Best places to visit in Italy in February

February is a great month for a trip to Italy to celebrate S. Valentine’s Day and the Carnival period. You’ll also find cheaper fares everywhere, since it’s considered a transitional period between winter and spring and you can take advantage of some discounts, especially in the mountains.

A good way to spend S. Valentine’s Day is organizing a trip to an Italian city of art or a stay in the mountains to enjoy some peace and relax far away from your busy routine. As for Carnival, you’ll be spoilt for choice, since every Italian city has its own traditions and local customs and the list you’ll find below is just a hint of what you can experience.

Weather is still cold and winter-like with a lot of snow in the mountains and frequent rainfalls, but you might already see a slight change announcing the arrival of spring on the sunniest days.

February is the perfect month for discovering local customs and traditions.

You can also see the map here

Best things to do in Italy in February

1. Enjoy a family skiing holiday in Livigno (Lombardia)

What: Livigno is the main mountain resort in Lombardia and it is located close to the Swiss border in the famous Valtellina area. It’s a traditional location for a family skiing holiday since it’s full of facilities, accommodations, and activities specially conceived for young kids.

What to see: one of the most popular activities is cross-country skiing on the scenic slopes covering about 30 Km all around the village. Snow-shoeing is another great idea and you can take the Mine trail or the Tea del Brun Trail, which are suitable for everybody.

How long: 1 week

Why February: to enjoy some family time in the mountains

Weather: the average temperature is -5°C with frequent snowfalls

Practical tips: choose one of the many family hotels and apartments especially conceived for families with children. This kind of accommodations includes a babysitting service, pediatric care, playground areas and special menus for kids.

2. Relax at the spa in Pré S. Didier (Valle d’Aosta)

What: Pré S. Didier is a popular spa town at the base of Mount Blanc and its beneficial waters were already appreciated by the Romans. It was also one of the favorite holiday locations of the Savoy Kings and it still attracts many visitors searching for some wellness and relax in a beautiful alpine setting.

What to see: the main attraction of this tiny village is the QC Terme spa facility, which was founded in 1838 and still attracts many visitors from all around Europe. It has 40 pools, both indoor and outdoor, and some nice sweat lodges in the shape of traditional wooden chalets. Its themed break rooms are also very popular as well as the many different treatments you can get. The other attraction of this mountain resort is the panoramic boardwalk above a 160m deep gorge, from where you can admire the Mont Blanc and a waterfall.

How long: 1 weekend

Why February: to spend a romantic St Valentine’s Day at the spa

Weather: the average temperature is -3°C with frequent snowfalls

Practical tip: to book your stay at the spa visit here. 

3. Take part in the worldwide famous Venice Carnival (Veneto)

What: This international event always attracts large crowds in Venice and the city gets really busy, noisy and chaotic, but full of charm and cheer. The local Carnival’s setting is the XVII century and everybody dresses up like a nobleman or a noblewoman to reproduce the splendor of that historic period.

What to see: there are many events in town during the Carnival week, but one of the best is the so-called “Flight of the Angel”, where the winner of the last local beauty contest (the “Maria” elected during the previous Carnival) “flies” from the top of St Mark’s Tower on a sort of zipline. Another popular event is the “Party on the Water”, where several masked small boats parade along the Canal Grande.

How long: 1 weekend

Why February: to take part in this iconic folk event

Weather: the average temperature is 6°C with frequent rainfalls

Practical tips: if you don’t like large crowds, you shouldn’t plan a visit to Venice in this period. During the Carnival celebrations the city gets so crowded that you’ll be literally “squeezed” in the narrow streets!

4. Spend a romantic weekend in Verona (Veneto)

What: Verona is considered one of the most romantic cities of Italy and it’s the place where the famous love story between Romeo and Juliet took place. It’s a very popular destination for St Valentine’s Day and the Old Town is decorated with hearts and lights on this special occasion.  

What to see: of course, your first stop should be Juliet’s House with its iconic balcony, but you should also see Romeo’s house, which is just a few blocks away! You can then head to the Arena and visit this beautiful Roman amphitheater still housing some important concerts today. At sunset, the most romantic place in town is the ancient Stone Bridge, where you can have a walk before dinner.

How long: 1 weekend

Why February: to celebrate St Valentine’s Day

Weather: the average temperature is 4°C with frequent rainfalls

Practical tips: have a break in a local café to taste the “Kisses of Romeo and Juliet”, which are local sweet treats made of almond and hazelnut paste with cocoa and chocolate for Juliet and coconut and vanilla for Romeo.

5. Take part in a medieval battle in Ivrea (Piemonte)

What: one of the oldest Italian Carnival celebrations takes place in Ivrea, where every year the inhabitants stage an episode occurred in the Middle Ages. The heart of the feast is the so-called “battle of the oranges” representing the popular uprising against the feudal oppression. During 3 days, the “knights in armors” and the “common people” throw oranges to each other in a real battle! If you don’t take part in the representation, you shall wear a red hat to avoid being hit!

What to see: Ivrea is not only famous for its Carnival events, but also for being the headquarter of the Olivetti Company, which was the first typewriter factory that revolutionized the office life of Italian workers. Today, you can learn more about it at the Tecnologicamente Museum also housing the first original typewriters that were produced there. Another piece of heritage of that period is the former La Serra Hotel, which was built at the end of the 60s in the shape of a huge typewriter!

How long: 1day trip from Turin or Aosta

Why February: to watch an epic battle!

Weather: the average temperature is 5°C with an alternation of sun and clouds

Practical tips: the battle might get dangerous if you don’t follow some safety rules like wearing the traditional red hat, keeping your distance from the horses and avoiding wearing your glasses!

6. Stay fit in Val Gardena (Trentino Alto Adige)

What: this beautiful valley is located in the Dolomites and it is one of the most popular recreational areas of Trentino. It is particularly crowded in winter when skiers and sports lovers gather there to spend a fun and adventurous “settimana bianca” (skiing holiday).

What to see: one of the best towns to be used as a base for your explorations is Ortisei, which has plenty of slopes and facilities nearby. As an alternative, you can choose Selva di Val Gardena, which is higher (1500m) and closer to the famous Sellaronda loop.

How long: 1 week

Why February: to enjoy a skiing holiday

Weather: the average temperature is 0°C with frequent snowfalls

Practical tips: if you are a sports lover, try the package “Val Gardena Active”, which consists of a customized training week in the mountains. Download the brochure here.

7. Admire the beauty of winter at Alpe di Siusi (Trentino Alto Adige)

What: This plateau is located in the Dolomites and it is the most scenic place of Trentino Region. It is particularly beautiful in winter, when it offers a fairy snowy landscape and some peace, far away from the busy daily life.

What to see: if you like trekking, head to Bullaccia point and enjoy the landscape from the observation deck overlooking the glaciers. Another really beautiful place is the Puez Odle natural park offering many trails suitable in every season, like the Adolf Munkel Trail or the climb to Col di Poma.

How long: 1 weekend

Why February: to spend S. Valentine’s Day in a quiet and isolated place

Weather: the average temperature is 0°C with frequent snowfalls

Practical tips: Alpe di Siusi is really isolated and you’ll only find a bunch of chalets, so don’t go there if you cannot give up some comfort!

8. Enjoy the vibrancy of Acireale Carnival (Sicily)

What: the main Carnival celebrations in Sicily take place in Acireale and they consist of a parade of both allegorical floats and flowered wagons. The event takes place in the beautiful Baroque Old Town, which adds some extra charm to the colorful and noisy parade.

What to see: the heart of Acireale is Piazza Duomo, an elegant Baroque square where you can find the richly decorated Cathedral and the tall bell tower. Another church you cannot miss is the Basilica of S. Sebastiano, rich in works of art. To immerse yourself in some local folklore, visit also the Pupi (“puppets”) Museum to learn more about this ancient tradition.

How long: 1day trip from Catania, Messina or Siracusa

Why February: to take part in the Carnival celebrations

Weather: the average temperature is 10°C with sunny days

Practical tips: if you are going to spend a whole weekend in Acireale, don’t forget to spend half a day in Taormina too! It is easily reachable by train from there (1h20) and it is even faster to go there by car (40 minutes)

9. Watch the parade of allegorical floats in Viareggio (Tuscany)

What: the biggest and most spectacular Italian allegorical floats can be seen in Viareggio, while slowly parading along the waterfront. The floats are all about current issues and they display the most recent facts about national and international politics, environment and society in a satirical and ironic way.

What to see: the parade takes place along the nice Margherita Promenade, which is lined with elegant buildings in Liberty and Art Nouveau style. In Viareggio, you can visit some old noble villas such as Villa Argentina (with its rich and colorful ceramic and stucco decorations) and Villa Paolina (the luxurious villa of Napoleon’s sister, now housing three important civic museums).

How long: 1day trip from Florence or Genoa

Why February: to see the best Italian allegorical floats

Weather: the average temperature is 8°C with an alternation of sun and rain

Practical tips: these Carnival celebrations also include some typical music and popular songs that make the parade very heartfelt by locals. Have a look at them on Youtube before going there in order to be prepared!

10. Catch as many chocolates as you can in Fano (Marche)

What: Carnival is delicious in Fano because the local tradition involves throwing sweet treats to the people from the allegorical floats parading through the city center. Chocolates are everywhere and they are very appreciated by both adults and kids! This custom evokes the reconciliation of two rival families that made peace in 1347 after many years of conflict.

What to see: Fano has a rich Roman heritage and you should not miss the Arch of Augustus (the ancient entrance gate), the Walls of Augustus (they are still the original ones!), the Augusteum (a temple dedicated to the Emperor) and the interesting archeological collection of the Malatestiano Museum.

How long: 1day trip from Rimini or Bologna

Why February: to take part in the Carnival celebrations

Weather: the average temperature is 7°C with cloudy weather

Practical tips: bring your pet with you and take part in the “Carnival of Dogs”, which is a special parade of masked pets!

 

 

 
 

 

 

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