One of the many perks of planning a vacation to Italy in May is the gorgeous, mild spring climate. It’s a great time to travel, especially for those who can’t stand the heat. However, with May weather in Italy ranging from a few leftover April showers at the start, to warm, summer-like days at the end of the month, packing for May requires a well-planned wardrobe. To help you feel comfortable and stylish no matter what Mother Nature throws at you, we’ve put together a complete guide on what to wear for May weather in Italy.
May Weather in Italy
Before you reach for your suitcase, it’s time to get the low-down on May weather in Italy. This way, you can better optimize the space in your suitcase for your Italian vacation! May weather in Italy can be pleasantly warm; however, It can also bring sudden afternoon showers that lead to some absolutely stunning rainbows and refreshing cool temperatures. These afternoon showers typically occur in early May and don’t last very long, but to ensure you don’t get caught off guard, come prepared with an umbrella and make sure to monitor the weather close to your travel dates.
One thing to keep in mind is that Italy is quite a large country and while the weather is generally mild in May, it can vary from region to region. Average temperatures in Northern Italy during May range from 50 – 70 degrees fahrenheit (10 to 20 degrees celsius), but as you travel further South, the average temperature ranges from 60 – 80 degrees fahrenheit (15 to 30 degrees celsius). In Central Italy, where we host most of our boutique small group Italy tours the weather is typically very comfortable, hovering around 60 – 75 degrees fahrenheit (15 to 25 degrees celsius) . Another thing to note when traveling to Italy in May is that temperatures may vary throughout the day with crisp mornings, warm afternoons, and cool evenings. For this type of varied weather the best thing you can do is dress like an onion, ie. versatile layers that you can pull on or off and can easily pack into your purse or backpack.
The best part of Italy’s temperate weather in the spring? It brings a plethora of amazing seasonal produce with it, which is always reflected in the delicious local cuisine. Another thing to look forward to during your May trip to Italy! It’s especially a great time for those who love asparagus, strawberries and the local combo of fresh fava beans and pecorino cheese paired with a glass of Pecorino wine.
Layer Up for May Weather in Italy
No matter where you’re going in Italy during the month of May, it’s important to bring a few key wardrobe items. A light jacket is essential for cooler spring evenings and the possible overcast afternoon. When these overcast afternoons occur, Italy also has a wealth of indoor activities to offer; one of our personal favorites is to enjoy a cooking class in a historical villa tucked away in the Italian countryside! An experience you can enjoy when you book your spot on select tours with us!
You may also want to pack a few pairs of pants for cooler, more mild days. Bring a few different types of tops as well; tank tops are great for warmer days at the end of May, but it’s always smart to have an extra layer–like a cardigan or sweater–handy especially if you’re planning on visiting any religious sites where it is customary to cover your shoulders to enter.
Don’t want to look like a tourist on your next trip to Italy? Click here to learn about the Do’s and Don’ts in Italy – Etiquette for Tourists
Location Based Necessities
If you’re headed north to the Italian Alps, you should definitely bring an umbrella—May weather is known for its rain in many parts of this region, in addition to the fact that mountain weather can be unpredictable no matter what time of year you travel. In this case, be sure to pack some sweaters and long-sleeved shirts; the temperature here is quite cool compared to areas farther south. In central Italy and the islands, temperatures are milder, so shorts and skirts (with tights if needed) should be part of your travel wardrobe. And as always, remember a hat and sunscreen, even when hitting the mountains where the sun is a lot stronger than you may think.
Comfortable shoes are a must when traveling in Italy (or anywhere) no matter what time of year you’re planning to travel Italy. Whether you opt for a pair of sandals or sneakers depends on where you are headed; if you’re planning a hike, then sneakers or hiking boots may be more appropriate than sandals. Avoid anything too flashy or overly trendy so that you can easily pair your footwear with multiple outfits. Need help packing for your trip to Italy? Check out the Ultimate Guide for What to Pack for Italy!
Our ultimate footwear tip for May weather in Italy? Keep it comfortable! Many cities in Italy are more accessible via walking rather than driving, so instead of packing your favorite heels which get caught in the cobblestones, consider a more stylish pair of comfy sneakers for the day and reserve those heels only if you have a fancy evening out. This way, you’ll be able to comfortably explore the city & all of its hidden gems that are accessible only on foot and save on luggage space.
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Bring Pieces You Can Re-Style
Capsule wardrobes are the best option when planning what to bring with you on any vacation abroad, but especially when traveling to Italy in May. By bringing several different basic pieces that can be re-styled to create new outfits, you will not only lighten your luggage, but you’ll be better equipped to layer during cool mornings & remove any additional layers during warm afternoons.
No matter where your May vacation takes you in Italy, with these tips in mind, you’ll be equipped to dress comfortably while still looking fashionable. Remember that comfort and practicality are key when packing for any trip to Italy! Bring clothes that reflect your personal style while being mindful of the weather conditions at each location on your itinerary so that whatever happens, each day will be enjoyable yet fashionable!
Dress For The Occasion
When traveling to Italy, it is essential to come prepared for a variety of different activities. From truffle hunting, to sipping Sangiovese by the Vineyard, to dining inside of a 17th century Italian Villa–your itinerary should influence what you pack for May weather in Italy just as much, if not more, than the weather. Italy is full of so many different enriching opportunities, you won’t want to miss out on an experience of a lifetime just because you didn’t bring an appropriate outfit or footwear. So, while this isn’t a packing tip, per say, we highly recommend that you plan your trip in detail before you decide what to put in your suitcase.
If you’re not a great planner, don’t fret! We have tons of amazing activity recommendations on the blog that will help you put together a fun-filled itinerary. And if you would rather take the guesswork out of experiencing Italy like a local on your next Italian vacation, our boutique small group tours to Italy’s hidden regions are the perfect fit! Just book your trip, pack your suitcase, hop on your flight, and we’ll take care of the rest.
PLANNING A TRIP TO ITALY IN THE MONTH OF MAY? PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!