What to expect when traveling to
Florence, Chianti & Siena
Weather in Tuscany changes the landscape – and each season has a list of reasons why it is the perfect time to come and visit. We will provide you with some simple guidelines on how to appreciate the weather of each season, so you can make the most of your biking in Tuscany tour. Our article will offer clothing suggestions, testimonials from past clients who cycled in that season, and other activity suggestions best suited for the temps.
We aim to help you in choosing the best outdoor activities during your visit to our gorgeous Region.
We truly believe that biking is the very best way to get in touch with the beauty of the Tuscan Seasons. Bespoke, intimate, immersive experience, fully guided & van supported either in a small group shared tour or privately, you’ll definitely LOVE to savour the scent of open-air and a sense of freedom on a day away from the city crowds.
Spring in Florence
March, April, and May are surprisingly mild and lush
The first buds of green start to appear and the gardens in Florence & Tuscany begin to explode with color. Perhaps this is one of the best seasons for enjoying the great outdoors and the best season for low to mid-season prices.
The pleasant temps and mild weather in Tuscany make spring the perfect showcase for the incredibly diverse landscapes enclosed within the region’s boundaries.
A few things to put on your calendar include the iris blossoms of Florence and the camellia flowers of Lucca. As one approaches March, even with its nighttime lows, the month ushers in the marvelous colors of the Japanese flower, the camellia. For over 30 years, the Mostra delle Antiche Camelie della Lucchesia di Sant’Andrea di Compito has been organized to highlight the gardens that surround some of the most spectacular villas of Lucca.
April and May in Florence celebrate the Iris, doubly special since these flowers are not only amazing but they are the symbol of the Renaissance city. When biking through Chianti you will find them widespread in their natural habitat, but you should also plan on visiting the Iris Garden in the city center of Florence.
The bright red poppy flower that covers the fields of Chianti makes for spectacular contrast against the green hills. These flowers grace the fields long before the bobbing sunflowers and are well worth a visit to the countryside.
Our bike trip with Piero and Elena was one of the highlights of our 10 day trip to Italy. After 8 days touring the ancient sites of Rome, Pompeii, and Florence, we took the San Gimignano to Siena tour and were pleasantly surprised We were so surprised at how beautiful it was biking in springtime. We were able to bike at a comfortable level through the lovely countryside, see two wonderful medieval villages, and finished in Siena. The tour was a refreshing breath of fresh air and Piero and Elena were fabulous! I highly recommend this trip to anyone considering a trip to Italy
What to wear
Don’t let those sun-warmed temps lure you into thinking that it will be cozy toasty warm all day long – early morning and twilight can be decidedly chilly. During the day, you can feel that the Earth is warming up, especially when the sun is out you will want a visor and sunglasses. But as soon as you are inside or the sun has set you will need that extra sweater, closed shoes with socks, and maybe even a hat.
Biking, hiking, and anything outdoors is enjoyable in this period. Mild temperatures, clear sunny days, and hardly any mosquitoes! Spring days are perfect for capturing that first haze of green that starts to grace the Chianti vineyards, hills in Val d’Orcia, and the city gardens.
You will be glad that you took advantage of any outdoor activity while visiting Tuscany in spring – it is here that you will truly enjoy a connection with the locals and the culture.
Summer in Chianti
June, July, and August are busy, busy months
If you are traveling in these months you need to plan ahead – not just with clothing and where you want to go and what you want to see, but with your reservations. Book early and save yourself the hassle!
Since school is out, and you will find that travelers and their families immediately take advantage of the long sunny days, and the diverse outdoor activities that Tuscany provides. This is the period of the year when roses and sunflowers start to blossom, the grapes start to ripen and the grain starts to turn golden.
You will want to visit the vineyards, and not just to taste the amazing wines throughout the Florence and Siena hills but also to visit the wine cellars (cantinas) and farms. One of the more spectacular views includes the sunflower fields that pop up in the months of June, and especially July, and depending on the rainfall, you can still find some in August.
The summer months also draw the Tuscans outdoors to enjoy all the wonderful food festivals (sagras) and town fairs (especially the medieval reenactments). If you want to enjoy the culture, this is one of the best seasons to rub elbows with the locals. One of our favorite festivals in the Palio of Siena.
It was so nice to escape the city and breath a bit of fresh air in the countryside. We were worried that it would have been too hot, but Elena & Piero picked just the right time of day to be outside – and the right time to be in an air-conditioned support van.
What to wear: Think Comfortable & Practical
If you want to visit any of the churches or monuments, you will want to cover your shoulders – so a scarf or a light shirt or jacket would be wise to have on hand at all times.. Look for lightweight clothes, that let your body breathe, yet something that offers protection from the UV rays if you are going to be outside. Definitely have a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a water bottle nearby.
The weather in Tuscan is decidedly hot – especially between the hours of 2 – 6 pm. But that is not a good reason to stop all outdoor activities! It simply means being wise about the hours. Most organized and private bespoke tours know to plan any physical activities in the morning so you will be indoors and “relaxed” in the afternoon. Hiking, biking, and beachside activities should take place before noon and after 4 pm so that you don’t risk dehydration and too much exposure to the sun.
Fall in Tuscany
September, October, and November a wide range of colors & flavors
The harvest is just about complete and the Tuscans are preparing to celebrate with wine festivals and secret family recipes. The autumn weather definitely makes visiting the region in this period extra special: the days are still sunny and pleasantly warm, while the nights begin to hint at the winter frost to come. Towards the end of the season, the green landscape transforms into yellow, orange, and red. Without a doubt, this is one of our favorite times to be biking in the countryside.
Vendemmia, the famous grape harvest, is in full swing from the end of August for the Vernaccia of San Gimignano to the end of September for the special Riservas and full-body wines. May vineyards pull all of their employees into the field for the harvest, so if you want to visit the vineyards for a wine tasting you need to plan ahead and participate in a bespoke tour.
These are the months of extra virgin olive oil. This liquid gold is the mainstay in many Tuscan recipes, and after you taste it you will understand why.
Chestnuts are another favorite seasonal specialty, especially in the Mugello area. They aren’t just for roasting on street corners, in Tuscany, there are quite a few desserts with chestnut flour, for example, the Baldino or Castagnaccio.
A must for all bike and nature lovers – visit Tuscany in the fall!. And biking is the best way to explore its charming back roads across endless vineyards. Great for shape and sustainability. Slow down, breathe, fill your eyes with pure beauty! Loving it!
What to wear: Keep a Windbreaker Handy
Once again you will want to think of layers and carry a light jacket or sweater with you at all times. Sunny days will remind you of summer but, all you need is to be in the hills in the evening and you will fill the bite of fall. Keep the sunscreen handy, summer has not given up on roasting you if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
You will love being outdoors in this period, clear sunny days and bright blue skies make for excellent photo opportunities. The temps are great for any kind of activity from traipsing along the via Francigena to biking the Chianti vineyards, from strolling the multicolored forest to rafting in the Tuscany rivers. Be prepared for sudden weather changes – Piero and Elena constantly watch the weather and have a support van close by if the bikers cover.
Winter Travellers & Weather in Tuscany
December, January, and February promise bright light & celebrations
You might think the region would be lethargic and going into hibernation, but expert travelers know that this is the season to experience the genuine Tuscany.
Those looking to explore without the hype of loud tourists and vendors hawking unwanted souvenirs should definitely consider putting Tuscany on their agenda for their travels. Though some will say that Florence is always busy, and this is true, there are moments when you can definitely enjoy the “off the beaten track” activities and more of the local culture – especially by getting out of the city and into the countryside.
As we spend time traveling through the countryside on our bikes, we also see how the smaller towns decorate, especially the churches which put on beautiful nativity scene displays, called presepe. – Elena & Piero from Bike Florence & Tuscany
You might think Carnival is only in Venice, but we can assure you that nobody does Carnival quite like the Tuscans! From Viareggio to Foiano della Chiana, from Grosseto to Castiglion Fibocchi! The colors, costumes, and parade floats will keep you gazing in wonder. They may not have exotic dancers or colorful antique masks, but they go all out to make it fun, joyous, and delicious!
We weren’t thinking of doing any outdoor activities but the bike tour was perfect. It was a perfect mix of time on the bike, time at a vineyard, and time in the city. – We never would have ventured as far without Elena and Piero leading the way. Thank you !!
What to wear: Bundle up!
Though the season varies quite a bit, a warm jacket, sweaters, hats, scarves, and gloves will most probably be welcome throughout the day. Definitely bring warm and comfortable shoes, especially if you are up for trying a few outdoor activities.
On a sunny day, you will find Tuscany to be amazing! Piero and Elena love to climb on their bikes and tour the landscape, there is always something new, different, and heartwarming to explore.