The Best Time to Visit Tuscany

Hilly Tuscany landscape with cedar trees on a hazy, sunny day

Gary Yeowell / Getty Images 

Tuscany is the second-most visited region in Italy after Veneto, the region of Venice. As a result, you can expect to find tourists there year-round. The terrain of Tuscany ranges from mountains to seasides to its famous rolling hills, meaning there are different weather systems throughout the region and different peak travel seasons depending on the location. But generally speaking, Tuscany is at its busiest from April through October—it's no coincidence that this is also when the weather is at its best. So while you'll have plenty of company, we recommend the months of April and May or September and October as the best times to visit Tuscany.

Weather in Tuscany

Weather-wise, there's not really a bad time to visit Tuscany—unless maybe you're planning a beach vacation in January. Fall through winter, most of Tuscany is rainy and mildly cold, though snow is unusual in all but the most northern parts of the region. Dreary fall and winter days may be offset by gloriously sunny and clear days, but there's no guarantee of either bad or good weather.

For the best weather, visitors to Tuscany favor late spring, summer, and early fall. The months of April and May are increasingly warm and sunny without being too hot. June, and especially July and August, see hot weather, especially in inland cities. Tuscany's beach resorts are packed in July and August and they may remain crowded into the first few weeks of September. By mid-September, family travel has dropped off as kids go back to school. But cities and towns will still be crowded with tourists—in fact, October is now one of the peak travel months in Florence, as visitors seek out cooler weather and still-sunny skies.

Portions of the Apennine Mountain chain runs through Tuscany, and there are a few ski resorts in the region. On years with sparse snowfall—increasingly regular as a result of climate change—resorts will either manufacture snow or open only during brief periods. January and February are the best months to visit if you want to find snow in the Tuscan Appenines.

Crowds in Tuscany

Will Tuscany be crowded when you visit? Probably. With the exceptions of January, February, and early March, most major cities in Tuscany, especially Florence, are crowded with tourists year-round. If crowds aren't your thing, then these winter months are a good time to visit, as long as you don't mind possibly cold, rainy, and cloudy weather. If you want pleasant weather and can put up with the crowds, then April to May and September to October are optimal months. If you visit Florence, Siena, Lucca, and other inland cities in July and August, you'll get crowds and hot, humid weather.

When visiting at any time of year, we strongly suggest you book ahead for any major museums and attractions you want to see. Most issue timed-entry tickets, meaning you'll have to plan your day around your entrance slot. But that's better than missing out on something you really want to see because you didn't buy your tickets in advance.

Tourist Attraction Availability

Tuscany is a year-round destination where you're unlikely to run into seasonal closures. Exceptions to this rule are at beach resorts and some smaller country hotels. Beach resorts are likely to close in October or November and reopen in May or June, and some smaller properties (mostly outside of cities) may opt to take a month or more off in January and February. Some city restaurants close down for a week or two in August, though this practice is less and less common.

Most museums and tourist attractions are open year-round, though they may close on Christmas, New Year's Day and Easter. Check their websites if you're planning to visit on one of these days.

January

January is one of the coldest months in Tuscany and the rest of Italy, daily temperatures are likely to be between 35 and 55 degrees F (2 and 13 degrees C), colder in higher altitude areas where snow might be a possibility. It will be even colder at night, so bundle up if you plan an evening stroll.

Events to check out:

  • New Year's Day is quiet across the region. Most stores and tourist attractions will be closed, as will many restaurants.
  • La Befana, or Epiphany, on Jan. 6 marks the end of the Christmas holiday season, though most stores and attractions will be open.

February

Tuscany in February won't feel much different than Tuscany in January. It's a cold month, though sunny days are possible—although snow is as well.

Events to check out:

  • Carnivale may fall in February, depending on the date of Easter. In Viareggio, on Tuscany's northern coast, a series of Carnivale parades are world-famous and often satirize current events. If you plan to visit Viareggio at Carnivale, book your hotel well in advance.
  • In Florence, the Fiero Del Cioccolato (chocolate fair) takes place over 10 days in early February. It's held at Piazza Santa Croce.

March

March is a fickle month in Tuscany and all of Italy, with weather ranging from crisp, sunny spring days to torrential rains to late winter storms. If you visit in March, pack layers so that you can bundle up or strip down as the weather dictates.

Events to check out:

  • If Carnevale didn't fall in February, it will take place in March.
  • Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, will see masses and processions in Tuscany's larger cities. Smaller towns won't hold as many events, but many restaurants, museums, and stores will close on Easter Sunday and possibly Pasquetta, the day after Easter.
  • In Florence, the Scoppio del Carro, one of the city's most important events, takes place in front of the Duomo on Easter Sunday.

April

April looks a lot more like spring than March did, so your chances of pleasant weather increase a great deal. Still, pack for a late spring storm or chilly nights.

Events to check out:

  • Easter and Holy Week, if not in March, will be celebrated in April.
  • Festa della Liberazione, or Liberation Day, on April 25 is a national holiday marking the end of World War II. 

May

May is one of the best months to visit Tuscany, especially if you plan on hiking or biking. Temperatures are warm but not too hot, and crowds haven't hit their peak. Pack a light sweater or jacket for cool evenings.

Events to check out:

  • In Florence, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, a classical music festival, takes place throughout the month and stretches into June.

June

June can be quite hot in most parts of Tuscany, though mountainous areas may still experience pleasantly cool weather. If you're thinking of a beach vacation, June is a good time to plan it—beach resorts won't hit peak crowds and pricing until July and August.

Events to check out:

  • Several big events in Pisa happen in June including the Battle of the Bridge, the Luminari, and the Regatta of San Ranieri.
  • ​In Florence, the Calco Storico is a historic soccer match that takes place on June 24 and a big fireworks show follows.

July & August

The months of July and August in Tuscany are hot, humid, and crowded. Even in air-conditioned museums, retro-fitted cooling systems can't stand up to the summer crowds and heat. Rural areas and hilltowns might be slightly cooler, but you might find it most comfortable to rest in our hotel during the hottest afternoon hours, then set out again after things start to cool down in the evening.

Events to check out:

  • July is peak sunflower-viewing month in Tuscany. Get your cameras ready!
  • The Palio of Siena, the famous bareback horserace, takes place in July and August. If you plan to attend, reserve your hotel room or vacation rental at least a year in advance.
  • The Pistoia Blues Festival takes place in the northern Tuscan town of the same name.
  • Ferragosto, Aug. 15, marks the quasi-official end to the summer holidays. Some towns may present concerts or evening fireworks.

September

It's an open secret that the weather in Tuscany is better in September than it is in August. As a result, lots of visitors have caught on. So while you'll still find crowds across most of Tuscany, at least it will be slightly cooler. At beach resorts, seawater should be comfortable for swimming until mid-September.

Events to check out:

  • The Giostra del Saraceno is a medieval jousting event in Arezzo on the first Sunday of September.
  • Across Tuscany, the vendemmia, or grape harvest, takes place in September. If you're touring Tuscany's vineyards, this is a great time to witness the early phases of the winemaking process.

October

October in Tuscany is still crowded, but glorious fall weather makes up for that. This is a popular time to visit the region, so don't expect many hotel bargains.

Events to check out:

  • October is a great month for seasonal food festivals in Tuscany. Chestnuts and porcini mushrooms are in season, and the opening of hunting season means that wild boar (cinghiale), shows up on many fall restaurant menus.

November

November is cool and rainy, but less crowded than preceding months. Pack for wet weather and be extra grateful for the bright sunny days that may pop out.

Events to check out:

  • ​Nov. 1 is All Saints' Day, a public holiday.
  • The olive harvest takes place all over the region, and restaurants and shops will be offering olio nuovo (new oil)—the freshly pressed, bright green extra virgin olive oil made from just-picked olives.

December

Cold, cloudy and rainy, dreary December in Tuscany is easily offset by the festive air that takes hold after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8. Christmas decorations, lights, and nativity scenes pop up in cities and towns large and small.

Events to check out:

  • In Florence, a German-style Christmas Market takes place on Piazza Santa Croce.
  • Temporary ice-skating rinks, such as FirenzeWinterpark, open in larger towns across the region.
  • If you're planning to be in Tuscany for New Year's Eve, make sure you reserve a restaurant in which to have New Year's Eve dinner. It will last well past midnight and culminate with the eating of lentils and cotecchino (a pork sausage).
Frequently Asked Questions
  • When is the best time to visit Tuscany?

    Tuscany attracts tourists year-round, but is busiest from April to October when the weather is best. The best time to visit for the fewest crowds is in the shoulder season in either April and May or September and October.

  • What is the weather like in Tuscany?

    Tuscany has great weather all throughout the year with warm and sunny summers and just mild rain and slightly colder temperatures in the fall and winter. Spring is a great season as well, with consistently sunny days that are never too hot.

  • What is the hottest month in Tuscany?

    August is usually the hottest month in Tuscany with average high temperatures hovering between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (27 and 32 degrees Celsius).

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