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When is the best time to visit Tuscany?

When is the best time to visit Tuscany? The long answer might begin with ‘it depends on the sort of getaway you are looking for’… but the short answer is most definitely ‘whenever you can’.
Malvin Tyler of Siena House in the country house garden he is wearing blue and standing before two people seated in deckchairs and welcoming a honeymoon couple with a glass of fizz and a little guidance on places we love.

Spring: Itinerary planning in the garden in April

Springtime in Tuscany is brief but beautiful.  Brief because the temperature rises quickly to Summer levels. The landscape from April to May is amazing with the brilliant green in the wheat fields, clear warm days and good light.  Night time is magical with the countryside sounds – particularly the night birds. There is always a chance of rain – which tends to be brief, and many a shower is followed by a rainbow and crystal clear sky. By mid May the roses will be blooming everywhere, even in the vineyards! Here the guests will be taking breakfast in the garden in the sunshine. Springtime is wonderful for exploring – just getting out and about. Aim for the natural thermal baths on the few imperfect days – or wineries and designer outlet shopping if it’s wet. Otherwise nothing beats hopping in the car, driving the valleys and stopping wherever and whenever you please. The Mille Miglia (glamorous vintage rally) comes by in Spring usually on the second weekend in May, stopping in central Siena and also villages close by.  This says something about the pleasure of driving in Tuscany and the beauty of the routes in this area.
Springtime is the best time to visit Tuscany for exploring, for roses and for classic car lovers.
Image showing a red vintage racing car driving through the centre of a Sienese town in Springtime the mille miglia passes though siena and arezzo

May: The Mille Miglia comes to town !

Summer starts relatively early in Tuscany, often we feel it at the end of May. The weather can get get quickly very hot. As Spring moves into Summer the evenings are warm and night time in the garden is wonderful – enjoy the magical company of the fireflies, look out for shooting stars. Since mid May the pool at the house would have been in use, becoming ever more a focus as June progresses into July and temperatures. The early Summer landscape is still brilliant green and it’s typically not too hot to tour and sight-see all day long in comfort until early July when temperatures start to rise and we move into High Summer.

Early Summer is the best time to visit Tuscany for romantic nights, fireflies and colourful landscapes

Image showing a summer garden scene at a tuscan country house two lounge chairs close to a wall in siena red red bricks and stone bright green grass lit by the setting sun and a hilltown visible from the garden in the background with cypresses and olive trees

June: Vibrant greens and cool evenings

Somewhere between the end of June and mid July High Summer begins and the weather can be very hot. Air Conditioning might be essential at night to sleep comfortably if it’s a particularly hot year. In July and August visiting is not as effortless and you might need a more ‘equipped’ accommodation to be truly comfortable. Our guests will typically be spending a lot more time right here – relaxing at poolside, napping, chatting…just enjoying the property. It’s real relax time – maybe not even dressing up and heading out to dinner – assemble simple produce supper and dine together barefoot in the garden instead.

High Summer is the best time to visit Tuscany if you dream of blissful relax, in a beautiful location.

image of the Piazza del campo in siena, showing the opposite side to the torre di mangia with the shadow of the tower cast on the buildings and crowds of people in the foreground in shadow and the racetrack ready for the race visible

July (& August) Palio, bareback horse race brings the crowds to Piazza al Campo in Siena city.

Image showing yellow ochre burnt umber and burnt Siena streets of the medieval city of Siena (Sienna) on the morning of the palio of August 2017 within the contrada Onda the torre di mangia is visible at top right under blue skies this is the winning contrada blue and white flags with dolphin

Palio ready Siena in August

Image showing Malvin Tyler of siena house walking under the wisteria covered promenade at La Foce gardens , siena

August: stick to the shade in the middle of the day (La Force)

Image showing the wheatfields of the val d'orcia area in siena golden rippled fields and a huge cypress tree at right

September: still glorious

Late Summer (Mid August until mid/end September) ties at first place with Spring for returning Tuscany travelers – particularly those who came first time for the glorious days of High Summer and went away with the certainty that they wanted to return. The produce is glorious at this time of year. Late Summer from the end of August to early September brings the heat down to reliably comfortable levels and day long exploring is easy again.  In Late Summer the sunsets are magnificent and there’s a sense of urgency to be settled in time to enjoy it.
Late Summer is the best time to visit Tuscany for gorgeous sunsets, great produce and to have both poolside lounging and day long exploring weather!
Image showing tomato plants and a blonde woman wearing light blue pointing at the viewer from behind the plants the vine is holding date tomatoes and the woman is the painter from Torrita di Siena, Amanda Helen Atkins picking tomatoes in the gardens of a Tuscan country house

We look forward all year to Summer garden Tomatoes

Autumn varies in weather terms, is generally very comfortable with bright, dry days (but anyway, here at Siena House we have plenty of comfortable interior space for that odd grey day).  The middle of the day can be surprisingly warm – certainly T shirt weather – but the evenings and early mornings are cool. Breakfast here at the house is typically indoors in the Autumn – but you can still eat lunch out doors. In the Autumn the natural thermal baths might become more of a focus, but then only if you can spare the time… driving the valleys, wine tasting, seasonal food orientated days out (such as Truffle Hunting, Olive Oil tasting, for example)…are a great focus !  Like Springtime, Autumn can be an excellent time for exploring the hill top villages, for ‘getting lost’ in and discovering Tuscany’s incredible landscapes….and for photography. At this time of year the tourists are fewer and the colours in the landscape are stronger. There’s a lot to do – many food related events – and the temperature feels ‘just right’ for exploring for a large portion of the day. Coming home to a cozy place for the cooler evening and night is what is required to make an Autumn stay in Tuscany just perfect, however.
Autumn is the best time to visit Tuscany for cooler weather, fewer tourists, olive oil and white truffles !
Image showing Tuscans in a seating area looking to the right the sun is coming in low at left this is the audience of a piano accordion player at a small tuscan oil festival in october

Olive oil festival, Castelmuzio (Trequanda, Siena)

Winter visits are something wholly different, see Tuscany with its Italian inhabitants and barely a tourist in sight. The hills and valleys are beautifully lit by the lower sun, a joy for photographers. Winter walks in deserted windy hill town streets can be so romantic. Winter days in Tuscany are not typically cold and grey – here skies are blue, and the light is good. Winds can get high and winter walks can be bracing, but the larger hill towns are still fairly lively with weekend events.  Accommodation will in general be somewhat cheaper but do your research well – energy costs are very high in Tuscany and the Tuscans are not adverse to wrapping up in the Winter and saving on the heating and this ethos can make and inexpensive Winter stay costly from a comfort point of view.  Winter accommodation comforts are equal in importance as High Summer amenities. Winter Tuscan landscapes might well be the most dramatic – the low sun lighting the wheatfields and the early morning mists rising from the undulating landscape.
Winter is the best time to visit Tuscany for dramatic landscapes, deserted hilltowns and for photography.
Image showing a landscape in tuscany the view from a tuscan country house bare vines undulating towards oak woods and olive groves a row of cypress trees at right of the image

Winter: December view from Siena House Boutique Hotel

Siena House is a Boutique Hotel in Tuscany writing about Tuscany

 

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