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How to Avoid Mosquitoes – the Bane of Italy’s Summers

Here’s how you can avoid mosquitoes when you are in Italy. But first, a little story about my own, itchy, mosquito issues.

A couple of weekends back I went to two outdoor music concerts here in Milan, Italy, but I carelessly forgot to cover myself in a layer of mosquito repellent.  Big mistake, and I paid the price. I was feasted upon by lots of hungry little blood suckers, otherwise known as mosquitoes. They really are the bane of Italy’s otherwise lovely summers.

It took around a week for all the irritating itching to die down.

Here’s how to avoid mosquitoes when you are in Italy. 

Once bitten, Twice Shy

Last weekend, I went cycling around Milan to visit a park I had never seen before and to have a look around the lovely Villa Necchi. Remembering my itchy concert experience, before I set off, I covered myself with a good layer of mosquito repellent. I’m happy to report, the repellent kept the nasty little bloodsuckers away.

The moral of this little tale is if you are coming to Italy this summer and want to avoid mosquitoes, bring some mosquito repellent. If you don’t, the annoying itching may well have an adverse effect on your otherwise positive Italy vacation experience.

How to Avoid Mosquitoes in Italy During Summer?

To evade pesky mosquitoes during Italy’s summertime, consider preventive measures. Mosquito repellents are a must, covering exposed areas with a reliable repellent, ensuring they don’t find a way through your clothes. Attire choice matters—lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants help create a barrier.

Before exploring outdoor hotspots like Milan’s canal areas or rural landscapes, apply repellent generously. Don’t forget your face, neck, and ears—they’re prime targets. If possible, purchase repellents beforehand, saving costs and ensuring preparedness.

Should you forget, Italian supermarkets and pharmacies stock various repellents, though they might come at a premium.

Restaurants often provide repellents for diners—simply ask or point to their supply. Opt for effective products like Autan Family Care Junior, gentle on the skin yet a robust defense against Italy’s buzzing summertime nuisances.

When is Mosquito Season in Italy?

Mosquito season in Italy doesn’t adhere to a strict timetable; it hinges on the mildness of the preceding winter across the country and its various regions.

Generally, from November, their presence diminishes, and they tend to stay at bay until March of the following year.

Yet, in unusually mild conditions, encountering them outside of these months isn’t unheard of—be prepared for possible mosquito encounters during atypical periods.

Mosquitoes in Italy – Where are they?

In Italy, mosquitoes aren’t confined to specific locations—whether by the beach, city, or countryside, they can appear unexpectedly.

Timing plays a role; their activity peaks from April to October, especially in the evenings.

Major cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice grapple with “tiger” and common house mosquitoes, evident in city centers, outskirts, and parks. Coastal areas like Sardinia, Sicily, and Emilia-Romagna face similar issues, buzzing near water bodies. Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, and Calabria’s countryside witness more mosquito activity, notably the Asian tiger mosquito in 2023.

Surprisingly, mountainous regions like Trentino-Alto Adige offer respite from these pests, with higher altitudes posing minimal risk of mosquito encounters, making them an ideal escape from itchy situations.

A Real Pest

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Mosquitoes are a real pest here in Milan and out in the Italian countryside too. The mosquitoes come out in the evenings and congregate everywhere tourists do. They love all of Italy’s many tempting outdoor bars and restaurants as much as the tourists do.

Areas like Milan’s lively, inviting Naviglio canal area are infested with the things.  You will be the main course on their inevitable evening feeding frenzy menu, unless you take precautions. Be warned!

Avoid mosquitoes in Italy - or they will get you - unless you repel them
Avoid mosquitoes in Italy – or they will get you – unless you repel them

These little pests are capable of penetrating the light summer clothes you will be most probably be wearing on your tour of Italy. It’s not a bad idea to cover most of your torso with mosquito repellent, or to spray the repellent directly on your clothes. Remember to test a small out of sight area to ensure the repellent does not damage the material. Linen is no obstacle to hungry mosquitoes – as I know from itchy experience.

Cover your face, neck, hands, legs and even your ears with whatever mosquito repellent you have with you. Oh, and take the repellent with you if you plan to stay out for a long time.

By the way, you may find it’s cheaper to buy mosquito repellent before you come to Italy.

Buy Mosquito Repellent Before Coming to Italy

If you do forget to bring some mosquito repellent with you to Italy, you’ll find a varied assortment of creams, wipes and sprays in most, if not all, of Italy’s supermarkets and pharmacies.

Knowing how painfully expensive Italy’s pharmacies can be, I would advise you to invest in some sort of mosquito repellent before you land in Italy and save yourself a few Euros.

UK reader Spence recommends Boots Soltan Aftersun with insect repellent which acts as an aftersun and insect repellent. He says it’s cheap and effective and has used it for years to good effect.

Ask for Mosquito Repellent

In the event that you leave your precious mosquito repellent in your hotel or apartment, you may like to note that restaurants in Italy, those that have outdoor dining areas, often keep a supply of mosquito repellent especially for diners (and staff!).

You’ll probably notice plastic bottles similar to shampoo bottles somewhere in the eatery of your choice. Just point at one of the bottles, say “posso” and it’ll be brought over.  Otherwise, just go get it – but don’t pinch it!

Avoid Mosquitoes with This Effective Repellent

The mosquito repellent I used last weekend which helped me avoid mosquitoes is called Autan Family Care Junior. It’s a cream, although the makers refer to it as a gel. Autan Family Care Junior is designed for children, but works just as well on adults, and because it is for children, it is kind to your skin.

Mosquito repellent is a must for anyone coming to Italy in the summer. Only Italy’s high mountain areas remain mosquito free. Be warned, or end up itchy.

Italian Mosquito Bite Cream

Italian mosquito bite creams offer effective relief from the irritation caused by mosquito bites.

In Italy, some popular brands of mosquito bite creams include Zanzartil, Autan, After Bite, and Amuchina. These creams are widely available in pharmacies and stores, offering various formulations to alleviate itching and reduce the discomfort caused by mosquito bites.

Often found in pharmacies and stores across Italy, these creams contain ingredients aimed at alleviating discomfort and reducing swelling.

Featured image Mosquito photograph by Alvesgaspar

Before packing your bags to Italy, remember to pack some mosquito repellent, especially if you are coming to Italy in summer months.

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