Italy is the 5th most visited country in the world, receiving over 43.2 million tourists each year.
If you’re going to visit Italy, there are probably several places you’d like to see. Rome, Venice, and Milan are all popular destinations, but you certainly shouldn’t forget to visit Florence. It’s a must-see for any tourist, but you might be wondering when the best time to visit is.
In this guide, we’ll cover a few topics that will help give you a better idea of when to visit Florence. Keep reading for more.
Throughout the Year
When visiting Florence, you might have certain expectations. It’s a popular city, so it can get very busy. You might want to take this into account so that you can try to avoid crowds.
Florence travel is most popular in the summer. May to July is a busy time, despite the fact that the weather isn’t always the best. September generally has the better weather, and it gets very busy around this time too.
August is also popular, but a bit less busy. While there are still plenty of international tourists, locals tend to head to the beaches or the mountains at this time. You can expect more expensive flights and accommodation during this period.
This is in both spring and autumn (March to May and October/November). The weather at this time is quite pleasant and not too hot. There are also various festivals in both the city and the countryside.
The least busy time of the Year in Florence is from December to February. As a result, airfares and accommodation are generally cheaper. This can still be a good time to visit as there’s generally little to no snow, so you can save money and still get out and about with ease.
Best Season to Visit Florence
There are plenty of things to do in Florence all year round. The weather varies throughout the year but is typically quite mild compared to other vacation destinations.
After winter, the weather will start to get warmer and the days longer. Throughout spring, Florence will get progressively busier. It’s one of the best seasons to visit, with the Renaissance Gardens of Boboli and Bardini being very popular at this time of year.
The temperature rises in the summer, especially in July and August. This is also when schools are on vacation, making this the most popular time for tourists to visit Florence.
The city is host to various festivals themed around art, music, and dance. The heat can be a bit much for some, but this is when the city is most alive.
September and October are also great times to visit, as the weather is still nice, but not quite as hot. There may be some light rainfall from time to time, which can be a bit refreshing. This is harvest season for olives and grapes and is arguably the best time to visit Tuscany and see some of the villages.
In most places, winter is a time for snow. If that’s not for you, however, this could be a perfect time to visit Florence.
From the above, you probably have an idea of the sort of time you want to visit. You may still want to narrow it down a bit further to determine the month that would be best for you.
If you come in January make sure you wrap up as it’s one of the coldest months. You’ll find events such as The Epiphany or Befana, and the biggest event is held at the Piazza Duomo. There’s also a skating rink in the winter park Obihall along with various other activities.
February welcomes the Carnival which is considered one of the best in Europe. There’s also a unique Children’s Carnival at Borgo Ognissanti. You’ll find shows at the Teatro Verde and Opera del Duomo as well as a costume parade at Palazzo Vecchio which re-enacts the Battle of Siege.
As the days start getting longer, you can enjoy outdoor activities a bit more. Flowers will be in bloom, and you can go on a walking tour to get a detailed look at the city.
Many consider this to be the best time in Florence when it comes to the weather. There are various events on such as the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter, the Vivicitta marathon and Ecomarathon, the Florence Bike Festival, and the International Handicrafts Fair.
May is great for the weather and will allow you to see the city before schools close in June/July. You can enjoy the blooming of Irises at the Iris Garden. There are also beautiful parks like the Giardino Bardini, Boboli Gardens, and Parco delle Cascine.
As summer starts, there will be clear skies and almost no rain. Some events at this time include the Festa Di San Giovanni and the Mostra Del Chianti. Perhaps the most popular is the Italian Republic Day which is full of parades, events, and patriotic fervor.
July brings some real heat, so if that’s what you’re after, this is an ideal time to visit. You can spend the hot afternoons inside the city’s art galleries and cathedrals, and walk around the city in the mornings and evenings when it’s a bit cooler. There are also several events including Saint Anne’s Feast Day, Fiesole Summerfest, and Florence Dance Festival.
August is summer vacation in Italy, so many Florence locals will be away from the city. The various galleries and museums are ideal in the daytime and there are plenty of cultural outdoor activities like Estate Fiesolana in the evening. You should also consider the Feast of San Lorenzo and don’t miss the Perseid meteor showers!
There can be some rain and humidity in September, but generally, the weather is still great. This is an ideal time for day trips to places like Tuscany, Pisa, Chianti, Siena, Lucca, and Cinque Terre. The biggest event of September is Salamarzana which has live music, enactments, and more.
Things start getting a bit cooler and many of the international tourists are gone. This is a good time to explore the countryside and enjoy some truffles and chestnuts.
There are several countryside festivals such as Vicchio, Impruneta, and Marradi. The highlight of October is the Florence Biennale, an event dedicated to art and culture.
You’re likely to see more rain in November. You can still enjoy the many galleries and cathedrals, and as it’s far less busy, you won’t have to spend much time lining up outside. You can also get some holiday souvenirs at antique fairs such as the Largo Pietro Annigoni and Fortezza da Basso.
Florence is a wonderful place to experience Christmas. It may be cold, but there’s very little rain or snow. There are various Christmas events such as Christmas markets, skating rinks, and the Christmas tree and nativity scene displays in Piazza del Duomo.
When Should You Visit Florence?
If you want to visit Florence, you should consider what you want to get from the trip. Think about what weather you want, what things you’d like to see, and if you want to avoid the crowds of the busiest months.
Whatever time you decide to visit, one of the best ways to see the city is on a free walking tour. Florence Free Tours has been showing tourists the best sights in Florence since 2009. Our guides have plenty of experience and can give you some of the best Florence travel trips.
To find out more about our tours, click here to contact us today.