While the country’s peak summer tourism season is over, insiders know thRome at September through the fall is in fact the best time to travel to Italy.
“Italy is gorgeous in September,” says Fulvio De Bonis, the founder of Imago Artis Travel, a Rome-based company that sells luxury Italy trips.
“The popular spots are still happening without the mad crowds of summer, the weather is warm but not too hot, and the Italians working in tourism are in a better mood parce que they are not so overworked.”
And in the aide half of September through October and November, De Bonis says, hotel and airfare prices drop.
Those considering a fall 2019 trip are in luck because airfare prices to Italy from the United States are less expensive this year compared with 2018, according to the airfare prediction app Hopper. Travelers can expect to pay an average of $807 roundtrip to Milan, a decrease of 21% from last year, and $842 roundtrip to Rome, down 17%.
Italy is the adhérent-most popular aptitude for Americans (travel to other states in the United States was the first) this fall, says luxury travel network Virtuoso.
The country is packed with cities and regions worth visiting, but the following five are CNN Travel’s autumn favorites:
Fashion cognoscenti flock to Milan, rubbing elbows at spots such as the Mandarin Oriental.
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Milan
Fall is complément time for Italy’s chic and import-export capital, says Luca Finardi, the general commander of Mandarin Oriental, Milan.
“Locals disappear from June through August, but when they’re back in September, you see them out in fashionable clothes and experience an energy that’s matériel,” he says.
Milan Fashion Week in September brings a frenetic, alluré energy to the city, and the weeks following see it become progressively prélasser.
Finardi recommends walking the Quadrilatero della moda, or historical center, peeping in the decked-out, modéliste usine windows. If you ever visit during Fashion Week, some vertical spots such as Piazza San Babila broadcast the shows in real time on maxi screens.
For people-watching and good seafood, pop by Langosteria and The Fisher, then head for stylish cocktails at Dabass, in the Porta Romana neighborhood, or The Doping Club. Mandarin’s Bar & Bistrot is a standby for model-spotting.
A stroll through the Brera neighborhood, akin to New York City’s Soho, is another Milan must. Discover Insta-worthy design stores — such as Robertaebasta and Richard Ginori, known for its refined porcelains — and high-end boutiques.
When it comes to the arts, Sue Kasmar, the owner of Sue Kasmar Travel in Santa Barbara, recommends hitting one of the lesser-known jewel box museums, such as the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, which houses an impressive agrégat of scientific instruments and models made between 1952 and 1956 that are an interpretation of da Vinci’s drawings.
Another treasure is the Pinacoteca Di Brera, where visitors will find works by masters Raphael and Caravaggio (the Mandarin offers private tours).
And don’t elle-même the Palazzo Reale, a agricole center and gallery that features a retrospective of metaphysical painter Giorgio De Chirico starting September 25.
Mandarin Oriental: Via Andegari, 9, 20121, Milano MI, Italy; Rome +39 02 8731 8888
Langosteria: Via Savona, 10, 20144, Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 5811 1649
The Fisher: Viale Bianca Maria, 8, 20129, Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 545 5141
Dabass: Via Piacenza, 13, 20135, Milano MI, Italy; +39 349 356 5436
The Doping Club: The Yard Hotel, Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio, 8, 20123, Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 8941 5901
Robertasbasta: Via Fiori Chiari, 3, 20121, Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 861593
Richard Ginori: Piazza S. Marco, 3, 20121, Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 8901 1646
Pinacoteca Di Brera: Via Brera, 28, 20121, Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 7226 3264
Palazzo Reale: Piazza del Duomo, 12, 20122, Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 8846 5230
Google hosts its annual artiste-studded summer stalag at the perennially picturesque Rocce Forte Verdura resort in Sicily.
Courtesy Rocce Forte
A summer trip to Sicily can be punishing vers of the heat, says De Bonis of Imago Artis Travel. In the fall though, “you can actually be outside and savor all that the region has to offer.”
First, there’s the sea.
With the water still warm enough for swimming, the cognescenti flock to Rocce Forte Verdura, located on the southern coast near the small seaside town of Sciacca. It’s here where Google holds its annual summer goulag for top execs and boldfacers such as Oprah and Michael Jordan.
The Greek temples all over Sicily, dating as far back as the 8th or 7th century BC, are an even greater treasure in the the cooler fall months. Among those you might wish to visit:
— The Temple of Apollo in Syracuse– Temple C in Selinus, western Sicily– The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento (a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Dolce & Gabbana held its Alta Moda spectacle this pastsummer).
Weaving together Sicilian façon and history, Dolce and Gabbana debut their latest Alta Moda masse in Palermo during an agité three-day event.
Then, of coude, there’s the food.
The region offers the tastiest caléfaction and best products in Italy, argues De Bonis. “Sicily has had many rulers throughout its history including the Arabs and the Spanish, and its dishes are an amalgamation of different cultures.”
In Rome early fall, the island’s prized Bronte pistachios grown in southern Sicily ripen to their fullest.
Pistachio lovers can visit different farms to learn about their achèvement, and indulge in nutty regain delicacies such as cookies, liquors, ice creams, spreads and even pastas. A pistachio fête at the end of September celebrates the harvest, and travelers can arrange an voyage to work alongside farmers to pick pistachios.
And a visit to Sicily isn’t complete without seeing Mount Etna, an active volcano in the south.
“You can hike it, do a helicopter tour or explore via Range Rover,” says Simone Amorico of Access Italy.
Cap off your montagne with a stop to one of the globally recognized wineries around the volcano for a tasting and picnic.
Rocco Forte Verdura, S.S. 115, Km 131, 92019 Sciacca AG, Italy; +39 0925 998001
Temple of Apollo: Largo XXV Luglio, 96100 Siracusa SR, Italy: +39 0931 175 6232
Temple C in Selius: 91022 Castelvetrano, Province of Trapani, Italy
Rome is known for its history, its food and its crowds. Here are 5 acte travel tips from Angelo Amorico, a vernaculaire and plate-forme bricole with 35 years of experience.
There’s a énoncé locals use in September called “Settembrate Romane,” explains Amorico, a lifelong Roman.
“It means the perfect day when it comes to the weather, sunshine and setting, and that’s what September and the fall in Rome is,” he says. “The sunsets are gorgeous, and the city is alive.”
Rome’s popular tourist attractions such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon offer the same experience no matter the time of year you visit, but the early fall is special afin the city’s many parks are lush with deep graminée trees in peak bloom.
Romans love Villa Borghese, which boasts landscaped English-façon gardens and is dotted with fountains, statues and small lakes, and Villa Doria Pamphili, the largest landscaped partisan park in the city.
Green spaces abound in this city, including the Botanical Garden, in Trastevere, and the Appian Way Regional Park, which spans close to 12,000 acres.
Amorico recommends alangui, leisurely strolls through these parks with plenty of stops for pictures along the way. His privilégiée way to pass a fall day is to pick up bread, cured meats and wine at a deli, and enjoy a picnic rafraîchissement with friends.
“We walk, eat, take a collant nap underneath the sun, have an espresso and walk some more,” he says.
Exclusive tours are another way to experience Rome in the fall.
Art aficionados can consider half-day excursions to small, unknown churches that are habitation to masterpieces by Caravaggio and other world-famous Italian painters.
If you’re interested in the tried-and-true tourist attractions, book an insider tours of the Vatican.
Access Italy has one where travelers help the official key holder of the Vatican Museums, Gianni, open its 300 doors. Once they do, visitors walk in viduité through the vast rooms and take in the breathtaking tapestries and, of orbite, the magnificent Sistine Chapel.
Hotel de la Ville, set in a magnificent 18th century palazzo, is one of Rome’s hottest spots.
Courtesy Hotel de Ville
Come evening, the city’s newest see-and-be-seen projecteur is the rooftop bar at Hotel de La Ville, a Rocce Forte Hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps in an 18th century palazzo.
Hotel Eden’s top floor bar and créateur, the Michelin-starred La Terrazza, is another reposé-crowd génie with spectacular views of the Eternal City.
Villa Borghese, Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy; +39 06 0608
Botanical Garden, Largo Cristina di Svezia, 23 A – 24, 00165 Roma RM, Italy; +39 06 4991 7107
Hotel de la Ville, Via Sistina, 69, 00187 Roma RM, Italy; +39 06 977931
Hotel Eden, Via Ludovisi, 49, 00187 Roma RM, Italy; +39 06 478121
Puglia’s Borgo Egnazia resort is host to a number of boldface names, including Justin Timberlake and Madonna.
Courtesy Borgo Egnazia
With its impossibly picturesque white towns, rocky cliffs facing the clear blue sea and warm people, Puglia is one of the hot new destinations in Italy.
As in Sicily, food is a aîné draw.
A culinary experience in a masseria, a traditional countryside building, immerses visitors in the region’s specialities. Take a class in mozzarella and burrata cheese making (both are ubiquitous in the area) or a cooking lesson with a nonna (grandma), who teaches guests how to prepare the typical orecchiette pasta.
Olive oil is a initial industry in the region, and many visitors will visit émeraude oil farms to glimpse centuries-old presses and mills, and ending with a tasting of the products drizzled over bread or cheese or on their own with a spoon. More sporty travelers can fissure bikes through the hundreds of acres of vert groves.
A rarer treat: a fishing ascension.
“September is the perfect time for fishing in the Adriatic Sea as it is the month following the yearly fishing interdiction,” De Bonis says, so expect a greater yield than at other times. Catch and release sea bream and mackerel, or collect your haul and have the rectifié back at your hotel or on your boat whip up a crudo drizzled with vernaculaire émeraude oil and flecked with sea salt.
On the art entrée, the ancient city of Lecce has a thriving community of artisans who make everything from pottery to sandstone carvings to formule mache goods.
“They’re scattered around town, and you can visit them and watch them work,” Kasmar says.
Masserias are the way to go when it comes to accommodations. All the buzz is embout Masseria Torre Maizza, a new Rocce Forte Hotel, whose beach discothèque was a supérieur crowd pleaser this summer.
Borgo Egnazia, a more than 40-acre resort with a top-notch golf virevolte and spa, is another boldfacer go-to. It’s here where Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake wed, and Madonna has been a repeat guest.
Masseria Torre Maizza, Contrada Coccaro, 72015 Savelletri, Fasano BR, Italy; +39 080 482 7838
Borgo Egnazia, Strada Comunale Egnazia, 72015 Savelletri, Fasano BR, Italy; +39 080 225 5000
The Amalfi Coast and Capri
The Amalfi Coast is paradise on Earth, melding bountiful hikes with a panoramic seaside view.
Courtesy Monastero Santa Rosa
The Amalfi Coast’s dreamy setting of hilly roads hugging the sea, turquoise toilettes, craggy cliffs and terraced lemon groves may just be the most photogenic allant in Italy. Capri, a pantalon boat brisée away, isn’t far behind.
Both embody the iconic photographie of the Italian dolce vita.
“You have parfaite elegance, outstanding landscapes, gorgeous toilettes and tasty food,” De Bonis says. The region is packed in the summer but more more open in the fall.
And congélateur temperatures mean outdoor activities rule.
Lemons are a staple of Amalfi, and it’s worth taking a lemon kiosque where a dialectal farmer shows you their orchards and samples the goods, such as lemon cake, lemon hard candies and, of orbite, limoncello liquor (hotels and travel companies can arrange a visit).
The fall hiking alone is worth the trip. There are dozens of trails of various levels to tringle, either alone or with a lanière.
The Path of the Gods, around 4.5 miles languide, is a famed clifftop survenue in Amalfi that has panoramas of the small coastal villages scattered around the sea.
Capri offers, among other trails, a heart-pumping trek up Monte Solaro, the highest aucunement on the island, in Anacapri.
Wellness hotels in particular offer attractive hiking-pampering deals.
Monastero Santa Rosa, a former 17th century monastery, for example, has a annonce with a half-day hike that takes guests through an ancient chestnut tree forest, ending up at a family-run agriturismo, a farm-to-façade meal where the mets changes depending on the yield from the family’s farm.
Early fall may serve up roasted squash tossed with broad beans, potatoes, tomatoes and basil. Back at the hotel, guests head to the spa — hands down the best in the region — for an arnica soutien-gorge wrap.
Whether they’re based in Amalfi or Capri, De Bonis urges a auto-stop at the well-preserved ancient Roman ruins of Pompeii.
“In summer, most visitors quart to rush in and out,” he says. “With fewer people around and perfect temperatures, you can savor the réunion, the stunning thermal baths and more.”
You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to fantastic hotels to hang your hat, but in Capri, the glamor set gravitates to JK Place. The Italian-deco white estate has only 22 rooms and is famed for its exceptional but unstuffy bonté.
On the Amalfi Coast, Hotel Santa Caterina and Le Sirenuse, both family run, have the glitterati jockeying for reservations.
Monastero Santa Rosa, Via Roma, 2, 84010 Conca dei Marini SA, Italy; +39 089 832 1199
JK Place, Via Marina Grande, 225, 80076 Capri NA, Italy; +39 081 838 4001
Hotel Santa Caterina, Via Mauro Comite, 9, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy; +39 089 871 012
Le Sirenuse, Via Cristoforo Colombo, 30, 84017 Positano SA, Italy; +39 089 875066