Summer is the top tourist season throughout Italy, and small wonder. Sunbathing along the Mediterranean, warmer weather near the Alps, architectural and art-filled cities coming alive with the embrace of warm weather and fresh seasonal vegetables coming into their best flavor.
Many will argue that June is the best of the summer months in Italy, with warm sunny weather to enjoy before the hotter, more humid months of July and August. June kicks off with one of the big national summer holidays in Italy—the Festa della Repubblica on June 2nd. The other big summer holiday is Ferragosto, and this is the month in which many Italians take essentially the entire month off for vacation. The city population may be temporarily depleted of locals as the Italians head to the beaches or mountains, but tourists from all over the world flock to Italy and anyone seeking to spend time in August in Italy would be advised to make their accommodations well in advance.
Summer also brings a near embarrassment of riches with food. In a country lauded for the excellence and variety of its regional cuisine which utilizes local, fresh ingredients, summer is the chance to truly enjoy the flavor of Italy no matter where in the country you journey. Fresh, simply grilled fish and crustaceans served alongside pasta; summer squashes and chicory; Caponata made with fresh eggplant and just-picked tomatoes; the sheer simplicity of Prosciutto e Melone—fresh cantaloupe served with a thin ribbon of prosciutto; Insalata Caprese—fresh tomato and mozzarella salad; and the ultimate warm weather dessert—gelato or sorbetto studded with summer’s tastiest fruits. All summer long, the flavors of Italy are turned up high and are everywhere.