It might come as a surprise to many but the weather in Florence, Italy can vary quite wildly from month to month, especially during these past eleven years that I have called this place home. It might not be as temperate as other locations but do to its unique topography (a Renaissance city set in a valley) it can make for sometimes unpredictable weather surprises.
Take for example the humidity, it can often feel colder than the actual temperature outside with a type of chill that can rattle your bones and rain can fall for days on end for half of the year meaning packing well is essential. The winter months are a great time to go and you’ll often see this time referred to as “off season,” though in my personal opinion Florence entices tourists during any time of the year.
Milder weather in Spring beckons the flowers in Giardino delle Rose (Rose Garden below Piazzale Michelangelo) to bloom and during the autumn season there is the odor of chestnuts roasting along street corners, warm weather can linger at times into the month of November. The best approach when visiting is to be prepared for anything and arm yourself with plenty of layers, a light scarf, waterproof shoes, and never forget an umbrella.
The summer can be a sweltering, hot mess, with the months of July and August among the worst offenders. This keeps most people inside during the hottest times of the day, between 12-5pm. Spring and Fall are generally lovely if you don’t mind the occasional downpour. Keep in mind that the crowds usually make their way from Easter onwards, though May-September tend to be the warmest, and the most crowded, time to visit the beautiful city of Florence.
Here are the average weather temperatures month by month in Florence.
With average temperatures ranging from highs of 11°C (52°F) and lows of 2°C (36°F) this is certainly one of the coldest months of the year. With the exception of the Pitti Fashion show week, the city tends to be less crowded after the Befana holiday, but we still recommend booking museum tickets to places like the Uffizi in advance though you won’t need to for the Bargello. Bring a warm coat, scarf, waterproof shoes and your umbrella.
The weather in February ranges from highs of 12°C (52°F) to lows of 3°C (35°F) so the key for March is to pack warmly and plan plenty of indoor activities like visiting the latest exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi or catching a movie at the Odeon cinema.
March features average highs of 16°C (60°F) to lows of 5°C (41°F) and tends to be one of the rainier months of the year. In fact, this year we had snowfall on the first of the month followed by several days of rain shower. This month there will be plenty do in town with the annual food fair “Taste” making it a delicious time to be in the city.
You can expect highs of 19°C (67°F) to lows of 8°C (46°F) which means you don’t want to unpack those shorts just yet. Keep the umbrella and pack a decent jacket and light scarf so you don’t chill during the evening. This is typically a great time to visit the wisteria blooms in the beautiful Bardini garden which overlooks the city.
During the month of May, the average highs are 24°C (75°F) to lows of 12°C (54°F) which marks the beginning of the warmer, and much busier, months of the city. This is one of the best times to explore the city’s Rose and Iris Gardens which should be in bloom during this period.
Beautiful June, the warm weather is often depicted on sun-drenched Tuscan hillsides so poignantly by the skill of Renaissance artists but the reality is June is as variable as they come. The average high is 28°C (83°F) and a low of 16°C (60°F) so make sure to bring at least a light jacket in the evening. One hot tip: towards the end of June enjoy one of the best views in town from one of the city’s remaining ancient gates, the Torre di San Niccolò.
Expect this month to be one of the hottest, with average temperatures ranging from 32°C (89°F) to lows of 18°C (65°F) making many locals hibernate during the warmest hours of the day (11/12pm-5/6pm). However, you can enjoy a number of the city’s open air concerts and aperitivo all’aperto (outside) in squares like Piazza Santo Spirito enjoying the full atmosphere of summer at your wake. Make sure to inquire with your accommodation that they have air-conditioning as it is most necessary from July onwards.
The exodus of Italians occurs every August as they head to the seaside to enjoy a break with highs of 32°C (89°F) and lows of 18°C (65°F) in the city making it rather too warm to holiday locally. Plan most of your activities during the morning or evening and use the middle of the day for long lunches or jaunts to the countryside, preferably to a wine resort with a pool where you can relax with a glass of chilled rosè.
Still in midst of high season in the center of Florence in addition to the Italian return to work, average temperatures range from 27°C (80°F) to lows of 15°C (59°F). Expect the city to be very crowded and quite warm during the day with a little more relief in the evening. This month also coincides with the grape harvest period so make sure to plan a trip to some Tuscan vineyards to see the annual action in person!
The beginning of Autumn can be surprisingly warm with temperatures ranging from 21°C (70°F) to lows of 11°C (52°F). This is a beautiful month to be in town for its milder weather though it is by no means considered “low season.”
Average temperatures range from 15°C (59°F) to lows of 6°C (43°F) so bring your jacket yet again as the weather will be colder from now on. Personally, this is my favorite month not only because it is when I married my husband but also because the weather is cooler and it is prime time for EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) so make sure to plan a tasting of Tuscany’s “green gold.”
Expect average temperatures of 11°C (52°F) to lows of 3°C (37°F) as everyone prepares for the holiday season. It will be chilly, but it is a magical time to visit Florence as the city is decked out beautifully with Christmas lights lending a lovely glow to your walk home after dinner.