Tuscany is undoubtedly the most talked about region of Italy. It offers a rich combination of culture, historic cities, antiquities, agreeable climate and friendly locals – it encapsulates everything that is beautiful about Italy. It really is this rich mixture of art and history that defines Tuscany and sets it apart from its counterparts.
Most tourists visit Tuscany predictably in the high season months of June, July and August. Even September is busy in the region these days but towards the end of September and October really is a magical time to visit!
The forests are tinged with a hundreds of different colours, creating a brightly coloured mosaic of leaves decorating the countryside. The forests of the Mugello, the Lunigiana, Garfagnana and Casentino are transformed into paintings and the rolling countryside is full of beautiful vineyards ready for harvest. Autumn really offers some of the most spectacular landscapes in one of Italy's most romantic regions.
Among all the activities that take place in Tuscany during the autumn, without doubt the most important is the wine harvest. During this period, you can participate in the collecting of the grapes or if you wait until early November, there are plenty of wine festivals where you can taste the finished product. Autumn is also the time of the ‘raccolta’ (olive harvest), and the opening of the hunting and wild mushroom season.
Typical Tuscan cooking is in its element at this time of year, and traditional dishes are often the protagonists of the many celebrations associated with simple Tuscan life. You will events and festivals running throughout the autumn to celebrate anything from local sausages to chestnuts and mushrooms.
In winter, the weather in this part of Italy can be uncompromising but in October it can be unbelievably summery, if unpredictably so. You will find that some days, it could push up as high as 26C or 27C but then the next the wind will return and add to the dramatic atmosphere of the landscape.
Above all, visitors to the region in this period will be able to discover the true Tuscany, as they visit its many historical hamlets and villages without the midsummer crowds, and drive on quiet country roads with crisp blue skies.
For lovers of activities, the season lends itself to long walks in the country, to discover the beauty of this region. Autumn is also perfect for a game of golf and there are courses around Florence, Montecatini Terme, Punta Ala, Tirrenia and Orbetello amongst others. Other activities of interest include sailing and diving (especially along the more southern coastline around Argentario), horse riding and fishing.
For those looking for art and culture, the regions’ cities such as Lucca, Pisa, Siena and Florence offer magnificent gothic, Romanesque and renaissance buildings and works of art. You will be able to enjoy the artworks in peace and museums are always open, so and you will be able to admire their collections quietly and slowly. The pleasant temperature of the autumn really makes these cities a joy to visit during this period and still allow you to sit in a piazza and enjoy a glass of Chianti Classico or prosecco!
Shopping is a favourite pastime in Italy and Tuscany offers great style and quality, especially in fashion, leather and also home design and furniture as well as antiques. For clothes shopping, Florence is second to none with fantastic boutiques and out-of-town designer outlets. Siena is also becoming a shoppers paradise and Arezzo houses the largest outdoor antiques fair in its square and you can also find outdoor antique fairs in Lucca and other towns.
How to get there
Pisa airport is the main international airport in Tuscany and the number and diversity of flights has increased dramatically in recent years. Florence airport also has possibilities from the UK.
Holiday Homes in Italy offers a wide range of self-catering accommodation in Tuscany and you will find prices at a fraction of the price of high season! Click here to view our collection of properties.