Best Time To Visit Florence, Italy

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Best Time To Visit Florence For…

  • Best Time to Book Hotels. When it comes to booking a hotel in Florence, the best time to reserve a room is four to eight weeks in advance from the time you wish to visit. This will save you around $50 or more.
  • Best Time for Sightseeing. Depending on the sightseeing you plan on undertaking in Florence, the best time of the year varies. If you wish to avoid crowds and pay cheaper admissions, try visiting in the early spring or late fall.
  • Best Time for Shopping. Shopping in Florence is always a blast. And, there is always a great deal waiting to be found. That said, late in the year, after the high-season comes and goes, much of the year’s merchandise can be had for nearly half the price.
  • Best Time for Festivals & Events. Again, the best time to visit for festivals and events really boils down to which festivals and events you want to attend. For party goers, the summer is a perfect time, with plenty of music and live performances. For families, the fall and winter are full of family-oriented events and festivals.

Florence Travel Seasons

Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. That said, depending on the time of year that you plan to visit, being familiar with the travel seasons specific to Florence is a good idea. That way you won’t miss out on anything, or have to put up with crowds of people if that’s not your thing.

Let’s have a look at the most significant factors for each of the main travel seasons in Florence below.

High Season – May, June, July & September

Tourists frequent Florence during the high season. After all, it’s during this time that the weather is fair. Plus, humidity doesn’t work against them. So be one of them. If you also want to be on your feet to see the marvels of the Italian city, go ahead and visit during the high season. During this time, the weather conditions are just right. And being drenched in sweat when you roam around should be the least of your worries.

And here’s a reminder when hitting Florence during this season: It’s best to immerse yourself into the city’s culture. And if you want to blend in with the locals, “eat, drink, and be merry” like they do.

You might want to dress up like them, too. And in this department, remember that cotton is your best friend. Linen works too. And because the locals dress simpler and more casually, you should do the same, don’t you think? Plus, you might want to strap on your most comfortable shoes. If you’re going to wander the city, you should wear flats or perhaps some running shoes.

The reason?  You’re going to do a lot of walking in Florence. After all, the streets are not wide enough for cars there. Besides, it’s a good thing for you: Walking counts as exercise!

Now, if you say you don’t have a good sense of direction, don’t fret. This is because you can easily get a map to show you the way. And rest assured, maps are provided in hotels and in designated offices around Florence. So if you can’t easily distinguish right from left, just get a map.

As for where to stay during this season, that’s all up to you. But if you want to get the most out of your time in the city, it’s best to use your itinerary as the basis. That said, you should know this: Florence is strategically divided into three parts. The center, middle city, and the outskirts. 

Do you want to see entertainment centers? Do you want to experience the nightlife in Florence? If so, check-in at hotels close to the city center. They’re excellent places to start and finish your day because many local attractions are nearby.

On a budget? Then book your accommodation within the middle city. But this is a residential area. So you should expect a little night life on this side of town.

Have kids and want peace and quiet? The outskirts make the best place to stay then. There, you can quickly visit museums and cathedrals via the Florence bus. On the outskirts, art museums and exhibits are rife here and there.

Economically speaking, the high season isn’t the best time to visit if you’re not into spending a lot of cash. Because there are lots of tourists, you could see the prices of goods and services during this time. 

Highlights for High Season in Florence

  • The high season is an ideal time to visit Florence. This is because the temperature is pleasant. And it wouldn’t give you a problem if you stroll around the city.
  • Going about Florence is best done by foot. After all, the city has small roads teeming with people. Besides, you can’t drive around town without a permit.
  • There are three main lodging areas in Florence: The center, middle, and outskirts. And where you stay depends on how you want to spend your time in the city.
  • Art enthusiasts would drool over what Florence has to offer. This Italian city is home to lovely paintings, sculptures, and whatnot.

Shoulder (Mid) Season – March, Mid-May, October & November

As you can observe from the city’s high season, the seasons in Florence are “scattered”.

Because the heat is up around the month of August, many locals don’t stick around. Instead of staying in the city, they run off to some place colder.

So compared to how Florence is during the high season, you can expect fewer locals during this time. For tourists who want some friendly company from the locals, this is bad news. But for those who want a fix of tranquility, this news is like music to the ears. 

The mid season is also for the strategic and the time-conscious. Not having that many people around puts you at an advantage. It means less time for tedious things like queuing for bus tickets.

And if you’re after some cheap thrill,  Florence is the city for you during the mid season. This is when you can experience the ease of travel and budget-friendly delights. For one, accommodation during the mid season is cheaper compared to the rates during the high season. 

It’s also best to visit the outskirts of Florence during the shoulder season if you’re in for a new experience. Want a spring fling or want to fall in love with nature, perhaps?

Flowers blossom in April to May along the hills and valleys of Tuscany. And you can (and would want to) see this on the outskirts of Florence. After all, the blossoming of flowers is a breathtaking view. 

Around October, the availability of fresh fruits is the talk of the town. Grapes, for one, are ripe this time around. 

Moving on from the fields, you would want to get some sun, too. Go sunbathing or just walk along the shores of the beaches in Florence. Because the weather isn’t bad, the shoulder season is also a great time for some experiences at the beach.

Highlights for Shoulder Season in Florence

  • Florence’s shoulder season is when some locals are out. If you want some peace and quiet as you roam around the city, it’s your chance.
  • Want to maximize your time? Don’t like to wait in long lines? Don’t like to wait in traffic? Then visit the city during the shoulder season. 
  • The shoulder season is for the frugal traveler. After all, hotel rates are less expensive during this time.
  • If you’re a tree-hugger, you’ll love visiting Florence in the shoulder season. One of the more memorable things you’ll see in the city: The blossoming of flowers.
  • The mid season in Florence is a great time to check out beaches. This is because the weather is neither hot. Nor cold.

Low Season – August, December & February

Wondering why they call it “low season” in this city? Two reasons. One, it’s during this time when the temperature is at the lowest. It’s cold and temperatures are down.

And here’s the other reason: The number of people who flock the city is usually at its lowest. Compared to the high and shoulder seasons, there are lesser crowds this time around.

Good news, though, for the extremely crowd-fearing and queue-hating. This season is a winter wonderland for them. 

After all, lines and pre-bookings for tickets and viewings are almost non-existent during this time. Crowds, you say? Nada at this time! And for the fans of art, it’s not a bad time to travel the city. It’s like during the shoulder season when barely crowds of tourists are around.

Without lots of strangers, these art aficionados can have the peace and quiet they need to admire the artworks of the legends. They can even go to the extent of inspecting every brush stroke in Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus.

And did you know that museums often hold special exhibits during this season? So if you’re passionate about art, it’s best to visit museums around this time. Retail therapy is also prevalent during the low season. It’s the best time to take home those lovely Italian shoes at a discounted price.

Lucky you because Florence and a lot of places in Italy are the homes of famous luxury brands. So if you’re willing to look around, you might just snag a deal in their Florence boutiques.

Accommodation rates are also lower this time compared to the rates during high and shoulder seasons. This is because the innkeepers decided to lower their rates for the limited number of tourists this time.

Although the cold weather in Florence can be forgiving, it doesn’t change the obvious: It’s cold and not a lot of people would want to roam around.

Highlights for Low Season in Florence

  • Low season is when crowds are nowhere to be found. If you don’t like having a lot of people around, it’s the best time to visit.
  • In spite of unpredictable rains, temperatures during the low season don’t really hit below zero. Snowfall also occurs rarely. So just pack an ordinary jacket, some leggings or long pants, and you’re good to go!
  • If you want to attend major art exhibitions, Florence’s low season is the right time to visit. 
  • Florence has a huge semi-annual sale — and one occurs every January. This means discounts and other special deals are up for grabs..
  • Like New York, Florence also never sleeps. So many tourist attractions are open to the public even during Christmas and other special days.

Florence Weather by Month

Picking a time and place to visit, especially abroad, is a very particular thing. As much planning in advance, the better. Weather is one of the most important aspects to be aware of when planning such a trip.

Here is a run down of the regular weather in Florence, month by month:

January 

One of the coolest months in Florence is January. In fact, the coolest day that you can experience in the city is usually during this month.

No problems dealing with the cold weather? Then that’s good. But you should know that it never really freezes around here. After all, 34 degrees isn’t cold by most people’s definition. 

And if you want to experience the heat, you can do so, too. And just like the cold weather in Florence, the heat is tolerable in this city. This time of the year, the highest temperatures could only rise to 50 degrees. 

On most days in January, the weather is mostly clear with a 45 percent chance of overcast sky. You can experience some slightly gloomy days with around 20 percent chance of occurrence. 

Plus, the days in January become longer by about 51 minutes, which implies an average increase of at least 1 minute and 43 seconds daily. And if you put that into a weekly figure, that’s an additional 11 minutes and 59 seconds.

And if you like watching the sun rise, good news: You can get a breathtaking view of it from 7:33 AM to 7:48 AM during this month. On the other hand, you can catch the sunset from 4:48 PM to 5:23 PM. 

February

Experiencing high temperatures ranging from 52 degrees to 55 degrees is in your cards in February. It’s a great time to do some traveling because Florence is just right this time around.

You can experience the clearest day by the end of February with mostly clear skies. Then again, there’s still a 49 percent chance of getting partly cloudy.

The average monthly rainfall in Florence remains approximately 1.7 inches and rarely exceeds 3.4 inches. Length of day, however, rapidly increases in February by one hour. This implies an increase of at least 2 minutes and 46 seconds daily. On a weekly scale, that gives you an additional 19 minutes and 22 seconds to your week.

The sunrise begins at 6:54 AM to 7:32 AM. And you can catch the sunset between 5:25 PM and 6:01 PM. 

March

During March in Florence, you will experience high temperatures ranging from 56 degrees to 63 degrees. As for low temperatures, they usually fall to 44 degrees.

In this city, it’s essentially cloudy through the entire month with a 52 percent chance of an overcast sky. The clearest day may occur during the first week with 50 percent of getting partly cloudy. 

The average monthly rainfall remains 1.8 inches over the sliding period of 31 days, but rarely exceeds 3.3 inches. Length of days in March rapidly increases by one hour. And this implies an increase of at least 3 minutes and 1 second daily, and 21 minutes and 8 seconds weekly.

April

The average high temperatures during the month of April is between 63 degrees to 70 degrees. Low temperatures, on the other hand, range from 44 degrees to 50 degrees.

The cloud cover is essentially constant throughout the month with a 51 percent chance of mostly cloudy conditions. And you can experience the clearest day by the end of the month with 50 percent of getting partly cloudy.

In April, average monthly rainfall remains 1.9 inches. And it rarely exceeds 3.2 inches throughout the month. Just like the previous months, the length of days also rapidly increases by one hour. This just implies an increase of at least 2 minutes and 51 seconds daily and 19 minutes and 59 seconds weekly.

May

High temperatures in Florence during May range from 70 degrees to 78 degrees. And low temperatures are usually between 50 degrees to 57 degrees.

An overcast sky may be seen with a percentage of 51 percent to 40 percent. The last day of the month is probably the clearest day with a 60 percent chance of getting partly cloudy.

Rainfall may be essentially constant throughout the month. An average rainfall remains about 2.8 inches. And it rarely exceeds 3.2 inches during May. 

You can catch the sunrise from 5:36 AM to 6:07 AM while sunset is visible between 8:17 PM to 8:48 PM.

June 

The high temperatures in Florence during the month of June hits up to 85 degrees. And low temperatures can drop to 57 degrees. The cloud cover rapidly decreases throughout the month with a 40 percent to 24 percent chance of cloudy conditions.

The average monthly rainfall is 1.7 inches at the beginning of the month. And it decreases to 1.2 inches by the end of June. Unlike in the previous months, the length of day in June is constant: The shortest day and longest day lasting only about 15 hours.

As for the perfect time to watch the sun rise, why not take a seat in your front porch between 5:32 AM to 5:36 AM? And you can do the same when the sun sets at around 8:49 PM to 9:01 PM.

July

The high temperatures in July range from 86 degrees to 90 degrees. And the low temperatures are usually between 63 degrees to 66 degrees.

During this time, the cloud cover slowly decreases in Florence with a 24 percent to 18 percent chance of overcast skies. You can experience the clearest sky at the last week of July with 82 percent of getting partly cloudy.

The average monthly rainfall remains 1.1 inches. And it rarely exceeds 2.3 inches throughout. The length of the day decreases during this month by up to 46 minutes. this implies a decrease of at least 1 minute and 33 seconds daily. And if you take it to account on a weekly scale, that’s an additional 10 minutes and 50 seconds.

August

The high temperatures in August range from 90 degrees to 85 degrees. And this means it’s less hot — with a decrease of 5 degrees.  

The average monthly rainfall increases during this month. And this starts at 1 inch and ends at 1.9 inches. 

Florence also experiences a rapid decrease in its length of the day this time around. The city’s shortest daytime lasts for only 13 hours!

September

The high temperatures in September usually range from 84 degrees to 74 degrees. And the low temperatures usually fall between 62 degrees to 56 degrees.

Cloudy skies may be seen throughout the month with 30 percent to 44 percent chance of overcast. The first day of the month is more likely to be the clearest day with 70 percent of chance getting clear to partly cloudy over the month.

The average monthly rainfall is increasing which starts at 1.9 inches and ends at 2.7 inches throughout September. However, the length of day rapidly decreases with the city’s shortest daytime lasting for only 11 hours and longest day lasting up to 13 hours.

October

High temperatures during this month decreases to temperatures between 75 degrees and 64 degrees. And the low temperatures fall between 56 degrees Fahrenheit to 48 degrees.

Florence increasingly experiences cloud cover in October. There’s only a 44 percent to 53 percent chance of having overcast skies. The first day is usually the clearest day of the month. But there’s a 56 percent chance of partly cloudy occurrences throughout.

The average monthly rainfall is increasing. And this starts at 2.8 inches and ends at 3.3 inches. The increase may be a lot but good news: It rarely exceeds 5.5 inches throughout the month of October.

November

In November, the high temperatures in Florence decrease by 10 degrees daily. And this drop ranges from 64 degrees to 54 degrees. As for the low temperatures, they fall from 48 degrees to 40 degrees.

There is a gradual increase cloud cover in Florence with a 53 percent to 59 percent chance of getting mostly cloudy throughout the month. Most probably, the first day of the month is the clearest day you may experience.

The average monthly rainfall decreases throughout the month which starts at 3.3 inches and ends at 2.7 inches. The length of day rapidly decreases by one hour and 4 minutes. And this implies a decrease of at least 2 minutes and 12 seconds daily. And if we’re talking about weekly figures, that’s an addition of 15 minutes and 21 seconds to your week.

You can catch the sunrise from 6:50 AM to 7:27 AM while the sunset can be seen between 4:39 PM to 5:06 PM.

December

This time around, the weather in Florence sees a decrease of 4 degrees daily. high temperatures in Florence during December range from 54 degrees to 50 degrees. Low temperature fall between 39 degrees to 36 degrees. But this rarely falls below 25 degrees.

There is essentially constant overcast during this month which remains at 58 percent throughout. The last week of the month may give the clearest day. But there’s a 44 percent chance of getting partly cloudy for the remaining days.

And you can catch the sunrise from 7:28 AM to 7:48 AM. You can also watch the sunset between 4:37 PM to 4:46 PM.  

Florence Events and Festivals

A beautiful city filled with life and magic, Florence has its fair share of festivals, celebrations, and events for tourists and locals to enjoy alike. Depending on the time of year you want to visit, or if you haven’t decided yet, the list of events and festivals in Florence, by month, should help you make the most well-informed decision possible.

January

As with most places, New Year’s is a major event in Florence. The partying rages on well into the next day. That said, New Year’s Day itself is reserved for a quiet day of relaxation and reflection of the year gone by and the one that has just arrived. Epiphany and ka Befana are also official holidays celebrated in the center of the city with a full parade and the whole nine-yards.

February

The second month of the year isn’t the most eventful in Florence, however, there are a couple of events you can attend if you wish to. For one, the chocolate fair, is to die for if you enjoy excellent chocolate. The second event, and the most mesmerizing, is the Italian version of mardi gras, also known as Carnevale.

March

Carnevale, mentioned above, sometimes happens in March rather than February. That said, Easter is sometimes celebrated in March as well. In addition, Saint Joseph’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, and Women’s Day are also celebrated during the middle of the month of March. If you’re the religious type, March is a very ideal time to visit Florence.

April

The Scoppio del Carro, or, explosion of the cart, is an unusual Easter event that you’ll want to experience. Sometimes it is celebrated in March, though typically it is in early April. Additionally, Liberation Day is celebrated in Florence on April 25th, during which time there is copious celebrating, special events, and businesses stay open much later than normal.

May

As with many cultures around the world, with Italians, May 1st is also a special day of celebration. However, rather than a mayday celebration, Italians celebrate Labor Day on the 1st of May. And, with the tourist season heating up, Maggio Musicale Florentino is hosted during the end of the month to kick things off proper. There is also a unique (and incredibly tasty) gelato festival to attend at the very end of May as well.

June

Republic Day, another Italian national holiday is celebrated on June 2nd. The day is marked with feasting in the name of Saint John, the city’s patron saint. There is also something called “Calcio Storico” which is a historic soccer game played in full renaissance dress (along with tons of fireworks). And, even more, FirenzEstate, a giant art and music festival also happens during the month of June in Florence.

July

During July the whole region of Tuscany is in full-blown tourism-mode. That said, there is no real need to host major celebrations or events as the whole month is somewhat like an on-going celebration in it’s own right. That said, there are a few dance festivals and summer celebrations that go on during the month.

August

The 15th of August marks the beginning of Traditional summer holidays in Italy. And, during this time, many locals take pilgrimages and short holidays to the coasts and mountains. That said, the tourists areas are in full swing, though other businesses are temporarily closed for days to weeks. However, with tourists all over, it seems like the entire month is one big event.

September

The Festa Della Rificolona, also known as the Festival of Lanterns, is one of the most significant celebrations of the entire year in Tuscany. The event takes place on the 7th of September. A massive celebrations takes place at this time, in which lanterns are lit and paraded through the streets and on the water via a boat parade. There is also a giant fair that goes along with it. If you want to experience one of the most authentic events and festivals in Florence, check this one out.

October

By October, the crowds of foreigners on vacation are thinning out. So, if you’re in town, you’ll have the place to yourself more so than in the summer. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with the locals on a more intimate level. That said, Halloween draws in major crowds to the clubs with their celebrations and costume parties. And, the Amici Della Musica concert takes place during October as well (a classical music concert that marks the beginning of the season).

November

The month of November is about as slow as they come by means of events and festivals in Florence. On the first, All Saints’ Day is celebrated by locals and tourists alike. Likewise, on the very last Sunday of each November, the Florence Marathon is held. There might not be much going on in November, but the rooms are cheap, prices are down, and there are zero crowds to deal with.

December

The end of the year in Florence goes out with a bang starting on the 8th of December with the celebration of an Italian national holiday. The celebrating basically stretches all the way through the month until Christmas and then on until New Year’s Eve. The 26th is also a national holiday. And, all month long there are local Christmas markets to attend.

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