There’s no getting away from the fact that February is winter in Italy—if you want to ski, then this is the time to visit. Having said that, if hitting the slopes isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other reasons to head to the Bel Paese in the second month of the year, not least because it’s carnival season! Many of the country’s city destinations will be quieter than during high season and, provided you wrap up warm, you’ll have lots of opportunity to see the sights and soak up the occasional hour of winter sun as you sip a cappuccino or spritz.

Temperatures in February in Italy vary from north to south, with daytime highs of 50F and nighttime lows of 35F in Turin in the north, and daytime highs of 60F and nighttime lows of 45F in Catania, on Sicily’s east coast.

Rome in February

February makes a great month to explore the Eternal City, mainly because of the lack of crowds. Although it’s not unheard of, it only snows in Rome once every 20 or 30 years! The climate is generally mild, although you will undoubtedly see some rain, so pack an umbrella. If the weather doesn’t play ball, there are lots of indoor attractions to see in Rome, both major sights such as the Vatican Museums and the Villa Borghese, and more hidden gems like the church of San Clemente or the Golden House of Nero.

Roman cuisine is known for comfort food dishes such as spaghetti carbonara and cheesy cacio e pepe, both of which are ideal for the winter months. For sports fans, Six Nations rugby games are played in Rome throughout February, seeing Italy face England, France, Wales, Scotland, or Ireland.

Venice in February

February in Venice means one thing: carnival! The city teems with visitors at this time of year, many of whom will be dressed up in costumes and masks. Carnival means all kinds of special events, from live music in public squares to exclusive masquerade balls. Outside the two-week carnival period, Venice in February tends to be relatively quiet, providing a great opportunity to experience the atmosphere of this unique city without having to share it. Watch the mist rise up from the lagoon in the morning before heading into a museum and rounding off the day with an opera performance at La Fenice.

Sicily in February

The island of Sicily is Italy’s warmest spot in February and you’re sure to catch some winter sun. During the off-season, most places will be relatively quiet and prices will be low. Having said that, carnival in Acireale and the feast day of Sant’Agatha in Catania are both big events and it’s worth booking ahead to experience these unique celebrations. The town of Agrigento, known for its unique temples, holds an almond blossom festival in the second week of February, which combines delicious almond treats with a program of live events.

Florence and Tuscany in February

The Tuscan capital is an amazing place to visit at any time of year, but Florence in February means no lines to get into the museums and an excuse to sample the city’s hearty cuisine, such as traditional ribollita vegetable soup and bistecca. Sports fans will also be able to check out a Fiorentina home soccer game—just make sure you wear their color: purple!

Cinque Terre in February

February is a great time to take advantage of the relative quiet in the Cinque Terre. The five villages are small and can get extremely busy during high summer, making the winter months an attractive option. The landscape is what you come to the Cinque Terre for and, although it won’t be warm and sunny all the time, if you wrap up, you’ll be able to experience the sunshine when it does come. If hiking is on your agenda, check that the trails are open before setting out.

Naples in February

Don’t expect to spend your days at the beach in Naples in February, but you will be able to take advantage of fewer crowds at top archaeological sites such as Pompeii and Herculaneum. You’re bound to see rain occasionally, so head indoors and try your hand at a pizza-making class or learn how to drink coffee like a local.