Weather in Sicily: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Italy, Sicily, Taormina, Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea
Christophe Boisvieux / Getty Images

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean and one of Italy's 20 provinces, has a varied geography ranging from arid and dry coastal areas to a rich and fertile interior. Generally, it has a Mediterranean climate, meaning winters are mild and often wet, and summers are hot and dry. Inland areas of Sicily experience weather and temperatures that are more typical of a four-season climate, with colder winters and more noticeable transition periods of spring and fall. At nearly 11,000 feet above sea level, Mount Etna sees snow cover most winters.

Summer, especially July and August, is the peak tourist season in Sicily, when Italians and foreign tourists alike flock to the island's famous beaches and pack its cities to enjoy cultural festivals, food fairs, and concerts. Prices for hotels, flights ,and ferries will be at their highest during this time, and they also spike during the Christmas and Easter holidays.

Fast Climate Facts

Temperature and rainfall averages vary based on altitude and distance from the sea.

  • Hottest Month: August (79 degrees F / 27 degrees C)
  • Coldest Months: January and February (51 degrees F / 11 degrees C)
  • Wettest Month: December and January (4 inches / 102 mm)
  • Best Months for Swimming: July, August, and early September

Spring in Sicily

Springtime in Sicily is a season of full transition, with temperatures starting in the low 60s F in March and rising to the mid-70s F by May. By April, wildflowers, citrus trees, almond trees, and cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The smell of the blooms permeate the air, making outdoor strolls especially enjoyable during this time. Rainfall is moderate, between 1 to 3 inches, but even by May, sea waters are still too chilly for all but the bravest swimmers. This mild season is a great time for touring Sicily's many archaeological sites, which can be downright sweltering under the summer sun.

What to pack: Pack lightweight pants and both long- and short-sleeved shirts. Nights will still be cool in the spring, so pack a lightweight jacket and a sweater or two. Since a springtime vacation will probably involve a lot of walking around cities and outdoor sites, we suggest you pack a pair of sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • March: 62 F / 49 F (16 C / 10 C); 2 inches
  • April: 68 F / 46 F (20 C / 14 C); 1.5 inches
  • May: 74 F / 60 F (23 C / 15 C); 1 inch

Summer in Sicily

Summers in Sicily are hot and dry, and water shortages are not uncommon in the western coastal areas. Temperatures are typically in the high 80s but can exceed 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) if there's a heatwave. Inland and upland areas are typically cooler than the coast, especially at night. On Sicily's drier, hotter west coast, summer-strong Scirocco winds sometimes blow in from North Africa and can quickly ruin a day at the beach. The northern and eastern coasts of the island see less wind but are still hot and dry in the summer.

What to pack: Pack lightweight, breathable clothes that can be easily hand-washed in a hotel sink. Consider performance gear with wicking fabric, so that you'll stay cooler in hot, crowded cities and while touring outdoor sites. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are fine during the day, but if you plan to go into churches, you'll need to have your knees and shoulders covered. For the evenings, pack clothes that are just a little more dressy, like sundresses, collared shirts, and lightweight slacks. Don't forget your hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and swimsuit.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • June: 84 F / 61 F (30 C / 16 C); 1 inch
  • July: 90 F / 64 F (32 C / 18 C); 0.5 inches
  • August: 90 F / 76 F (32 C / 19 C); 0.5 inches

Fall in Sicily

Typical of a Mediterranean climate, fall in Sicily starts out slightly cooler than the summer and gets increasingly cool and rainier as the months go by. Swimming in the sea is possible until mid-September and beaches will be a lot less crowded than in the summer. September and October are great months to visit Sicily, especially if your itinerary involves sightseeing rather than beachgoing. November is cool and rainy and days are shorter but it's also one of the least crowded months for a visit.

What to pack: In September you can pretty much pack as you would for summer, with the addition of a lightweight jacket or a light sweater for evenings. In October and November, bring versatile, light layers. You may have a day where you can wear short sleeves followed by several days of sweater weather. Be sure to pack an umbrella and a light rain jacket.

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • September: 81 F / 69 F (27 C / 21 C); 1.5 inches
  • October: 74 F / 63 F (23 C / 16 C); 3 inches
  • November: 67 F / 57 F (19 C / 14 C); 3.5 inches

Winter in Sicily

While temperatures in inland, upland Sicily can drop below freezing, especially at night, in coastal cities it's rare to see winter temperatures below the low 50s F. An exception is Mount Etna, which is often covered with snow for much of the winter, making it a draw for skiers. Elsewhere in Sicily, expect chilly, damp weather interrupted by the occasional clear, sunny day. If you can put up with the dampness, you'll find you have Sicily's museums and archaeological sites to yourself, and you'll be around locals, rather than tourists, in the cities.

What to pack: Pack layers, which you can pile on or peel off as the weather dictates. Temperatures are mostly in the high 50s F by day but will dip down at night and damp weather can make it feel much cooler. Bring jeans or slacks, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and a mid-weight jacket. Oh, and don't forget your umbrella!

Average Temperatures and Rainfall by Month:

  • December: 60 F / 50 F (16 C / 10 C); 4 inches
  • January: 58 F / 48 F (15 C / 9 C); 4 inches
  • February: 58 F / 47 F (14 C / 8 C); 3 inches

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours

   Avg. Temp  Rainfall  Daylight Hours
January  53 F / 12 C  4 inches  5 hours
February  53 F / 12 C  3 inches  5 hours
March   56 F / 13 C  2 inches  6 hours
April  57 F / 14 C  1.5 inches  8 hours
May   67 F / 19 C  1 inch  9 hours
June   73 F / 23 C  1 inch  10 hours
July   77 F / 25 C  0.5 inches  11 hours
August   83 F / 28 C  0.5 inches  10 hours
September   75 F / 24 C  1.5 inches  8 hours
October   69 F / 21 C  3 inches  7 hours
November   62 F / 17 C 3.5 inches  5 hours
December   55 F / 13 C 4 inches  4 hours