When is the best time to visit Tuscany? Here’s my month to month guide to help you decide which month matches your interests and priorities.
There are highlights for each month, important events, and general weather guidelines.
I’ve included all the public Italian holidays, so you won’t be caught off guard by closed stores and restaurants.
You’ll also find my top 3 places in Tuscany to visit every month.
Off we go!
Table of Contents
JANUARY IN TUSCANY: GENNAIO
Public Holidays in January to Watch Out For
January 1: Capodanno (New Year’s Day)
January 6: Befana (Epiphany)
January in a Nutshell
The Christmas holiday season in Italy doesn’t end until after the Epiphany, or Befana, on January 6. That means kids are still on winter vacation through the first week of the month. In January, Tuscans are recovering from weeks of feasting and hanging out with their relatives. Relative calm returns to the cities.
Even though Tuscany is not very big, its diverse topography (mountains, coast, valleys) means that the weather varies throughout the region. That said, January is Tuscany’s coldest month.
At night the temperature dips quite a bit. Low temperatures are about 3.5°C to 5.5°C inland (that translates to 38 to 42°F). Temperatures along the Tuscan coast are usually a few degrees Celsius warmer. Head for the mountains for snow and skiing. Despite the colder temperatures, there are usually a good number of sunny days to enjoy.
The weather in Tuscany and all over Italy has become much more unpredictable in recent years. There have also been more extreme weather events, like heat waves, droughts, and flooding.
Top 3 Places to Visit in January
Abetone for skiing
FEBRUARY IN TUSCANY: FEBBRAIO
February 14: Valentine’s Day (not a public holiday)
February in a Nutshell
February is Carnival time. The major Carnival celebration in Tuscany is in Viareggio, on the sea. However, carnival is celebrated everywhere, mostly by children wearing costumes and throwing paper confetti.
My favorite part of Carnival is the incredible sweets. You can only taste them at this time of year! Not only that, different cities and towns have their own traditional carnival sweets that you can only find there. In Florence, make sure you try the schiacciata alla Fiorentina, a spiced yellow cake topped with powdered sugar.
Tuscans who work in tourist destinations like the beach or the Chianti countryside, where summer is high season, often have to take their vacation during this “dead” time of year. Double check if you’re set on going to a certain restaurant or small town. For example, islands like the Giglio and Elba empty out. Many of my favorite restaurants close for a few weeks in January or February.
In February the weather is generally on par with January.
Top 3 Places to Visit in February
Viareggio for Carnival
San Gimignano to take advantage of low season
MARCH IN TUSCANY: MARZO
March 8: International Women’s Day
March 19: San Giuseppe: Father’s Day in Italy
March in a Nutshell
Some trees are starting to flower, and you’ll notice yellow mimosas (the Italian flower of choice for Women’s Day) blooming. Foreign tourists start invading the major cities like Florence and Siena.
March is marked by Lent, but it is also the month of Italian Father’s Day (San Giuseppe) on March 19, when Italians enjoy delicious regional fried sweets. In Tuscany, there are frittelle di San Giuseppe, delicious, sweet fried rice balls– and the best ones are at a small stand in Siena’s Piazza del Campo. You can also find fresh fava beans and wild asparagus on Tuscan menus.
March is the start of the transition out of winter to spring, and in most of Tuscany it’s light jacket weather by the end of the month. Be prepared for rain, however. March can be fickle, flipflopping between rain and gorgeous sunny days.
Top 3 Places to Visit in March
Montelupo Fiorentino for hand painted ceramics
Siena to eat frittelle di San Giuseppe up until March 19
Montepulciano and Montalcino
APRIL IN TUSCANY: APRILE
Public Holidays in April to Watch Out For
Between March 22 and April 25: Easter Sunday (falls on the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox)
The day after Easter Sunday: Easter Monday
April 25: Festa della Liberazione (Liberation Day)
April at a Glance
April is host to many lovely spring holidays in Italy, and flowers are in bloom. School children have about a week of spring holidays around Easter, and parents panic every year when they realize how many days off their children have.
April is a time for picnics in the countryside and day trips to the beach, which are a tradition on Easter Monday and April 25: if you’re on the road look out for traffic heading back into Florence on the evening after these holidays, and on Sundays.
The weather is highly variable, with showers and clouds, as well as bright sunny days.
Top 3 Places to Visit in April
MAY IN TUSCANY: MAGGIO
Public Holidays in May to Watch Out For
May 1: Festa del Lavoro (Labor Day)
May at a Glance
May is the time of blooming flowers, street fairs and food festivals, called sagre. It’s a great time to head to the countryside and explore small country towns.
May is technically spring, but in Tuscany it’s usually already quite hot . . . when the sun shines. Don’t count on May to be sunny every day though: rain often comes along.
Top 3 Places to Visit in May
Pitigliano and Saturnia
Chianti countryside between Florence and Siena
JUNE IN TUSCANY: GIUGNO
Public Holidays in June to Watch Out For
June 2: Festa della Repubblica (Republic Day)
June at a Glance
June counts as summer in Italy: school gets out about 10 ten days into the month. It’s a great time to go to the beach, because it’s hot but there aren’t crowds or high season prices yet. June is also host to important local events like the calcio storico, Florence’s own high contact sport, with the final match on San Giovanni, or Saint John’s patron saint day, June 24.
June is generally nice and hot, with little rainfall.
Top 3 Places to Visit in June
Florence, for the calcio storico and San Giovanni celebrations
JULY IN TUSCANY: LUGLIO
July at a Glance
In July, the Tuscan summer is in full swing. If you like the heat, this is a good time to visit, but don’t say we didn’t warn you! There are a lot of people, and did I mention it’s hot? Places where you can cool off, like the beach and countryside, are your best bet in July. The cities are swelteringly hot and Italians don’t use air conditioning to the extent that Americans do.
There are also wonderful local festivals, like the Palio di Siena horse race on July 2, and the Mercantia street arts festival in Certaldo.
Hot. Hot. Hot. and Dry. The average high temperature is 30 °C.
Top 3 Places to Visit in July
Siena for the Palio on July 2
Certaldo for the Mercantia street arts festival in July
Poppi and the Casentino
AUGUST IN TUSCANY: AGOSTO
Public Holidays in August to Watch Out For
August 15: Ferragosto (Assumption Day)
August is the highpoint of the Tuscan summer. Not only that, most Italians take their summer vacation in August, taking off the entire week, if not two or three, around Ferragosto. Cities clear out because it’s so hot, and it’s not unusual for small towns to shut down too. Tuscans head to the beach or the mountains, which are crowded and abuzz. Only come to Tuscany in August if you like very hot weather.
So hot. The average high temperature is still 30 °C.
Top 3 Places to Visit in August
SEPTEMBER IN TUSCANY: SETTEMBRE
The summer isn’t officially over yet for Italian school children until about September 15, when schools open again. September is a wonderful time to visit if you’re interested in wine, since it’s time for the grape harvest, or vendemmia. Since it’s still hot, it’s a great time to visit beach destinations now that the summer hordes have gone home.
It’s usually still quite hot and dry for most of the month. The average high and low temps are 2-3 degrees Celsius cooler than August.
Top 3 Places to Visit in September
Chianti countryside between Florence and Siena
OCTOBER IN TUSCANY: OTTOBRE
October is a lovely time to visit Tuscany, especially if you like chestnuts (castagne) and mushrooms (funghi), which are in season. Parts of Tuscany have already started harvesting their olives for olive oil, so keep an eye out for freshly milled extra virgin oil (olio nuovo), which is exquisite.
Though Halloween is not as widely celebrated as it is in the US and England, it has become more and more popular in recent years.
Temperatures are cooling off (the average high temperature is 22 °C, with the average lows at 11 °C) but it’s still very comfortable and warm in much of Tuscany.
Even with the weather so unpredictable in recent years, we have noticed a trend: October seems to be getting hotter. So hot that my father-in-law was able to take an October swim in the sea last year (2022). My kids almost never have to wear a jacket on Halloween.
Top 3 Places to Visit in October
Chianti between Florence and Siena
NOVEMBER IN TUSCANY: NOVEMBRE
Public Holidays in November to Watch Out For
November 1: All Saint’s Day
November in a Nutshell
November means three things to me: truffles (tartufi), chestnuts (castagne) and olive oil (olio di olive). It’s an incredible month for eating. Tasting freshly pressed olive oil (olio nuovo) is a must: when it is fresh it is the extraordinary color of ectoplasm.
November is Tuscany’s rainiest month. Though the weather is colder and rainer, but there are usually plenty of warm, clear days.
Top 3 Places to Visit in November
San Miniato, Tuscany for the White Truffle Market Fair
Pisa and Lucca
DECEMBER IN TUSCANY: DICEMBRE
Public Holidays in December to Watch Out For
December 8: Immacolata (Feast of the Immaculate Conception)
December 25: Natale (Christmas)
December 26: Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day)
December 31, New Year’s Eve, is not a public holiday but most shops close early.
December in a Nutshell
The festive mood of the Italian Christmas holiday season (le feste) livens up most of December. Cities set up elaborate light displays and decorations, and churches put up nativity scenes (presepi). Italian schools close for the Christmas holidays for two weeks starting at Christmas. The closer to Christmas, the more crowded cities become, with holiday shoppers and local Italians admiring the dazzling Christmas decorations.
Average temperatures range from a low of 4° C to a high of 12 ° C in December. Not exactly cold compared to what a lot of Americans are used to in the winter!
Top 3 Places to Visit in December
Abetone for skiing