When to visit Tuscany
Tuscany is such a beautiful and diverse region that there really is no ‘bad’ time to visit. As Italy’s most loved and romanticised region (and for a good reason), there’s something to do in all seasons. While images of sun-drenched vineyards, rolling countryside, and fields painted yellow or purple with flowers are the things that come to mind, there’s so much more to Tuscany than just summer travel. A Tuscan winter can be genuinely atmospheric, with skiing in the snow-topped Apennines, hearty winter soups, and all the wine you can devour.
Known for its beautiful landscapes, gastronomy and high-culture, this destination is captivating in every sense of the word. Many who holiday here return to this refined and cultured paradise time and time again. If you’re planning a trip to Italy’s most beautiful region, here are the best times to visit.
April to June
While many people like to plan their trip to Tuscany in the summer, the shoulder season is often the best time to arrive. This is due to the pleasant weather, which is much more relaxed than the intense summer months. If you do not fare well in the scorching heat, mid to late spring is a great time to book your holiday.
This can be one of the busiest times of year though, so expect a few crowds in city squares or queues for popular attractions.
Cities like Florence or Pisa average around 18°C in April, 23°C in May and 26°C in June. Slightly cooler areas of San Gimignano or Siena average around 17°C in April, 21°C in May and 25°C in June. In some parts of the region rainfall can be slighter higher in April and May, so plan to arrive later if you want hotter, dryer weather.
If you’re wondering whether you’ll get beach weather, the popular beach destination of Elba Island has highs of 23°C in June, with lows rarely falling below 16°C. So the weather is pleasant enough for sunbathing.
With the promise of summer just around the corner, locals start to awaken from the winter hibernation. This means that streets and squares start to fill up, restaurants and cafes bustle with noise and movement, and everyone starts to get in the festival spirit.
Easter weekend in April is a national holiday for Italians, and there may be several street processions, and Passion plays across the region. Festa Della Liberazione (Liberation Day) is another public holiday, taking place on April 25th, with a few military demonstrations or bonfires.
In May, there’s Sagra Della Cipolla in the commune of Bagnone, a food festival dedicated to a variety of onions grown in the area for centuries. Around the same time, there’s also Festival Della Fragola, celebrating the peak of spring and everyone’s favourite fruit, the delicious strawberry. Later in the month, the ViaVinaria event rolls out the Montecarlo tour bus which takes passengers around the countryside to taste different DOC wines.
Wine fans will also love I Profumi di Lamole in Chianti Classico. During this high-anticipated festival, producers of quality wine bring their varieties to the main square for small but select wine-tasting.
If you’re in Pisa, don’t miss San Ranieri on the June 17th when the city is lit up with more than 70,000 candles along the Arno River. This pretty light display celebrates the Patron Saint, and the atmosphere is always fantastic on this night.
Where to Stay:
Florence is wonderful at this time of year and so is Pisa, both cities offering world-famous sights, jaw-dropping Renaissance art and architecture, and so much culture. Walking around in spring is much more comfortable than in the peak summer heat.
With fields in bloom and the sky casting sunlight all over the vineyards, this would also be the perfect time to book a private villa with countryside views. We have an exclusive portfolio of villas with breathtaking views in Tuscany, as well as other regions of Italy.
What to Pack:
If you’re arriving in April, be sure to pack a few light jackets and layers. Rainfall is slightly higher at this time. The UV rating is high compared to back home in the UK (5 in April, 7 in May and 8 in June), so always pack sun protection.
July to August
This is the hottest time of year in Tuscany, making it the perfect time to hit the beach or plan a lazy holiday filled with sun-soaked activities and long dips in the pool. While many are inclined to book their family holiday during this time when the kids are off school, it’s important to bear in mind that the heat can often be intense at this time.
Generally, there’s no rain but scorching dry heat in the cities. If you prefer to stay cooler, pick a coastal location with a nice sea breeze, or book a villa with its own private pool and a shaded terrace.
This is also the best time to see the region’s famous sunflower fields, which will be in full bloom by now.
It could be as hot as 31°C in Florence, 29°C in Pisa, 29°C in San Gimignano and 29°C in Siena. These are the averages, but temperatures could exceed that. So plan your days out with plenty of breaks and stops for refreshments, carry water to rehydrate when sightseeing, and avoid overly strenuous activities such as long-distance hikes.
A huge event, Festival La Versiliana, takes over the Marina di Pietrasanta between the coast and the mountains, combining all of Tuscany’s best features, including traditional food, historic charm and its music. This takes place across the course of July and August, with an exciting program of activities.
From July 10th to July 14th, the Mercantia street festival descends upon Certaldo with its street dancers and performers, celebrating theatre and life. Around the same time, the Blues Festival in Seravezza kicks off, bringing plenty of music, literature, wine and food for visitors of southern Tuscany.
For a traditional festival that transports you back in time, arrive for Medievalis in Pontremoli from late August. It’s an event with wine and food stands, artisan crafts, live acts and people dressed up in ancient costumes.
Where to Stay:
A coastal location is the best way to stay cool when the heat gets too much. If you’re looking for a city destination, Pisa may promise more of a breeze than Tuscany. It’s also located close to other destinations along the coastline.
The city of Lucca is just half an hour from Pisa, and our beautiful Villa Nova accommodation is just a stone’s throw away, featuring beautiful gardens and courtyard, a large outdoor pool and private tennis courts.
What to Pack:
Pack for the height of summer, and don’t leave home without hats and sunglasses. You may want to consider a sun parasol or a handheld fan. Evening temperatures may be between 15-18°C depending on where you are, so some light layers may be necessary.
Tuscany’s UV rating is at its highest in the peak summer months. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats or UV protective clothing are essential. Anyone holidaying in Italy in the summer should also pack mosquito repellent. Only Italy’s high mountain areas tend to stay mosquito-free.
September to October
What a wonderful time to visit Tuscany during the cooler shoulder months of late summer and autumn. September is still lovely and hot for the most part while October begins to cool down a bit for a more comfortable climate for hiking, vineyard tours and other outdoor activities.
This is also the best time of year for food and wine connoisseurs. From mid-September to early October, just about every wine town has its harvest period. This is true of grapes as well as olives, meaning there will be harvesting events galore, and some outstanding tasting opportunities.
In September, you’ll be able to soak up the very last moments of summer, with averages of around 26°C in Tuscany and 25°C in other areas such as Pisa, San Gimignano and Siena. While in October, this cools to around 20°C across the region.
Not to be missed is Settembre deVino and the Festa delle Cantine in southern Tuscany. The play-on words of Settembre deVino mean two things: ‘divine September’ or ‘September filled with wine’. The festival, which begins on the Thursday before the first weekend in September and lasts for four days, combines wine and food for amazing celebrations.
The first weekend of October also marks one of the most important culinary calendar dates, the International Market and Fair of the White Truffle at Corazzano (a suburb of San Miniato).
Where to Stay:
With temperatures dropping and providing a more comfortable climate for being outdoors, this season is ideal for exploring the countryside. Head away from the coast and book a private villa with glorious views, like our featured Villa Flavia accomodation, an old Tuscan farmhouse close to the charming medieval village of San Casciano dei Bagni. It’s the perfect base for immersing yourself into the local culture of inland Tuscany.
What to Pack:
Rainfall starts to increase, especially as we move into October. So light waterproofs may be advised if you’re going hiking or touring the countryside. A small travel umbrella is ample for cities as rain showers rarely last long.
UV rating drops to 5 in September and 3 in October, but sun protection is still advised.
November to March
The chilliest time of year for Tuscany, and also the quietest. But for some, that’s all the more reason to plan a trip to everyone’s favourite Italian region. With fewer crowds, you can get to the Uffizi Gallery or the Palazzo Vecchio tower in Florence without battling the queues.
But more importantly, this is the time of year to relish in the regional delicacies truly. From juicy Florentine steak, hearty broths and seasonal vegetables like cavolo nero to a bottle of aged Chianti Classico, there are so many ways you can warm up.
Expect parts of the region to be around 14-15°C on November, 10-11°C in December, 9-10°C in January and 11-12°C in February. Rainfall can be high in November but then drops off gradually from December onwards.
November may be drizzly, but it has events such as Castagne e Vino Nuovo in San Gimignano (celebrating chestnuts and new wine) and also Festa del Buco Unto in Civitella Paganico (the olive oil festival).
December is all about Christmas markets (some of the most charming in Europe) and festive celebrations on Christmas Eve. Then the carnival period begins from the end of January. One of the best-known carnivals in Italy is one in Viareggio, dating back to the 19th Century and boasting the best floats in Tuscany. It’s a great family-friendly event, with processions taking place during the day. This festival lasts from January to March, with five days of processions across the course of each month. So no matter when you arrive, you’ll likely catch one of these in action.
Where to Stay:
What better time to enjoy a romantic getaway with atmospheric scenery and an excuse to cosy up by the fire with a glass of ‘Super Tuscan’ red? This is such a romantic time to travel, with no-one to disturb you.
Take a look at our collection of romantic villas in Tuscany as well as other popular regions of Italy, and book your stay while there are no crowds to contend with. For total peace, there’s no better time for a Tuscan adventure.
What to Pack:
Bring extra layers as days get chillier. Jackets or coats will be necessary, especially at night, and be sure to pack a light waterproof or umbrella for rainy November days.
If you’re visiting the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines for skiing, wrap up warm with winter coats, hats and gloves. The climate can be harsh in the mountains, with freezing winter days as low as 3°C.
Ready to book your escape to one of Italy’s top regions and one of Europe’s most coveted destinations? Take a look at our beautiful villas in Tuscany, each one hand-selected for their luxury amenities and their opulent interiors with enough space for the whole family.