When the sunny days of summer are over, Italy and Greece still shine. Travelers who visit these destinations during the cooler months will find themselves enjoying comfortable temperatures, savoring seasonal specialties, and joining in on festive celebrations. Here are four ways to make the most of a Mediterranean getaway in the off-season.
1. Fall for autumn’s flavors in Tuscany
In October and November, the harvest bears some of Italy’s most flavorful produce. From truffles, chestnuts, and grapes to mushrooms, eggplant, and pumpkin, there are so many seasonal bites to try as the weather cools down. Shop among locals in Florence at the Sant’Ambrogio Market in Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, where indoor and outdoor sections overflow with fresh flavors. Not convinced yet? Check out these three more reasons to visit Florence in the fall.
2. Ring in the new year in Rome
Winter is the season for celebration all over the world. One of our favorite places to say Salute! to a new year? The Eternal City, with its especially lively atmosphere on December 31. See how locals welcome a new year with delicious food and colorful fireworks, and join in on the festivities yourself. The secret’s out, you can’t go wrong with a winter vacation.
3. Celebrate Carnival in Venice
Colorful costumes, elaborate masks, traditional music, and dancing—you’ll find it all in Venice for two weeks leading up to the start of Lent. Each year, the Italian city bursts with merriment as revelers and entertainers take to the streets. Early February is the time to take part in this over-the-top event, which dates back to the 11th century. Read our Special Event Spotlight to find out more.
4. Soak up spring in Greece
While popular spots like the Acropolis will always have visitors, you’ll be able to linger longer—and snap better photos!—with fewer people around in Athens during early spring. (One staffer shared her spring travel experience right here.) For a dose of seaside scenery sans summer crowds, hit the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete in mid-April.
Have you ever visited the Mediterranean in the fall, winter, or spring? Read more about why off-season travel may be right for you.