Europe's 10th largest country, Italy is known for its highly varied climate, largely owing to its location and shape stretching into the Mediterranean sea.
In winter, northern Italy is prone to frost and fog, whilst the south, although warmer, tends to be wetter. Average daytime maximum temperatures range from 7 °C (45 °F) at Venice in December to 13 °C (56 °F) in Naples and Rome. Average number of wet days ranges from about 25 in parts of the north to 18 near the coast. About 3-4 hours of sunshine are expected each day.
In the spring, the 'Sirocco', a hot wind from Africa, may bring quite high temperatures to parts of Italy, but thunderstorms are frequent in the Italian Alps. Average daily maximum temperatures range from about 15 °C (59 °F) in March to 23 °C (74 °F) in May. On average, 23-25 dry days are expected on average each month, and there are 7-10 hours of sunshine due on average.
In summer, the area around the Alps experiences numerous thunderstorms, and inland parts of southern Italy suffer extremely hot nights, often making sleeping difficult. Average daytime maximum temperatures reach about 30 °C (86 °F) throughout the summer, but southern areas are mostly dry on average, with 29-30 dry days expected. Between 10 and 11 hours of sunshine per day are typical.
As in the spring, the 'Sirocco' wind may well bring very high temperatures to parts of Italy during the autumn, accompanied by some high humidities. Daily average maximum temperatures are still pleasantly high in September (typically 26 °C - 79 °F), but they have fallen back to about 15 °C (59 °F) by November. The number of dry days varies from 24 or 25 in September to about 19 in November. The daily hours of sunshine reduces steadily from 8 hours in September to 3 or 4 in November.