White clouds fill the sky above the Ponte Vecchio, which reflects onto the Arno River in Florence, Italy.

Florence in November – A Local Dishes on What It’s Really Like

Are you wondering if it’s worth visiting Florence in November or if you should save your visit for another time?

If you’re looking to save some Euros, walk the Florentine historic center without hordes of other visitors, and you don’t mind bundling up for cold, rainy weather – Florence in November will work for you.

I’m a mamma of three living just outside Florence, and I’ve been experiencing Florence in November since 2003 – as a traveler, guide, trip planner, and resident.  I’m not just visiting for a week a year or looking at weather reports online.  So, read on for my first-hand experience with Florence in November!    

Typical November Weather in Florence

First things first – you’re probably wondering about Florence weather in November. 

I wish I could tell you it’s not that bad, but if I’m being honest, I always think of it as cold, wet, humid, and windy.  Of course, it’s not all of those every day (we definitely have sunny days!), but if you’re planning on a November visit, I’d have those expectations. 

November in Florence brings average temperatures of 43-59°F (6-15°C), and with an average of 111 mm (4.3 inches) of rain, it’s one of Florence’s wettest months.

I’ll go over some packing tips below.

Why You Should Visit Florence in November

Along with February, November is one of the quietest months for tourism in Florence, so you’ll get to experience Florence without the elbow-to-elbow crowds.  

November is also the time for Tuscany’s freshly-pressed olive oil

It’s a perfect month for foodies to dine on some of Florence and Tuscany’s cold-weather cuisine (ribollita anyone?).

And, if you’re on a budget, know that November in Florence is one of the best months to score good rates on hotels, guides, tours, and private transport.

I’ve had friends, family, and clients visit in November and they often comment that their visit was ‘cozy,’ they ‘felt like a local,’ and they’re ‘glad they packed warm clothes!’

Reasons to Skip a Visit to Florence in November

If you’re not a fan of rain, wind, and chilly weather – and you want to spend a lot of time outdoors – a trip to Florence in November isn’t for you.  If you can squeeze in an October visit, you’ll have better opportunities for hiking in the countryside around Florence and even having lunch outdoors (in early October).  Otherwise, hold out for better weather from late-spring (usually May, although this May, 2024, has been really rainy and chilly).

If you’re a shopper seeking Italy’s bi-annual sales, November is too early for a visit.  The winter sales in Italy (and Florence) don’t begin until January. 

If you like to have a strict itinerary and schedule, November in Florence may not be for you.  I find the best November trips here happen when you can be flexible.  For example, if it’s sunny when you wake up, take the morning to walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo for the views.  Save museum visits for rainy moments. 

If you want to photograph classic Florentine and Tuscany scenes, you may not be thrilled with the grey skies, plentiful rain, and short days (it gets dark around 5:00pm).

Things to See and Do in November in Florence

A few people sit at tables that are covered with umbrellas at Rivoire in Florence, Italy. The building is stone and the cobblestones in front are wet from the rain.
A rainy day in Florenceand the perfect moment for hot chocolate at Rivoire

You’ve got access to all of the classic things to do in Florence if you visit in November.  Here are some of the things that we like to see and do in Florence in November:

Have a meal in a cozy restaurant – Find a classic trattoria or a fancy-schmancy Michelin-starred restaurant and settle in for a multi-course meal. 

Go see a Fiorentina match – November is a few months into our soccer season here in Italy and the local team (Fiorentina) has its home stadium just outside the historic center.  Read more about Going to a Soccer Game in Italy and Going to an Italian Soccer Game with Kids.

Try the freshly-pressed olive oil – This is the best time to be in Florence if you love olive oil!  Tasting the olio nuovo (new oil) is a highlight of a foodie’s visit to Italy.  Be sure to try fettunta (fette + unta… oily slice), which is oil drizzled on toasted Tuscan bread.

Visit Florence’s normally-crowded sites museums – This is your moment to visit the Accademia Gallery, the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Pitti etc. without having to elbow your way up to see Michelangelo’s works. Walk across the Ponte Vecchio, stroll down Via Tornabuoni, and look up at the Duomo – without someone breathing down your neck.

Sip on a hot chocolate – Order a cioccolato caldo and enjoy it on a main square (like at Rivoire on Piazza della Signoria) or tuck into a smaller spot like Badiani (where you can also get some of Florence’s best gelato. 

Sample seasonal foods – This is the time to try persimmons, chestnuts, olive oil, truffles, pomegranates, and castagnaccio.

Climb a tower –  Giotto’s bell tower is a classic tower to climb in Florence.  You can also make your way up to the top of the Duomo or the Arnolfo Tower.  Tip:  Make sure your shoes have good tread if the ground is wet.

Join a cooking class – Florence is full of cooking schools and classes.  One of my favorites is with Jacopo and Anna of Let’s Cook

Explore a market – If you’re looking for food, make your way to Mercato Sant’Ambrogio or the Mercato Centrale.  The Mercato del Porcellino is covered and centrally-located, and has a mix of leather, scarves, and souvenirs.  Florence’s flea market is now in a covered area just across the street from Mercato Sant’Ambrogio. 

See the Christmas holidays begin – Toward the end of November, you’ll see holiday lights and decorations pop up, the Christmas market getting set up in Piazza Santa Croce, ice skating at the Winter Park, and the ferris wheel (now at the Parco delle Cascine) starts running.

Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo – This time of year, you may even have it to yourself.  Enjoy the views of Florence from above, and say hello to the replica of David in the middle of the square.  Tip:  For another viewpoint, you can keep walking uphill and up to the steps to San Miniato – and go inside if it’s open! Read my guides to Visiting Piazzale Michelangelo and Piazzale Michelangelo with Kids.

Have aperitivo and people-watch in a piazza – There’s never a bad month for aperitivo in Florence.  However, November’s weather doesn’t exactly invite outdoor lingering.  Thankfully, Florence’s piazzas have plenty of covered seating areas, especially in Piazza della Repubblica.

Helpful Tip:  Double-check opening hours for sites, shops, and restaurants in November,  as sometimes hours are shortened.

Good To Know:  Even though November isn’t sale season, it’s still fun to shop for holiday gifts.  You can also take the bus to The Mall Outlet, and you won’t have to fight the crowds there like most of the year.

November Events in Florence

November 1st is Ognissanti aka Tutti i Santi (All Saints Day)Ognissanti is a national holiday, so workers have the day off and kids don’t have school.  You’ll see Florentines at Mass, having long lunches with family, and visiting gravesites of loved ones. 

The historic center of Florence is still open on Ognissanti, but the outskirts and villages around Florence will be quiet.

Good To Know:  If November 1st falls on a Monday or Friday, the 3-day weekend means Florence will be busier than normal.  This also happens if there’s a ponte (bridge) – the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday and locals also take off Monday or Friday to make it a 4-day weekend.

Christmas Market in Santa Croce – Florence’s Christmas market opens up the third week of November.

American Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving is definitely not a holiday in Italy(!), but with the number of expats in the city, you’ll be able to find a Thanksgiving dinner at one of the city’s restaurants.  I even have Italian friends that like to go out for Thanksgiving dinner on their own.  You can also order Thanksgiving pies from bakeries (like Melaleuca, but you need to reserve in advance).  Read more about Thanksgiving in Italy.

Florence Marathon – If you’re a runner, think about participating in our marathon, which takes place in late-November (it’s November 24th this year).

Teatro Cartiere Carrara – Formerly Tuscany Hall, this ‘tent’ on the eastern edge of the city hosts events like concerts, exhibitions, and shows throughout the year – including November.  You can also check TicketOne and Ticketmaster for local events.

What to Do Near Florence in November

Golden vineyard with olive trees and houses behind and mountains in the distance.
Head out into the countryside near Florence for views like this!

If you come to Florence in November, you’re also welcome to explore outside of the city limits!  Florence’s excellent road and rail connections make it an easy place to base for day trips.

You can take a look at day trips to take from Florence

November is an excellent month to visit Tuscan hot springs.  Check out my guide to Tuscany’s hot springs, including Bagni San Filippo, Petriolo Hot Springs, Saturnia, and Bagno Vignoni.

Attend a local sagraWe’ve still got food festivals running in November in the countryside around Florence.   One of the biggest ones in the area is San Miniato’s sagra del tartufo bianco (white truffle festival).

How to Get Around Florence in November

Empty street in Florence, Italy in November. Colorful vines hang over the wall on the right. Cars line the right side of the street. A couple walks on the sidewalk on left.
You can move around Florence in November on foot – just like this couple

You can walk anywhere in Florence’s historic center quickly and easily.  The catch is if you get caught in poor weather.  If you’ve got an umbrella, fine.  If you want to stay out of the rain, your best options are to:

  • Take a taxi – Wait for them at designated taxi stands (you can’t hail a cab in Florence).  Or, call (or have your hotel or restaurant) call a taxi.  I use +39 055.4242 and +39 055.4390
  • Use the tram – Great option for moving between the city center and the airport.
  • Take the bus

You may want to read about Uber in Florence – What it Is and What it Isn’t

Where to Stay in Florence in November

With decent hotel rates at this time of year, it’s the time to get a place somewhere in the city center or close by.  I don’t recommend staying so far away that you need to take a bus (or taxi or tram) to get to the museums, restaurants, and shops of the Florence city center.

If you’re normally put off by staying in the center because of crowds, you don’t have to stress about that in November – Florence is much less crowded now than other times of the year.  So, while you’ll definitely see people out shopping and checking out the holiday decorations toward the end of the month – you won’t be shoulder-to-shoulder with other visitors.

You’ll enjoy being able to walk out of your hotel, slip into the local bar for your morning caffè, wave to the fruit seller, and stroll down the street to the museum you’re planning on visiting for the day.

You can read all about my recommendations for Where to Stay in Florence.

What to Wear in Florence in November – Printable Checklist

The key to dressing well for Florence in November is to be comfortable and warm.  Wind, cold temperatures, and humidity mean you get chilled to your bones!  I always make sure to wear the following in November in Florence:

  • Warm Layers – Think cashmere or wool sweaters.   Make sure they’re made of material that doesn’t get stinky because you can wear the same thing multiple days.
  • Heavy Coat – My dad always shows up at the Florence airport in November in a windbreaker and we have to go buy a warm coat for him.  Don’t make the same mistake and try to pack light – bring your bulky down Patagonia coat or ultra-warm wool trench coat.  You’ll be glad you have a warm coat!
  • Hat, Warm Scarf, Gloves – I wear a warm beanie, a cashmere scarf, and mittens.  Don’t pack a thin scarf – it won’t do the job. 
  • Water-resistant Shoes – We’ve got a lot of cobblestones and uneven streets in Florence – perfect for puddle formations!  So, avoid packing light colored Hoka One Ones (they’ll get stained and wet quickly) or ballet flats (water will get in).  You can read my recommendations for Shoes to Pack for Italy.

Helpful Tip:  Pack a travel umbrella and slippers or comfy socks to wear at your hotel. 

Read more details about What to Pack for a Winter Visit to Florence.

Florence in November with Kids

Not to be a Debbie downer, but Florence isn’t amazing in November with little kids.  Why?  It mainly comes down to the weather.  I find it can be challenging to try to keep kids dry (especially if you’re on holiday and have limited clothing and drying options).  I also have little kids that like to play outside, and November in Florence usually means mud, puddles, and wet playground toys. 

It’s not as challenging to visit Florence in November with elementary-age kids and up.  There’s plenty to see and do – kids can do all of the things I mentioned above in ‘things to see and do in Florence in November.’

A few things to keep in mind for a family visit to Florence in November:

  • Be flexible – and remember, you can always take a day trip from Florence with your kids
  • Pack extra clothing and waterproof shoes – if it rains, you’ll need extra time to dry clothing; check out my guide to Choosing Shoes for Your Kids for Italy
  • Bring a rain cover for your stroller
  • If it rains, visit Florence’s bookshops, toy stores, and kid-friendly museums
  • Take a cooking class
  • Watch the oil get pressed – you’ll need to leave the city center, but it’s worth the journey to see the olives get pressed into green liquid gold!
  • Carry paper towels or baby wipes to wipe off wet playground equipment
Boy points to golden stream of freshly-pressed oil coming from metal spout at the frantoio in Tuscany, Italy.
My son, watching the freshly-pressed olive oil come out

Be sure to check out
Visiting Florence with Kids
Things to Do in Florence with Kids
Kid-Friendly Museums in Florence
Florence Bookshops for Kids
Our Favorite Toy Stores in Florence

Where to Get a Snack in Florence with Kids
What to Do with Kids on a Rainy Day in Florence

I hope this has helped you decide whether or not to visit Florence in November.  And, if you’re coming, that you’ve got some good ideas for how to spend your time here!  Look for me and my family!

Read more about
Tuscany in the Fall
Tuscany in the Winter

Check out my monthly guides to visiting Florence: OctoberNovemberDecember

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