There are plenty of reasons to visit Italy in November. Sure, the weather is beautiful, but the prices are also lower and the crowds fewer. This autumn month is a bit of a shoulder season, so you won’t be fighting off other tourists. Since the weather isn’t too hot or too cold, you’ll have the best of both worlds while exploring Italy’s gems! So, what should you see and do while visiting Italy in November? Here are a few ideas.
Festivals and Events in November
All Saints Day and All Souls Day
This holiday takes place on November 1st and 2nd. It’s celebrated by the entire country, and is the time when Italians gather to celebrate the saints. Typically, locals visit cemeteries with flowers to honor their relatives who’ve passed on. While it may seem slightly morbid, the rest of the day is surrounded by live music, cultural festivals, food fairs, and performing arts events. It’s a great way to experience authentic, Italian culture.
Rome Europa Festival
During November, visit Rome to celebrate European culture. Various events take place around the city, depending on the day and time. Everything from art and politics to food and immigrant stories are displayed and celebrated throughout the festival. Learn all about Europe and Italy at the same time.
The Olive Harvest in Tuscany
Taking place on November 3rd, one of Italy’s most stunning regions hosts its olive harvest. Tuscany is known as a foodie destination, as well as a hotspot for harvests. It’s the top destination in the country for olive harvests, making it a must-visit if you want to take part. You’ll find the freshest and tastiest olives in the world at this festival, so make sure to eat as many as you can. There will be olive-oil regional food dishes, top tier olive oils, and other Italian specialities. If you love olives, or just love food, you should definitely attend.
Alba White Truffle Festival
Located in Piemonte, Alba is one of the top producing truffle locations in the world. This festival is dedicated to these delicious fungi, and runs until November 11th. This is one of the largest and most well-known truffle festival on the planet, which is enough reason to attend. Top truffle hunters come to show off their hard work and sell their tasty findings. They compete for the best mushrooms, which can be really interesting to witness. If you’re a foodie, you don’t want to miss this.
San Miniato Truffle Fair
Located in Tuscany, this festival is celebrated on the third and fourth weekend in November. It can be found in San Miniato, a medieval mountain town. Foodies should make the trip to taste white truffles amongst entertainment and craft stands. The nearby restaurants will have specialty menus featuring truffles, and the fair itself will have plenty of options for truffle-based meals. While it may not be as big as the Alba festival, it certainly is festive and worth experiencing.
Festa della Madonna Della Salute
This festival takes place in Venice on November 21st. This one isn’t exactly a hit with tourists, but it can be interesting for those looking for authentic culture. The festival has deep religious roots and is meant to remember the plague that affected Venice in the 15th century. Religious travelers come to Venice on this day to give their thanks to the saints at Salute Church. Join in if you want to see a different side of Italy.
Roma Jazz Festival
If you love jazz, you need to make it to this festival in Rome. It takes place from November 9th until the 30th, and is a wonderful display of Italy’s take on American jazz music. Some may think it’s a bit strange to see live jazz in Italy, but the music was popularized by American soldiers who were stationed here after the Second World War. Regardless, the music is fantastic, and the crowds typically have great energy.
Fieracavalli International Horse Show
This festival takes place in Verona from November 7th until the 11th. It’s one of Italy’s most known and respected horse shows, and draws in some of the world’s best riders. If you aren’t into equestrian shows, it’s still a great way to experience local culture. Plus, there is food and plenty of people watching to keep you entertained.
Florence Art and Restoration Fair
From November 13th until the 15th, visitors can be a part of restoring art in Florence. The city is world-famous for housing works like Florentine Pieta and The David statue, and this festival brings people together to keep these works intact. Schools, institutions, private companies, and training programs come together to raise awareness and money to keep these works of art safe.
Regions to Visit in November
While Tuscany’s harvest season is winding down, there is still plenty to experience here in November. The Alba Truffle Festival is certainly a top pick, especially for foodies. The changing colors of the leaves bring the Tuscan countryside to life, so make sure to pack a camera. While wandering the region make sure to taste the chestnuts, mushrooms, fresh olives, and of course, the wine. There are markets, vineyards, wineries, and plenty of natural scenery to keep you entranced.
Often called the ‘green region,’ this area borders Tuscany and is beautiful during November. Umbria is covered in forests, medieval towns, and wineries. While Tuscany often steals the spotlight, this region is honestly worth seeing, especially if you’re already visiting Tuscany. Foodies will have a great time because Umbria takes great pride in its restaurant scene. Test out the local flavors, fresh produce, and fine wines.
Food and wine fans must visit Piemonte during November. The harvest season is winding down and it may be slightly chilly, but expect some excellent wine, refined dishes and scenic views. Visit Barolo, a town that is famous for its wine, and book a truffle mushroom hunt if you’re visiting earlier in the month. In Piemonte, the views during Autumn are some of the best all year.
Once the summer crowds have died down, Florence is a wonderful city to visit. There will still be plenty of visitors, but the crowds will be more manageable. Make sure to visit the museums, see the Statue of David, and get lost in the streets. Since November can be on the chilly side, there are plenty of museums to pop into if you want to warm up while looking at the artwork.
The crowds in Rome really die down in November, making it much easier to sightsee. The autumn colors give the ancient buildings a beautiful backdrop, and the weather is perfect for nearly every activity. Pay special attention to the markets as they are brimming with the season’s harvest. Make sure to visit Campo de’ Fiori and pick up pumpkins, zucchini, arugula, chestnuts, and artichokes.
Venice is a gorgeous place to visit during any time of the year, but in November, it’s particularly pretty. Opera season is in full swing so there will be plenty of entertainment options. Wander the alleyways and cobblestone streets and fight off a chill with a steamy cappuccino. There’s plenty of museums to wander if you’ve had enough of the brisk air. And, there’s always an opportunity to take a gondola ride, because when in Venice, it’s a must-do!
Things to do in November in Italy
Since the weather is a little brisk in November, it makes it a great time for a soak in a hot spring. The spa at Bormio is on the Switzerland border and is situated in the mountains. While soaking in the 37 to 43 °C-degree water, you’ll have a panoramic view. Bormio has become a wellness destination with multiple spas like Bagni Nuovi, and Bagni Vecchi, which feature thermal pools and saunas carved from natural stone.
Cascate del Mulino
If you’re in Tuscany, visit these hot springs, which are considered an off-the-beaten path destination. You’ll find them in the Maremma Hills, making the location beautiful and secluded. Locals will usually be the only crowd here, as they enjoy the waterfalls and natural pools that stay at a temperature of 37.5°C all year. If you want to relax away from tourists, this is the place.
Over thousands of years, the Pope have collected artwork and sculptures from some of the world’s greatest artists. After amassing a giant collection, the Vatican museums were opened to the public. Visit Vatican City and you’ll have the chance to wander the multiple museums and see the collections for yourself. There are 20,000 pieces on display so you’ll probably need more than one day to see them all. Highlights includes the Renaissance art collections, Gallery of Maps works by Raphael, and of course, the Sistine Chapel. While the weather in November is nice, it can get chilly, making these museums an intriguing retreat.
Want the best view of the Roman Forum? You’ll need to head up Palatine Hill. A visit here will allow you to enjoy the weather as you wander the open-air museum. Palatine Hill was once an elite neighborhood where people wanted to live. Today, visitors can wander the manicured gardens, see the former homes of emperors, and peak at the medieval churches. Make sure to visit Domitian’s first century palace, as it’s one of the highlights. It’s a great idea to hire a guide so they can explain the historical significance of what you’ll see.
Galleria Doria Pamphilj
This private art collection is the largest in Rome. It was collectively owned by four families, and can be found in a luxurious palace near Piazza Venezia. While it holds an impressive collection, it’s still considered off-the-beaten path. On your visit you’ll find an impressive collection of 16th and 17th century artwork, halls of sculptures, walls of frescoes, and a serious display of status and wealth.
Pasta Making Class
Any month in Italy is a fine time for a pasta making class. Even if you hate cooking, this kind of class can be fun, especially as you get to eat the end result. You can easily find a class all over the country, but Tuscany and Rome are of some of the best options. Learn how to make tortellini, linguini, or ravioli, and take your skills back home with you as a souvenir.
Visit The Villages of Cinque Terre
Considered a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this region is stunning. It’s best to hop in the car and take a road trip to the five scenic villages on the cliffs. Take your time, soak up the scenery, and stop off at vineyards, markets, and olive groves along the way.
Pompeii is famous for being the location of Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption. The town was covered in ash, and many people who died were preserved in it. Today, many of those bodies are on display for visitors to learn about. When visiting, make sure to wander the open-air museum which features Roman forums, baths, houses, and of course, the people who were preserved.
See The Amalfi Coast
The coastline here is some of the most beautiful in Italy. It’s colorful, has tons of fresh seafood, and looks postcard perfect every day. Touring the area by boat is a definite highlight, as it allows you to see the coves and inlets up close. Grab some local wine and snacks while you enjoy the scenic ride.
See The Leaning Tower of Pisa
You can’t not see the Leaning Tower of Pisa when in Italy. There isn’t much there but it’s one of the sites that look surreal once you arrive. Take some quintessential photos of you holding it up with your finger or on your back; everyone else will be doing it too.
November is a great time to visit Italy because it’s technically the shoulder season, and the weather is lovely. There are tons of festivals going on, and lots of culture and food to take in. If you want to see some of Italy’s best, November is the perfect time to do it.