The sluggish residue of summer finally shakes itself off, and Italy embraces cooler, more bearable temperatures. Bid farewell to the insipid humid days of incessantly dabbing at beads of sweat. After all there’s always a rainbow at the end of a storm. Or autumn breeze at the end of long summer days.

Mid September-Mid November offers a myriad of picturesque experiences unique only to fall. Here are five reasons why autumn is the best time to visit Italy.

Harvest Season

One signature of autumn is the copious amounts of produce that it invites. Annual harvest festivals for grapes, truffles and olives follow suit not long after. Anyone can indulge themselves in Vendemmia merrymaking – known in Italian as the grape harvest season.

Vineyard in autumn © Veditalia

Boasting over 350 types of grapes and vineyards that stretch on for miles, tours in Tuscany or Umbria especially are aplenty. Where else would you get to pick or stomp on grapes and after sip on the wine originating from those very grapes? It does not get more authentically Italian than that.

Grape harvest © lasicilia.it

Food & Film Festivals

Food lovers rejoice! Italy in fall would quench any ravenous appetite in a heartbeat. An unbelievable amount of torrone, chestnuts, truffles, porcini mushrooms, chocolates, and so much more dot the streets during these food festivals.

Torrone Festival © Colours of Sicily

Around October, the White Truffle World Market commences festivities in Alba. Don’t be surprised if you chance upon a village sagre – a uniquely Italian celebration involving an obscene amount of delicious local food and wine. In the face of a humble opportunity to immerse yourself in the local cuisine, how could you say no?

Alba White Truffle Festival © rove.me

In Mid October sprouts three acclaimed festivals—surely household names in the culinary scene, that send taste buds a frenzy. National Pasta Day, the Perugia Eurochocolate Festival and Salone del Gusto bring together the world’s finest selection of pasta, chocolate and artisan food in a gastronomy extravaganza.

Perugia Eurochocolate Festival © myelection.info

Food aside, Italy comes to life on stage. The full fanfare of film and theatre season kicks in, and operas play relentlessly to a covetous audience. The oldest film festival in the world docks in Venice and beckons a star-studded cast. It is truly a sight to behold for film buffs.

Venice Film Festival © verdict.co.uk

Literary fanatics too would not find themselves bored as dozens flock to the quaint town of Verona to commemorate the anniversary of Romeo and Juliet’s death on September 12.

Pleasant Weather

The refreshing dip in temperatures as the tide of fall swoops over is a welcome change. With temperatures ranging from 20-26 degrees, autumn allows for versatility in activities.

Lake Como © Pinterest

A great benefit of such delightful weather is making the traditional Italian stroll through the streets – passeggiata – a thoroughly more enjoyable experience. Traipsing through the cobblestoned alleys in perfect weather sounds like a luxury reserved for only an Elizabeth Gilbert novel.

Less Crowds

Any traveller’s nightmare is arriving at a spot only to find out there is a queue; no shorter than 2 hours. Standing in line can undoubtedly cast a shadow over an otherwise rejuvenating trip.

Crowds diminish as the summer winds to a close, making visits to tourist attractions smoother and more efficient. Furthermore, as the school year picks up in mid-September, streets would undoubtedly be brimming less with people.

Visiting during these off-peak months would be the ideal time to avoid lines that notoriously snake around the Colosseum. Scoring a shot that only beckons Instagram envy is well within reach during these months.

Colosseum Queue © Jimmy Harris – Flickr

Fall Foliage

Unmissable views present itself in Lake Tovel, Dolomite Peaks, and Pollino National Park. A radiant explosion of warm hues ushers in autumn as the beautiful foliage begins to peek through and the sheer beauty of nature unmasks itself.

Pollino National Park © vincos.it

Prepare to be mesmerized by lush woods and a vortex of seasonal colours. This is truly Italy at its finest.

Lake Tovel in Autumn © Daniele Dalledonne – Flickr

Featured image © thelocal.it