Florence in October - Your Essential Trip Planning Guide

Florence in October is one of the most beautiful times of the year.

The weather is mostly warm during the day, and comfortably cool at night.

With summer over and the holidays around the corner, October is one of the liveliest times of the year to be in Florence!


ponte vecchio on a winter morningOctober in Florence Italy is possibly the best time to visit, especially in late October with thinner crowds - like here at the Ponte Vecchio

October in Florence - at a glance

Here's what you need to know about coming to visit Florence this time of year:

October average weather in Florence Italy

Florence weather in October can vary a lot from the beginning of the month to the end.

The beginning of October is still close to the summer months ending in September. Days can be really warm, and sitting outside enjoying lunch or drinks is very comfortable.

During the day it's usually sunny, with average temperature highs during the day of about 74-78 Fahrenheit/23-25 Celsius, and in the evenings it can still be pretty mild, with lows (at night) averaging 60-64 Fahrenheit/16-18 Celsius. 

Towards the end of October, we get close to the end of Daylight Saving Time (the clocks go back on October 29 in 2o23) and closer to real fall weather with a higher chance of rain. 

The days and evenings are still mild, so you don't need to get your winter jackets out.



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 October

Packing tips for October in Florence

Packing for Florence in October is pretty straightforward as the weather is consistent across the month.

The sun is shining most days but it isn't overly hot, with mild days and comfortable, cooler nights, with the average rainfall being pretty low. 

Whether you're visiting Florence in early October, mid-October or at the end of October, I recommend packing a mix of heavier and light clothing that layers well, so you'll be prepared for both warmer and cooler weather.

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


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At least one pair of jeans or cotton pants that you can wear during the day and in the evening.



You'll want to include a jacket in your October packing.

If you plan to visit at the start of October, a light cotton or denim jacket will be fine, but if you are coming at the end of the month, a heavier jacket is a good idea.



scarf/pashmina is essential - they're always nice fashion accessories in Italy, but in October, they're actually useful!



cardigan for layering is ideal, paired with a light t-shirt it will keep you cosy when it feels cooler, but easily taken off if the sun comes out!



pullover or light jumper is another good option, they're easy to pack and carry around with you for layering when needed.



While you could ask your hotel if they have an umbrella you could borrow, you may wish to bring a light travel umbrella with you, in case a rain shower starts unexpectedly.



It's doesn't rain a lot in October, but a light jacket or rain jacket can be a good idea, especially if you're here towards the end of the month.

One like this is versatile, easy to pack and carry around.



Here's a men's light rain jacket - you don't need a heavy jacket in October.

Lightweight, and water-resistant or waterproof is best.



You may want a pair of sandals if visiting Florence at the start of October, but a pair of comfortable, closed-toe shoes should be at the top of your packing list.

General Florence packing tips

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

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

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Sunglasses!

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 October

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

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

Rule 1: Be Comfortable!

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 as you will do more walking than you think, don't let painful feet slow you down.

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!

Rule 2: Dress in Layers

The next rule, which is crucial for October, is: dress in layers.

Check the weather before you head out each day, but it's almost always a good idea to carry a light jacket, or pullover, and a scarf. This is true especially for mornings and evenings.

It can be really warm and sunny during the day, but the temperatures drop a lot when the sun is gone, so layering, and being prepared are always a good idea.

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 October you should include:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Long pants or skirts
  • Light cotton t-shirts or long sleeved tops to wear under cardigans or pullovers
  • A light rain jacket or waterproof coat 
  • A travel umbrella 
  • Last but not least, don't forget the Italian MUST WEAR - a scarf. Always a scarf!

If you are planning to go to special events, 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 October a good time to visit Florence?

accademia painting madonna del mare by botticelliVisiting the Accademia Gallery, one of the most famous art museums in the world and one of the top Florence attractions, allows you to see amazing pieces like this painting by Botticelli


If you come to Florence in October, you will find lovely weather, not too hot, not too cold, ideal for exploring the city.

And this means you will find Florence packed!

Yes, October is high season, not shoulder season or low season, in Florence.

How crowded is Florence during October?

Everyone always seems shocked when I tell them this, but it's just the way it is.

Many schools in Europe have a break around the third week of October. 

Halloween and All Saints Day (November 1) are now celebrated together, making the these dates in October a fun, yet busy time here, particularly if they fall on or near a weekend.

Fall is harvest season in Italy, which means it's a lively time of year with a lot of food and wine festivals all around Italy.

October is a warm fall month, nowhere near winter, and the sun is still out until fairly late in the day. 

Perfect! So is it any surprise everyone wants to come to Florence in October?


view of palazzo vecchio from piazza signoriaPiazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio are always busy in October, especially at the start of the month


I always suggest reserving the popular things to do in Florence in advance. This is especially true during high season in October.

Restaurants, especially the ones on all the foodies' blogs and top-ten lists, will be booked out for days (yes, lunch and dinner.)

The Uffizi Gallery will be impossible if you don't book at least a week in advance, and the Duomo will always be crowded.

So if you know what you want to do in Florence, and you can book it ahead, do so.


Florence Seasonal Food in October

As you might be able to tell from reading some of the other pages on my site, I love talking about food in Italy.

And October is definitely a great month for foodies!


Pasta with truffle at trattoria sant agostinoPasta with truffles, the perfect fall dish for cooler temperatures!


October is a great month for lovers of fall fruits and vegetables.

And in Florence, where we (try to) eat seasonally, you will find these fantastic foods starting to appear in the markets and at restaurants in October:

  • White truffles - these are a delicacy and usually only available from September through December. They are never cooked, only served raw, often grated over pasta. They should cost a lot, like 30-40 Euros for a pasta dish. But that's how you know they are authentic.
  • Pumpkin - zucca in Italian
  • Mushrooms - funghi in Italian
  • Radicchio - a white and red bitter leaf, which goes so well in risotto with gorgonzola cheese!
  • Persimmons - called cachi (pronounced "kakee") in Italian, there are many types of these and they are in full readiness by November. But in October, I can already start getting them in my market. The vanilla ones are superb to eat plain, as long as they are nice and ripe.

Many other fall fruits and vegetables are available as well of course, such as apples, pears, grapes, plums, figs, carrots, potatoes, beans etc.

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 October in Florence

Inside of santo spiritoAs well as visiting Florence's many beautiful churches like this one in Piazza Santo Spirito, what else is there to do in October?

October holidays and special dates in Florence

There are no bank or religious holidays in October in Florence.

But there are some interesting events in Florence that take place this month!

october 8 - festa di santa reparata

This festival is a Florentine tradition, dedicated to Santa Reparata who is credited with helping the Christian army repel invaders in the 400's and allowing Florence to remain an independent, Christian city.

The Duomo was built on the location of the church of Santa Reparata in the Piazza del Duomo, and the crypt of this ancient church was preserved because of how important it was to the Florentine people.

Every year on October 8 there is a medieval procession from Piazza di Parte Guelfa to the Duomo, with people dressed up in medieval dress and historical costumes to commemorate the victorious battle.


Duomo outside view verticalOne of the most famous traditional festivals ends in front of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, one of October's major events

HALLOWEEN IN Florence

While Halloween is not really a thing in Italy, in recent years it's grown more popular, especially in the major Italian cities like Rome, Venice and Florence.

If you are in Florence for Halloween and want to get into the Halloween mood, there are plenty of spooky themed events that take place, some suitable for kids as well.

You'll be sure to see a lot of pumpkins around!

END OF DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

In Europe, we turn our clocks back one hour on the last Sunday of October, and return to Standard Time.

In 2023, we turn the clocks back and gain one hour on Sunday 29 October.


Current exhibits and events at Florence's museums in October

There are always lots of events taking place in October at various locations around the city.

Here are the events for October 2023:


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 were 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.


anish kapoor palazzo strozzi exhibition

Palazzo Strozzi

Anish Kapoor - Untrue Unreal

Showcasing Kapoor's work in contemporary art, this exhibition curated by Palazzo Strozzi's Director General will feature monumental installations, intimate environments and thought-provoking forms that will forge an original and captivating dialogue with the architecture and audience.

October 7, 2023 to February 4, 2024

Learn more and purchase your tickets here.


mucha art nouveau exhibition

Museo degli Innocenti

Alphonse Mucha - The Seduction of Art Nouveau

Explore more than two hundred works from the era of the 'Belle Époque', the Paris art movement at the end of the 1800's that Mucha spearheaded, creating the iconic Art Nouveau images we still know today.

October 27, 2023 to April 7, 2024

Find out more details here.

Florence Concerts, Operas and other shows on in October

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



gyg-santa-monica-opera

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.



gyg-three-tenors

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!



teatro-niccolini

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



teatro-verdi-small

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

Free Things to do in Florence in October

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 free entrance events on the first Sunday are very popular, so plan to arrive early to be sure you get in.


Tribuna room of the Uffizi GalleryThe Uffizi Gallery is completely free on the first Sunday of every month in Florence, but while it is one of the top things to do, it is very busy on this day!

More ideas for things to do in Florence in October

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!

Here are some ideas for your visit:



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