What to do in Florence?
Tuscany Villas – best months to visit Florence
If you’re planning to take a holiday in Tuscany this year, then there are a number of options available to you. The biggest tourist destination by far is Florence, with its Domed cathedral and recognition by UNESCO as a world heritage site, and by Italian’s as the birthplace of the Renaissance. But in the peak summer months Florence can become completely over-run with tourists, and this can make the experience you hoped for a little bit jaded. By far and the best time to visit Tuscany is early June/July, the reasons I’ll list below.
- The shops are still all open – Because Italy is largely still a country made up of small family run businesses, called Piccole Media Imprese, in Italian, in the month of August the shops tends to close and they all go on holiday. So, while you’ll find McDonalds or Zara open, you won’t find the old-school shops you had probably hoped for. All is not lost though, because the market of San Lorenzo does provide a more than ample supply of hand-made leather goods and ceramics to choose from.
- It doesn’t feel like you’re walking in the desert heat with a swamp level of humidity! Florence sits in a long valley that runs all the way down to Pistoia. In fact, in the winter months you can ski in Abetone and one the road up the mountain can see all the way down the valley. This geographical landscape makes for some absolutely killer heats. After travelling to Sicily a few years ago in the summer and having been told stories of the heat, I got off the plane at Palermo, and my first thought was “call this hot!”. Don’t underestimate just how hot it can get. In August from about 1pm until 4pm the city basically hibernates. This does mean that it’s a great time to travel around Tuscany as no-one is about. Just make sure you have a car with air-conditioning and lots of water, otherwise you’ll end up like those insects you probably remember seeing when you were on school day trips to France, from when you were a child.
- The nightlife is better – as everyone is still in the city you get a great mix of people out and about in the evening, from the stylish Florentines, to the Germans with sandals and socks, to the Brits with their rugby tops, and the American students with their need to expose as much skin as possible. It’s the most cosmopolitan time of the year for the city, and it’s my favourite period. What’s more the restaurants spill out onto the roads, pavements and piazza’s and it just fits in so well with the idea of cosmopolitan Mediterranean living.
- The museums are in full swing – because it’s not August when the shops are closed and people run out of browsing options much quicker, the queues are much shorter in the June/July periods. That’s not to say you are going to be able to just walk to the front, but you won’t be wavering in and out of consciousness by comparison to the same experience in August. Without exceptions these are the months where you will find the largest number of museums open for visiting.
These four points of reference should serve you well if you are thinking about planning a holiday in Tuscany, or setting the dates for some kind of Tuscany Villas escape. In the end, Florence is such an amazing spectacle that whichever month you end up arriving in, you can be assured of a wow factor like no-other. If you’re looking for some clothing wow-factor be sure to check out LUXYUU, Italy’s favourite online fashion store, with the biggest names in Fashion and design with prices of up to 80% off!