If you are planning to go to Tuscany, Italy, you may have been charmed by some friends’ travelling stories, or by the stunning pictures. The bright countryside where the sun is always shining, the shimmering blue sea, the fairy-tale-like little villages on top of the hills – Tuscany is all that, for sure.
But what is the best time to visit Tuscany and best appreciate all its wonders?
Contrary to what you may think, Italy is not all year round the agreeable sunny land we would expect – you can even step into foggy winters, rainy falls and quite unbearable hot summers! Much depends on the location of the place you want to visit; thus it is important to choose the right season to plan a visit to this country.
Tuscany is a lucky region, indeed. Thanks to its geographical position, the weather is generally mild. Winters are not the coldest ones (unless you go to the mountains, where you can even spot a bit of snow). Summers can be hot, but still pleasant because of the breeze, especially near the seaside. Springs and falls may have some rainy days, but they mainly have the best climate ever, between 15°C and 25 C° (59°F – 77°F), with a charming blue sky too.
Therefore, in order to offer you the best Tuscan experience, here’s an overview of the best times to visit Tuscany, along with the most appropriate visits according to the season.
From April to May – a perfect Tuscan spring
Thanks to its mild weather, spring is generally acclaimed to be the best time to visit Tuscany, which is the reason why it is a high-peaked season too. Indeed, in spring you can do quite everything and visit all the places you want without feeling too hot or too cold. If you skip some rare rainy days, you can surely have your best time… just remember to dress in layers!
In spring, the countryside is in bloom and verdant, so you can enjoy the famous Tuscan hills. It is not too hot to spend some time in the cities, so you can stroll in their alleys, visit monuments and do some shopping without panting. The coastal destinations are not so crowded yet, but already lively and inviting. Moreover, you can take the occasion to discover some off-the-beaten-path destinations such as the marble quarries near Carrara, where Michelangelo used to choose the marble for its masterpieces.
From June to August – a summer by the sea
If you are planning a visit in summer, you should be more careful about your destination in Tuscany. As told, summers can be hot, and if you are willing to visit the backcountry, they can be really hot, even for Italian standards! In summer, it is better to forget Florence and the inland, where temperatures can rise up to 40°C (104°F) with a high percentage of humidity and prefer some sea destinations.
By the seaside, summers are mainly ventilated, so that hot temperatures become more bearable and even pleasant. The only side effect is that sea destinations can be extremely crowded, as it is a popular destination also for the Tuscan and Italian tourist who likes to join beaches and coasts during summertime.
You can choose to stay in a city not far from the seaside, like Pisa or Lucca, and then discover the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian seaside. One of the best summer destinations, for instance, is Cinque Terre – five magical fishermen’s villages on a jagged stretch of coast in Liguria, very close to the Tuscan border. Although crowded during summertime, good weather allows you to visit them by boat, showing you their best portrait.
From September to October – a fall that tastes like wine
Fall is another popular period to visit Tuscany, one of the best times for sure along with spring. In fact, the weather becomes mild again, maybe a little colder and more humid than in spring, but still likeable. Normally, the Tuscan “rainy season” starts in November, so you still have the chance to do plenty of activities.
One of the most appreciated is going to the hilly backcountry. During fall, vineyards are at their best, colourful and rich in grapes, as it is also the grape harvest time. You can take the occasion and dedicate some of your time to discover the Chianti hills, between Florence and Siena, and have some wine-tasting experience in the cellars of the area.