Home > Italy > Best Time to Visit Tuscany
by Santorini Dave • Updated: April 9, 2019
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When is the best time to visit Tuscany, Italy?
The best times to go to Tuscany are late spring and early fall, when the weather is warm (but not too hot), open-air dining is enjoyable, and there are lots of lively art and music festivals. A visit in early fall also brings an opportunity to partake in the region’s many grape and olive harvest festivals.
A sunflower field in Tuscany. The best time to visit Tuscany to see sunflowers in bloom is late June to early July.
- The Best Time to Visit Tuscany for Good Weather: The best time to visit Tuscany for good weather, with temperatures warm but not too hot and chances for rain fairly minimal, is from mid-April to mid-May. The next best time for weather is mid-September to mid-October, temperatures in early fall are similar to late spring, but there is a greater chance for rain.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: Spring, particularly April and May, is ideal for sightseeing in Tuscany, a time when wildflowers are in bloom and the weather is warm but not too hot. Note that the region is likely to be very busy around the Easter holidays, a popular time for Italians to travel to Tuscany. When visiting big cities like Siena and Florence, it’s best to arrive at sights early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the longest lines.
- Best Time for Wine Tours, Tasting and Harvest Festivals: Autumn is the time to visit Tuscany for a wine-focused escape, particularly mid-September through early October. The days will be warm, nights cool, and just about every town seems to have a harvest festival; if not for grapes, it’s olives. In this region, where cooler valleys tend to see early frosts, grape and olive harvests begin as early as late September.
- Best Time for Viewing Sunflowers: You’ve probably seen photographs of the endless fields of sunflowers in Tuscany. If you hope to view that in person, with the most fields in full bloom, plan your trip around late June to early July.
- Best Time to Visit to Experience Major City Attractions: If the main focus of your visit is to experience major city attractions like Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture at Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia, you may want to go in the low season, between December and February, outside of the Christmas holidays. Lines will be shorter, and you’ll be able to take your time enjoying what each has to offer with little interruption.
Tuscany Travel Seasons
- High Season (June through mid-September): Summer is the high season in Tuscany, a time when the weather is the warmest of the year with temperatures reaching 30°C and above. Attractions will be crowded and lines long, while accommodation rates are at their highest. Note that in August, many hotels, shops, and restaurants are closed to tourists as locals take their two-week annual holiday, but Tuscany still draws lots of tourists during this time.
- Shoulder Season (March through May, except Easter; mid-September through November): The shoulder season may be the very best time to visit this region, with comfortable weather and fewer tourist crowds. The spring brings wildflowers to the fields while autumn brings beautiful foliage, grape, and olive harvests.
- Low Season (December through February, with the exception of Carnival): Winter is the low season in Tuscany. Cold weather brings the best chance for lower airfares and discounted accommodations, and few worries about crowds or long lines. While it may be chilly, snow is unlikely, just plan to bundle up and plan your itineraries around shorter days.
Tuscany Weather by Month
- Tuscany Weather in January: While the weather varies somewhat depending on the particular area, January is the coldest month of the year throughout Tuscany, with average high temperatures ranging from 9°C to 12°C. Snow is rare and when it does fall, it usually melts quickly. If you visit the region now be sure to bring a warm winter coat, hat, and gloves. There isn’t much in the way of precipitation, only around 63mm on average over 8 days in January, but a waterproof jacket could come in handy. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the days will be short, as the sun doesn’t rise until just before 8 a.m. and sets before 5 p.m. early in the month. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Precipitation: 63mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in February: February in Tuscany is almost identical to January in Tuscany, although by the end of the month temperatures will begin to warm. Afternoon highs remain the same for the first half, with the mercury climbing to 11°C, but the latter half of the month occasionally sees days as warm as 16°C. Late nights will be quite chilly, with the average low temperature at 4°C. Rainfall is about the same as last month, not much of a concern, which means the most important thing is to pack clothing that can be layered to keep you warm. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Precipitation: 67mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in March: While March is anything but predictable, the weather is warming now with the average afternoon temperature reaching closer to 15°C, meaning there’s little if any chance for snowfall. Precipitation increases just a bit, raising the odds of needing a waterproof jacket, but as it won’t be as cold; you may want to bring a mix of clothing, wearing layers that can easily be removed when it gets warm or added when it gets too chilly. The days are becoming increasingly longer, bringing more daylight for seeing the sights with over 12 hours by the end of the month. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 69mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in April: April brings wonderfully warm and longer days, with long stretches of dry weather in between rain – an average of 78mm falls over 13 days this month. The countryside will be lush and green with lots of flowers and fruit trees in bloom. The average high temperature has increased quite a bit now to 19°C, which means you’ll need clothing for warmer weather along with some items for cooler days and a light waterproof jacket to stay dry when rain arrives. Evenings are a bit brisk with the low temperature at 9°C, so be sure to bundle up for any late nights out. (Average Max Temperature: 19°C. Average Precipitation: 78mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in May: One of the most popular months to be in Tuscany, May is characterized by increasingly warm temperatures that can reach 24°C or more in some places. The odds of sunshine are good now, with typically more bright sunny days than cloudy ones, and precipitation decreases a little too. With sunrise at 5:36 a.m. and sunset at 8:48 p.m. on May 31st, you’ll have plenty of daylight for enjoying the outdoors. You’ll need mostly clothing for warmer weather now, like short-sleeved shirts, shorts, and dresses, but also bring long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and a jacket for cooler days, early mornings, and evenings. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 72mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in June: With June ushering summer in, plan for warm weather in Tuscany, with afternoon temperatures climbing up to 28°C – and occasionally into the 30s. It’s typically quite dry now, seeing an average rainfall of just 50mm over 8 days, so there’s really no need for rain gear. This is the time to think about protection from the sun, bringing sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats along with lightweight clothing. You may want to bring a bathing suit too. Sweaters and jackets just add bulk; with the low temperature at 17°C, even the evenings are relatively warm. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 50mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in July: July in Tuscany is hot, and sometimes scorching hot, with the mercury occasionally rising as high as 35°C, though the average high is 31°C. On most days the skies will be bright blue and sunny, any amount of clouds are fairly rare this time of year. There is little in the way of precipitation now with just 31mm on average. You’ll need plenty of sunscreen and items like open-toed shoes, short-sleeve shirts, light cotton pants, shorts, skirts, or dresses. If you plan to visit churches, remember you will need to wear something that covers your shoulders and knees. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 31mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in August: August is also a very hot month in Tuscany; many Italians escape the heat this month by heading to the mountains or the beach. The first half of the month is usually dry, while the second half of the month tends to bring some summer storms, with precipitation creeping up from last month to an average of 48mm. By late August, there are usually some cooler days and the weather begins to change. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 48mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in September: It’s likely to be warm early in the month, with lots of sunny skies, but it probably won’t be too hot. While the average high temperature dips a few degrees to 27°C, it’s still a good time to go to the beach, enjoy picnics, and dine outdoors. If you plan on visiting during the latter part of September, you may need a light jacket for mornings and evenings – the low-temperature averages 16°C at this time. In general, you’ll mostly need to pack warm weather attire, along with a few items for cooler weather and perhaps a light waterproof jacket for that slight increase in precipitation this month. (Average Max Temperature: 27°C. Average Precipitation: 76mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in October: Fall is settling in now. While there will be plenty of pleasant, sunny days, expect temperatures to be cooling, and rainfall to be more frequent, with precipitation averaging 96mm over 12 days. The first half of the month is typically quite warm with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C, and cool evenings that dip into the 50s. By mid-October, daytime temps are usually no higher than 20°C and can be as low as 12°C. That cooler weather brings gorgeous autumn foliage to the region’s forests and parks, making October a fantastic time to visit Tuscany. Plan to pack clothing that can be layered, including a waterproof jacket so you’ll be prepared for rain. (Average Max Temperature: 21°C. Average Precipitation: 96mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in November: While early November is often pleasant, this month can be unpredictable, with greater variability in conditions. There are more grey, rainy days now; November is Tuscany’s wettest month, seeing 102mm of precipitation on average. Afternoon highs are at 15°C and the low is a rather chilly 7°C, so you’ll need to pack cool weather items now. The farther north you are, the colder and windier it’s likely to be. Plan on bringing a warm waterproof jacket and sweaters, along with waterproof boots to be comfortable while exploring. (Average Max Temperature: 15°C. Average Precipitation: 102mm.)
- Tuscany Weather in December: The weather continues to cool in December bringing a possibility for snow, which is sure to make the beautiful Tuscan landscapes even more magical. This month can be relatively mild or downright frigid with temperatures ranging between 7°C and 11°C during the warmest hours of the day, and as low as 4°C at night. You’ll need cold weather clothing now, including a warm (ideally waterproof) coat and boots, gloves, a hat, and perhaps a scarf. As the days are shorter now, with less than nine hours of daylight around the Winter Solstice, you’ll want to plan your agenda accordingly. (Average Max Temperature: 11°C. Average Precipitation: 72mm.)
Tuscany Events and Festivals
Tuscany in January
- New Year’s Day – January 1st is a national holiday in Italy, including Tuscany. Expect many attractions like museums and historic sites to be closed, along with some shops and restaurants. Public transport will be running on holiday hours. Traditionally, this is a day to meet relatives and friends, exchanging greetings and wishing each other a happy new year. Many locals celebrate with a feast of traditional foods that include items like zampone, lentils, and raisins, which symbolize good fortune and wealth.
- Ephiphany/La Befana – Epiphany is also a national holiday, celebrated on January 6th to mark the 12th day of Christmas. It commemorates the day the Three Wise Men brought gifts to the infant Jesus. Government offices, businesses, and many shops will be closed. When visiting town squares, you’re likely to encounter the Befana, complete with a broom, hat and long pointed nose. She brings stockings, candy and other goodies to all who behaved well the year before.
- Festa di Sant’Antonio Abate/Palio di Buti – The Feast of Saint Anthony the Abbot brings festivals throughout Italy, including Tuscany, over two days in mid-January. On the Sunday following the official feast day, in Pisa, different districts of Buti race horses for a prize in the city center. In the main square will be a reenactment of history and a series of events that highlights local foods.
- Festa del Santo Patrono – On January 31 each year in San Gimignano, there will be a great festival held day and night to honor the patron saint of the city. There are food stalls and crafts in a number of piazzas, including Piazza del Duomo, Piazza delle Erbe, and Piazza della Cisterna.
Tuscany in February
- Carnival – Carnival is one of the most elaborate events throughout the country, typically taking place in February, but depending on the year it can be any time from late January to early April, taking place over two weeks. In 2020, it begins February 25th. You can expect events throughout the region, including colorful parades with floats as well as a variety of activities for children and adults. The carnival in Viareggio, a small coastal village, is one of the most popular for its masquerade processions. One of the oldest carnivals is the Carnival of Foiano della Chiana in the Arezzo region, held annually since the Middle Ages.
- Regata Veliche – The Yacht Club Santo Stefano hosts the Monte Argentario Winter Series and Argentario Coastal Race in Porto Santo Stefano over two days, once in early February and again in mid-February.
- Chocolate Fair – Calling on chocolate lovers to Florence for this Chocolate Fair that takes place over 10 days during the first half of February at Piazza Santa Croc. You’ll be able to do plenty of chocolate tasting, watch a cooking show and enjoy all sorts of chocolate-related events.
Tuscany in March
- Festa della Donna – March 8 is “Women’s Day” around the world, officially created in the U.S. back in 1909. In Italy, it’s been celebrated since 1922 to honor women while bringing attention to unfavorable conditions many are still forced to live under. In Tuscany and throughout the country, it’s common to gift women with the Mimosa flower, a small yellow blossom. Free entrance is offered to women at all state and civic museums throughout Tuscany too.
- Festa di San Giuseppe – March 19 is Father’s Day in Tuscany and across Italy. People celebrate fathers and often consume zeppoles which are similar to doughnuts.
- Feast of the Annunciation – The feast of the Annunciation takes place annually on March 25, A day that was once considered to be the start of the new year. Some still use it as an excuse for a second celebration, with all sorts of activities that take place in Florence and Pisa around this day and often for several days beyond.
Tuscany in April
- Holy Week and Easter – Holy Week is from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, sometimes falling in late March, but typically it takes place in early to mid-April (April 14-21 in 2019). Throughout Tuscany, and the entire country, there will be numerous events all week long. One of the highlights is in Florence, with the “Explosion of the Cart” on Easter Sunday morning in Piazza del Duomo. The cart, filled with fireworks, decorated in garland and pulled by oxen, are lit to provide a magnificent spectacle. In many cities and small towns there will be parades that recreate events from the Crusades, elaborate floral decorations in churches and folkloric festivals.
- Festival of Spontaneous Herbs – This festival takes places in mid-April every year in Gallicano, April 14 in 2019. Workshops and excursions will be hosted to go hunting for wild herbs that have traditionally played an important role in the diet of the poor in the region. A special soup will be made using “secret ingredients” that include as many as 30 different wild herbs.
- Festa delle Rocche – This festival takes place in Siena over nine days to honor the Virgin Mary during the latter half of April, beginning April 20 in 2019. It includes a historical procession, a large market, live music, a race and more
- Liberation Day – April 25 is Liberation Day, a national holiday honoring those who fought for the freedom of Italy. Locals often visit war memorials and other places that serve as the symbol of the Resistance, with many sacrificing their lives for the country. Many businesses are likely to be closed, and some attractions may have limited hours.
Tuscany in May
- Labour Day/International Workers’ Day – This national holiday is celebrated annually on May 1. While many businesses will be closed, many museums are open at significantly discounted prices. Live concerts and special events take place throughout the region and beyond.
- Pirate Night – Notte Dei Pirati, or Pirate Night, takes place in Porto Ercole for three days over the first weekend in May, May 4-6, 2019. There will be lots of costumes, choreographed scenes, and pirate-related entertainment on the promenade, beaches, restaurants, and bars.
- Festival Della Fragola – This strawberry festival has been taking place for nearly 40 years in Terricciola. It celebrates the juicy red fruit over the first two weekends in May, May 4-5 and May 11-12, 2019 with lots of strawberries, music, and sunshine to celebrate the lovely spring weather.
- Gioco del Mulino – The small town of Calci in Pisa hosts this historic festival in mid-May, May 12 in 2019. After a costumed procession through the town, 8 district teams, competing in teams of 3, vie to push a mill-wheel in a sort of reverse tug-of-war. Winner gets a trophy, loser is sprinkled with flour.
Tuscany in June
- Republic Day – June 2 is a national holiday that commemorates the day Italy became a Republic in 1946, after the fall of Fascism and the end of World War II. Many businesses will be closed and some attractions like monuments and museums may have limited hours. Concerts, parades, and small festivals are held throughout Italy, including Tuscany. The most elaborate festivities take place in Rome.
- Borghi in Festa – Held in Castelmuzio in the province of Siena, this festival brings the town together with a wide range of food, markets, music and games over the first weekend in June.
- Manciano Street Music Festival – Held for four days around the second weekend in June, June 6-9, 2019, this festival brings live folkloristic concerts, street parades, culinary items, and locally handcrafted goods to the village of Monciano.
- Tuscan Sun Festival – This summer arts festival takes place in Florence over a week in mid-June, June 11-18, 2019. It celebrates music, art, food, and wellness, with cooking demos, art exhibitions, and pre-concert receptions featuring Tuscan wine and locally-made items.
- San Giovanni Feast Day – Florence celebrates its patron saint with this feast day annually on June 24. It includes multiple folkloric and cultural events that are followed with a spectacular firework display over the Arno River. There are generally boat rides organized on the river throughout the day, as well as after dark for viewing the fireworks from the water.
Tuscany in July
- Lucca Summer Festival – This festival is held throughout the month of July, with concerts by big-name musicians taking place in Lucca’s Piazza Napoleone and along the city walls. Past performers have included the Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, Bob Dylan, and many other greats.
- Palio di Siena – A famous horse race that takes place annually on July 2, and again on August 16 in the heart of Siena. Ten horses and bareback riders don colors to represent the city’s ten wards (known as contradas) as they race around Piazza del Campo.
- Mercantia in Certaldo – For five days in mid-July, July 10-14 in 2019, this international street festival brings theater, circus, and comedy street performances to the charming town of Certaldo.
- Bolgheri Festival – This event, typically held over the last few days of July through the first half of August in the coastal town of Bolgheri, features a rich program of artistic events and concerts featuring top Italian and international names, along with plenty of DOC wines.
Tuscany in August
- Ferragosto – Each year, 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.
- Palio di Siena – The second half of Il Palio, Siena’s famous horse race, will be held on August 16 around Piazza del Campo.
- Bravio Delle Botti – An exciting barrel race held in Montepulciano on the last Sunday in August. Whoever is the fastest in pushing their heavy wooden wine barrel up the steep, tiny streets of the village to the finish line in front of Duomo in Piazza Grande will win the Bravio, a painted banner that depicts the patron saint.
Tuscany in September
- September Lucchese – Hosted just outside the city walls at the Piazzale Don Baroni in Lucca, this month-long event features traditional markets, agricultural fairs, food stands, and handicrafts, along with carnival rides and lots of frati (sugar covered doughnuts).
- Giostra Del Saracino – One of the most highly-anticipated events in Tuscany, held on the first Sunday of September (September 1 in 2019) in Arezzo. It includes a medieval jousting competition between the four quarters of the city to win the Golden Lance. There will be a historical costume parade, flag-throwers, and plenty of pomp and circumstance.
- Festival of the Lanterns – One of the largest and most traditional festivals in Florence, the Festival of the Lanterns takes place annually on September 7th featuring lantern and boat parades as well as a fair.
- Festa di San Michele – Carmignano hosts the Saint Michael’s Feast over the last weekend of September. Each day, the city’s four quarters compete in street theater parade performances that include a unique personal theme and elaborate choreograpy. Each day’s events are capped off with nightly a Palio of the Ciuchi, or donkey race. September 27-29 in 2019.
- The Grape Festival of Impruneta – This Grape Festival is held on the last Sunday of September, September 29, 2019, at Piazza Buondelmonti in Florence. There will be four neighborhoods competing to have the best wine-inspired float. It includes a parade, music, and dance performances.
Tuscany in October
- Festa di Santa Reparata – On October 8, this festival celebrates the co-patron saints of Florence, 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 under the Duomo.
- Fiera di San Luca – For nine days in mid-October, one of the oldest cattle fairs takes place in Impruneta. It’s been held here since the Middle Ages, when shepherds and merchants would meet to buy and sell livestock as well as related products like wool and cheese. It includes traditional games, rides, markets, local produce, and more. October 12-20, 2019.
- PIC Festival – Festa PIC (which stands for picante, aka spicy hot), takes place in the city center of Camaiore on the Tuscan coast. The exhibition features a wide variety of chili peppers from around the world, along with other foods, music, and shows, held over the third weekend in October, October 19-20 in 2019.
- Volterragusto Truffle Festival – Held in late October and into November, this festival in Volterra features lots of food stalls that sell truffles and other delicacies like wine, cheese, and salami. October 26-27 and October 31-November 3, 2019.
Tuscany in November
- All Saints Day – All Saints Day is a national holiday celebrated on November 1 each year. Locals throughout Tuscany and all of Italy take the day to visit graves of their loved ones.
- Cento Gusti Dell’Apennino – This “Hundred Flavors of the Apennines” food festival is held over the first weekend in November in Anghiari, November 1-3 in 2019. Celebrating local culinary delights, it includes workshops, demonstrations, and wine and food tastings.
- White Truffle Fair – Typically held over the last three weekends of November, this fair in the town of San Miniato brings together gourmands, tasters, and buyers to enjoy truffle-based menus and open-air fun.
- Festa del Buco Unto – This culinary festival dates back centuries, deeply rooted in the ancient traditions of Civitella Marittima, the village in which its held. It takes place over the second weekend in November, November 8-10 in 2019, and is dedicated to the tastes of fall, with lots of wine and olive oil.
Tuscany in December
- Feast of the Immaculate Conception – December 8 is a national holiday in Italy that honors the day of the Virgin Mary’s conception of Jesus. Government offices, schools and many businesses will be closed but most shops and restaurants are open as this day marks the start of the Christmas season. In Florence, the annual tree lighting will take place in Piazza del Duomo.
- Lo Gradireste Un Goccio Di Vin Santo – Over the first weekend of December, the “Would You Like a Drop of Vin Santo” festival in Montefollonico promotes its local “holy wine” with a competition for the year’s best homemade vin santo, along with entertainment, workshops, and wine and food tastings (especially the almond dipping biscuits known as cantuccini). December 7-8, 2019.
- Christmas Holidays – In Italy, Christmas Day, December 25, and Boxing Day (Santo Stefano), December 26, are national holidays. While most businesses will be closed, including tourist attractions, shops and restaurants, there will usually be some international restaurants and bars that will be open. Italians spend time with their families enjoy Christmas dinner and Midnight Mass at local churches.
- New Year’s Eve – No matter where you are in Tuscany, you’re bound to find a celebration for New Year’s Eve. Florence is one of the most popular places to be, with its main squares hosting live music and fireworks. Pisa’s city center will fill with shows, music, entertainment, and fireworks at midnight over the Arno.