If you’ve ever been to Florence, you surely remember the crowds gathering in the pedestrian streets of the old town, as well as the endless lines at the entrance of the Uffizi and the Cathedral…forget about that and get ready to explore a more intimate side of the city during the winter months.
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Things to do in Florence in Winter
Florence in November
Weather in Florenec in November
The minimum temperature in Florence in November is 6°C and the maximum temperature is 15°C. Weather can suddenly change and you can experience a mild and bright autumn morning but a grey and cold winter afternoon on the same day.
Events, celebrations and traditions in Florence in November
- Nov 1st -All Saints: a religious celebration and a good opportunity to spend a few days exploring an Italian city. If you want to visit a quiet and peaceful town, Florence is not the best option on this day!
Things to do in Florence in November
- Take advantage of the second half of the month to visit the beautiful Florentine churches at your own pace. Start with the Duomo complex, but don’t limit your visit to that! Other churches that are really worth a thorough visit are Santa Maria Novella with its iconic Tuscan gothic style, Santa Croce with the tombs of many important Italian figures, and the Abbey of San Minato al Monte with its amazing view. Click here to book a small group guided tour to the Duomo that includes a climb to Brunelleschi’s Dome.
- Cross Ponte Vecchio and stop to take some pictures of the lovely Arno river in the early winter light.
- On a sunny day, go exploring the famous Chianti area and taste some local wines in the countryside. You might like this full-day small-group wine tasting tour to Tuscany.
Why visit Florence in November
- Pros: you can still spend some time outdoors and enjoy the countryside
- Cons: changeable weather
Florence in December
Weather in Florence in December
The minimum temperature in Florence in December is 3°C and the maximum temperature is 11°C. December is rainy and cold, so you shall plan several indoor activities.
Events, celebrations and traditions in Florence in December
- Dec. 8th – Feast of the Immaculate Conception: this religious celebration marks the beginning of the Holiday Season and the city lights up with Christmas decorations.
- Dec. 25th – Christmas: after the traditional mass in the Cathedral, go to a restaurant to enjoy a festive meal tasting all the typical Florentine specialties like bruschetta, fegatini, pasta with wild boar sauce, roasted meat, and panforte.
- Dec 31st–New Year’s Eve: go to Piazza della Signoria for some family entertainment, enjoy a Gospel concert in front of the Cathedral or dance the night away in Piazza Poggi. In case of bad weather, choose among the many clubs scattered through the city center.
- Christmas lights: an annual festival named “F-lights” decorates the city with some artistic light installations. The best ones are on Ponte Vecchio, Belvedere Fort, and the façade of the Museum of the Twentieth Century. More conventional Christmas lights are to be found in the pedestrian streets of the old town, especially in Tornabuoni Street.
- Christmas trees: the main tree is located in Piazza Duomo, but you can find other trees in Michelangelo Square and Santa Maria Novella Square.
- Christmas markets: a nice Christmas market is set up in Santa Croce Square and there’s also Santa Claus’ cabin where kids can leave their letters.
- Nativity scene: the best one is set up in front of the Cathedral and it is made of life-size terracotta statues.
- Cantine Aperte: in December, there’s a special initiative named “open wineries” involving all Tuscan wine makers. You can choose among several tastings, guided tours, cultural events and concerts to visit the best wine estates and choose the perfect wine for your Christmas meal.
Things to do in Florence in December
- Enjoy the carousel in Repubblica Square. It dates back to the beginning of the XXth century and it is one of the most popular attractions for kids. Go there in the evening to immerse yourself in the Christmas lights and in an old-fashioned atmosphere.
- What’s best than taking a food tour? (you might like this Florence walking food tour.)
- Skate on ice: go to the Firenze Winter Park and choose among the ice-skating rink, a snow tubing experience, or a slope for skiers. Another great skating rink is located in the garden of the Basso Fortress (it’s the longest one in Europe!)
Why visit Florence in December
Florence in January
Weather in Florence in January
The minimum temperature in Florence in January is 2°C- and the maximum temperature is 11°C. Same as December, so be prepared to stay indoors most of the time.
Events, celebrations and traditions in Florence in January
- Jan 1st: a New Year’s Concert is held at the Nuovo Teatro dell’Opera
- Jan 6th – Epiphany: more than 500 costumed characters parade through the streets of the old town. The parade stops in front of the Cathedral where the Three Kings offer their gifts to the characters of a living nativity scene. Tambourines, marching bands and flag-wavers contribute to the festive atmosphere.
Things to do in Florence in January
- Escape the cold inside a museum! In Florence, you’ll be spoilt for choice! You can also choose a combined guided tour like this one Florence: Accademia, Uffizi Gallery, and Walking Tour.
- Enjoy some shopping! Take advantage of the winter sales to buy some high-quality and handmade products without breaking the bank! The main international brands are to be found in via Tornabuoni, via Calzaioli, and via Por Santa Maria.
- Learn more about Dante Alighieri: you can visit his house Dante’s House Museum and see where and how the author of the Divine Comedy lived back in the Middle Ages.
Why visit Florence in January
- Pros: you’ll find fewer tourists than usual (especially in the second half of the month) and prices are cheaper due to low season and winter sales
- Cons: bad weather
Florence in February
Weather in Florence in February
The minimum temperature in Florence in February is 3°C and the maximum temperature is 12°C. February is still a bit rainy, but the weather gets better towards the end of the month.
Events, celebrations and traditions in Florence in February
- Feb. 14th – St. Valentine’s Day: Florence is a great choice to spend a weekend for two!
- Carnival: watch the parade, enjoy the festive atmosphere and attend a masked ball!
Things to do in Florence in February
- Pros: there are endless events and you won’t get bored!
- Cons: Florence gets very busy and chaotic around Christmas
- Plan your itinerary around the most romantic spots in town: watch the sunset from Michelangelo Square, stroll along Ponte Vecchio and Santa Trinità Bridge, enjoy some winter sun in the Boboli Garden and visit the picturesque villages scattered throughout the hilly countryside.
- Learn more about Galileo Galilei: the best way to discover both his life and works is taking a themed tour like this one Galileo Galilei Private Science Tour.
Why visit Florence in February
- Pros: Florence is a very romantic city to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day
- Cons: it’s a busy month
What to pack for a winter trip to Florence
- Scarf, gloves and hat
- Wool sweaters
- Winter coat
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Jeans/long trousers
- Long sleeves t-shirts or shirts
- Backpack (and a small bag for the night)
Remember to dress in layers you can take off in heated indoor spaces!
Where to eat and drink in Florence in winter
- Il Palagio: first-class award-winning cuisine Il Palagio
- Buca Lapi: rustic old-fashioned vibes Buca Lapi
- L’Brindellone: the best Florentine steak in town I Brindellone
Cafes and bars
- Giorgio: a small bakery that’s still quite unknown by tourists since it’s located outside the city center. It’s definitely worth a stop to taste a slice of “schiacciata fiorentina” Pasticceria Giorgio
- Rex Café: cocktails & live music. It’s one of the most popular places among young locals Rex ― Firenze
- The Lion’s Fountain: a real Irish pub where you can taste some fish & chips, drink some beer, and have fun singing karaoke The Lion’s Fountain
Why visit Florence in winter
- You can enjoy a peaceful and slow visit to the most iconic museums in town like Uffizi and Accademia Gallery. Waiting in line and having trouble getting closer to the best works of art is simply routine all year round except in November and January!
- Take advantage of low season to find cheaper hotel rates
- Enjoy the winter sales in January and go shopping in the city center
- Christmas in Florence is something else!
- Tuscan cuisine is really rich and winter is the best season to taste all the local specialties
- Celebrate St. Valentine’s Day watching the sunset from a romantic location like Ponte Vecchio or Michelangelo Square