Italy is one of the most magical countries in the world. There’s plenty to see there, from historical landmarks to famous paintings.
That’s why many tourists from all over the globe visit Italy on a yearly basis. To top it all off, the country boasts some of the most diverse weather in the region.
Some areas are warm all year round, while others go through frosty days. This may lead you to wonder, does it snow in Italy?
The answer to that question depends on the part of the country you’re visiting. A few specific Italian cities get snow from time to time.
So, if you’re interested in finding out which areas get chilly, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll walk you through the regions that see snow.
I’ll also go over when to visit Italy to enjoy the snowfall.
- Italy experiences diverse weather patterns. Snowfall occurs regularly in the Northern and mountain regions. That includes the Alps and the Apennines.
- Central and Southern Italy receive less snow. Yet, certain areas can have occasional snowfall during winter.
- The best time for snow lovers to visit Italy is typically between December and March. This is especially true for the Northern regions and ski resorts.
What people say on Reddit
It snows every year on the mountains of Calabria and Sicily, which are both further south than the Italian equivalent of Flagstaff (Campania/Basilicata). On the Sila and Aspromonte (Central/southern Calabria) and on mt. Etna and the Madonie (northern Sicily) they average 100-300 cm of snow per winter.catopleba1992
weird how we’re seeing snow everywhere around Italy and in the South, but here in Milan, where we usually are colder, the weather is kinda nice. Chilly sunny weather, the best. Must be the dome of smog protecting us lolleo-skY
Italian living in Rome here. I woke up this morning at 6 to go work and I thought that overnight I had been moved to Siberia or something. I went straight back to bed without even bothering going to work cause I knew it was going to be a nightmare. I woke up at 9, had a coffee and waited it to melt a little bit. I have no winter tires or snow chains so I had to wait for the street to get cleaned a little bit by the other cars. I went out around 10.15 and litterally everywhere there was a massive snow ball battle going on. It was like the whole neighbourhood was just waiting for the snow to solve their beefs. I raised my hands and walked to my car hoping to not get hit and drove to work, where a pine tree had fell hitting the building aside my office, crashing a good share of the walls. Last time the city had so much chaos coming from the sky it was during the bombings of ww2. Edit: sorry for my mistakes. I wish I could say is because the snow froze my brain but in reality my english just sucks.Adrasto
Rome is pretty far south, many consider it part of southern Italy, warmer and drier than up north. I’ve been there when it was high 30’s, so it does get cold but it’s rare that it’s cold and wet enough to snow. Ultimate layperson’s explanation.darkchocoIate
The weather in Italy can vary significantly from one region to the next. This is due to a phenomenon called Geographic Diversity.
Each area has a distinct topography, which leads to unique climate conditions. To help you understand this, I’m going to divide Italy’s weather patterns into four types.
The first is the Alpine climate. This weather is dominant in the Alps and northern and central Apennines. In the winter, the temperature there can drop to about 17.6℉ (-8℃).
Because of that, these regions experience heavy snowfall and rain throughout the year. Yet, in the summer, the temperature can reach 75℉ (25℃).
If you move a little further south through Italy, you’ll get to Po Valley. This region is slightly warmer than the Alpine one, but it’s still plenty cold.
The temperature bottoms out at 30℉ (-1℃) and can reach up to 72℉ (22℃). For that reason, in Po Valley, you can both enjoy snow and sunshine.
On top of that, the weather in the region changes during spring and fall. Typically, the temperature will be moderate with a lot of humidity in the air.
The Peninsular climate is dominant in the central part of the country. In this region, there are two distinct weather patterns.
Along the coastline, the temperatures are mild, with few fluctuations. During the winter, this area can get some snow, but it’s not a sure thing.
As for the hinterlands, these areas get much colder. Because of that, the chances of seeing snow are pretty high.
Finally, during the spring and fall, the region is slightly warm with plenty of humidity.
In the southernmost regions of Italy, you can experience the Mediterranean climate.
It’s characterized by dry, hot summers, and rainy, warm winters. For that reason, snow is quite rare in these areas of the country.
Italy goes through many changes in climate throughout the year. Although, some shifts are more noticeable than others.
For instance, the summers are warm in central and southern Italy, while the winters are mild. Plus, these regions experience weather changes during spring and fall.
The temperature will be moderate, with little to no rainfall.
As you move up towards the north, the climate will get much colder. Even in the middle of summer, the Alpine and Po Valley regions are a bit chilly.
In addition, these areas don’t really have spring or fall seasons.
Now that you understand the weather patterns in Italy, I can dive into a little more detail. In this section, I’ll go over each northern region of the country and its climate.
The Italian Alps are arguably the coldest area in the country. Because of that, you’ll definitely be able to see snow during the winter.
In December and January, there’s heavy snowfall in the entire region. This makes it the ideal time to go skiing.
That’s why people from all over the globe visit ski resorts at that time. Some of the most notable destinations include:
In these locations, you’ll find slopes of all shapes and sizes. This means the region is great for both beginner and experienced skiers.
Moving on, you can also go skiing in the Alps during the spring and fall. There’s less snowfall, but you should still be able to find slopes to enjoy.
Some resorts like Cervinia offer a ski season that lasts until the end of May.
Helpful tip If you want to avoid large crowds when on a trip, then a winter vacation isn’t ideal. Instead, be sure to visit the area in the fall. That way, the weather will still be chilly, but with fewer tourists around.
Po Valley is slightly warmer than the Alps. Because of that, snowfall is less common in this region.
It’ll get the occasional heavy snowfall, but it’s much more infrequent. Instead, during the winter, the area is far more likely to have thick fog with plenty of rain.
To ensure that you see snow in Po Valley, you’ll have to visit the mountainous region. At the top of the peaks, the weather is always cold in the winter.
So, you’ll be able to find a slope or two for skiing. Here are some of the best resorts in the area:
- Brentonico Ski
- Ski Area San Martino di Castrozza and Passo Rolle
- Ski Area Borno Monte Altissimo
- Montecampione Ski Area
Other than the Alps and Po Valley, there are a few other cities in the northern region that get snow.
For instance, Milan can get pretty chilly during the winter. Due to that, you can see some snow, but it’s pretty rare.
Even in December, the coldest month, there’s only about a 9% chance of snow.
Moving on, Venice is another city where you may see snow. Because of its location in the North of Italy, the area gets plenty of rain.
So, when the temperature drops below freezing, there’s a slight chance you’ll see snow. Although, the last reports of heavy snowfall in the region date back to 2018.
Finally, if you’re adamant about seeing snow, then Turin may be your best bet. There’s snowfall starting from the middle of December to the end of January.
Central Italy experiences far less snow than the northern region. However, there are some areas where a blizzard isn’t that uncommon.
The Apennines mountain range boasts some of the highest peaks in the country. So, it should come as no surprise that these tall structures see heavy snowfall.
During the winter, the snow will cover the majority of the peaks within a few days. That’s when tourists can make their way to the ski slopes in the region.
One of the best locations to visit is the High Modenese Apennines Regional Park. This winter wonderland offers countless activities you can enjoy.
For example, there you’ll find the Cimone Ski Resort.
Moving on, if you don’t want to climb to the top of a mountain, you don’t have to worry. The snowfall is particularly heavy in this region.
Because of that, the snow will make it down to lower altitudes. Although this can change depending on the year.
Snowfall in central Italy is quite rare. However, there are still a few cities in central Italy that you can visit to see snow.
Starting off at the capital, Rome is a chilly city. Because of that, there’s a slight chance of snowfall in the winter.
Although, that’s only during January and February. That’s when the temperature drops low enough for a blizzard.
Yet, rain is far more common in the region.
Other than that, Florence is a little colder than Rome. Plus, the area sees significantly more rain than the capital.
For that reason, the chances of snow are a bit higher in Florence.
While you may see a few snowflakes in central Italy, heavy snow is unlikely. That means the cities don’t turn into a white wonderland during the winter.
The southern region of Italy can get quite hot throughout the year. So, the temperature is usually too high for snow.
Yet, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Because of that, if you’re lucky, you may see snow in specific areas in this region.
Snow in southern Italy is so infrequent that some areas don’t see any for years. For instance, it hardly ever snows in cities like Campania.
Yet, if you travel along the coastal areas, you may stumble on a little snow.
Let’s say you visit Naples. For most of your stay, you’ll experience a lot of rain, with strong winds.
Although, on a few days, the temperature will get cold enough to turn the rain into snow. However, this isn’t a sure thing.
Moving on, Tuscany is another area where snow is possible. If you climb to the top of the low-lying hills in the region, there’s a slight chance you’ll experience snow.
However, normally, the snowfall doesn’t last that long. You’ll get to see a few snowflakes fall to the ground, but then it’ll quickly stop.
Because of that, ice and slick roads can occur.
Helpful tip If you visit Naples or Tuscany during the winter, you need to watch your step. The icy roads can be incredibly hazardous and may lead to injury. So, move slowly, and pay careful attention to the path in front of you.
If you want to make sure you see snow, visiting the Italian Islands isn’t a good idea. The region experiences a Mediterranean climate. So, snowfall rarely, if ever, occurs.
Yet, that’s not the case for all the cities on the islands.
For instance, Sicily can get a bit chilly in the winter. Because of that, some regions can see a little snow.
North Coast cities like Palmero and Messina can experience snowfall. Although, this hasn’t happened in years.
Moving on, the chances of snow are significantly higher in Sardinia than in Sicily. That’s because there are many high peaks in the region.
Any area that’s above 1640 feet (500 meters) tall gets regular snowfall. The higher the mountain, the more snow you’ll get to enjoy.
A great example of this is the mountains of Gennargentu. These peaks see snow all throughout winter, not just once or twice a year.
Helpful tip If you’re having trouble finding snow in Italy, you can always go for a hike. Chances are, if you climb a tall enough mountain, you’ll get to see snowflakes falling from the sky.
Winter in Italy is a magical time. There are plenty of activities for tourists to enjoy and the sights are breathtaking.
Because of that, many people can forget about how dangerous the cold can be.
When the temperatures drop below zero, Italy can be hazardous. This is because slipping on the road becomes a common occurrence.
On top of that, with heavy snowfall, visibility will be greatly diminished. So, it’ll be tough to navigate the rough terrain.
Does Italy get snowstorms?
The answer to this question will depend on the region of Italy you plan to visit. If you’re going to the central area of the country, then winters are pretty mild.
That means the air will be chilly, but the wind won’t be that strong. Because of that, there’s no real danger from a snowstorm.
The same concept applies to southern Italy. Since snowfall is particularly rare in this region, the chances of a snowstorm are slim to none.
However, this isn’t the case for the northern section of the country. If you’re visiting the Alps or the Apennines, then you may run into a few blizzards.
Typically, the winds will pick up a great deal during the winter. This is especially noticeable in December and January.
So, it may be best to steer clear of northern Italy during these months.
Helpful tip Before you book your flight to Italy, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast. While snow storms aren’t common, they can still occur. So, to avoid a dangerous trip, be sure to do your research on the region you’re visiting.
When was the most famous snowpocalypse in Italy?
Italy has been through its fair share of tough winters. Some years, the weather got so bad that even the locals had trouble leaving their homes.
Yet, one of the worst blizzards in the country’s history occurred in 1956. The crisis began in early February.
On the second day of the month, the temperature in Po Valley was close to 5℉ (-15℃). This was an all-time low for the region.
Plus, the winds were strong, and the snowstorm covered all of Northern Italy. Even Rome experienced a historic snowfall.
Within a few hours, the normally lively city was overcome with massive layers of snow.
By February 7th, the storm had reached a new peak. So, by the next day, the southern side of the country felt the chill in the air.
At that point, even the warmest areas of Italy experienced heavy snowfall and frost.
This continued until February 20th. By then, there was snow covering the entire country. Luckily, after that, the temperature began to rise again.
Although, the cold would persist for yet another month. It wasn’t until about March 20th that the weather returned to normal in Italy.
Skiing and other snow activities in Italy
With the weather patterns of the country out of the way, I can move on to the activities. There are countless fun pastimes you can enjoy in Italy.
In this section, I’ll cover the top resorts to visit in the region. Plus, I’ll go over the activities these destinations have to offer.
Since there’s plenty of snow in Italy, there’s no shortage of ski resorts. So, if you’re planning a trip on the slopes, I can help you out.
Here are some of the best retreats in Italy for a nice ski vacation.
Cortina d’Ampezzo is part of the Dolomiti Superski area. Plus, it’s one of the largest and most popular resorts in the country.
For starters, the location is about a two-hour drive from Venice. Once you get there, the fun can begin.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the resort resembles a rustic European village. You’ll find all sorts of shops and cafes lining the main street.
Yet, the chief attraction is the ski area. Cortina offers a variety of slopes that’ll work for all skill levels.
So, you should be able to find a slope that works for you.
Although, if you prefer a more laid-back vacation, you’ll find many other activities. For instance, you can go shopping or swimming in the resort pool.
Helpful tip It’s best to book your trip to this resort months in advance. That way, you’ll get the best deals.
Val Gardena is another resort located in the Dolomites region. Although this facility is quite a bit smaller than Cortina.
It only offers a few easy slopes for tourists. Because of that, this is the ideal destination for beginner skiers.
The slopes should be simple enough to navigate, even for children. So, if you’re traveling with kids, this may be the perfect location for you.
Moving on, Val Gardena also provides a few other sources of entertainment. From fancy restaurants to shopping centers, there’s a little something for everyone.
Lastly, Val Gardena boasts some of the most stunning views in the country.
If you’re booking a trip to the Alps, then you may want to stay at Cervinia. This is one of the best destinations for intermediate skiers.
There are many easy slopes that go on for miles with gentle runs. This makes it the ideal location to improve your skiing skills.
Besides that, Cervinia does offer a few services to non-skiers. These include an ice rink and a fitness center. So, you’ll be able to stay in tip-top shape, even if you’re not a big fan of ski slopes.
Other than that, there are a few mountain restaurants you can visit.
While skiing is the main attraction in these resorts, you can still enjoy them as a non-skier.
There are quite a few other activities that you can try out. These include snowshoeing, sledding, and, of course, winter hiking.
Not only are these a lot of fun, but they’ll allow you to see unique views of Italy.
The answer to this question can change depending on where you plan to go in Italy. Yet, the best time for snow is usually between December and March.
Before you book your trip, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast of the region you’re visiting.
There are countless resorts in Italy that offer skiing as the main attraction. These include Cortina d’Ampezzo, Val Gardena, and Cervinia.
Other than that, you can visit Ufficio Turistico La Villa, Alpe di Siusi, or Kronplatz.
The simple answer is yes, but the snow only falls in specific regions. The area with the heaviest snowfall is the Alps, while the islands in the south rarely get any snow.
Yes, it can snow in Florence, but not for long. If you’re lucky enough to see snowflakes fall from the sky, the event will only last a few minutes.
Does it snow in Italy? The simple answer to this question is yes. However, snow will only fall in specific regions of the country.
The areas that have an Alpine climate will experience the most snow. These include the Alps and the Apennines.
Other than that, the regions with Po Valley and Peninsular climates see some snowfall. Finally, the Mediterranean climate areas rarely, if ever, get snow.