August is the month when the Italians take their holidays. During the month, the temperature in most parts of the country is quite hot, even more so in the cities due to the level of pollution and the number of people residing there. Because of this reason, most locals take their vacations in August and head to the beaches or to the cooler mountain towns. Although the crowd in most of these places would be Italian, they are crowded nonetheless. However, visitors who plan to visit the larger tourist attraction cities like Florence, Venice or Milan will find most of the locals have left for the hill and beach resorts.
Prices in August for the big cities are also slightly lower in comparison to May, June and July so it can be good. The peak travel time is between August 7 and 20; August 15 is a must-take holiday called Ferragosto that virtually all Italians respect. A great advantage to be in Italy during the summer however is the great amount of activities that go on at night. All the major and some minor cities offer nighttime public enterntainment from dance to music to theater. If you plan to fly to Italy in August remeber to get your airline ticket well in advance, to redeem your reward miles for the ticket you will need to reserve 10 month ahead of your departure date.
Mediterranean Storm (Cecina, Italy) August 2008.
Weather in August
By the time August arrives in Italy, the climate gets too hot and stuffy in the cities. For this reason, the Italians take their yearly vacations in August. Unlike what most people believe, not all the shops in Italy are closed in August. People are usually discouraged from traveling to Italy in August: if you are looking for a place on a beach that might be good advice, since they tend to be overcrowded and most hotels will have no occupancy. This is particularly the case for the weeks immediately before and after the 15th of August as that is the peak of the holiday season for Italians. However, if you are visiting cities like Rome, Florence, Milan - July or August have a lot of advantages. In August, most Italians will be on vacation and it is amazingly easy to visit the cities. Traffic is minimal, and parking in Rome, for example, which is normally a stressful and impossible task, becomes easy! Then there is the summer nightlife, , of which there is plenty in most cities
Double tornado in Toscane (Italy)
Northern Italy is quite warm and on certain days even quite hot in August. In Milan and other parts of northern Italy, the average temperature remains between 16 to 28 degrees Celsius (60 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit). In August, the temperature remains much the same as it is in July.
In Central Italy including cities like Rome, the temperature is approximately between 19 to 28 degrees Celsius (66 to 83 degree Fahrenheit). It is best to have some good indoor activities planned for mid-day since that is the hottest part of the day.
In Southern Italy and the seaside resorts, including Sicily, the temperatures are at their peak. In August, the temperatures climb to between 24 to 29 degrees Celsius (74 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit). Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen if you are planning to head to the south in August. The most popular beach side resorts would be packed with the locals out on their vacations.
In August, throughout Italy rain is not very common.
Where to visit in August
In August the beaches and the mountain resorts in the north are really crowded so it's best to avoid those if you intend to have some peace and quiet on your vacation. The best thing to do would be to visit the large cities, avoiding the oppressive heat of mid-day and enjoying the night activities instead. Even the small cities have plenty of night activities as well. See http://www.lifeinitaly.com/travel/summer-evening-small-towns
Festivals in August
In August there are typically many smaller festivals in the seaside villages and towns since most locals travel to the coast during the month. There would be a few music performances, food festivals and many small medieval festivals all through the country. Some of the most well known festivals in Italy in August are as listed below:
The Tuscan Sun Festival is one of the most well known art festivals in Italy. During the festival, some of the most well known musicians and artists from all over Europe travel to Crotona to take part in the nine day event. There are many lectures and demonstrations on cooking and wellness, art exhibits, receptions, concerts and many food stalls and wine tasting sessions. Tickets would have to be booked well in advance.
In Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region, the La Quintana festival takes place the first weekend of the month and is known to be one of the best festivals in the region. The festival is a typical Medieval jousting tournament which starts with a large parade. The participants are dressed in 15th century medieval costumes.
The festival of Madonna della Neve takes place on the 5th of August and is celebrated for a miraculous snowfall which happened in summer in the 4th century because of which the church of Santa Maria Maggiore had been built in Rome. During the festival, flower petals are used to recreate the snow and many celebrations take place.
In La Spezia the festival of Palio del Golfo takes place on the first weekend of the month. During the festival a rowing race is organized between thirteen villages that are located along the La Spezia Bay.
In the Montisi town in Tuscany, the Giostra di Simone is held around 5th of August. The festival includes a parade in traditional costumes which is followed by a knights' tournament between the four neighborhoods of Montisi.
Castelli in the region of Abruzzo is famous for its beautiful ceramics. On 15th of August each year there is a unique ceramics festival which takes place in the village. The locals stand on a height and smash imperfectly made ceramics in a very dramatic way.
The festival of candles takes places in Sassari in the region of Sardinia. The festival has been dating back to the 16th century. The festival is held on 16th of August and includes an exciting race along with teams of local men which hold very large and heavy candles.
The Palio of Siena which is held in July 2nd is also held in August on the 16th. During the festival, 17 districts of Sienna compete in a horse race event in the central Piazza of the city. The city would be very crowded during the event so visitors would have to plan well in advance if they plan to visit.
In Montefalco in the region of Tuscany, a three week long festival takes place in August which is known as Escape of Ox. The festival includes processions in medieval costumes along with drinks, food and music and many interesting competitions between the four districts of the town.
Music Festivals in August
August is also a month of many outdoor performances and music festivals. Music events take place in most towns and cities of the country and information and tickets are usually available well in advance. The town of Verona is known for its Opera which in full swing in the months of summer. Many good events and performances are held throughout the month in Verona. In Florence too, the Firenze Estate is a venue for many interesting performances.
Rome too has many good music festivals in August. Estate Romana is the performing arts and music festival of Rome. Every evening the Sant'Angelo castle in the city has entertainment and music performances. One of the best places to visit in August is Lido in Venice. Lido is a picturesque small island in the Venice Lagoon and in August, the internationally renowned Venice Film Festival kicks off on the island.