Note from Cher: Okay, we’ll admit it. We’re biased about the whole visiting Florence in September thing because we host a retreat during it every year called the Not Your Typical Tourist Retreat. 6 people who are obsessed with learning Italian come with Rachel & I to eat fresh pasta, make incredible friends, and become more confident Italian speakers. Get more details on the trip here.
Visiting Florence has become a bit like visiting Disneyland. Summer is the most popular season, sweet treats and delicious food are plentiful, and many people come just for one day, departing before nightfall.
The result is more than a little bit of chaos, that starts around May and continues heavily through August. If you are hoping to avoid this tourist “rush” you can come in the off season, but then you might have risky weather, or other things to worry about. So, what can you do? Visit in September!
Want to know why I think September is the best month of the year? Read on below!
9 Reasons to Visit Florence in the 9th Month of the Year
1.) The Weather
Florence in September still feels like summer, but with nights that cool down a bit and less days with the oppressive heat of May through August. You can still fully enjoy your spritz outside and benefit from the fairly long days of sunshine but without all the heat and humidity of earlier summer months.
2.) The Vendemmia
OK this isn’t strictly Florence, but it is a benefit of Tuscany (remember: Florence is IN Tuscany!!). The vendemmia is the grape harvest! It’s an amazing time to go wine tasting, see the collection and processing of grapes and enjoy the jovial atmosphere of this super important time for wine production.
3.) Beach Days
Again this isn’t Florence per se, but Tuscany has a long coastline that is absolutely packed, crowded, hot and expensive in August. In September though, the days are still warm enough, but the prices drop and the crowds disappear (as well as the traffic) so you can enjoy all the sparkling blue water you can soak up.
4.) Fresh Food
The summer season is plentiful for amazing fruit and vegetables. In September, you can still get tons of fresh, sunkissed produce, while avoiding some of the high prices of earlier months.
5.) Price Drops
September is usually the start of “off season rates.” This can include anything from car rentals to hotels, and it means your trip will likely cost MUCH less overall.
If you’ve never been to one, you probably have no idea what a “sagra” even is…allow me to blow your mind. Sagre are festivals, that focus usually on one type of food. There are sagre for bistecca, sagre for truffles, sagre for cherries, sagre for fried frogs (not kidding) and SO MANY MORE. It’s foodie heaven and September is rich with them.
They happen all over Italy, in all the summer months, but September sagre boast better weather, calmer crowds and, I think, more interesting dishes. Take, for example, the sagra dell’uva in Impruneta (right outside Florence)!
7.) Schiacciata all’uva
This delicious desert is only available during the vendemmia (grape harvest). It is a bread/dessert made with two layers of dough and dotted with lots of delicious, sweet, ready to explode canaiolo grapes, fresh from the vine. It’s pretty much exclusive to September and just writing about gives me acquolina in bocca.
8.) Gelato Festival
Every year, at Piazzale Michelangelo, the best gelato makers from all over the world come to compete for the award of best gelato. For 10 euro, you can buy a booklet with a set number of cups (previous years it was 7 gelati!) and you go around tasting them all. Then, when you’re done and super high on sugar, you vote for the best one!
9.) Festa della Rificolona
This event is a procession that crosses all of Florence, ending the Piazza Santissima Annuziata. It is marked by the homemade (or store bought) paper lanterns, each one glowing brightly and suspended on sticks held by the paraders. The event is held each evening of September 7th to mark the birth of the Virgin Mary. It’s truly beautiful to see, glowing lanterns, in various colors, shapes and sizes, excited children and general merriment.
For more info on why Florence is awesome, read the articles below:
- Unique Activities in Florence: Renaissance-Style Ceramics Painting
- What is St. John’s Day (San Giovanni) in Florence?
- Love Florence? Make Sure to Do This First.
- Our Favorite Places in Florence, Italy
Have you been to Florence or Tuscany in September? What did you think?