The best winter activities to do in Italy
When people think of the perfect time to stay in luxury villas in Italy, the height of summer may be the first season to come to mind, with the glorious sunshine that dances across the sandy beaches and golden fields. Whilst the concept of spending winter in Italy may seem a little strange to many, this season can be just as magical. Surprisingly to many, spending the winter months in Italy can be just as spectacular, full of wonderful events and beautiful views that rival the summer months. The attractions are also less crowded than you would expect in summer, with shorter lines and lower entrance prices, which adds to the appeal! Here’s our top reasons why you should look at a winter escape to Italy:
Visiting mountains can be a magical experience during winter. Italy boasts some of the most magnificent mountains in the world that epitomise the dream of a winter wonderland! With countless skiing slopes to test out, Italy can be the perfect getaway for tourists in the winter.
One place to take in spectacular views is Mount Etna in Sicily, that offers tourists the best of both worlds, with snowy slopes and sunny beaches. The best times for good skiing are from November to the end of March.
Sicily may seem like an unusual place to go skiing, due to its warmer climate, but this amazing view is probably one of the best you will get. Ski down the snowy top of Mount Etna, with a clear blue sky and sparkling sun above you. As you speed down the slopes take in the dramatic atmosphere, with the crystal blue coastline in the distance of the Ionian Sea, whilst above you the volcano sends smoke high into the air.
Explore less crowded attractions
Italy has some of the most incredible museums in the world, and that is why during peak season these museums and galleries can become crowded attractions. However, this is something you don’t have to worry about in winter, with less tourists visiting the country you can truly enjoy the experience in peace and quiet. Another bonus is that with fewer crowds, there are more staff on hand to ask countless questions about the artwork displayed. One thing to bear in mind is that attractions will have earlier closing times than in summer, so make sure you are aware of these before organising your visit.
Continue your cultured experience by visiting the wineries close to your luxury villa. Winter can be the best time to visit wineries, as the grape harvest has just been completed in September and the cellars will be full of fresh bottles. This means the owners will be dying to show off their latest products to the public, but they will also have more time to dedicate to visitors so they will give you more of their time and expert knowledge.
Theatres come to life
One of the best activities to do in Italy during the winter is going to the theatre. This indoor event allows you to snuggle up warm whilst admiring the beautiful interiors and impressive acoustics these world-renowned theatres boast. Winter is when the Italian theatres come to life, with opera, symphony and the theatre season in full swing; surprisingly, many theatres across Italy are closed during the summer period so if you want to experience true Italian theatre you must visit in the winter months.
One of the best experiences you can do on your Italian holiday is taking a cooking lesson from one of the local chefs, so you can take some of the delicious dishes you’ve tried on your holiday back home with you! Cooking classes allow you to partake in an authentic Italian experience, whilst getting out of the cold for a couple of hours.
The south of Italy generally experiences warm weather throughout the year; the further south you head the better the weather is likely to be. This means that cities, such as Bari and Rome, have milder climates, and these cities hold great events in the streets during the winter months. For people who are seeking the elusive winter sun, that many need after a long year, head to Sicily, the warmest region in Italy.
The best thing about winter is the winter deals you can get on luxury villas in Italy. If you are not travelling to Italy during the Christmas and New Year dates you can find villas and airfares are particularly good value for money. This means you get to enjoy the great experiences Italy has to offer, without worrying about going over your budget.
In winter, Italy comes alive in a magical combination of tradition and spirit. During the Christmas period street markets are a perfect place to feel festive, with handcrafted gifts, Christmas sweets and pastries on offer. If you’re feeling particularly festive this year, then why not take part in one of the oldest Italian traditions of the Presepe vivente, during the week of Christmas? These are re-enactments of the nativity scene that happen every year throughout Italy. The spirit doesn’t end in December though; carnivals, rooted in Italian culture, bring Italy to life in February, with almost every city in Italy holding their own carnival of sorts.
With many things to see and do in Italy during winter, why not plan your winter break to this magical country?