebrated 2 months after Easter everywhere in the country. Castelrotto, in Trentino Alto Adige has one of the biggest festivals for the occasion. In Orvieto, a large procession takes place on the streets, in which more than 400 people dress in medieval costumes. The town is entirely decorated with beautiful flower compositions. Bolsena, in Lazio, is famous for holding an Infiorata featuring breathtaking compositions made with flower petals.
- Luminara di San Ranieri: held every year on the 16th June, the day before the saint’s feast. Saint Ranieri is the patron saint of Pisa: all buildings and bridges along the River Arno are decorated with flames and candles using more than 70,000 glass candle holders which are known as lumini. The day after the feast, the Historical Regatta takes place: four boats, one from each district of town, compete against each other, rowing counter current on the river Arno.
- Food Festival of Spongano, Puglia: the festival celebrates cooking, olives and olive oil. Various local dishes and regional specialties are served in a friendly, traditional atmosphere. Give it a go if you’re in the area.
- Festa di San Giovanni, Lago di Como: this festival is one of the most ancient traditions of the Lake Como area, held on the saint’s day, the 24th of June. During celebrations, hundreds of small lamps floats over the lake’s waters, creating a magical, fairy-like atmosphere. This beautiful spectacle is usually followed by fireworks. The next morning, a traditional boat parade takes place: this is no regular parade, as all boats are richly decorated with flowers. Folk dancing and flag throwing shows are also held.
- Festa di San Giovanni, Firenze: on the same day, the 24th of June, San Giovanni is celebrated with a feast in Florence. There is an ancient medieval tournament, followed by traditional feasting, drinking and dancing. A race of rowboats carrying candles takes place on the Arno.
- Festival Internazionale della Ceramica, Montelupo (Tuscany): the town of Montelupo celebrates an international Ceramics Festival at the end of June. Several traditional ceramic makers take place to the festival, showcasing their creations. Visitors would get a unique chance to observe a craft for which Italy has been known for centuries.
- Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, Umbria: running since 1958, this is one of the most important festivals of performing arts in Italy and in the world. The festival is attended by many artists or world fame and is known internationally. The festival features operas, concerts, ballets, art and films and starts towards the end of June.
Last, but certainly not least if you love good food (and who doesn’t?!), June is also a month known for delivering to the people of Italy and their guests a bounty of delicious fruit: apricots, cherries, strawberries, Summer figs (more ripe in September!) first, and plums, lemons and peaches a bit later in the month, herald the arrival of the hot season to Italy and become an everyday presence on Italian tables.