Myself, my mother, my sister-in-law: pondering a visit to Tuscany in 2022. Best month? Places to visit. Any good advice to share will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Please give us some more information and I promise you will be deluged with great ideas! We love doing this. Ages, mobility issues, calendar flexibility, interests - these are a good place to start. Let me begin with this: Florence is hot, humid, mobbed during the summer months.
My mother will be 74 yo then. Can get around fine, but not for too long. Myself and sister-in-law will be 56- hikers and runners- so, good health. Thinking of Sept 2022.
Here’s an article that gives more info on when to go to Tuscany: https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/italy/best-time-to-go-to-tuscany
Places to go are listed in the order of importance: Florence, Siena, Montepulciano, Pienza, Pisa, Lucca, Volterra and San Gimignano.
Mid September to October are my favorite months in Tuscany. Are you planning on using public transportation or driving? What type of lodging are you thinking to use?
I've always had good luck with Airbnb and/or B&B on other travels. But will do what is recommended for Italy.
Thanks for the additional info, CTB0722. Florence, as recommended, in the fall is beautiful and should be crowd-free. It's an easy walking town - very flat in the historic district with plenty of places to sit and just enjoy being there. I highly recommend the recently re-opened Duomo Museo. I'm not a museum person but this is one I really enjoy. The Mercato Centrale is a great place to roam around and get hungry. The foods are stunning. Go up to the 2nd floor and select one of dozens of great restaurants.
Can I suggest some time in Lucca and Siena? Siena is where I stay and then daytrip into Florence. For me the evening hours are more active and scenic. Lucca could be a day trip but I think most people would prefer at least a couple of days there.
Have you considered renting an apartment? The pluses: washing machine, chance to prepare fresh produce from the market for lunch and then splurge for dinner, and you'll be more in a neighborhood rather than the business district. OK, you miss out on the daily maid service. I've always had good luck with VRBO.
I'm going to be interested in following the input here! It's always fun to watch someone planning a great trip!!! Remember: you deserve this!
Oh, this is great! I had been looking at these places, actually.
Great information. Thanks for the reminder about an apartment- I rented an apartment in Paris a few years ago and loved being in a neighborhood. I could make coffee and my breakfast. Got to know the locals to practice my limited French.
Thanks so much!
Unless you plan to spend a lot of time at the beach or at high elevation, from the end of June to early September it is unbearably hot.
Other than that any time is good between April and October. My preference has always been May to June, primarily because the weather is generally warm but not yet unbearably hot, and daylight lasts until past 9pm. October may be good if you don’t mind the shorter days and the high possibility of rain in the latter part of the month.
In terms of crowds, it’s always crowded during those 6-7 months (barring any pandemics). Florence and the cities have slightly smaller crowds in August when most Italians head for the coast and the mountains.
I spent a week (maybe it was 10 days) in Tuscany some years ago and it was lovely with the summer crowds all gone and no "Chiuso per ferrie" signs to worry about. As for weather, most days it was warm enough to sit out on the terrace in a bathing suit. There was a terrible hail storm the day I left, but that can happen just about any time, right?
We have been to Tuscany many times and can’t imagine using public transportation. Rent a car or you will miss so much, small villages, charm. We prefer visiting in late Sept- Oct.
Like Suki, we've always rented a car in Tuscany.
I have however created for friends, who were hesitant to do so, a list of transportation options.
These towns are easily accessible by bus and train from Siena. Some towns I've combined with others. (B=bus, T=train)
Siena-Colle di Val d'Elsa ( B 30m)-San Gimignano (B 35m)-Siena (T 1H05m)
Siena-Montereggioni (B 18m)-Castellina in Chianti (B 30m)
Siena-Radda in Chianti (B 55m)
Siena-Buonconvento (T 28m)-Monteroni d'Arbia
Siena-Rapolano Terme (T 37m)-Asciano Mont Oliveto (T 10m)-Siena (T 26m)
Siena-Sinalunga (T 53m)
Siena-San Quirico d' Orcia (B 50m)
Siena-Pienza ( B 1H05m)
Montepulcino ( B from Pienza but do Monte first)
Siena-Certaldo (T 39m)
Even if you decide on 1 hilltown a day, there's plenty to do. Look at the towns to see what interest you.
Be sure to check return times by bus carefully.
From Florence you can reach these ...
Bologna T. 38 min.
Pistoia T. 45m.
Montecatini Terme T. 58m.
Lucca T. 1 hour.
Pisa T. 28 m. Can be combined as a late afternoon with Lucca after the crowds have left.
Pisa to Florence (T 52m)
Late Sept / Early October is great for the reasons mentioned by quite a few above (nice weather, less crowds, etc...)
Also is wine harvest season I believe in many areas.
BUT no one mentioned if you are going to Tuscany to see fields of green and wildflowers than this time period is not when those areas are at their prettiest (grapes on vines in the vineyards excluded). May would be better for that.
If you are just going to the cities ; using public transit (trains) than the color of the countryside does not matter at all so all depends on the trip plans.
We don't like heat and Florence is sweltering from June through summer. We have traveled usually in May when we were working and in the fall now that we are retired. Both are great although weather is a bit nicer in the fall. Spring is dicey. We have had lovely temperate springs filled with sun and poppies and miserable cold rainy weeks as well. In the fall September/October it has always been lovely. Here are some snapshots I took on a fall trip following my retirement; we spent a month in Italy -- a few days in Rome, two weeks in Montepulciano touring the region by car and then a week in Florence before flying to Paris for two months.
As you can see, even in the fall after harvest and the fields have been. plowed it is still lovely.
Have you watched Rick's many episodes on Tuscany and hill towns? He covers the area extensively. Also see Stanley Tucci's series on CNN and Alex Polizzi's series on Youtube.