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When is the best time to visit Florence, Italy?
The best times to go to Florence are during April, May, and September, when the weather is warm but not hot, and open-air dining is enjoyable. Summer can be very hot in Florence, with many locals fleeing the city for cooler weather in August. Winter brings cooler temperatures and rain, but there is little chance of snow.
- Best Time to Visit Florence for Good Weather: The best time for good weather in Florence is when temperatures will be warm, but not too hot – in the spring, usually about mid-April through mid-May; outside seating has opened and temperatures hover around 24°C. October in Florence also has pleasant temperatures, but it brings a higher chance for rain.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: The best time for sightseeing in Florence is when the weather is pleasant, usually April and May or September and October. Temperatures are usually in the low to mid-20s during these months, and the city is likely to be bustling with tourists. Plan to visit sights early in the morning or toward the end of the day for the shortest lines.
- Best Time to Visit the Duomo: Florence’s iconic landmark will be busy any time of the year. The best time to visit is when it first opens in the morning or right before it closes in the afternoon. Keep in mind that the Duomo museum will be closed on the first Tuesday of every month.
- Best Time to Visit Uffizi Gallery: Peak hours at the Uffizi Gallery are from 10am to noon. Plan your visit early for in the morning, and view the most important exhibits before they get too crowded. Tuesday and Friday evenings during high season (July through September) are also good times to visit, when the gallery extends its hours, closing later than usual.
- Best Time to Visit For Shopping: The best time for shopping in Florence is when the winter or summer sales are held, bringing discounts of 30 to 50 percent off many items. The winter sales start just after the New Year holiday, usually January 5th, and continue until everything is sold. Summer sales take place in July and August. Toward the end of sales, inventory will be depleted but even bigger bargains can be found.
Florence Travel Seasons
- High Season (mid-May through July and September): Summer is high tourist season in Florence, with one exception. During the month of August, the majority of Italians take a holiday away from the city, which means the crowds will mostly be tourists then and it may be possible to find some discounted hotel rates. Between mid-May and July, and through the month of September, airfares and accommodation rates are highest, it’s likely to be hot, and crowds will be at their peak.
- Shoulder Season (March through mid-May, except Easter; October and November): The shoulder season, especially March, April (outside of Easter week), and October, is considered by many to be the best time to visit Florence. This is when the weather is often pleasant and the hordes of tourists either haven’t arrived or are beginning to diminish.
- Low Season (August and December through February, with the exception of Carnival): The low season in Florence is generally winter, aside from Carnival which is usually in February but can also be in March. This is the time when you can expect few crowds and bigger discounts on accommodation and airfare. A winter visit means cooler temperatures, but snow is extremely rare – in most cases, the city can be enjoyed comfortably by preparing for fog and rain. And because Italians take their vacations in August, this month is also considered to be the low season by many, as it brings business closures of small mom-and-pop type hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Florence Weather by Month
- Florence Weather in January: The chilliest month in Florence, January tends to bring fog and rain to the city but it’s unlikely to be so chilly that you’ll need a heavy winter coat. Snow is unlikely, with the average high temperature at 12°C and the low at 3°C. Dressing in layers with the final layer a waterproof jacket, along with a hat and gloves, is a good idea if you plan to visit this month, due to an average of 63mm of precipitation falling over 11 days. While days are shorter now, there is still around nine hours of daylight for enjoying the sights, with sunrise at 7:48am and sunset at 4:48pm on January 1. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 63mm.)
- Florence Weather in February: Things are slowly warming up in February, which also brings slightly less precipitation. While the average high remains at 12°C, the low creeps up a degree to 4°C and there is only 49mm of rainfall on average over 8 days. While about half the month sees gray or foggy days, the other half enjoys more sun. Like last month, pack clothing that can be layered. While it can be chilly, some days may feel warm, so you’ll want to be able to remove an outer layer easily. (Average Max Temperature: 12°C. Average Precipitation: 49mm.)
- Florence Weather in March: Weather continues to warm throughout March, with the average high now climbing several degrees to 15°C and the low at 6°C. While precipitation increases again slightly, it oftentimes appears in the form of mist or fog. The more the month progresses, the sunnier the days are likely to be. Days are getting longer too; after the time change on March 31st, the sun rises just before 7 a.m. and won’t set until 7:40 p.m. Plan to pack as you would for January or February, but you probably won’t need to bundle up as much. You may want to bring a few items for warmer weather too, especially when visiting during the second half of March. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 69mm.)
- Florence Weather in April: April weather in Florence can be somewhat unpredictable, although it’s likely to be much sunnier than it is wet. It will be quite a bit warmer now with the high temperature at around 19°C, though the increase in rain means that you’ll still need clothing that can be worn in layers, along with a waterproof jacket and sunglasses. It may be a good idea to prepare for every type of weather, with April temperatures possibly climbing as high as 25°C, or as low as freezing. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 78mm.)
- Florence in May: May is a fabulous time to be in Florence, temperatures really rising; a full five degrees over last month. On most days it’s likely to feel like summer, with many more bright sunny days than gray ones, and a bit less rain than April sees – a little over 70mm on average. As it can still get quite cool in the evening with the low dipping to 13°C, you’ll need a jacket or sweater for evenings. Pack a variety of clothing for both cooler and warmer weather, like t-shirts, shorts, and dresses along with long pants and long-sleeved shirts and you’ll be prepared for whatever weather hits. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 72mm.)
- Florence Weather in June: Summer is in full swing now and it can get quite warm in Florence; the average high temperature is now at 28°C. On occasion it can climb into the low 30s, so if you plan to visit this month, packing should be all about keeping stylishly cool. Only 50mm of precipitation falls over 8 days in June, so rain is unlikely to put a damper on your plans. Bring plenty of sunscreen, hats, and a pair of sunglasses along with lightweight clothing. With the low temperature at 17°C, you may not even need a sweater. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Florence Weather in July: July and August are the hottest months of the year in Florence. Afternoons frequently reach maximum temperatures of 31°C or higher, and there are few clouds to block the rays of the sun. Rain is few and far between, with only 31mm of precipitation this month. Most comes in the form of thunderstorms that leave as quickly as they arrive. Like last month, pack lightweight clothing and bring items for sun protection. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 31mm.)
- Florence Weather in August: It’s just as hot or slightly hotter in August, the month that most Florentines traveling elsewhere to avoid the scorching heat. The afternoon high averages 31°C and occasionally rises to 40°C. Many businesses, including some shops and restaurants, close down for at least some of August, and visitors might find the streets to be less crowded. You’ll need the same attire now that you would for July, focusing on clothing for keeping cool and protection from the searing sun. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 48mm.)
- Florence Weather in September: Early September continues the warm summer weather, with temperatures beginning to cool just slightly. The average high temperature now drops to 27°C, and the chance of rainfall increases a bit, especially later in the month, though you’re likely to enjoy plenty of sunshine on most days. Low temps dip to 16°C; if you plan to go out late at night, it may be cool. Pack a range of clothing, primarily items for warm weather during the day, along with a jacket or sweater for early mornings and evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 76mm.)
- Florence Weather in October: Fall has arrived, with cooler temperatures and thinner crowds. October is a great month to visit Florence, as it is still fairly warm earlier in the month, and parks and forests are transformed by autumn’s brilliant foliage. The average high temperature dips a full six degrees down to 21°C, and precipitation increases quite a bit to 96mm over 12 days; pack a waterproof jacket and/or umbrella, as well as pair of sunglasses to be prepared for both sun and rain. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 96mm.)
- Florence Weather in November: November sees the return of gray, rainy days to Florence, with average precipitation rising to 102mm over 15 days, making this the wettest month of the year. The average high is a crisp 15°C – perfect sweater weather. (Though you’ll likely need a rain jacket on top of it.) Nights can get quite cool too, with the low now a chilly 7°C. If you visit Florence this month be sure to pack waterproof items for cooler weather. Having a waterproof coat and boots can make exploring the city a lot more comfortable. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 102mm.)
- Florence Weather in December: It continues to get colder in December, with the average high falling another four degrees to 11°C and the low at a brisk 4°C. The chance for rain decreases quite a bit to 72mm of precipitation over 13 days, and the odds of snow are extremely rare right in the city. Pack heavier winter gear now, including a warm coat, hat, gloves, and waterproof boots. Plan your itinerary accordingly for shorter days – there are fewer than nine of daylight on Winter Solstice. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Precipitation: 72mm.)
Florence Events and Festivals
Florence in January
- New Year’s Day – January 1 is a national holiday celebrated around the country, bringing closures to many attractions, including historic sites and museums as well as some restaurants and shops, though a number of eateries will be open. For the locals, it’s a day to recover from the previous night’s festivities or enjoy get-togethers with family and friends, exchanging New Year’s greetings and dining on traditional foods like raisins, lentils, and cotechino.
- Winter Park – While snow is unlikely to fall naturally in Florence you can still enjoy it at Winter Park throughout the month of January. It includes snow tubing and ice skating along with hot cocoa and roasted chestnuts along the Arno River.
- Winter Sales – One of the biggest events in January is the Winter Sales. They start here every year on January 5th, the eve of Epiphany/La Befana and run for 59 days. Prices are discounted everywhere from big-name fashion designer stores to small boutiques and outlets.
- Epiphany/La Befana – January 6, The Epiphany, is a national holiday marking the 12th day of Christmas and commemorating the day the Three Wise Men arrived with gifts for Jesus at the manger. Locals throughout the country exchange gifts, and in Florence the traditional Procession of the Magic takes place, led by the Three Wise Men on horseback wearing lavish costumes. It marches to Piazza Duomo, where a reading of the story of the Magi takes place followed by a performance by flag throwers.
Florence in February
- Carnival – One of the year’s biggest events, Carnival usually occurs in February, although it can occur any time between late January and early April. In 2020, it will begin on February 25, running for two weeks. While there are festivities throughout the country, Florence is especially renowned for its Children’s Carnival which takes place in Borgo Ognissanti.
- Valentine’s Day – February 14, St. Valentine’s Day, is a relatively new celebration in Italy, but as Florence is such a romantic city, some establishments here have begun to take advantage of that by offering special dinners, flowers, and gifts.
- Chocolate Fair – For 10 days in early to mid-February, this artisanal fair takes place at Piazza Santa Croce. Expect lots of chocolate tasting, as well as a cooking show and a wide range of events based on everyone’s favorite sweet treat.
Florence in March
- Festa della Donna – Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8 to honor women, in Florence, across Italy, and beyond. It began following a tragedy in the U.S., but today many Italians use it as an excuse to give small bouquets of mimosa flowers which bloom this time of year. The city of Florence, and other cities, grant free entrance to women for the city and state museums. Some restaurants may also offer special meals for the day.
- Festa di San Giuseppe – Father’s Day is celebrated on March 19 in Italy. It is similar to Father’s Day in many other countries, but it includes the consumption of zeppole, a food that’s similar to a doughnut.
- Feast of the Annunciation – This is the day in which the Catholic Church considered to be the beginning of a “new” year, a tradition that was followed through until 1749, well after the Gregorian calendar went into effect in the late 16th-century. Celebrations will be held throughout the city, with the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata offering the most elaborate.
Florence in April
- Vivicitta – This traditional Florentine non-competitive half-marathon race mixes sport and culture, while providing a unique artistic and cultural backdrop. It’s hosted on a Sunday in early- to mid-April, April 7 in 2019.
- Holy Week and Easter – Celebrated from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday throughout Italy, Holy Week sometimes falls in late March, but most often it occurs in early to mid-April. In 2019, it covers April 14 through April 21. There will be Easter mass at churches throughout the city and the entire country. In Florence, the highlight is the “Explosion of the Cart” that takes place on Easter Sunday morning in Piazza del Duomo. This is when the cart, an elaborate 17th-century wagon that stands two- to three- stories high, pulled by a pair of oxen decorated in garlands and jam-packed with firework is lit, providing a grand spectacle.
- Liberation Day – Liberation Day, April 25, is a national holiday that will bring many business closures and limited hours to some attractions like museums, although many restaurants will be open. There may be a military demonstration or laying of wreaths at various monuments, and there is usually a variety of special events and museum openings that run late into the night.
Florence in May
- Labor Day – May 1 is a national holiday throughout Italy, including Florence. Labour Day brings closures to businesses and attractions like museums, including many shops and restaurants. Special events and concerts are sometimes hosted and there’s usually a colorful flag-throwing contest in Piazza della Signoria.
- Iris Garden – The Iris Garden by Piazzale Michelangelo at Viale dei Colli will be open throughout the month, with gorgeous irises in bloom. Just below, roses will be bursting in the rose garden that has over 350 different varieties as well.
- Artigianato e Palazzo – This unique artisan crafts fair is held over four days in the gardens of the Palazzo Corsini, which isn’t typically open to the public. In 2019 it will take place over May 17-20, with visitors watching artisans create works by hand in workshops that are set up in orangeries and the garden.
Florence in June
- Republic Day – Celebrated on June 2 each year, this annual Italian national holiday marks the day Italy became a Republic in 1946, following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism. While it is somewhat like Independence Day in other nations, there are no fireworks, but in Florence there is a parade, flag ceremony, and singing at the Piazza della Signoria.
- Tuscan Sun Festival – Formerly hosted in Cortona, this popular summer arts festival now takes place in Florence annually in June, bringing well-known musicians and artists together for a week of art, music, wine, cuisine, and wellness. There are art exhibitions, cooking demos, and pre-concert receptions that include locally-made products and Tuscan wine. In 2019 it will take place from June 11 to June 18.
- San Giovanni Feast Day – Celebrated on June 24 each year, in Florence this day brings a medieval tournament that’s followed by drinking, feasting, and music. Along the Arno River there will be rowboats that carry lit candles followed by fireworks.
- Saints Peter and Paul Day – A national religious holiday, this day is celebrated on June 29 each year throughout the country honoring two of Catholicism’s most important saints. The general population enjoys the day off and most businesses will be closed.
Florence in July
- Florence Dance Festival – Held throughout July, the Florence Dance Festival features important international dance companies inspired by great historical figures, hosted at the historical Teatro Verdi and the Teatro Romano.
- Florence Folks Festival – For four days in Late July, July 25-28 in 2019, this popular urban event features free concerts, including local and international music, along with lots of food and drink.
- Festival of the Unicorn – This unique event that takes place in late July every year (July 26-28, 2019) includes a Fantasy Festival with more than 100 shows daily, eight themed areas, comics, concerts, cosplay, a medieval market, themed venues, role-playing games, an Elf parade, and more.
Florence in August
- Feast of San Lorenzo – This annual event takes place at the Piazza San Lorenzo on August 10, a time when locals and visitors are given lasagna and watermelon following a historical parade through the city center.
- Ferragosto – August 15 marks the beginning of the summer holiday for most Italians. It’s also a national religious holiday of Assumption, celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. While there may be some closures, most museums and cultural sites are open.
Florence in September
- Festival of the Lanterns – The Festival of the Lanterns is hosted annually on September 7. One of the most traditional and largest festivals in Florence, it features a fair, as well as boat and lantern parades.
- Nativity of Virgin Mary – The cornerstone of the present Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore, was laid on September 8, 1296, the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. In her honor, the terrace around the base of the cupola opens to visitors, can walk around freely and enjoy the view of the city’s rooftops and surrounding hills.
- Carro Matto/Crazy Cart – Every year on the last Saturday of September, downtown Florence comes to life with one of autumn’s most popular events, Carro Matto, which translates to “crazy cart.” A large wooden wagon is loaded up with a pyramid construction made up of round glass wine bottles. It’s pulled by oxen from the Piazza del Duomo to the Palagio di Parte Guelfa and back, before receiving a blessing from the city’s religious leaders. It ends with a performance of the Florentine Republic historical parade and flag throwing.
- The Grape Festival of Impruneta – Held in the pretty village of Impruneta, just minutes from the city of Florence, the Grape Festival takes place on the last Sunday of September each year in the main square, the Piazza Buondelmonti. Four neighborhoods challenge each other for the best float inspired by wine, with the event concluded with a parade, music, and dancing performances.
Florence in October
- Festa di Santa Reparata – On October 8, this festival celebrates the co-patron saints Santa Reparata and San Giovanni Battista. A procession takes place with participants donning medieval dress, traveling from Piazza di Parte Guelfa to the saint’s crypt at the cathedral.
- Festival Delle Mongolfiere – For two consecutive weekends in mid-October, this festival is all about hot air balloons, kites, food and fun. It brings the opportunity to fly high above the city in a hot air balloon, along with music and other festivities.
- Florence Biennale – Mid to late-October in odd-numbered years, including 2019, venues around Florence will bring contemporary artists in music, film, visual arts and performances for 10 days of events and exhibitions.
- Halloween – While Halloween isn’t traditionally celebrated in Florence, or the rest of Italy, the holiday has managed to make its way into bars, clubs and other venues which host parties, costume contests and the like.
Florence in November
- All Saints Day – This national holiday falls on November 1. Locals throughout the country, including Florentines, often visit the graves of loved ones who’ve passed.
- Winter Park – Winter Park opens along the Arno River in November and will remain open through February for ice skating, winter games, food, and other fun.
- Firenze Marathon – Taking place on the last Sunday in November, November 24 in 2019, this marathon crosses the city center, passing some of the most famous sights in Florence. The second most popular national race after the Roma Marathon, it includes a family marathon so that people of all ages can join in.
Florence in December
- Feast of the Immaculate Conception – This national and religious holiday falls on December 8 every year. While schools and public offices will be closed, most restaurants and shops will be open as this day is viewed as the official start to the holiday shopping season. An art and food fair is usually held in Florence.
- Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/Santo Stefano – On Christmas Eve, Florentines are usually enjoying Christmas dinner with their families before going to Midnight Mass at the local church. Families and friends come together on Christmas Day for a large day-long feast. Then on December 26 the national holiday of Santo Stefano is celebrated, giving Italians another day off. While most places are closed on Christmas Day, tourists can usually find some bars and ethnic restaurants open.
- New Year’s Eve – One of the top cities in Italy to celebrate New Year’s Eve, there will be numerous events and free entertainment organized in the main squares, including live music and fireworks displays.
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