Return to Website Index Page

  KLB Geography Resources - Italy: ClimateCLIMATE CHARTS (Click to Enlarge)

With its hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters, Italy experiences a Mediterranean climate

  • Altitude, distance from the sea and aspect give local weather variations
  • Winters are cold in the mountains
  • The coasts are kept warm by the sea
  • Winters from northern Europe spread south into Italy, bring snow to most mountains
  • In summer, hot weather from Africa moves north to the whole country

MAP 1 - PRECIPITATION AND WINDS (Click to enlage)The arrows on Map 1 show the prevailing winds. In the winter these bring winter rain particularly to the mountains. Storms like the Mistral can bring snow and gales. Heavy thunderstorms bring the only summer rain and this rapidly evaporates. The Scirocco is a hot dry wind from Africa. The graphs show hMONTHLY TEMPERATURES - JULY (Click to enlarge)w the Mediterranean climate has local variations. July temperatures are similar, but rainfall is lower the south, and much lower in the summer than in the winter. Surrounded by warm seas and with mountains close by, the coast always has a breeze.

  • Map 2 shows that large areas of Italy average 24oC all summer. The hot, dry Sirocco winds are short lived but can scorch crops and make life unpleasant.
  • Mountain areas are cooler with clear sunny skies. Hot air rising from the coasts brings thunderstorms.
  • The areas which experience the greatest change from summer to wiMONTHLY TEMPERATURES - JANUARY (Click to enlarge)nter are the valleys of Toscana and Umbria.
  • Farmers grow a hard type of wheat which makes good bread and, more importantly, pasta, but needs less water. They sow it in the autumn to make the most of the winter rains and harvest it in early summer. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are grown in large gardens with date palms, fig trees and olive trees to provide shelter.
  • Map 3 shows that warm winters are normal on the southern coasts. Temperatures drop quickly in the mountains.
  • Winters in the north are much colder with a January average temperature of -8oC for alpine ski resorts.

MANAGING SCARCE RESOURCES - Making good use of water supplies.

  • The Puglia area is amongst the driest and hottest areas in MAP SHOWING THE PUGLIA AQUEDUCT (Click to enlarge)Italy, and even in January temperatures average around 8oC.
  • The largest aqueduct in Italy serves all of Puglia and much of Basilicata as well. The system of rivers, canals, pipelines and aqueducts starts from the river Sele in Campania and brings water to over 3 million people. It supplies most of the drinking water and some of the water for industry.
  • Water condensed in the cooling towers of the power station is a source of fresh water that can be used in the steelworks in Taranto.
  • All houses and hotels collect all the rain water that falls on their roofs and store it in underground tanks for use in swimming pools, for washing and for watering gardens. Some hotels purify this water and add it to water from wells bored their grounds. This makes up the balance not brought by the aqueduc but the water is often turned off for a few hours a day in the summer to conserve supplies!

Drawing water stored in an underground tankPROBLEM:-

  • Shortage of water for all purposes
  • Groundwater from wells unable to meet demand


  • Limited summer and winter rain
  • Long hours of sunshine
  • High temperatures winter and summer


  • An aqueduct 2670 km long that supplies most drinking water
  • Collection and storage of all available rain via roofs and underground cellars

Top of Page Department Page Home Page Index of Links