It's no coincidence that folks flock to Italy in June. It's officially summer, and while the sun is indeed out, it's not as oppressively hot as it can be in August. For example, if you arrive in Rome you can expect an average temperature of 73°F/23°C. For more regional averages, expect it to hover between 55-80°F/13-27°C in the north, 60-80°F/16-27°C in central Italy, and 70-85°F/21-30°C in the south. But even though these temperatures may seem perfect, you'll want to pack the lightest layers possible, as Italy is not immune to heat waves during June.
Crowds & Costs
There's no getting around it: June falls in the peak summer season That means prices for flights and hotels will be higher than at any other time of the year (often 100% higher than in the low season). Therefore it's wise to book everything as far in advance as possible, including tickets for attractions and sights within the country.
If you're planning on visiting the Colosseum, in Rome, one expert tip to finding shorter lines is to purchase tickets in advance from the official website. If you're already in the country, then you should head to the entrance of Palatine Hill and purchase a combination ticket. The lines are shorter at this window and the ticket includes admission to Palatine Hill and its museum, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum. You can also skip the line entirely by signing up for a guided tour or audio tour.
Where to Go
If the goal is to beat the summer crowds, then consider forgoing popular Tuscany for its less-visited (but just as gorgeous) next-door neighbor, Umbria. There are beautiful medieval towns dotting its rolling green hills, such as well-known Assisi and Perugia, as well as smaller Spello, Spoleto, and Orvieto. The best part is that if you visit Umbria during June you'll pay lower prices for villas and hotels than you would in neighboring Tuscany.
If you plan on being in Italy at the end of the month, try to be in Rome. That's because every year on June 29th the city celebrates the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, the two patron saints of Italy's capital. In the morning, the Pope holds a special mass in St. Peter's Square (tickets required), but there are processions throughout the city. There are also, of course, major festivities at the basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul. Plus there's also an impressive firework show that begins at 9:30 pm at the Pincio Terrace overlooking Piazza del Popolo.
This feast is only a holiday in Rome, so you don't have to worry about the merrymaking affecting traffic or transport in other cities and towns. That said, if you do plan to travel around the country, opt to do so by train, as other forms of public transport are often unreliable. If you're only going to be in Rome, you don't need much time—you can see the major sites and enjoy the festivities in anywhere between three and seven days.
What to Do
A popular outing in Umbria would be to visit the region's beautiful churches, such as the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi and the Duomo di Orvieto. If you're an art fan head to Perugia and the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, which features an impressive collection of Renaissance and medieval art. And Umbria isn't known as Italy's "green heart" for nothing. While here you should partake of the region's famous foraged truffles and sample its highly quaffable wines like the Trebbianos and Sangioveses. For wine tastings, head to the Pomario winery in Perugia or the or Lungarotti, in Torgiano.
If you do decide to cross over into Tuscany, and you're there at the end of the month, you can catch the celebrations of the summer solstice on or around June 21st. This operates somewhat in Tandem with the Feast of St. John, on June 24th. There are incredible fireworks displays in Florence during this period, and the best vantage point to witness it is from the Santa Trinita Bridge looking out to the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Events in June
Republic Day. This national holiday falls on June 2nd and celebrates the day in 1946 when the nation voted to switch from a monarchy to a republic. Many businesses are closed, and there are celebrations, parades, and fireworks throughout the country, particularly in Rome.
Feast of St. John. Every June 24th there are religious festivities in Turin, Florence, and Genoa to celebrate John the Baptist. In Florence, there's a parade in the historic center of the city followed by fireworks over the Arno River in the evening.
Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. This holiday celebrating Rome's two patron saints falls on June 29th, and of course, the big celebration occurs in Italy's capital city.
Summer Solstice. This typically takes place around June 21st, although exact dates change yearly. There are celebrations throughout the country, with some of the grandest in Florence.
Traveling to Italy in June? Check out these great itineraries.
Explore Rome - 5 Days. Discover historic and modern highlights of the Eternal City in this 5-day tour. Hear stories of gladiators in Rome's ancient Colosseum, tour the iconic Pantheon and visit the Vatican Museum to see the world-famous Sistine Chapel.
Highlights of Italy - 14 Days. Discover the sights and delights of Italy on this two-week highlights tour. Explore the floating city of Venice, the Renaissance jewel of Florence, and the Eternal City of Rome