Florence in August - Your Essential Trip Planning Guide

Are you coming to Florence in August? You may have heard...

  • August in Florence is hot, sticky and humid
  • Everything shuts down for the holidays
  • August is high tourist season in Florence, so it will be really crowded

arno river view with sunlight glinting off the waterPlanning to visit Florence in August? Keep reading to find out how to have a good time during your trip!

Actually, only one of those things is true!

August in Florence - at a glance

Here's what you need to know about coming to visit Florence in August:

August weather in Florence Italy

The heat in Florence is the only true thing about visiting in August in the list above.

During the day the average temperature is in the high 20's Celsuius/low 80's Fahrenheit... up to the mid 30's Celsuius/mid 90's Fahrenheit.

At night, it usually goes down to the mid teens (°C)/low 60's (°F) and it's really nice to walk around even without a jacket.

During the day, you should really consider staying out of the heat at the hottest point and planning your sightseeing so you can have a break in the afternoons.

Take a look at these pages to find out how to make the most of your time in Florence:

What to pack for Florence in August

Packing tips for August in Florence

August is the hottest time of the year in Florence so you need to think cool when packing.

This means breathable clothing like cotton t-shirts, linen shirts, loose midi skirts or pants, plus it's crucial to stay hydrated.

You can wear shorts if you prefer, although Italians don't really wear shorts except at the beach.

Be prepared to cover up when visiting religious sites and bear in mind it can feel a lot cooler when you visit underground sites or churches.

These are my personal recommendations for packing for Florence in August:

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As it will be hot, lots of people plan to pack shorts to explore Florence.

While Italians won't generally dress this way, you can, of course, if you want to. But if you are visiting any church you cannot have bare knees.

These hiking pants with removable legs are perfect for a quick change from shorts to respectful pants.

Here is the men's version of the same type of hiking pants, with leg bottoms you can un-zip easily as and when you need to.

A good sun hat, especially one with added SPF is a key item to include in your packing for Florence in August, to help keep you cool and protect you from the sun's harmful rays.

I love my Wallaroo hat: it's got great sunblock, it's foldable, lightweight and comfortable.

Everyone should wear hats, especially if you're out during the hottest time of the day.

Something like this one for when you visit Florence, which is lightweight, with sunblock, that you can easily fold up and carry, and washable, is ideal.

If you would prefer skirts to pants, opting for a maxi skirt is a great way to stay cool and comfortable while sight-seeing, while also staying appropriate for visiting any Christian sites.

Lightweight linen pants are also great for comfort and sightseeing, as well as being smart enough for going out to dinner in the evenings.

It may sound odd, but I would recommend bringing a scarf with you to Florence, even in August.


First, you can wear it on the plane or anywhere chilly. Second, it's perfect for carrying around with you, so you can cover up those bare shoulders to visit a church. This goes for both men and women. And third, you will be fashionable, just like an Italian!

I prefer to wear a hat, but in recent years I've seen an increasing number of people walking around Florence with an umbrella to shield themselves from the sun. 

I can see the appeal of using an umbrella as a parasol, to keep cool. This super-lightweight, UV-protection travel umbrella is a great idea since it's useful for other seasons too!

These chill packs are a great way to keep cool, whether walking around Florence in the summer heat, playing golf, doing yoga...you name it.

It's made of some kind of tech material - you just wet it, and it stays cold and keeps you cool for hours. Love them!

When packing for Florence in August, don't forget to also include the following items:

  • Sunblock/sunscreen (you can easily buy this here if you run out or are packing light)
  • Sunglasses (you may want to shop for some while in Florence)

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General Florence packing tips

What else do you need to consider when packing for Florence in August?

These are a few of my essential packing recommendations, any time of year:

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Yes it can be rainy in Florence occasionally, but the sun will be shining more often than not so you'll want a good pair of sunglasses.

Any medications you take, along with a list of these medications.

I would recommend keeping these with you in your carry-on in a dedicated container, rather than packing them in your checked luggage.

generic passport image

Photocopies or clear photographs saved on your phone of your passport - much safer than carrying your actual passport around Florence!

Plug converters for your dual-voltage appliances.

Voltage in Italy is 220, and in the US and some other countries, it's 110. Most electronic devices will default to dual voltage, but you will need a plug adapter as the plug shapes are different here.

This universal adapter covers you in multiple locations, perfect for travel to different parts of the world.

Carrying a well-stocked first-aid kit gives you peace of mind when traveling.

I always like having one with me when I travel, it’s very handy for when you need something quickly.

Travel insurance isn't something to pack but it is something you should not forget!

It is not uncommon these days for visitors to have to deal with lost luggage or cancelled or delayed flights, and your credit card coverage may not be as extensive as you think - chances are you are not covered for what you need when these things happen!

Being prepared for your trip isn't just about packing the right clothes and accessories, it's also about planning ahead.

There's so much to do in Florence that it can be overwhelming sometimes to decide what to include in your itinerary, so why not leave it to the experts?

Take a look at some of the top Florence tours available for a deeper insight into one of the world's most popular cities!

What to wear in Florence in August

people in the streets around the duomo in summerYou will want to be comfortable when walking around the historic center when visiting Florence, so the best things to wear are light, cool items with a hat

So how should you dress when you visit Florence in August?

You will probably be walking a lot, so you need comfortable walking shoes.

Rule 1: Be Comfortable!

My number one rule for sightseeing in Florence, at any time of year: be comfortable.

This is most important for your feet.

It is crucial to wear good walking shoes with good quality socks, or good walking sandals.

Bringing shoes you have already broken in is essential, and don’t worry about looking like a tourist - that’s exactly what you are!

As Florence in August is so hot, you may think you will stay cool by wearing light sandals or flip flops. 

But the stone-paved streets are killer on your feet if you don't have sturdy enough shoes, and you'll actually feel hotter wearing flip flops!

I would recommend bringing some sturdy walking sandals or good cotton tennis shoes that give your feet enough support.

Rule 2: Dress in Layers

The next rule is: dress in layers.

While the August weather in Florence is consistently hot, the evenings can feel cooler, especially if we've had a summer storm during the day. 

It's best to wear breathable layers that you can remove/put on easily according to whether you're out in the midday sun or eating dinner outside, such as light cotton t-shirts, light cardigans or jackets.

As part of your packing for Florence, I would also recommend bringing a light backpack to wear as you travel around the city center, so you can have a place to put your layers if you take them off, along with your scarf or other cover-up items ready in case you need them to go inside a church or other site.

Bottom line, when packing for Florence in August, don't forget to:

  • Wear extremely comfortable shoes or walking sandals
  • Dress in light cotton pants, shorts or maxi/midi skirts
  • Wear a light cotton t-shirt or tank-top
  • Wear a sun hat with sun block
  • Bring a light cotton scarf for men and women
  • Don't forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!

If you are planning to go to an event, for example a wedding, opera or dinner at a special restaurant, then you may wish to bring something elegant to wear.

Otherwise, it is fine to wear more casual clothes to eat out at many restaurants in Florence so you do not need to pack much, if any, evening-wear.

Is August a good time to visit Florence?

You can expect hot, muggy weather, day and night. . . and pretty empty streets.

Sites extend their opening hours into the evenings, you can enjoy stunning sunsets from Piazzale Michelangelo and eat as much gelato as you want!

So yes, August can be a great time to visit Florence.

gelato from gelateria perche noThe August heat is a great excuse for eating all the gelato you could want!

How crowded is Florence during August?

After I first moved to Italy in 2001, I spent my first August here in search of anything open: a supermarket, a pharmacy, and especially, a decent restaurant.

Yes, the country shut down almost entirely, for the whole month of August, even in major cities like Rome and Florence.

I just could not believe it.

view out from palazzo vecchio entrance in summerVisit Florence in August and you will find the major spots like Piazza della Signoria very busy, but not the city as a whole

Things have changed a lot since then. 

First of all, Italians simply cannot afford to go away for an entire month anymore.

It costs too much to take the whole family to the sea or the mountains and rent a house for a month.

Second of all, Italians who run small businesses are just as aware of globalisation as anyone else.

There is business to be had in August, after all, even if the locals are not here, the tourists sure are.

And guess what? Many Italians are staying at home now too. 

Even with these changes to the way Italians take their vacation, August is still not high season in Florence.

August is family vacation time across Europe and North America.

Many of those potential tourists think just like Italians do: Florence is too hot, so let's go spend our holidays at the beach.

Yes, you’ll find crowds at the usual spots (the Uffizi Gallery, Boboli Gardens and Accademia Gallery), but the rest of the city is pretty empty.

Florence Seasonal Food in August

This is the time of year to eat all the summer fruits and vegetables, such as peaches, apricots, melons, and plums; and eggplant, zucchine, tomatoes, basil, beans and fennel.

It will be hot in the city so make the most of the refreshing summer salads and light pastas!

Florentine cuisine adapts well to the summer months, and there's always excellent gelato to be found to help you cool off.

Various tastes of gelato in florenceI eat gelato year round but there is something extra special about trying the summer flavors in Florence in August!

Discover the best of Florentine cuisine on a Florence food tour, led by a local expert who will show you what to eat and what's in season!

What to do during August in Florence

piazzale michelangelo view of florence in summerTake the trip up to Piazzale Michelangelo for panoramic views of the city center, then walk back down along the Arno river early in the morning to beat the heat!

August holidays and special dates in Florence

There is one huge holiday in August, and only one, that counts - Ferragosto, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

In Florence in August there is also a special festival, the Feast of San Lorenzo, to enjoy.

august 10 - feast of san lorenzo

The San Lorenzo basilica was one of the first churches consecrated in Florence, and San Lorenzo is the co-patron saint of the city.

Hundreds of years ago the bakers of San Lorenzo would distribute free bread during the day in Piazza San Lorenzo, followed by watermelon slices in the evening for the celebrations, and this tradition continues even today.

Nowadays it is portions of pasta handed out for free instead of bread, but watermelon is still given out in Piazza San Lorenzo.

There is also a historical parade with people dressed in medieval costumes from Piazza della Signoria to the Basilica of San Lorenzo.

Interestingly the Perseid meteor shower generally coincides with this date, with the display of shooting stars also known as San Lorenzo's tears.

san lorenzo church facadeThe Basilica of San Lorenzo is the location for a yearly celebration of one of the city's patron saints

august 15 - ferragosto

The origins of the Italian August holiday go back to the ancient Romans, and the Italians take it super seriously!

Taking a long vacation in August is extremely common, and often whole businesses will close to allow everyone to be off work at the same time.

It used to be that very few shops and restaurants were open on or around August 15th as a result, but nowadays you'll find far more options if you're in Florence at this time of the month.

The main thing is to be aware of the potential for your favorite spots to be closed, so always check in advance if you have a particular place in mind to visit.

Some smaller places of interest close for part or all of August, but major tourist spots will be open, so it's always best to plan ahead to avoid disappointment. 

Current exhibits and events at Florence's museums in August

There are several Florence events in August at various museums around the city.

These are the confirmed August 2023 events so far - keep checking back for more as the information gets released!

luca giordano exhibition

Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Luca Giordano. Maestro barocco a Firenze

The Neapolitan painter Luca Giordano was extremely popular in Florence, with important commissions from the Medici family.

Follow the story of his involvement with Florence and the powerful people of his time in this major exhibition.

March 30, 2023 to September 5, 2023

Click here to book your tickets and find out more. 

la grande fotografia italiana exhibit

Villa Bardini

La grande Fotografia Italiana

This exhibition is dedicated to the great photographer Lisetta Carmi who passed away in 2022, bringing together a number of their most evocative and moving images.

May 3, 2023 to November 8, 2023

Click here to see opening hours and ticket information

steve mccurry children exhibition

Museo degli Innocenti

Steve McCurry Children

100 photographs by the famous American photographer Steve McCurry will be on display until October, capturing images of children fromalmost fifty years of traveling all over the world.

May 19, 2023 to October 8, 2023

More information and ticket details can be found here.

palazzo vecchio medici tapestries

Palazzo Vecchio

Medici Tapestries

Continuing an event that started before the Covid pandemic, the display of tapestries commissioned by Duke Cosimo I de' Medici in the 15th century resumes this month.

These beautiful and detailed tapestries tell the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, from the Old Testament across 20 huge creations.

The first 12 were displayed, four at a time, back in 2019 and now the final 8 will be displayed in the Salon dei Duecento in Palazzo Vecchio.

The initial 4 tapestries will be on display from June 2, 2023 to August 30, 2023, before the final 4 can be seen from September 1, 2023 to November 29, 2023.

Read more about this incredible chance to see a piece of Florentine history here.

Florence Concerts, Operas and other shows on in August

There are lots of concerts and other events available to book for your trip to Florence in August - take a look at some of our suggestions here:


Enjoy operatic pieces from famous Italian composers live in concert in the evocative surroundings of the Santa Monaca church.

Concerts take place every evening, booking highly recommended.


See the Three Tenors live in concert at the Santo Stefano al Ponte church.

You will be treated some of the best-known arias from the operas of Puccini, Verdi and Rossini, as well as Neapolitan songs.

Takes place twice a week - why not book your tickets to include a special 3-course Tuscan meal for an extra special evening!


Enjoy a variety of concerts and events in Florence's oldest theater, Teatro Niccolini.


Teatro Verdi hosts many contemporary shows and concerts almost every day of the week.

estate fiorentina 2023 poster

Estate Fiorentina 2023

This special summer event is back for 2023, showcasing hundreds of projects involving art, music, theater and much more, all over the city.

June 2, 2023 to September 21, 2023

For all event listings and ticket information, visit the official site here.

Free Things to do in Florence in August

On the first Sunday of each month you can access Florence's state-run museums, archeological parks and cultural sites for free - yes, completely free!

This includes the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Pitti, Boboli Gardens, Accademia Gallery and many more.

These are very popular events so plan to arrive early to be sure you get in.

More ideas for things to do in Florence in August

Maybe it's your 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) time in Florence.

Or you have more than 3 days here.

Or you just want to see and do lots of fun things.

Besides the obvious must-see tourist attractions, there are lots of great things to see and do in Florence!

While you can of course look at a day trip to the Tuscan countryside, Rome or even Venice, here are some ideas for your visit:

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