Florence is located in central Italy, which means that it doesn’t get too cold during the winter and doesn’t get too hot during the summer (though, there can be some exceptions to that rule). Regardless, there are times of the year when Florence really is the most delightful city of all, and you can’t think of any place you would rather be. Are you wondering what the best time to visit Florence is? Look no further!
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The best times of the year to visit Florence are spring and autumn due to their mild temperatures. The weather is warm but not hot, and you can enjoy outdoor walking and dining.
It doesn’t get freezing in winter. You’ll experience cooler temperatures and rain in the winter, but there’s little chance of snow. Summer is the hottest, stickiest time of the year as it gets very humid. This is the peak travel season of the year, so museums and cafes tend to be overcrowded.
Overall, the best times to visit Florence are late April, May and September.
The best time to visit Florence to go shopping is either in January or July and August, when there are holiday sales. You can try and find some good bargains in the city center. If you have the chance to go, there are local marketplaces in the areas surrounding Florence, like Greve in Chianti or Impruneta. The best times of day to go shopping are morning and lunchtime, as shops tend to be way less crowded then.
If you’re wondering what the best times are to visit museums, you’ll want to get an early start. The best times to visit museums such as the Uffizi, the Galleria dell’Accademia, or the Duomo is in the early morning. You will only have to wait a short amount of time, and you’ll capture many beautiful pictures before all the other visitors photobomb!
You can also try to get into the museums right before they close, but there might still be a short wait, and you’ll have to rush to get through the museums.
The best days to visit are weekdays, as there are fewer travelers visiting Florence then. Keep in mind, though, that many museums are closed on Mondays.
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If you want to travel to Florence and take part in a local celebration, you might want to book your trip keeping in mind these events:
Scoppio del Carro – The ‘explosion of the cart’ is a breath-taking event that takes place on Easter Sunday in Piazza del Duomo. The event dates back almost 400 years. A fleet of oxen drags a wagon around Florence to the main square, where a dove-shaped rocket sets off a fire on impact. If it sets off, it’s a good premonition for the year ahead. If not, bad luck might await…
Calcio Storico – The ‘historical football’ is a game that dates back to the Renaissance. It is played in Piazza Santa Croce on June 24th (St John Bapist’s Day, the patron saint). The game is a combination of football, rugby and wrestling and can get bloody. In the evening, you’ll be able to witness beautiful fireworks that you can watch from the Lungarni, along the river.
Rificolona – This is a traditional Florentine celebration that occurs on September 7th. Locals gather to watch a parade filled with colorful paper lanterns attached to sticks (called “rificolone”). The parade goes from Piazza Santa Felicita to Piazza Santissima Annunziata. Watch out! You should probably know that it’s a tradition that children shoot spit wads at the lanterns. This goes back to the parades origins, where poorly-dressed pilgrims were mocked while marching into Florence. The goal is to knock the candle inside of the paper lantern over, setting the lantern ablaze – it’s common for every lantern to be burned at the end of the evening.
Carnival – Every year, a parade starts from Piazza Ognissanti, crosses the city centre and ends in Piazza Signoria. People dressed in typical clothes from countries including Brazil, Peru, Sweden, Bangladesh, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, China, Mexico, Germany, and the United States parade to celebrate Florence’s ethnic diversity.
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©Photo Credits: Rainy day in Florence (Photo by Tolga Kilinc on Unsplash); Bicycle in Florence (Photo by Tomas Yates); Calcio Storico (Photo by Alexandra on Flickr)