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 MilleMiglia comes to town !

Summer starts relatively early in Tuscany, often we feel it at the end of May. As Spring moves into Summer, the evenings are warm and evenings in the garden are special—enjoy the magical company of the fireflies, peaking in number around the solstice. Look out for shooting stars or meteor showers in July. 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 to mid-July when, we move definitively 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 early and mid-July, High Summer begins in earnest, and the weather can be very, 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 so effortless, and you might need a more ‘equipped’ accommodation to be truly comfortable day long. Our guests typically be spending a lot more time right here at the house—relaxing at poolside, napping, cooking, chatting…just enjoying the place. It’s real relax time, this time of year—maybe not even dressing up and heading out to dinner time: Assemble a simple produce based lunch or supper, and dine in the shade in your swimwear, 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) Il Palio: Bareback horse race brings the crowds to 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 streets 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  ties at first place with Spring for returning Tuscany travellers, 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 mid-September brings the heat down to reliably comfortable levels and day long exploring is easy again.  In Late Summer, the sunsets can be magnificent, bringing the guests home for a front row seat to enjoy the show.
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 to high Summer produce!
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 outdoors. 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, plenty of food related events will be happening—and the  temperature feels ‘just right’ for exploring for a large portion of the day. Coming home to a cosy place for the cooler evenings and nights of Autumn, make an Autumn stay perfect.
Autumn is the best time to visit Tuscany for cooler weather, fewer tourists, olive oil and 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 and saving on energy costs. Winter accommodation comforts are equal in importance as High Summer amenities as there is a fair risk of inhospitable weather beyond simply cooler temperatures. Winter Tuscan landscapes might well be the most dramatic—the back lit wheatgrass flaming in the cold Winter sun is unforgettable.
image showing a bed with white linen in the foreground in front of a window showing a back lit landscape in brilliant green its the newly sprouted winter wheat in the rolling tuscan hills of Val di chiana senese
February sunset
Winter is the best time to visit Tuscany for dramatic landscapes, deserted hilltowns and for photography.

Words by Amanda of Siena House, six-bedroom villa and boutique hotel in Tuscany

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