Umbria is often overlooked for Tuscany which sees far more tourists than its neighbor, yet as the “Green Heart of Italy” it offers gorgeous rural scenery, a wealth of historic sights, and unique, delicious cuisine. It’s not exactly off the beaten path, home to one of the most popular pilgrimage sites, the UNESCO-listed Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, but you’re still much more likely to find smaller crowds and often better prices as compared to more popular regions.
When it comes to the best time to visit Umbria, similar to Tuscany, April, May and early June or September and October tend to be ideal. Of course, your particular travel style and interests play a part too which is why we’ve provided this guide that will help you determine the optimal time for your particular trip to Umbria, whether you want to enjoy sightseeing, wine tasting, a more budget-friendly visit, or just about anything else.
The overall best time to visit Umbria is the best time for sightseeing, April through early June or September and October. This is when the weather is most pleasant, not too hot or too cold, with daytime high temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to upper 70s Fahrenheit. While this region won’t be nearly as busy as places like Tuscany, you’ll avoid summer’s bigger crowds, long lines, and the highest prices of the year. If you come in late September or October, you can enjoy colorful landscapes thanks to the brilliant fall foliage with changing leaves.
Just be aware that Assisi is the exception to the lack of crowds in Umbria in early October due to the Feast of St. Francis. If you want to enjoy the region practically all to yourself, come between November and March. Prepare for chilly wet weather by bringing clothing that can be layered, a waterproof coat, a warm hat, and gloves.
As noted, early fall is the best time to visit for wine enthusiasts and foodies will do well to come to Umbria now too. You’ll enjoy the idyllic weather of the season, typically right around 70 degrees with lots of bright blue skies while the warm hues of autumn are blanketed across the landscapes. The colors of the trees and the vineyards that turn red, orange, and yellow combined with the season’s glorious sunsets make for lots of fabulous photo ops.
Some of the best food products are harvested now too, including truffles, mushrooms, and saffron. In the town of Gubbio at the base of the Apennines, there’s a celebration of white truffles in late October and early November. It’s a great time to join a local truffle hunt with an expert. Of course, plenty of grapes will be harvested to produce the region’s fabulous wines, making this period ideal for wine touring and tasting.
The best time for outdoor activities like hiking and biking while enjoying the beauty of nature is April through early November, with the exception of the hot summer months. Temperatures can still be quite brisk in early April, but in between rainy days there’s usually quite a bit of sunshine and it’s a lovely, lush time of year to enjoy the outdoors. In May, it will be warmer and the fields between the hilltop towns are ablaze with colorful wildflowers.
Evenings are warm enough for alfresco dining too and the bigger crowds of summer typically won’t arrive until late June, just before the sun scorches the fields. September is similar to May although it’s typically drier and an ideal time for walking and cycling excursions, particularly during the second half of the month. October is a bit more crisp with plentiful sunshine and blue skies while temperatures average in the mid-60s, perfect for those recreational activities.
If you want to enjoy the most budget-friendly visit possible, plan to visit Umbria between November and March. You don’t have to come in the dead of winter, perhaps the early or later part of that period such as November or March when your chance of scoring good deals on flights and accommodation rises exponentially. Temperatures in either month usually hover around the mid-50s so it won’t be too chilly either. Most likely you’ll enjoy cool, crisp days interspersed with some showers.
You’ll want clothing that can be layered and topped with a rain jacket. It’s also a good idea to include both indoor and outdoor attractions on your itinerary so that it’s easy to work around those inclement weather days. If you go in the winter, it will be very quiet, with temperatures in the upper 40s, the streets often wrapped in a cloak of fog and some businesses may be closed.
There are festivals to enjoy throughout the year in Umbria, but most are hosted between May and October. In the town of Narni, the two week Corsa all’ Anello takes place starting in late April with the highlight a jousting tournament between knights that dates back to medieval times and includes musicians, lots of traditional foods, and costumes. One of the most famous music festivals in Umbria starts in late June/early July in Spoleto.
Festival dei Due Mondi features classical, jazz, and opera performances along with dance and theater events over three weeks. Also in late June, Bevagna hosts the Mercato delle Gaite which brings the 14 th and 15 th centuries to life, with live theater, re-creations, market stalls, and traditional demonstrations of glassmaking, candle making, silk spinning, and more. July’s Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia is one of the world’s best and the same city hosts the annual Eurochocolate Festival in October.
While the festivities for Christmas and New Year’s continue into January with the feast of the Epiphany on January 6 when children get gifts or sweets from La Befana, this is one of the quietest months in terms of tourism. Exploring the major sites will be much more enjoyable without the crowds. While it’s the coldest month of the year, Umbria enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate with the average daytime high close to 50 degrees.
If you do get chilly, you’ll find plenty of hearty, warming foods to enjoy. While snow is relatively rare in the lower elevations, you will find ski resorts in the Umbrian Apennines with slopes for beginners and experienced alike if you want to ski while visiting Umbria. Obviously, that means you’ll be encountering colder temperatures and will want to bring the appropriate clothing. Otherwise, the flatland areas typically call for a waterproof jacket and clothing that can be layered.
Like January, February in Umbria is cool but there’s a decreased chance of rain, with lots of dry days and sunny, blue skies. The average high temperature is 50 degrees and as it’s still the off-season, the museums and galleries will be much less crowded than they will during the peak summer months. The restaurants tend to be filled with locals rather than visiting tourists, making for a more authentic experience while being able to take advantage of the budget-friendly prices for a more affordable trip.
Those who want to ski can still take advantage of snowy slopes too. One of the biggest downsides to winter is the shorter days. In early February the sun sets just before 5:30 p.m. and by the month’s end, sunset is at 6 p.m. If you’re here in late February, the Norcia Black Truffle Fair, one of the premier food festivals in Umbria, brings an exposition of black truffle-focused products.
The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising too. While the sun goes down at 6p.m. on March 1st , thanks to Daylight Savings Time you’ll get 96 more minutes of daylight by the end of the month with sunset at 7:36 p.m. Spring is just around the corner – it will still be snowy and cold in the mountains, but lower elevation areas typically reach 55 degrees in the afternoon.
March is characterized by a mix of foggy, misty days and sunny ones, with more bright blue skies seen during the second half of the month. It marks the end of the off-season, ideal for those who want to enjoy decent weather with few crowds and discounts on airfare and accommodation. In terms of packing, you’ll still want to bring clothing that can be layered and a rain jacket, but you might want to carry a pair of sunglasses too.
Temperatures are still a bit brisk in early April, but the daytime high averages in the low 60s with some lovely afternoons for alfresco dining while the crowds are still relatively low. This is a shoulder season month, which means you can enjoy the region in peace, although Easter weekend is likely to be busy, especially at sites of religious pilgrimage like Assisi. It’s also still possible to score deals on airfare and accommodation. Enjoy those pleasant days cycling or walking in the countryside.
If rainfall comes you can always explore the museums or perhaps join a cooking class. When it comes to packing, you’ll want a mix of clothing for warmer and cooler weather – those early mornings and late nights are still cold with temperatures that can dip to the low 40s. Bring a jacket or sweater along with a combination of long- and short-sleeved shirts. You’ll need sunglasses for bright days too.
May is a wonderful month to visit Umbria, with landscapes bursting with colorful wildflowers while afternoons are typically around 70 degrees, still ideal for your outdoor activities and shopping lively markets that will be filled with fresh produce. The town of Narni will be hosting the Corsa all’ Anello festival during the early part of the month.
It will bring you back to medieval times, complete with a jousting tournament between knights, delicious traditional foods and costumes, and live music. You’ll want to pack as you would for April with a mix of clothing but the focus should be on attire for warmer weather like dresses, shorts, and t-shirts along with some long pants, long-sleeved tops, and a light jacket or sweater for mornings and late nights. While May isn’t as busy as the summer months, there will be a lot more tourists here now so you’ll want to book your accommodation well in advance.
Early June is still quite lovely in Umbria with the landscapes verdant though the heat will soon be turning the fields brown. Temperatures are really warming now with the average high around 75 degrees. This is a good time to walk through the wildflowers at Mount Sibillini which will be at their peak. If you come later in the month, expect it to be hotter with the humidity rising too.
This is a time for shorts, capris, dresses, t-shirts, tank tops, and the like. You might even want to bring a bathing suit for lake swimming. With so many beautiful cathedrals and lovely churches, keep in mind that if you plan on visiting them you’ll need something to cover up your shoulders and knees as well. Don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen for sun protection either. You’ll have lots of daylight for sightseeing now with sunset just after 9 p.m. on Summer Solstice.
July is one of the warmest and busiest months in Umbria with the average daytime high at 89 degrees and many days that are much hotter than that. If you visit now, you’ll want to avoid the most intense heat by spending time outdoors in the early mornings and late afternoons. In between you might enjoy time at your hotel pool (if you have one) or splashing around in one of the lakes. Indoor attractions with air conditioning are just one of the many other options.
There’s little if any rain to cool things off now, other than the occasional, short-lived thunderstorm. As many visitors will be heading to Umbria now, you’ll want to book your accommodation well in advance to ensure you secure an air-conditioned space for comfortable sleeping – and, as mentioned, a pool is likely to be used often. Bring your summer attire, including a couple of swimsuits.
August in Umbria isn’t much different from July when it comes to the weather. The afternoon high averages about 88 degrees and the mercury can occasionally climb above 100 degrees. This is the month when most Italians take their vacations, often heading to the beaches which will be even busier now, with parties enjoyed throughout the night. Cities like Florence and Siena are likely to be very crowded and major sites throughout Umbria will have long lines – for attractions requiring tickets, try to get them in advance.
If you want to escape the biggest crowds and the scorching heat, head north to places like Garfagnana where it’s possible to find a more tranquil spot and enjoy lower temperatures. Tuscan evenings are often quite lovely, with lots of live music to enjoy and there will be many traditional festivals hosted throughout the region too. When it comes to packing, it’s all about summer attire and sun protection.
Early September is still summer, with warm weather and plenty of tourists, but soon that will all change with the extreme heat fading away and lots of bright blue skies with pleasant temperatures around 77 degrees will soon be the norm. Evenings are cooling too with the mercury dropping to the mid-50s overnight. The second half of the month is ideal for trips that include lots of walking or cycling while avoiding thick summer crowds with most families back home as the kids return to school.
This is a romantic time of year, ideal for couples and music enthusiasts with Perugia hosting the Sagra Musicale Umbra, a classical music festival taking place over two weeks around the middle of September. Do keep in mind that you’ll still want to book your reservations well in advance if you plan to come now as it’s still a relatively busy month, just not as busy as July or August.
Early October is an especially lovely time to be in Umbria with summer officially over and the fall weather often idyllic, in the upper 60s or low 70s. There are even fewer crowds around now, but you’ll find plenty of festivals celebrating the harvest season making it ideal for foodies and wine enthusiasts. This is a shoulder season so you might even score some good discounts on airfare and accommodation, making for a more budget-friendly trip.
The days are still plenty long enough for sightseeing with sunset at 6:52 p.m. on October 1 st . With Daylight Savings Time on the last Sunday of the month, if you come in late October, keep in mind that you’ll have less daylight with the sun going down just after 5 p.m. Those who are here around the time can take advantage of the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Bianco white truffle festival in the town of Gubbio.
November marks the official start of the off-season, a good time to visit Umbria for a more budget-friendly trip with cheaper airfare and accommodation rates as well as fewer tourists, and lots of great food and wine experiences. Perugia hosts the San Martino dei Colli Wine and Chestnuts Festival, which comes complete with fireworks, for 10 days around the middle of the month. Truffle hunting is popular this month and you can expect a quieter setting wherever you go.
The weather can be chilly and wet – while daytime highs are typically in the upper 50s, this is one of the rainiest months of the year with about a 50/50 chance for a crisp, dry fall day. Over four inches of rainfall occurs on about half the days this month, so you’ll want to dress for sweater weather while adding a waterproof jacket. The days get even shorter, with sunset at 4:37 p.m. on November 30 th .
December is a quiet month in Umbria as well as being one of the coldest months of the year, although it will feel rather mild to many with the average high right around 50 degrees. The ski resorts in the Apennines will be starting to open with the first snow occurring there. The first half of December generally means significantly discounted accommodation, but if you visit closer to the holidays you’re likely to pay higher prices.
It’s a great time to be here, however, with the Christmas markets opening around December 8th and lots of holiday décor and sparkling lights throughout the villages and cities in Umbria, creating a warm and vibrant atmosphere. Perugia offers a fabulous Christmas market right in its 16th -century fortress, Rocca Paolina, but you’ll find charming markets throughout the region. Be sure and pack your warm clothing, including a waterproof coat, boots or shoes, a hat, and gloves.
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