From exploring piazzas and admiring the landmarks to tasting Tuscany’s best wine, these are the best things to do in Florence in summer!
Name a better way to spend your summer than wandering around one of Europe’s prettiest cities, cooling down with a refreshing glass of wine or a tasty gelato.
Add in insane architecture, extensive cultural history, and some of the world’s most iconic art, and you’re on for a winner.
Lucky for you, Florence ticks every single box. Like, every one of them. I really can’t tell you how much I love this city!
Florence in summer is something really special. The city and its landmarks look even better swathed in sunshine. There’s tons of green spaces to relax and enjoy the balmy heat.
And yep, believe me – it gets hot with a capital H. But there are lots of places you can go and things you can do to keep you feeling refreshed.
I’ll be covering a few of them right here in this blog. So, if you’re planning a trip vacation to Florence, this is the blog post for you. I really hope this helps you plan your trip here!
Summer weather in Florence
Between the Tuscan sunshine and the crowds, Florence takes heat to a new level in summer.
By June, you’re looking at minimum temperatures of 16°C (60.8°F), creeping up to 29°C (84.2°F). By the time July and August roll around, those figures increase to lows of 18°C (64.4°F) and highs of 32°C (89.6°F).
Yep, hot. Stay stocked up on water, and hit the hot spots (pun intended) early in the morning or as the sun is setting, and you’ll be A-OK.
Things to do in Florence in summer
Catch the city’s best views at Piazzale Michelangelo
From Piazzale Michelangelo – a square located on the banks of the River Arno, high on a hill looking over the city – you can catch the very best views of Florence. It’s a particularly good place to watch the sun set too if you time it right.
The square is busy and bustling with vendors selling bites to eat and souvenirs. You can also get a glimpse of David without queuing for the Accademia Gallery (though granted, it’s a copy of the original).
Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio
You know the Ponte Vecchio. Even if you’ve not been to Florence yet, it’s one of the most iconic and recognisable bridges in the whole of Italy, carrying almost 700 years of history.
With a unique structure, the inside of the bridge is home to a bustling market, packed with shops and stalls. Midway through, the walls open up and you can find incredible views of the River Arno. This really is a must-see on any Florence itinerary!
Amble down the Corridoio Vasariano (Vasari Corridor)
While you’re in the area, you might as well explore here too. Corridoio Vasariano, otherwise known as the Vasari Corridor, is an enclosed corridor alongside the River Arno.
Starting from the Palazzo Vecchio, it stretches all the way across the Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, and inside is brimming with artwork and refurbished paintings. As you can see, it’s pretty damn beautiful, especially reflected in the water.
Be amazed by Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
More commonly known as the Duomo, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is one of Florence’s most famous buildings.
For good reason too, it’s a sweeping building with rooftops that rise well above the city and incredible architecture. Admire it from the outside from the Piazza del Duomo, or take a guided tour of the inside.
Climb up Giotto’s Campanile
Okay, climbing over 400 steps up the tower that is Giotto’s Campanile in the sweltering heat might not sound like the most appealing thing to do. But trust me, it’s worth it – and that’s why I’d still highly recommend it if you’re in Florence in summer.
It’s a common misconception that Giotto’s Campanile is part of the Duomo, but it isn’t. It’s a unique demonstration of Gothic architecture dating back to the 14th century, and from the top, the views of Florence are unmatched.
Wander around Piazza Della Signoria
Piazza Della Signoria is another one of Florence’s most celebrated squares, and it’s absolutely packed with history.
You’ll find centuries-old sculptures and statues – Perseus with the head of Medusa, Fountain of Neptune, even another replica of David. Stop for a glass of wine or an authentic pizza at one of the restaurants, or enjoy the sweeping views of Palazzo Vecchio.
Take a break from the heat at a museum
In Florence in summer, the heat can get a bit stifling. Escape from the sun in one of the city’s museums (and see some incredible art while you’re at it).
First up, Michelangelo’s David – the real one this time, not a replica – in the Accademia Gallery. Prefer paintings to sculptures? While you’ll find a fair few here, there’s an even bigger collection in the Uffizi Gallery, including Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. You’re definitely not short of museums in Florence that’s for sure!
Escape the city for a day trip to Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is one of the most picturesque spots in Italy. It’s also an easy day trip from Florence. You can take the train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella via Pisa, drive, or you can book a guided tour.
A series of 5 seaside villages on the Italian Riviera’s coastline, Cinque Terre is a sight to see. Colourful houses are buried in the cliffside and the harbours brim with fishing boats. The villages are connected by the Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail; I recommend exploring them this way as you’ll get the sea views too.
Or head to the Fiesole Hills
Fiesole is another easy day trip from Florence; so simple in fact that all you need to do is get a bus. This hilltop town overlooks the valley of Florence and gives you a proper taste of Tuscan countryside – the hills roll and go on for miles.
Explore the town, enjoy the views, or get up close with the wilderness by getting out on the hiking trails.
Roam around the Boboli gardens
If you’re spending summer in Florence, the Boboli gardens are a must. One of Florence’s most famous parks, the gardens are located just behind the Palazzo Pitti, so they make a great day out.
The gardens are beautiful: decked out with ornate fountains and intricate sculptures, they’re also home to sprawling ponds, ancient trees and even a rose garden. Go for a stroll or just bask in the sunshine.
Enjoy some tunes at a music festival
Italy might be most famous for food, wine and the arts, but it’s a great place for music lovers too. So if you’re looking for Florence summer events, there’s plenty in store for you here.
From concerts on the Sagrati from the Toscana Classica orchestra to the Firenze Rocks summer rock festival, there’s quite literally something for everyone. Head here for a full list to find the right one for your trip.
Try some of Tuscany’s best wine
Well known as one of Italy’s most famous wine regions, Tuscany is home to some of the best vineyards in the country.
If you’re already in Florence, why not take a trip outside of the city limits and sample some of that wine for yourself? There are plenty of vineyards to visit, from Castello del Trebbio to Villa Medici di Lilliano. Alternatively, take a guided tour and avoid any transport hassle.
Cool down with some gelato
It gets hot in Florence in summer, and gelato is the perfect way to cool down. You’ve got tons of options, from Perché no! to Gelateria dei Neri, so head on down to either. Once you’ve cooled down, spend some time wandering the pretty local streets.
Also, fun fact about Florence – this is where gelato was invented, so you know it’s going to be among the best you’ve ever had!
Where to stay in Florence in summer
Luxury: Hotel Lungarno
On the banks of the Arno river, with views of the water and the Ponte Vecchio, you’ll find Hotel Lungarno. This 5-star hotel is pretty much as luxurious as it gets in inner city Florence. You’ve got a Michelin-starred restaurant on site, and iconic 20th century modern art on the walls – no exaggeration. There’s a Picasso and 4 Cocteau paintings.
Anyway, that aside, you can expect beautiful, uniquely decorated rooms, and all of Florence’s best attractions at your fingertips. Seriously, the Ponte Vecchio is 50 yards away.
Mid-range: 25hours Hotel Florence
If you like staying in funky places, you’re going to love the 25hours Hotel. Decked out in bright, vibrant colours and intricate decoration, the bedrooms in the 25hours are unlike you’ll find anywhere else in the city. The common areas are equally as vivid, but they’re in full bloom with tons of plants too. Not only will you be super comfortable while you explore, you’ve got landmarks nearby including Strozzi Palace, Santa Maria Novella and Pitti Palace.
Budget: Casual Rinascimento Firenze
Stay right in the centre of Florence without breaking the bank. The Casual Rinascimento Firenze is just moments away from Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza della Signoria.
Escape from the heat with a dip in the indoor pool, rest your head in the comfy rooms, or enjoy the art adorning the walls in the common areas.
If you’re interested in learning more about Florence and why this is such a fascinating place to visit, then check out my fun facts about Florence here!
Are you heading to Italy this summer? Whether you want to see the landmarks or you’ve got some Florence summer events on your bucket list, let me know your plans in the comments!
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