Coming to Florence in February?
Yes, it's cold, but there is a lot that's great about visiting Florence this time of year!
The best part is much fewer crowds to deal with.
But there's more . . .
Here's what you need to know about coming to visit Florence this time of year:
Florence is known for being on the colder side in winter, and sometimes I get asked if it will be snowing here in February.
While you might see a few odd snowflakes fall during your visit, it's far more likely to be raining as it rarely get cold enough for snow - unlike in January.
It will be cold, but there are sometimes some gorgeous bright sunny days too!
The weather in Florence in February is generally cold and quite wet, with lows (at night) averaging 40-44 Fahrenheit/4-6 Celsius, and highs during the day of about 50-54 Fahrenheit/10-12 Celsius.
Packing for Florence in February is all about wrapping up warm.
It is cold in Florence, especially at the start of the month and it's also likely that you'll have some rainy days during your visit.
Regardless of whether you’re visiting Florence in early February, mid-February or at the end of February, it’s crucial to bring plenty of warm clothing along with a waterproof jacket and shoes so you stay dry when exploring the city.
I would also recommend carrying a warm scarf and gloves with you, ready for the afternoons and evenings when the temperature drops.
These are my personal recommendations for packing for Florence in February:
Alessandro inspired me to get a rain hat. He was always wearing one when out and about in the rain, so I got one for myself too!
I love this one because it's quilted, which is perfect for cold winter rain!
I own these e-tip gloves and just love them. They are ideal for cold weather, and I can keep them on while I use my phone to make calls or take pictures.
I've washed them more than once, and they still look brand new.
A scarf is a must-have item throughout the year in Florence. In warmer weather, it's just fashionable.
But in winter, I love having a large pashmina which I find is more versatile than just a regular scarf. I prefer a blend of cashmere and silk because it's not overly hot, and it doesn't make me itch.
Bonus - these are great for the plane ride too!
Another essential thing to include in your packing for Florence is a good jacket.
The best option for what to wear when sight-seeing in Florence in cold weather is a waterproof hiking jacket, with removable lining.
I have several for when I hike, and I wear them around Florence in winter. It's really 3 jackets in one with the different combinations!
Here is a men's version of the same kind of jacket: waterproof, sporty, and with removable lining. It's the perfect travel jacket to include in your packing for Florence in February!
It doesn't hurt to travel in Florence (or anywhere in Italy) with a good travel umbrella. You can always buy one here, but having one in your bag will prevent you getting wet in a sudden downpour!
I love mine, that has features like wind-resistant ribs, and a cool open AND close button.
When deciding what to pack for a trip to Florence in February, heavy cotton pants or comfortable jeans are an excellent idea for men, women, and children alike.
A warm cardigan, pullover, or turtleneck is a good idea as well.
Even when you take off your jacket, you will still stay warm and cozy.
You'll want to be prepared for rain and snow in Florence this time of year, so I would recommend always including rain-hats, a sturdy umbrella and good quality waterproof shoes on your packing list.
What else do you need to consider when packing for Florence in February?
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.
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!
So how should you dress when you visit Florence in February?
You will probably be walking a lot, so you need comfortable shoes.
My number one rule for sightseeing in Florence, at any time of year: be comfortable.
This is most important when it comes to your shoes. It is crucial to wear good walking shoes, and good quality socks.
I would recommend only bringing shoes you have already broken in, and don’t worry about looking like a tourist - that’s exactly what you are!
The next rule, which is especially relevant for February is: dress in layers.
Since the weather in Florence can change significantly throughout the day, and it sometimes rains unexpectedly, it's necessary to wear layers that you can remove/put on easily such as cardigans/pullovers/jumpers and waterproof jackets.
This also means it's a good idea to wear a backpack as you travel around Florence, so you can have a place to put your layers if you take them off.
Bottom line, when packing for Florence in February, don't forget to:
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.
If you want a relaxed, sun-filled trip filled with hot, lazy afternoons, long lunches and late dinners, you'll probably want to visit Florence later in the year!
You might expect February, being a winter month, to be very quiet in Florence.
That depends on what part of the month you book your trip.
Early in the month Florence is pretty quiet, especially mid-week.
Florence is typically busy on and around Valentine's Day on February 14, as it is a popular destination for romantic city breaks.
I would book popular entrance tickets, restaurants and tours well in advance if you're planning to visit Florence mid-month.
Towards the end of the month, the city starts to get busier as people celebrate Carnival season.
However, even when it is busy for February, there are far fewer crowds than than there are in the summer, so if you're looking to escape the crowds of people at the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, Galleria Accademia and Ponte Vecchio, February is an ideal time of year to visit Florence!
Winter fruits and vegetables are in season now.
This includes apples, pears, oranges, pomegranates, cauliflower, broccoli and squash.
Some of my favorite seasonal things to eat in Florence in the winter include hearty Tuscan kale, slow cooked with olive oil served on top of fresh Tuscan bread, and of course, Carnival treats!
Carnevale treats on offer in Florence include frittelle (fritters), cenci (fried dough with powdered sugar) and schiacciata alla fiorentina (a soft vanilla cake).
These sugary morsels go oh so well with the cooler weather and cold brisk February air in Florence!
You will find these in almost any pasticceria (pastry shop) in Florence in February, and for the ultimate treat, why not enjoy a thick Italian hot chocolate at the same time?
February only has a couple of notable dates to be aware of:
If you're visiting Florence on or around Valentine's Day, you may be looking for some romantic things to do and romantic places to eat.
Florence is full of romantic piazzas, cozy restaurants and glamorous bars so you can't go wrong, just be sure to book ahead to ensure you don't miss out!
Carnival begins the week before Lent with Fat Thursday, culminating in Fat Tuesday, followed by Ash Wednesday.
Dates for Carnival (Carnevale in Italian) in 2023 are:
Expect to see kids dressed up and coriandoli (coloured confetti) all over Florence's streets and sidewalks.
Florence has a long history of celebrating Carnival, stretching back all the way to the 15th century and the Medici's city governance.
The traditions of floats proceeding through the city, people wearing masks and fancy costumes have become embedded in Florentine culture, with lots of events taking place every year to celebrate to this day.
The cooler fall and winter months are a great time to see some of the limited-time exhibits in Florence.
Here are some of the events taking place in Florence in February 2023 around the city:
The Museo degli Innocenti (right next to the Galleria Academia) is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the works of brilliant Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher.
Entrance is included in the regular museum tickets, which can be booked online.
See more information and book your tickets here.
Open from October 20, 2022 to March 26, 2023.
Two impressive works by contemporary English sculptor Henry Moore will be on display at two locations in Florence until March 31, 2023.
Organized by the Museo Novecento, one sculpture will be in Piazza della Signoria and the other in front of the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte (further up the hill from Piazzale Michelangelo).
No entrance ticket required.
Read more about this special collaboration here.
The Cattedrale dell’Immagine is a relative newcomer to Florence. A former church, the space has been digitally mapped and turned into an immersive theater.
From November 26, 2022 until February 26, 2023, this space is home to Inside Banksy, a digital exhibition about Banksy and his art.
Booking required - find out more and book here.
There are lots of concerts and other events available to book for your trip to Florence in February - 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.
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!
These are very popular events so plan to arrive early to be sure you get in.
This is in addition to all the things you can see for free anytime around the city, including Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce, Giotto's bell tower, Piazza Signoria and more - Florence really is an open air museum!
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 day trips to the Tuscan countryside, Rome or even Venice, here are some ideas if you are planning to visit Florence in February: