Summertime in Italy
Ah, summer is in the air. The weather starts warming up very nicely, the kids are out of school, and many people take their vacations. And who could think of a better place to take a vacation than in Italy during the summer.
It should come as no surprise, a country with a heavy emphasis on tourism, that the summer is a great time to visit Italy. Summer in Italy means there are tourists from all over the world, so it takes on a very festive atmosphere. If you go to Rome, you will see many different cultures from all over the world, and also hear many different languages. This is especially true in June, July and Early September. In August, however, the Italians go on vacation. Ferragosto (August 15th) is a national holiday in Italy. Many of the towns like Rome, Florence and Milan will be relatively empty. Italians are on vacation this month, and will head to the beaches.
What can you expect for the weather in Italy this summer? See table to the right. The weather will be hot, with temperatures in the 90s (Fahrenheit) and sometimes in the 100s down south.
Need to cool off while you're taking in the sights? Italy is famous for it's delicious gelato, their version of ice cream. However, it is different (and tastes better) than ice cream. Many are made with fresh nuts and fruits. There are even places in Rome that serve more than 200 flavors!
And if you are in Rome, a drink from one of the public fountains will be refreshing. No need to worry, they've been doing this for over 2000 years.
Be prepared to go with the flow. There are often transportation strikes during the month of August. It is a great way for the transportation workers to get their point across during busy travel season. However, it can get on your nerves as a tourist.
Italian outlook Summer 2010 - Despite the civil unrest in Greece, and the volcanic ash from the Icelandic volcano causing travel headaches, early estimates are showing increased demand for European travel for the summer of 2010. And this is despite the fact that airfares are higher compared to last year. According to Travelocity, the average cost of all U.S. flights to Western Europe are $1,322 on average this summer compared with $1,059 last summer. The good news is that the weakened Euro against the Dollar (US and CDN) will help travelers from North America this summer. I estimate the same trip will probably cost around $1,000 USD towards the latter part of September.
The summer train schedule was released earlier this week, so now is a good time to start booking your train travel, as there is plenty of availability at this moment. There will probably be more train routes, especially the regional routes, added to the summer schedule in the next couple of weeks or so. However, the majority of the routes for high-speed travel for Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan and Naples are already in place.
Wishing you and your family un buon viaggio! Larry Aiello