I’m not saying that I don’t like being around other tourists but traveling during peak vs off-peak season is a very different experience. Like being able to stroll into a restaurant without reservations or waiting for a few minutes vs an hour to get into a popular attraction.
I absolutely agree. We’ve tended towards April, May and October as our preferred months for visiting Italy, adjusting by a week or two either way depending on whether in the North or South. The weather often warm/settled but rarely hot in October, and rarely much rain. April / May a bit more variable, but overall similar temperatures.
December-March have been rare for us, but we’ve been to Torino to ‘fare la spesa’ do the grocery shopping in that period before and it presents a different view of the city that was good to see. A good time for a short ‘city break’
My first visit to Italy (Ravello in 1990) was the first two weeks in July, and gave a very clear view of how restricting the heat could be. Although Ravello got busy during the day, and for the Wagner concerts (even Prime Minister Andreotti turned up, as well as Nureyev - the latter as a concert conductor), the mornings and evenings were still a joy in the square (even though it wasn’t at that point fully closed to traffic). Even then, the paths were mostly deserted, but the buses were a stressful and uncomfortable challenge. I would have hated being in a city in such heat, surrounded by crowds of people.
Thanks for the recommendations!
My wife and I enjoyed Cinque Terre very much when we visited 20 year ago and would love to go back sometime, but it’s just not working out for this trip. (My initial hope was to spend time to Piemonte, but I think Firenze will be better for the activities our whole family is interested in…ah well, next time.) We spent a few days in Siena on that trip as well and enjoyed a memorable meal there - although at this point I have to admit I don’t remember the name of the restaurant.
Hopefully our timeframe works out so that most places won’t be overcrowded, but you never can be sure.