Tuscany is a region of northern-central Italy that is well known for its art and culture, its unpretentious food scene, and its gorgeous landscapes ranging from pristine beaches to rolling hills blanketed with fields or forests to mountainous areas that look like they came from the pages of a fairy tale.
As well as being home to some of the most famous art and cultural centers in the country, such as Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, San Gimignano,and San Miniato, Tuscany is dotted with countless beautiful small towns and villages throughout the countryside. For many visitors (and many locals), Tuscany is heaven on Earth.
Let’s face it; you’re reading this, because in your heart, you know it’s time to visit Tuscany. But you may want to hold one or more of your horses because you want to get this right. In order to do your Tuscan trip justice, you need to think about the best time for you to visit Tuscany.
When is the most pleasant time to visit Tuscany? What time of year will you find the most comfortable temperatures? When do the local crowds thin and when are there fewer tourists? When is peak season? The shoulder season? The off season? Hush now; I have what you’re looking for.
In short, the best times to visit Tuscany, Italy is April through May and late September through October. During shoulder seasons, the temperatures in central Italy are warm with plenty of sunny days, yet comfortable, outdoor activities are in full swing, and there are fewer crowds than in the peak season in summer.
Visiting in the late spring will enable you to see the breathtaking beauty of the Tuscany countryside as everything starts to come into full bloom and the weather begins to warm up. In the fall, the rich verdant colors start to change to red and gold and the comfortable weather is generally mild. There are harvest festivals featuring fresh produce and new wine tastings throughout the region.
Well, that’s the lowdown. But if you’re looking for more deets on the best time to visit Tuscany, just read on!
Weather in Tuscany
The best time to visit the world-famous Italian region of Tuscany for the best chance at great weather is during the months of April, May, and September. During these months, you can expect the daytime temperatures to hang out right around 65°F to 82°F, and rainfall to be under 3 inches per month. October is also a great month to travel here as well due to the pleasant temperatures in the first half of the month, but it’s also the start of the rainy season in late October.
Weather-wise, spring and fall are perfectly pleasant, and this is especially true when compared to the high season of summer in Tuscany. Summers here can get super hot to the point where you don’t even want to make the trip or go outside, even in your bathing suit.
Average daytime temperatures tend to stay in the mid-80s, but don’t be surprised if you go outside in the summer and get hit with a 100°F+ heatwave. The only saving grace of summer is that it stays dry from about mid-June until cooler temperatures and rainy days return in fall.
The winter is the rainy season in Tuscany, but temperatures stay relatively comfortable at around 50°F to 60°F during the day. When out and about, you should be fine with a sweater or light jacket. The nights get a bit chilly and anyone out for the evening during winter might want to add a scarf and woolly hat to their outfit.
See Related: Best Castles in Tuscany, Italy
Best Times of Year to visit Tuscany
So, now we know a little bit about the weather and that late spring and early fall are the smart tourists’ time to visit this corner of Italy. But if you were looking for some trip ideas, keep reading!
Best Time for Outdoor Activities: Mid-April through Early June and Late September through Early October
Like much of Italy, the central region of Tuscany is best visited from mid-April through early June and late September through October for anyone planning on spending much of their time outside during their trip.
These times of year offer mild temperatures around the clock, with the average daily temperatures ranging from 65°F to around 80°F most days and 45°F to about 65°F overnight. This means days that aren’t too hot paired with nights that aren’t too cold. The perfect combination!
As most of the exciting attractions in Tuscany are based outdoors (i.e. wine tours, exploring the smaller towns in the countryside, visiting incredible natural and historic sites, etc.), they tend to get crowded during the peak summer travel season. So going during these times also afford visitors smaller crowds to contend with no matter what they’re doing outside.
This opens up Tuscany for you and whoever you’re traveling with to make it the best trip of your lives as you’re able to do just about anything you want. Go on a Vespa tour and ride through the countryside in authentic Italian style. Or head to the Chianti wine region for a tour of one of the famous wineries before being served a delicious four-course meal with (you guessed it) wine! Exploring the outdoors of Tuscany is the only way to visit the area, so make the most of it.
See Related: Best Towns In Tuscany To Stay In 2022
Best Time for Sightseeing & Museum Hopping: April through May, and November through December
If you want to visit Tuscany for a sightseeing adventure sprinkled with exploring the museums of the region, then the best time to visit is during spring, especially in April and May. The temperatures are comfortable and it’s by far the most breathtaking time of year visually speaking.
During springtime, the world-famous Tuscan countryside comes to life and fills up with beautiful colors and blossoming flowers, and stunning greens everywhere you look. As you’re making your way from attraction to attraction, the beauty around you will be an attraction all on its own. We highly suggest renting a car or going on a bus tour (or a Vespa!) through the area to truly appreciate the sheer beauty all around you.
This time of year also avoids the crowds of the summer travel season and makes sightseeing and museum hopping even better. Check out the famous Uffizi Gallery in the Tuscan capital of Florence without waiting in long lines, or go wine-tasting in the country surrounded by picturesque landscapes. You won’t find shorter lines at the world-famous museums and attractions that Tuscany has to offer while also having great weather.
Winter is also a good time to enjoy Tuscany indoors, but on balance, spring edges it as the “best” time to visit. Sure, the winter months might have even shorter lines than this, but the combination of smaller crowds and pleasant temperatures is much more powerful than just shorter lines. After all, wouldn’t rather wait a couple of minutes in perfect weather than zero minutes in the cold and rain? We know what we would choose!
Best Time for Honeymooners: April through May and Late-September through October
Some newlyweds make the mistake of booking their honeymoon during the summer because they assume that’s the best time to go. It’s arguably actually the worst time to make the trip – even worse than winter! Tuscany gets very hot during the summer and the region is absolutely packed full of tourists and locals alike, often crowding the cities and the Amalfi coast.
The best time to plan a honeymoon to the beautiful region of Tuscany is for any time between April through May or late September through October. With how beautiful Tuscany gets during the spring and fall, it will make the perfect location for a dream honeymoon during these times.
Exploring the countryside in late spring is a wonderfully romantic experience. With the largely warm, sunny days highlighting the blossoming flowers and fruit trees, walking or biking through rural Tuscany is like being in the Garden of Eden.
On the flip side, with slightly cooler weather and the fall foliage exploding with color, early autumn in Tuscany is equally romantic.
Best Time for Budget Travelers: December, January, and February
A trip to Tuscany during the high-travel season of summer is not only miserably hot and uncomfortable, but it’s also far more expensive. Businesses in the region know that people from all over the world are going to be visiting, so they raise their prices accordingly. But in winter, tourism slows way down so they need to lower prices to draw people in.
If budget is in mind, the best time to travel to most places in Italy, including Tuscany, is during the slow winter travel season including December, January, and February (except around the holidays). This is because it’s the slow travel season in Tuscany so many hotels, shops, and stores all around the region offer bargains to bring in more visitors and tourists.
This is also a great time to visit if you want to sample some of the regional specialties, such as newly pressed olive oil and roasted chestnuts, or spend some time wandering museums and art exhibitions.
As a bonus to traveling to Tuscany during the winter season, you won’t have to contend with nearly as many crowds as you would during other times of the year. So you can visit the popular tourist attractions in the region without having to wait in long lines and fight your way through crowds as you walk the streets of popular cities like Florence.
Best Time for Wine Tasting: April through May and Mid-September through mid-October
One of the main reasons to travel to Tuscany is for the world-famous wine country and wine-tasting tours. The best time of year to make the trip, for this reason, is from April through May and mid-September through mid-October. Both of these times offer benefits that make them better for different people, it just comes down to what you want to get out of your trip.
During the spring time frame (April through May) the breathtaking Tuscan countryside will be in full blossom and you’ll be surrounded by rich colors everywhere you look. Head out to the wine country and go on a wine-tasting adventure while being surrounded by the full blossom of the countryside.
To experience the best wine-tasting trip that coincides with the olive and grape harvest, the fall window of mid-September through mid-October is the time to go. Taste some fresh wine, experience the changing colors of the countryside, and attend harvest festivals in the region. It’s a magical time to visit!
Best time for Food Tours: October through Early November
You’d think that visiting around the harvest in early fall would be the best time to visit if you’re thinking of going on a Tuscan food tour. But if you really think about it, it’s just after the harvest that you should be thinking about visiting.
If you head over in October, you’re just in time for truffle hunting season! These ugly, pungent fungi are a core component of a lot of Tuscany’s fancier cuisine and there’s big money to be made from a truffle hunt. Truffles are worth more per pound than gold, and a good truffle dog or truffle hog will set you back tens of thousands of dollars. While you might not want to make this investment just to get some truffles, there are many tours in Tuscany where you can go truffling.
Aside from truffles, this time of year is great for anyone looking to indulge in a harvest festival. If you’re looking for a good food festival you can find them in many of the small towns in rural Tuscany. It’s worth noting that All Saints Day on November 1st is a national holiday that is typically marked with feasts and festive foods.
How many days do you need in Tuscany?
Ideally two weeks, but we recommend spending at least a week in Tuscany if you can’t stretch to two. If you just want to hit the main cities and attractions, you could probably do it in about three days of rushing around. But to take the time and enjoy the beauty of the region, go on a world-famous wine tour, and get the full experience, you’ll need closer to a week at least!
What is the rainiest month in Tuscany?
The rainiest month in Tuscany, Italy is typically November. During November, Tuscany usually has about 4-4.5 inches of precipitation. This is well above the average rainfall in the region the rest of the year and makes November a less-than-ideal month to make your trip to Tuscany.
When should I not visit Tuscany?
July through August. The temperatures in central Italy get so hot during this time of year, with the daily highs exceeding 105°F or more some days. Paired with the highest heat indexes of the year, it’s almost unbearable to travel to Tuscany and enjoy your trip during these months. If you simply must visit Italy at the height of summer, try northern Italy.