If you’re thinking of planning a trip to Tuscany in the spring, you’re likely wondering what the weather is like and if it’s a good time to visit.
I’ve been spending time in Tuscany since 2003, when I first visited as a solo backpacker, and now I’m based here with my husband and three young children.
I’ve been through countless Tuscan springs, and when I think of primavera (spring) here in Tuscany, the first things that pop into my head are:
- Red poppies
- Lush green vineyards and grassy hillsides
- Sunshine and grey skies
- Muddy shoes
- Walking through puddles on cobblestone streets
- The first time of the year my arms see and feel sunshine
- Enjoying aperitivo or tea in a piazza
- Shopping for spring produce at outdoor markets
Springtime is a popular time of year to visit Tuscany – we start seeing visitors return in late March, although things don’t start to feel busy until April.
Florence is ‘open’ year-round, and many of the shops and restaurants in smaller towns and villages that ‘closed up’ for the winter are opened back up by Easter. Beach towns also open up by Easter because Tuscans love heading to the beach on Easter weekend. We have a saying here in Italy, “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi!” – “Spend Christmas with your relatives, and Easter with whoever you want!”
In this article, we’ll look at:
- Weather in Tuscany in the Spring
- The Best Things to See and Do in Tuscany in the Spring Months
- What to Eat on a Spring Visit to Tuscany
- Tips for Visiting Tuscany in Spring (including what to pack)
After reading this, you’ll know if a spring visit to Tuscany is right for you!
Table of Contents
Weather in Tuscany in Spring
Weather in Tuscany in spring is variable, but we tend to get quite a bit of rain and have plenty of grey skies and sunny skies.
One day you’ll be wearing a sweater and jacket and hiding underneath an umbrella, and the next, you’ll be sitting at a café in Piazza della Repubblica sipping an Aperol spritz in the sun.
Evenings tend to be cool, so don’t forget to pack a warm jacket or coat.
This chart gives you an idea of temperatures in April in popular destinations in Tuscany:
Best Things to Do in Tuscany in Spring
Shop at Local Markets
Tuscan produce starts to shine in the spring, when fruit and vegetable markets are full of the season’s crops. Look for:
- asparagi – asparagus
- carciofi – artichokes
- piselli – peas
- bacelli – fava beans
- fragole – strawberries
- albicocche – apricots
- ciliegie – cherries
- pesche – peaches
Gather additional ingredients (local cheeses like pecorino, some prosciutto, olives, bread, vino) and have a Tuscan picnic on a sunny spring day.
Good To Know: I love the Sant’Ambrogio market in Florence. You’ll also find weekly markets in most cities, towns, and villages in Tuscany. You can ask, “Quando è il mercato settimanale?” “When is the weekly market?”
Take a Tuscan Cooking Class
Use those delicious fresh ingredients in a cooking class in Tuscany. You can find classes in cities like Florence, Siena, or Lucca, or head into the countryside and cook with local chefs.
Soak in Tuscan Hot Springs
Although I believe Tuscan hot springs are worth a dip year-round (in summer in the evening), many people will tell you that spring is one of the best times to visit them. Why? The weather isn’t so hot that the warm water is uncomfortable to sit in, but it’s not freezing cold when you have to get out and dry off.
And, many of the Italians who visit hot springs have already turned their minds to the beach, so you’ll have fewer crowds to deal with.
See Flowers in Bloom in Tuscany
One of the best things about visiting Tuscany in the spring is seeing the region’s flora! Red poppies line roadsides and take over green fields, gardens in Florence are in full bloom, and purple wisteria covers terraces and walls. And, in late spring, you’ll begin to detect the scent of jasmine.
Drive in the Val d’Orcia
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Val d’Orcia (Orcia Valley) is at its best in the spring. The rolling hills are green, poppies are blooming, and it’s the perfect time for a road trip!
One of my favorite roads to drive (or cycle) in Italy is the 18-kilometer stretch of road between Taverna d’Arbia and Asciano. I guarantee you’ll pull over multiple times on this ‘rollercoaster road’ to take photos of the cypress-lined drives and gorgeous green hills (they look like the old Microsoft screensaver).
Visit towns and villages like:
Can’t make it down to the Val d’Orcia? Driving in Chianti is also beautiful in the spring – the vineyards are lush and olive trees are flowering.
If you don’t feel like driving, you can still visit the area without a car.
Attend a Spring Sagra in Tuscany
After a quiet and cozy winter, Tuscans are ready to get out and mingle – and eat. Enter the sagra – a local festival / party that usually involves food. A sagra isn’t fancy – in fact, it’s anything but. However, the atmosphere is festive and happy, and you’ll see everyone in attendance – from families with small children to old couples to… you!
Don’t be shy! A sagra is a fun way to experience Tuscan culture and Tuscan residents are happy to celebrate their chosen food/wine/saint with you.
Good To Know: You can find lists of sagre online, but one of the best ways to find one is to look at signs where you are. Some of the best sagre are super local and never make it to bigger website listings.
Taste Tuscan Wines
Wineries and enoteche (wine bars) open their cellars and terraces for spring tastings. Sample Tuscan reds (like Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montalcino, Super Tuscans) or whites (like Vernaccia di San Gimignano) at the winery itself or with the guidance of a sommelier or staff member at a wine bar or shop.
Helpful Tip: If you want to visit a winery (for a tour or tasting), be sure to call or email ahead. Most of Tuscany’s wineries aren’t open for drop-ins like wineries in other wine regions worldwide. But, with some planning, Tuscan wineries are excellent places to visit and learn about (and sample) Tuscan wines.
Go Shopping in Tuscany
There’s plenty of shopping to be done in Tuscany, and while you won’t catch any of the annual sales (the winter sale is in January, and the summer sale is in July), you can still shop ‘til you drop in places like:
- Florence’s Via Tornabuoni – the place to drop your Euros on Italian luxury brands
- The Mall Outlet – high-end Italian and international luxury brands at lower (but not jaw-droppingly low) prices
- Barberino Factory Outlet and Valdichiana Outlet – typical outlet malls with mostly international brands
- Prada Outlet – outlet in Levanella (Montevarchi)
Climb a Tuscan Tower
With the countryside looking so lush, this is the time to climb a tower and check it out from above. It’s also a nice time to climb city towers because temperatures are still pleasant.
Some of our family’s favorite climbs in Tuscany are:
- Giotto’s bell tower in Florence
- Torre del Mangia in Siena
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Bell tower in Piazza Grande in Montepulciano
- The Duomo in Florence
- The Fortezza in Montalcino
- Torre Grossa in San Gimignano
If you don’t feel like climbing a tower, you can still see beautiful views in places like Pienza’s town walls (looking out into the Val d’Orcia), in Cortona’s Piazza Garibaldi (looking down at the Val di Chiana), and in Florence’s Piazzale Michelangelo (looking down at Florence).
Visit a Museum in Florence
On rainy days, Florence has you covered (see what I did there?) with its museums full of Renaissance Art (and more). A few of Florence’s museums you may want to explore:
- The Uffizi Galleries – home to masterpieces by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and more
- The Accademia Gallery – don’t miss Michelangelo’s unforgettable David statue
- The Bargello Museum – a former prison-turned-art museum, you’ll delight in the sculptures, jewelry, weapons, paintings, and textiles; a quieter and less crowded museum in the center of Florence
- The Stibbert Museum – one of my favorite museums in Florence; it’s a villa full of amazing armor, gorgeous furniture, and historic weapons; not convenient as it’s outside historic center. Read more about the Stibbert Museum – a Hidden Gem in Florence.
- Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum – da Vinci fans will love this hands-on museum; we think it’s one of the Best Museums in Florence for Kids.
Look at Outdoor Art in Tuscany
If the weather’s nice, why not leave the museums behind and look at art outdoors? Our family loves visiting the Chianti Sculpture Park and checking out the art on display in Pietrasanta, near the coast in Versilia.
You could also:
- see the Keith Haring mural in Pisa
- find the ‘O’s near Volterra
- admire the sculptures in the Loggia dei Lanzi next to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence
- visit the whimsical Giardino dei Tarocchi near Capalbio
Read more about visiting Capalbio with Kids
Join in Easter Celebrations
If you’ll be in Tuscany for Easter, you may want to follow tradition and gift your friends or loved ones a chocolate egg (buy at the grocery store) or a colomba di Pasqua (an Easter cake).
Events throughout the holiday in cities and villages include processions, festivals, special meals, religious services at churches, and traditions like the Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart) in Florence.
Good To Know: If you want to eat at a restaurant on Easter, make sure you book a table in advance. Many Tuscany families eat at restaurants on the holiday (ours included – maybe we’ll see you out at lunch!).
Helpful Tip: Easter Monday (Pasquetta in Italian) is a holiday and Italians love to be ‘tourists for the day.’ Take my advice and lay low on Pasquetta in Tuscany. Avoid driving, and if you do decide to explore, expect large crowds. This is based on experience – now we stay home or go for a walk in the countryside.
Visit a Tuscan Village
Many Tuscan villages ‘close up’ for the winter, so it’s nice to visit in the spring when shops reopen their doors, restaurants welcome customers back, and life trickles back to the quiet piazzas and tiny lanes.
We love driving around Tuscany in the spring. Some of our favorite small villages in Tuscany to visit include:
- San Donato in Poggio – dine outdoors in the beautiful piazza
- San Quirico d’Orcia – genuine Tuscan village in the gorgeous Val d’Orcia
- Bagno Vignoni – some of our favorite hot springs in Tuscany
- Pienza – a pope’s utopian village, gorgeous views, perfect for aperitivo
- Cerreto Guidi – Medici villa; has one of our favorite restaurants for grilled meats
- Pitigliano – majestic village built into the tufa hillside
- Cortona – lively Tuscan village full of art, boutiques, and delicious restaurants
- Montepulciano – sample Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and walk up to Piazza Grande
- Montalcino – home of Brunello wine and lovely vistas
- Monteriggioni – walled medieval town
- San Miniato – home to some of Tuscany’s best restaurants and places for aperitivo
What to Eat in Tuscany in Spring
Enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables! Some Tuscan classics in the spring include:
- Bacelli con pecorino – fava beans with pecorino cheese, oil, and salt (this is on regular rotation in the spring at our house)
- Torta pasqualina – Easter pie
- Thinly-sliced carciofi with shaved parmigiano – salad with shaved artichokes and parmesan cheese with a drizzle of oil
- Tartufi bianchi – white (spring) truffles
- Risotto agli asparagi – Risotto with asparagus
- Risotto con piselli – Risotto with peas
Traveling in Tuscany in the Spring with Kids
Springtime in Tuscany is perfect for a visit with kids. It’s nice to travel around the region and not worry about high temperatures and overheating in babies and small children.
Keep in mind that swimming pools don’t open up until late spring, so if you’re staying at an agriturismo in the countryside, don’t count on swimming as an activity. Also, playgrounds are often wet and muddy during the spring.
If you’re bringing a stroller, it’s helpful to have a rain cover.
If you’re worried about your kids only eating pizza, pasta, and gelato while you’re in Tuscany, spring is a nice time to visit. I find that with all of the new produce available, it’s easy to get my kids to eat healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Tips for Traveling in Tuscany in the Springtime
- Pack a quality travel umbrella
- Be flexible with your travel plans
- Know the Italian spring holidays and either avoid them or book in advance (and expect more crowds, higher prices, and traffic on roads). The main spring holidays are Easter (dates vary), April 25th (Liberation Day), and May 1st (Labor Day).
- Wear layers. Temperatures can change throughout the day and evenings will be cool.
- Pack warm socks or slippers for your hotel room or apartment.
- Wear weatherproof shoes. You’ll likely encounter puddles in city centers and some wet grass and mud in the countryside.
- Bring a scarf. Keep warm on chilly days and use it as a picnic blanket on a sunny day.
- Carry bug spray. If it’s a warm spring, you’ll notice the mosquitos (and not all accommodation has window screens).
- Pack your favorite allergy medicine if you’re prone to spring allergies. The tiglio (linden) tree in front of our house makes me miserable each spring and I know plenty of others who struggle with Tuscany’s spring pollens and allergens.
Tuscany in Spring FAQ
Yes, you can definitely visit beaches in Tuscany in the spring, but it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get warm enough weather for swimming. The beach towns in Tuscany typically open up by Easter (dates vary) because many Italians love to head to the beach for the Easter holiday. You can stroll around town or book a spot at a beach club if the weather’s nice.
If the weather is warm, mosquitoes will start to come out. The many puddles and the sitting water around the region is a welcome breeding ground for mosquitoes.