September offers ideal weather: cool evenings and bright and sunny days with temps averaging between 59°F to 81°F (15-27°C), making it one of the more pleasant times of year to visit Tuscany. The rainy season has yet to fully set in, though you can expect an increase in precipitation with Florence receiving 3 inches of rain over 6 days, and as the Tyrrhenian Sea remains in the low to mid 70s range (22-25°C), you’ll do well if you pack an umbrella alongside your swimsuit and layers.
Crowds & Costs
September is one of the best months to travel to Italy. The first week of the month is typically considered the high season, though as the month progresses, the crowds start to thin out: locals return to the office, children go back to school, and foreign tourists head home. The weather is still warm enough to encourage plenty of outdoor activities, including swimming, and flights and tourist attractions are less costly than in peak season. Hotel prices, too, begin their six-month decline.
And while the tourist demand on facilities certainly decreases, it is still essential to book well in advance, especially if you plan on joining a wine tour, though there is more of a chance to obtain a last-minute deal.
Where to Go
There’s no better place to be in Italy than Tuscany come September as the region celebrates the grape harvest, food-related festivals, and colorful events. Wherever you find yourself in Tuscany, there’s something going on, and likely it has something to do with wine and local fare. An excellent place to start is Florence, for their month-long celebration of the harvest, culminating in a vast farmers market in the town square on September 24.
For the country’s longest running festival and Tuscany’s most famous wine festival, find your way to the Piazza Buondelmonti in Impruneta to participate in Festa dell’Uva. Another great option is to venture just south of Impruneta to Greve in Chianti to discover their four-day wine expo as well as a full program of artistic and cultural events centering around the wines of this famed region.
And while the weather is still favorable, head to the beach. Try the Collelungo beach in the southern Grosetto province, Cala del Leone in Romito (between Livorno and Castiglioncello), and Marina di Pietrasanta along the sandy expanse of the Versilia coast in Tuscany’s northwest. The Tuscan Archipelago, too, offers some fantastic beaches, consider Sansone beach on Elba as well as Cannelle beach on Giglio Island.
What to Do
There are endless options to take advantage of in September, from outdoor activities and cultural events to wine-and-food festivals. The weather is less stifling, and the crowds are starting to thin (especially after the first week or two of the month), making September a smart time to visit famous attractions that would otherwise be cumbersome to explore (though you’ll have to be mindful of the slew of festivals taking place). Consider joining a tour for thorough insight into some of the region's best attractions, like that of Pisa. Discover why the famous tower leans and climb the steps to the bell tower to take in the views of Piazza dei Miracoli.
Another great option is to join a Vespa tour of picturesque Chianti for a more intimate look at the province. With a specialized guide, you will ride through vineyards, olive trees, and medieval villages, before enjoying a typical Tuscan meal and wine tasting. And a trip to Tuscany would be amiss without a visit to Florence. Indulge the senses in Tuscany’s culinary delights on a guided walking tour of the capital to discover top attractions as well as sample (or feast!) on gelato, truffle panini, fresh-pressed Tuscan olive oil, and handmade chocolate focaccia.
For more on what to do and see in Florence, read this guide.
Events in September
Giostra del Saracino. The first Sunday of the month sees Arezzo host a parade of costumed participants in historic garb culminating in a medieval jousting tournament.
Festa della Rificolona (Festival of the Paper Lanterns). On September 6 and 7, Florence celebrates the birthday of the Virgin Mary (Christian tradition places it on the 8 of the month). Religious services are held, and locals and visitors fill the streets carrying paper lanterns. There's also a huge farmers market in the main square featuring much organic produce.
Festa dell’Uva. The Piazza Buondelmonti in Impruneta hosts one of the most famous wine festivals of Tuscany and features music, ballet, and parades.
Luminara di Santa Croce. Lucca hosts a religious festival dedicated to the Medieval crucifix, Volto Santo on September 13. You can expect a long procession and the city center illuminated by hundreds of candles.
Musica dei Popoli (Music of the Peoples). This two-month event beginning mid-September highlights music from around the globe and includes performances and dances, from folk to contemporary.
Traveling to Tuscany in September? Check out these great itineraries.
Explore Tuscany - 13 Days. With crowds thinning, this is a great month to take in the views from the top of Pisa's leaning tower, explore Siena's 13th-century streets, and discover the rambling country roads of the Val d'Orcia region. End your trip with a pasta-making class and a full-day hike connecting historic fishing villages on the Mediterranean coast.
Cycling in Tuscany - 6 Days. In late September, the weather is again pleasant enough for biking through Tuscany's serene landscapes, medieval towns, and quiet country roads. Explore rivers and hills, Renaissance villas, and the beauty of the homeland of Giacomo Puccini, Pinocchio, and Leonardo da Vinci.