Italy is a country of varied climates – from the Dolomiti in the north to the Amalfi Coast in the south – so the answer to that question depends on where exactly you plan to travel. Since we live and tour in Tuscany and Umbria, I’ll answer that question from my admittedly biased Tuscan perspective, and with a focus on the climate of central Italy.
Anytime is the “best” time of year to travel to Tuscany and Umbria. Simple consider what you like to do, along with average temperatures you prefer, and then match this up with the typical characteristics of that month or season (see my recommendations below).
Please note that temperatures are monthly averages.
January – High: 52°F (11°C) Low: 37°F (3°C) and February – High: 55°F (13 °C) Low: 37°F (3°C)
- cold and damp with good chance of rain – sometimes snow flurries
- very few tourists, some shops and restaurants might be closed for the winter season
- recommended: accommodations in historic city centers (like Florence and Siena), as it’s a great time to enjoy the cities without the crowds
March – High: 61°F (16°C) Low: 43°F (6°C) and April – High 66°F (19°C) Low: 46°F (8°C)
- can be chilly and damp, but when days are sunny and clear, the landscape is spectacularly spring green
- few tourists, most shops are open after the winter closures
- recommended: driving countryside roads, photography, thermal spas
May – High: 73°F (23°C) Low: 54°F (12°C)
- ideal, warm daytime temperatures, lots of flowers – particularly roses
- more tourists in busier areas
- recommended: countryside accommodations, walks and hikes, photography and painting
June – High: 81°F (27°C) Low: 59°F (15°C)
- warmer days, and even hot days towards the second half of the month
- heavy crowds in popular areas
- recommended: accommodations with a pool, outside dining, barbecues
July – High: 86°F (30°C) Low: 64°F (18°C) and August – High: 86°F (30°C) Low: 63°F (17°C)
- hot. really hot.
- heavy crowds across Italy, particularly at beach areas
- recommended: accommodations with a pool, late dinners under the stars, lake beaches (less crowded)
September – High: 81°F (27°C) Low: 59°F (15°C) and October – High: 72°F (22°C) Low :52°F (11°C)
- hot temperatures give way to warm temperatures
- crowds are still heavy in September, but begin to thin in October
- recommended: countryside accommodations near vineyards (grape harvest!), walks and hikes
November – High: 61°F (16°C) Low: 45°F (7°C) and December – High: 54°F (12°C) Low: 40°F (4°C)
- warm sunny days, brisk days and cool, rainy days are all in the mix
- towns empty of tourists
- recommended: fireside dinners, newly pressed olive oil, thermal spas, walks and hikes
Averages and recommendations aside, each season brings its own special festivals, menus and particular vistas. You just can’t lose. No matter what time of year, a visit to Tuscany or Umbria is a special experience that should be savored.