Are you planning a summer trip to Italy and wondering if you should visit Tuscany?
Are you worried that the summer in Tuscany will be too hot?
Not sure what you should do or see in Tuscany in the summer?
I live in Tuscany with my husband and three young boys, and I’ve been exploring here since 2003. Living here, we see Tuscany through all four seasons (yes – we have four distinct seasons) and I can tell you that visiting Tuscany in the summer has its pluses and minuses.
In this article, we’ll look at:
- Weather in Tuscany in the Summer
- The Best Things to See and Do in Tuscany in the Summer Months
- What You Should Wear and Pack for a Summer Visit to Tuscany
- Where to Stay in Tuscany in the Summer
- Advice for Traveling During the Summer in Tuscany with Kids
- Tips for Staying Cool in the Tuscan summer heat
When you’re done, you’ll have an idea of whether or not summer in Tuscany is a good choice for you!
Weather in Tuscany in the Summer
Weather can vary quite a bit depending on where you are, but in general, the summer months in Tuscany (June, July, and August) are Hot (with a capital ‘H’).
It’s not uncommon to have days in Florence when the temperature reaches 40° C, and many places in the Tuscan countryside will reach the upper 30s occasionally. If you’re planning a visit to Tuscany in the summer, expect to encounter temperatures in the upper 20s and lower 30s (°C) during the day, and the upper teens (°C) in the evenings. In degrees Fahrenheit, Tuscan summer temperatures range from the mid-80s to the 90s during the day, and cool off to the mid to upper 60s in the evening.
Good To Know: There are over 14 hours of daylight in Tuscany in August, so it’s tough to ‘hide’ from the sun.
Good To Know: Early June weather can be cooler than the rest of the summer. My son’s birthday is in early June and we’ve had a few rainy or even cool birthdays.
Here’s an idea of August temperatures in popular destinations in Tuscany:
|DESTINATION||HIGH (°C)||LOW (°C)|
Now, while these temperatures may not seem like a big deal to you, keep in mind that many hotels and apartments in Italy do not have air-conditioning. So, you won’t have a fresh room to head back to after touring in the heat all day.
Most Italians who live in cities flock to the beach and mountains whenever possible. Our family avoids walking around in the city during the hot hours of the day, but we do love heading to dinner in Florence on a balmy summer evening.
Good To Know: Ice isn’t common here like it is in the US and many other countries, so don’t expect ice in your drink at lunch on a hot July day in Tuscany.
Best Things to Do in Tuscany in the Summer
Now you know it will be toasty in Tuscany during the summer months. But, don’t let that scare you away! There are a ton of amazing things to see and do here (comfortably) during June, July, and August.
Go to the Beach
Do like Tuscans do and head to the beach! Almost every classmate of my sons spends some or all of the summer at the beach. Young adults, retired folks, and 9-5ers all flock to the beach whenever they can.
With hundreds of kilometers of coastline, you’ll have your pick of beaches – from golden, sandy beaches to rocky cliffs, and everything in between.
Tuscany’s northern beaches are more developed and have plenty of beach clubs and services. This is where you’ll find the Versilia area and some of Tuscany’s most well-known beach towns like Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio.
The further south along the coast you go, the more ‘wild’ beaches you’ll find (along with most of Tuscany’s most beautiful beaches, in my opinion). This is where you’ll find the beautiful beaches on the Monte Argentario Peninsula
Helpful Tip: Although you’ll likely spend a lot of time on the beach, don’t miss some other activities near the Tuscan beaches, like wine tasting in Bolgheri, checking out the artist’s town of Pietrasanta, or strolling along the waterfront in Porto Santo Stefano.
Visit Tuscan Cities in the Morning and Evening
Yes, Florence and other Tuscan cities are so hot in July and August that you’ll want to avoid them if possible. However, I know that sometimes you can’t control when you have vacation time, and if you want to visit these treasures in the summer, it can be done!
In the summer, it’s best to explore Tuscan cities in the morning and the evening. There’s still plenty to see and do, and you can avoid going to the hospital with heat exhaustion.
For example, you can:
- See the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence.
- Visit Florence’s Uffizi Gallery at night (certain evenings, check the website).
- Relax in Siena’s Piazza del Campo while sipping on an aperitivo.
- Cycle the city walls of Lucca city walls in the morning or evening with the locals.
- Climb a tower
- Take photographs of an almost-empty city in the early hours of the morning. Catch shop owners setting up for the day, locals on their way to school, and other scenes from Tuscany daily life.
Wondering what to do in the heat of the day? You can:
- Explore an air-conditioned museum, like the Accademia Gallery or the Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum in Florence.
- Grab a gelato in San Gimignano and relax in the shade of the tall towers.
- Visit a public swimming pool.
Enjoy an Aperitivo
Aperitivo is a pre-dinner drink in Italy – and a summer evening in Tuscany is the perfect time to participate in the Italian ritual. Order a spritz, a chilled glass of vino bianco, or your favorite beverage, and grab some snacks at the buffet.
You’ll find aperitivo opportunities in cities, towns, and villages throughout Tuscany, and you can also create your own aperitivo wherever you find yourself – at the beach, relaxing on the terrace at your hotel, or on the side of the road on the edge of a vineyard (in this case, make sure you have a designated driver).
Some of my favorite places for aperitivo in Tuscany in the summer:
- At one of the cafes on the city walls of Lucca
- At Le Volpe e L’Uva in Florence
- Overlooking the Val d’Orcia on the gravel passeggiata path in Pienza
- At Hotel Baglioni’s rooftop bar in Florence
- Toes in the sand at Bagno Giuliana in Forte dei Marmi
- At the piazza enoteca in Bagno Vignoni after a soak in the hot springs
- In one of San Miniato’s hip bars
- On Piazza del Campo in Siena
- On our terrace at home
Participate in Summer Festivals
Have I mentioned summer evenings in Tuscany are fabulous? They’re also the prime time to see concerts and attend festivals. You’ll find Italian bands on tours and you can also see some international stars.
Our family loves the Lucca Summer festival (small and intimate outdoor concert setting), and Firenze Rocks also draws some excellent musicians (much bigger venue). Blues fans shouldn’t miss the Pistoia Blues Festival.
Besides music, there are countless other festivals and events that take place during the Tuscan summer. Watching Siena’s Palio (the bareback horse race in the Piazza del Campo) is an incredible experience, and even if you don’t see the actual race, you’ll feel the excitement in the events leading up to the big days on July 2nd and August 16th. Attend Monteriggioni’s Medieval festival in July.
Good To Know: I’ve watched the Palio from the middle of the Piazza del Campo. While it’s amazing to see, it’s also very hot (I saw people fainting). You have to arrive early to get a spot and you can’t leave to use the toilet or get food and drink.
Go to a Soccer Game
Most Italians live and breathe soccer, so going to a game is a peek into Italian culture. It’s exciting, loud, and full of colorful Italian curse words. You don’t need to attend a Serie A (the highest level) game – the other leagues are all entertaining and full of talented players.
At the time of writing, the Serie A teams in Tuscany are Fiorentina (Florence) and Empoli. There are also excellent women’s teams, especially Fiorentina.
Many games are in the evening, and you can ask if there are seats nell’ombra (in the shade) to stay cool until the sun sets.
Read more about Going to a Soccer Game in Italy.
I always joke that I’ll never get my husband to move from Tuscany. It’s not because his family is here – it’s because the cycling is so amazing in Tuscany.
Even in the summer months, both northern and southern Tuscany are magnets for cyclists from Tuscany, Italy, and around the globe.
It’s best to ride in the early morning and then spend the rest of the day exploring or swimming in your agriturismo’s pool.
If you’re doing a point-to-point ride in Tuscany, ride in the morning, stop to rest and eat during the midday heat, and continue your ride in the evening (not at night – drivers are not used to seeing cyclists on the road at night).
You can also join a guided cycling trip for a week, a day, or even a couple of hours. Many companies are based out of Florence, and international companies like Backroads have multiple Tuscany cycling trips in the summer.
Good To Know: You can mountain bike in Tuscany in the summer, but many locals don’t because the gravel roads get very dusty.
Take an Evening Passeggiata
A passeggiata translates to a stroll or a walk.
Many Italians take a stroll through town in the evening before or after dinner. Hand-in-hand, dressed nicely, stopping to peek at shop windows or say hello to friends and acquaintances.
A passeggiata feels great after dinner, so you don’t go to bed with a full stomach.
Helpful Tip: Some towns that feel so crowded during the day are picture-perfect during the evening passeggiata. For example, San Gimignano is packed during the day, but after the tour buses depart, the town feels completely different. See town in a new way during an evening passeggiata.
Visit Outdoor Markets
It’s important to stay hydrated and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in the hot Tuscan summer months.
Yes, you can find delicious fresh produce at grocery stores, but we recommend checking out a local market.
Most small towns and villages have a weekly market full of local produce, and cities have daily markets. I’m a big fan of the Sant’Ambrogio market in Florence.
Fresh fruit to buy in Tuscany in the summer:
- Apricots – albicocche
- Blackberries – mori
- Cherries – ciliegie
- Figs – fichi
- Melons – meloni
- Peaches – pesche
- Nectarines – nettarine
- Pears – pere
- Plums – susine
- Raspberries – lamponi
- Watermelon – anguria, or cocomero in Tuscany
Like most activities in Tuscany in the summer, it’s best to hike in the morning and evening. However, you can hike during the day in some places in northern Tuscany in wooded areas, where you can hide from the sun in the forest.
Some of the best places for hiking in Tuscany include in Chianti, along the Via Francigena, and in the Val d’Orcia.
Helpful Tip: Don’t rely on old hiking books and guides. Many vineyards have added fences to their properties in recent years, blocking commonly used hiking trails.
Remember to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen and a sunhat.
Escape to an Island
While not as famous as Capri, Sardinia, or Sicily, Tuscany does have two islands that make excellent escapes in the summer – Elba Island (Isola d’Elba) and Giglio Island (Isola del Giglio). Both can be reached by ferry from the mainland, and each boasts crystal clear waters and pristine sandy and rocky beaches.
Go Wine Tasting
You probably know that Tuscany is home to some of the world’s best and most well-known wines. During summer months, you can try wines at enoteche (wine bars) or you can visit wineries, sample their vini, and even cool off a bit in chilly wine cellars. You may want to visit wineries that make:
- Chianti Classico wines
- Super Tuscan wines
- Vernaccia di San Gimignano
- Brunello di Montalcino
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Good To Know: Most Tuscan wineries don’t accept drop-in visitors. Contact the winery in advance to reserve a visit and/or tasting.
Tuscany is photogenic year-round, and in summer months, you’ll have plenty to photograph. Photographer’s highlights include:
- Val d’Orcia in Southern Tuscany – in the summer, the valley’s rolling hills are golden and velvety.
- Vineyards in Northern Tuscany – grapes are on the vines and some are ready to be harvested in late August.
- Cypress-lined drives, especially those in the Val d’Orcia.
- Sunflowers – at their best in Tuscany in July and August.
- Olive groves – beautifully photographed against yellow grasses and blue skies of summer.
Visit Hot Springs
It may sound strange to visit a Tuscan hot spring in the heat of summer, but if you visit in the evening, it’s actually really pleasant. Look up at the stars, relax in the pools, and enjoy the fact that you won’t freeze when you get out!
Good To Know: Bagno Vignoni has a not-so-hot natural public pool below town, which is perfect for summer months.
What to Wear in Tuscany in the Summer
Wear loose-fitting and comfortable fabrics like cotton and linen.
Women will be happy in sundresses, shorts, and light tops.
Good To Know: If you want to visit churches and religious sites, you’ll need to dress appropriately. You will not be allowed to enter with short shorts or revealing tops. You may want to carry a light scarf or shawl for these situations.
Men will be comfortable in shorts and shirts in breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.
Good To Know: Don’t feel like males must wear shorts in Italy, even in the summer. Italian men wear shorts too!
Regarding footwear, structured sandals like Birkenstocks work well, along with comfortable, breathable sneakers.
Good To Know: You can always shop when you’re here. There are plenty of places to shop, and the summer sale is in July, so you’ll find some nice discounts!
Helpful Tip: Remember to pack activity-appropriate clothing and footwear. For example, if you’ll be doing a lot of hiking, you’ll want to pack athletic clothing and shoes. If you’re planning on doing a lot of Michelin-star dining, make sure you pack nice clothing for the evening.
Check out our Packing Lists for Italy.
Where to Stay in Tuscany in the Summer
Whenever possible, avoid staying in the cities. Instead, stay in the Tuscan countryside at an agriturismo, or stay at the beach.
You can also find accommodation in the mountains (Apuan Alps or the Appenines) but if you’d like a mountain visit, I highly suggest the Dolomites in northern Italy, which are just a few hours away by train or car.
Helpful Tip: If you decide to stay in an agriturismo, book one with a swimming pool.
Tips for Staying Cool in the Summer in Tuscany
- Stay in a place with a pool.
- Go out in the morning and evening.
- Go to the beach – but avoid busy times if possible.
- Keep window shutters closed during day, but open them in the evening to let fresh, cooler air inside.
- Eat gelato!
- Eat like a Tuscan in the summer – salads, prosciutto melone, caprese, fresh fruit.
- Have cool versions of coffee, like an icy-cold shakerato.
- Stay hydrated! You’ll find at least one drinking fountain in Tuscan cities, towns, and villages, but you may need to purchase water.
- Protect yourself from the sun – use sunscreen, sunhats, sunglasses, and relax in the shade whenever possible.
- Make sure you know how to use your rental car’s air-conditioning before you leave the lot.
Read How to Beat the Heat in Florence in the Summer.
Traveling in Tuscany in the Summer with Kids
Along with the above tips for staying cool in the summer in Tuscany, if you’re traveling with kids:
- Take extra care to avoid dehydration. Carry plenty of water, and bring Pedialyte from home if it works well for your baby or child.
- Bring a light muslin blanket that can be used as a sunshade on strollers, on car windows, and at restaurants.
- If you use a baby carrier, make sure it’s lightweight and if possible, has air vents.
- If you use a stroller, make sure it has a sunshade.
- Bring sunscreen from home if you have one that works well for you. While you can find it here in Tuscany, brands are different.
- Embrace gelato. Kids love it, and it feels great on a hot day! We eat gelato at least once per day in the summer.
- Think about adjusting your child’s sleep schedule. I’m a huge fan of early bedtimes, but in the summer, I have my kids nap (older ones rest indoors or in the shade) in the afternoon and spend evenings playing outside. For example, in our small Tuscan town, the playground is full of kids and families at 9:00pm, when it’s finally cool enough to play outside comfortably.
You may want to read 70+ Things to Do in Tuscany with Kids!
I hope this guide to Tuscany in the summer has helped you decide if it’s the right time of year for your visit. And if you are planning on visiting, that you’ve got some ideas for what you’d like to do during the summer months. Buon viaggio!
You may also want to read about Tuscany in Winter and Tuscany in Spring.