By November the last of the sunny early autumn weather is officially in the past as Italy runs headlong towards winter. Beach weather is almost non-existent, even in the south of the country, and November showers and chilly days and nights are starting to take hold. If you’re arriving in Rome, you can expect an average temperature of 55°F/13°C. Throughout the country temps range between 35-50°F/2-10°C in the north, to 45-60°F/7-16°C in Central Italy, and 55-65°F/13-18°C in the south.
Crowds & Costs
The good news is that by November even many of the shoulder-season travelers have left the country. Airfare and hotel costs will be at lower during this month (think 50% less for hotels than in the high season), and lines for many famous attractions, museums, and galleries will be much shorter. However, there are certain cities, like Rome for instance, that are abounding with tourists year long. So don’t get the idea that by traveling to Italy in November that you’ll have those canals of Venice all to yourself.
Where to Go
November is a good time to enjoy a cultural excursion, and since the weather is likely to be drizzly, it's best to make that excursion an indoor one. You can, of course, visit the famous museums and galleries, such as Rome's Vatican Museum and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. And because it's November the lines should be bearable. You'll have your pick of when to visit them, too, as museums in Italy are open 363 days per year.
However, there's one place whose culture is often overshadowed by that of Tuscany and Rome: Milan. This isn't just a city of catwalks and high fashion—here there's also culture to spare. It’s a great city to do some sightseeing (weather permitting). The Duomo Di Milano is a Gothic gem, and Sforzesco Castle, a medieval fortress dating to the 15th century, houses a collection of Renaissance art.
Chocoholics will definitely want to head north, to Turin. Like Belgium and Switzerland, this is one of the world capitals of chocolate. Each November Turin hosts the CioccolaTò. This chocolate festival takes place in the Piazza San Carlo, with vendors selling a dizzying array of artisanal treats, from dark milk chocolate to hazelnut pralines to candied fruits covered in chocolate to truffles to chocolate bars to chocolate eggs to—well, the list goes on and on.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
The weather of November prohibits many outdoor excursions, so it's best to enjoy Italy's cultured, indoor activities. Therefore, if you do travel to Milan, you'll find various world-class art museums, including the Brera. Aside from Florence's Uffizi, the Brera holds one of the most respectable collections of Renaissance art in the world. This includes Da Vinci´s "Last Supper" as well as some of the Italian master's notebooks.
There's also the Teatro alla Scala opera house, a 2000-seat venue that dates to 1778 and whose opulence and majesty is probably second only to The Arena, in Verona. The opera house is open daily and various guided tours are available (book in advance).
If you do have a rainout, simply stay in and enjoy the delectable food. After all, there are few better countries in which to eat than Italy. Milanese cuisine, for example, is based heavily on rice, and you'll find some of the most delicious risottos anywhere in the country here. You can also head to Piedmont and visit one of the many truffle fairs held in towns and villages throughout the region.
If you want to travel between cities like Verona and Milan, do so by train, because it is much more reliable than other transport options. And no need to worry about language barriers outside of Rome—these days there's at least some level of English spoken throughout the entire country.
Events in November
All Saints Day. November 1st. Rather than holding celebrations, this is mainly a day when Italians visit the graves of their relatives and ancestors to pay respects.
CioccolaTò (Turin Chocolate Festival). Typically lasts from early to mid-November but exact dates change.
Rome Jazz Festival. Taking place during the first week of November, the jazz festival features a week of concerts and performances.
Traveling to Italy in November? Check out these great itineraries.
Explore Northern Italy from Milan - 5 Days. Explore Northern Italy's cities and landscapes in this packed 5-day trip. Start in Milan, the fashion, culture, and business capital of Italy, to see the 16th-century Royal Palace-turned-art-museum and enjoy buzzing nightlife at the Navigli canals.
Food & Wine in Italy - 8 Days. This 8-day trip is perfect for travelers who want a packed itinerary but don't have tons of time. Explore Bologna's culinary delights, from traditional Parmeggiano Reggiano cheese to local prosciutto, then head to Florence to see pieces by top Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Machiavelli.