Spring Weather & Holidays in Liguria

When to Visit Cinque Terre. Ligurian Weather in April and May.

A Practical Travel Guide. What's the Weather Like in Cinque Terre & What to Pack?

Spring blossoms near Cinque Terre, Lerici, Liguria
Flowering cherry tree in April.                                                                            Lerici, Gulf of the Poets, Liguria.
Few decisions in life are this easy: Visit Liguria in spring. But only if you'd like to explore Liguria when there are almost no crowds, when the weather is good, and full services are available. Let's be specific: come after April 20 and before June 8*. The Portofino peninsula, Lerici and Portovenere, Cinque Terre, Camogli, Albenga, San Remo - all will have nearly full services, but with almost no congestion.  The only exceptions would be crowding in the resorts around Easter and May Day and a hot weekend, as well as mid-day in the Cinque Terre trains and villages .

While it's true that the beach-oriented resorts will be nearly empty unless it's hot, especially during the week, to us the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. If your goal is hiking Mediterranean hills, seeing Ligurian hill towns, exploring architectural monuments, walking country roads, advanced Italian watching or photographing Liguria's trompe l'oeil, then spring is just the time for you. See our story listing at the end of this article.

Ligurian flower in Spring
Ligurian flower in Spring
Ligurian Weather. So what's the weather really like in Liguria in April and May? You've read the weather summaries, but those are just numbers.  In the first half of April, it's nice enough, but it tends to be a bit chilly and there's a moderate chance of rain. The second half of April is very pleasant, and along the coast and the nearby hills, up to about 2,000 feet of altitude, the  flowers are out, the grass is green, and most species of trees have good sized leaves. There is still a chance of rain, but you are unlikely to encounter all day rain. The weather in May would be suitable for the Garden of Eden (except if Adam and Eve wants to sunbathe absolutely every day). This post is illustrated entirely with photos taken in coastal areas from April 18 to 24.

Travel Tip__________________________________________________________________
Liguria Hotel Guide+City Selector
We have written these special guides to help you choose a base town for your visit. Your clicks will help support our efforts to help travelers like you. Thanks.

Part 1 Liguria Hotel Guide & City Selector   
Lerici, Portovenere, La Spezia.      Visit Cinque Terre & enjoy the Gulf of the Poets as well.
Part 2 Liguria Hotel Guide & City Selector
Levanto, Bonassola, Moneglia, Sestri Levante, Lavagna, Chiavari. Visit both Cinque Terre & Portofino.
Part 3 Liguria Hotel Guide & City Selector 
Rapallo, Santa Margherita, Portofino, Camogli, Recco. Towns on the perfect Portofino Peninsula.
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Flower above the Gulf of the Poets
Flower with a view of the Gulf of the Poets.
Holiday Schedule. You will want to be aware of Italian holidays when you're planning your trip. Easter draws a lot of vacationers to Liguria, especially if it's in warmer weather, so reservations are seriously recommended. (Easter dates are below). Similarly, May Day, on the 1st, is a big holiday and will bring many travellers on the adjacent weekend. Liberation Day, April 25, is usually not a big deal, nor is Festa della Reppublica on June 2 unless they fall on a Friday or Monday and the forecast is for good weather. On holidays - like Sundays - restaurants are not a problem, but banks and most stores will generally be closed - however grocery stores may be open in the morning in many areas. Transportation will run on a Sunday schedule. There are generally no parades, large ceremonies, or street closings associated with any of these holidays.

Plan Ahead It's hard to do travel research when you are on the road so it makes sense to investigate Liguria's many attractions suitable for rainy weather. Genoa has a Museum of the Sea, an Aquarium, and its Nuova Strada museums are world class. See The Museums of Genoa Overview. La Spezia - near Cinque Terre - has an excellent Naval Museum, as well as art, religious, and ethnographic museums. See our article Ten Things to Do in La Spezia. There are well-known caves in Liguria Ponente, and Chiavari's classy shops are mostly in street arcades. There's a pasta museum, an olive museum, and a zillion churches with famous artworks. Plan ahead for the odd rainy day, and you won't fret about it.

Travel Tip_____________________________________________________________________
Renting A Car in Italy. Car rental prices are important, but don't rent based solely on low price and stick to well known companies. We have two articles to help you:    
                                              Link: Independent Car Rental Reviews for Italy 
                             Link:Car Rental Tips for Italy - Pick It Up Right 
We advise getting your car from one of the companies with the fewest problems reported (Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Autovia, Budget) either direct or via a reputable car rental broker such as AutoEurope that provides added services without paying more -  24/7 help line in English before, during, and after the rental; easy changes and cancellation; as well as available less expensive zero excess (deductible) insurance.** We hope you will make your reservation through these links -using the links do not raise your price.
AutoEurope(US)    Auto Europe(UK) 
Avis(English)    Avis(IT)   Budget Rental (Europe in English) 
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Village of Serra above the Gulf of La Spezia
The village of Serra (SP) with an early fog from the Gulf of the Poets.
FAQ Should I pack a raincoat? We carry decent-looking lightweight waterproof jackets that double as wind breakers. What do I bring for warmth? A fleece jacket or vest that fits under the windbreaker. Should I pack a bathing suit? Only for sunbathing or wading, the water is still chilly. Should I bring a sun hat? Yes. Should I bring sunscreen? Yes, but you can buy it in Italy easily. Should I bring an umbrella? Only a mini, but don't buy it special - sidewalk vendors are faster than rain clouds. Should I bring guidebooks? Definitely, it's hard to find guides in English in Italy. We use this one locally: Liguria: The Italian Riviera / Whitehouse. The most popular Italy Guides on Amazon are Rick Steves Italy 2016  &  Lonely Planet Italy(Click links for the Amazon page). Should I bring a map? We think it's easier to arrive with one. For driving get 1:200,000 scale. We prefer the DeAgostini and Touring Club Italiano Touring Club Liguria Map (Amazon Link) series over Michelin. You can also buy one in Italy -larger bookstores and some autostrada rest stops have good selections. Should I opt for a GPS for a rental car? They are expensive, often don't show the ZTLs (no traffic zones), and many feel they are less useful in Italy. Consider bringing one from home with an Italy/Europe map loaded -both US & European cars are 12V. Other alternatives are device apps like Sygic or downloading Google maps for offline use.  What will I forget? Remember medicine, credit and debit cards, and a passport valid for at least 90 days and you're done - it's easier to buy things than to pack for every possibility. Where can I get questions answered? Look below for some helpful articles, and ask on the Trip Advisor Liguria Forum.

Italian forest in spring with carpet of flowers.
Italian tree farm. in spring.
Numbers  Here are historic air and water temperatures and rainfall totals to help you make decisions about your spring visit.
Average Temperature / Rainfall by Month and City

Mediterranean water temperatures

Extra credit: convert Centigrade degrees to Fahrenheit in your head. Double the C temperature, take away 10%, and add 32.
Example: 20C doubles to 40 less 10%  it becomes 36 and when 32 is added, you end with 68F.


Our Ligurian Ferry Articles
Spring Cinque Terre, La Spezia Area Boat Ferry Schedules.
Summer Cinque Terre, Portovenere, La Spezia Boat / Ferry Schedules
Fall Cinque Terre, La Spezia Area Boat Ferry Schedules.

Portofino Ferry Boat Schedules from Rapallo and Santa Margherita
Camogli to San Fruttuoso Ferry Boats with Recco & Portofino

Some of our Liguria Travel Articles
Getting to Portovenere   All about buses, parking, hiking, taxis, hotels, boats in Portovenere.
Portovenere Travel Guide - The Top Ten Attractions Portovenere's attractions for reasonable folk
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Castle to Castle Along the Gulf of the Poets All about Lerici - exploring, parking and hotels.

Getting Around La Spezia  Describes parking in La Spezia, as well as bus info and other goodies.
La Spezia Travel Guide: Top Ten Attractions as told by people who  have actually been there.
A Guide to the Local Food around La Spezia  Food of the area, as told by expert mangioni.
 
Getting to Portofino - Walking, Hiking, and More  Describes fabulous walking and hiking from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino.

The Most Beautiful Villages of Liguria Part 1 The Rock Villages A 7-part series covering 28 great little towns.

Buddy Can You Spare a Click? 
If we've helped, you can thank us by using these links to get quotes and/or reserve your car rental.
 AutoEurope(US) Auto Europe(UK) or this one to make Italy hotel bookings Booking.Com.Italy.

Easter Sunday occurs March 27, 2016 / April 16, 2017 / April 1, 2018 / April 21, 2019 / April 12, 2020

* The Italian school term ends starting around June 8, and hotter weather becomes more likely.


Written by Martha