Coming to Florence in September?
You are in luck!
September is one of the most beautiful months of the year to visit Florence.
The city is coming back to life after the sleepy August holidays.
There is a touch of fall crispness in the evening air that makes it a wonderful time to enjoy Florence to its fullest, day and night.
Here's what you need to know about coming to visit Florence in September:
The weather in September is (almost!) perfect.
It's strange but I find that nearly every year, around the first of September, the weather does in fact change.
The days are still blue-sky, summer-hot but the nights are enjoyable and no longer uncomfortably hot and sticky.
This lasts about 2-3 weeks into September.
From the middle of September, or right around the beginning of fall, the weather seems to change like clockwork.
It's still lovely, hot but comfortable during the day, and crisp evenings with that hint of autumn just around the corner.
Florence's September average temperature is just right for sightseeing, day and evening.
Packing for Florence in September is all about being flexible in your dress.
The start of September is still very warm during the day but the evenings are starting to cool down, so bringing some slightly heavier layers like a cardigan or light pullover that you can carry in your day bag is a good idea.
Cotton pants or hiking pants paired with light t-shirts or short sleeved tops will work well for sightseeing, you can wear shorts if you prefer but you may feel chilly when not in the sunshine.
If you're wearing shorts, or shorter dresses/skirts, remember to bring something to cover up your knees (and shoulders) if you're visiting churches like Santa Croce.
Towards the end of September the chances of an occasional shower of rain get higher so I'd recommend packing a travel umbrella just in case you need it, along with a light rain jacket.
These are my personal recommendations for packing for Florence in September:
Since most of the Florence weather in September is summery, you may want to walk around Florence in shorts.
But if you are visiting churches or any other religious site, you cannot have bare knees showing. These hiking pants with removable leg are perfect for a quick change.
Here is a men's version of the same type of hiking pants, with leg bottoms you can un-zip easily as and when you need to.
... or knee-length skirts/dresses like this are the perfect end-of-summer outfit for September in Florence
Cotton, short-sleeved tops are easy to pack and easy to dress down for sight-seeing or up for going out in the evening!
T-shirts are the perfect thing to pack for Florence in September, since they are short-sleeved for warm weather, but still cover your shoulders.
A cotton pullover is another way to be comfortable, flexible in changing temps during the day, and appropriately dressed for sightseeing in Florence.
When packing for Florence in September, don't forget to also include the following items:
What else do you need to consider when packing for Florence in September?
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 September?
My top tip for any time of year is to wear comfy shoes, as you'll most likely be doing a lot of walking - more than you might think!
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 September is still mostly a summer month, you may think you will stay cool by wearing light sandals or flip flops.
But the paved and cobbled 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 quality sneakers that give your feet enough support.
The next rule is: dress in layers.
While the September weather in Florence is mostly warm, especially at the beginning of the month, the evenings will feel cooler.
It's best to wear layers that you can remove/put on easily according to whether you're out in the midday sun or eating dinner outside at night, such as light cotton t-shirts, light cardigans or jackets.
It's a good idea to bring a light backpack to wear as you travel around Florence, so you 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.
Bottom line, to sightsee comfortably in Florence in September:
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.
In September you can expect beautiful weather, not too hot and not too cool, very little rain and fairly long summery days.
You will be able to enjoy the sights in Florence without sweltering in the heat, lots of things are open late and you can still enjoy a lot of outdoor and nighttime events and openings.
You may be surprised to find Florence in September is packed to the gills however!
The very first time I was in Italy in September, I remember traveling with a friend, making our way down from Venice...and finding all the hotels in Florence, Siena, and Rome fully booked!
I could not understand it.
I thought, but summer is over, everyone should be gone by now!
Well yes. The summer tourists were indeed gone.
Making it a beautiful time of year for the kind of visitor to Italy who craves a quieter, slower-paced experience here.
These are the people whose vacations are not based on a school-year vacation schedule.
And they come in droves. To avoid the summer crowds.
This being said, the very beginning of September is not quite high season yet.
For about the first 5-6 days, you can expect mid-season rates on hotels, crowds that are not yet at their peak, and a nice sense of a city re-awakening.
A lot of delicious summer fruits and vegetables are still in season in September, so you are pretty spoiled for choice.
What's coming into season in September?
September is the height of fig season so expect to find fig gelato, and a very popular panino, fresh figs with prosciutto on pizza bianca.
Grapes have already been available but really come into season in September.
Remember, harvest time is just around the corner!
There are no bank or religious holidays per se in September in Florence.
But there are some interesting Florence events that take place in September.
The Florentine festival of festa della Rificolona takes place each year in the evening of September 7, which dates back centuries.
Watch as the streets of Florence are lit up by people carrying paper lanterns in a procession that ends at Piazza della Santissima Annunziata (close to the Accademia Gallery).
This tradition started when pilgrims from the surrounding countryside would come into the city center along the Arno river to celebrate the day the Virgin Mary was born, September 8.
The pilgrims would often arrive the evening before, carrying goods for sale and for the church, and would be traveling with lanterns for safety.
The religious significance of the pilgrimage is no longer so important to the Florentine people, but the procession of decorated and colorful paper lanterns is a lovely sight to see!
Another Florence festival that dates back a long time is the Carro Matto, which takes place on the fourth Saturday of every September.
During the Florentine Republic it became tradition for the first cart of wine for the season to be brought into Piazza della Signoria from the nearby towns and presented to the rulers of the city to start the wine harvest.
Nowadays the Carro Matto (Mad Cart) with its stacked pile of straw-wrapped wine bottles is paraded through the streets of Florence pulled by two white oxen, along with people dressed in historical costume, drummers and more.
There are several Florence events in September at various museums around the city.
These are the confirmed September 2023 events so far - keep checking back for more as the information gets released!
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
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
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.
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.
ARTIGIANATO E PALAZZO
XXIX EDITION Septemer 15-17 2023
Every year, the exhibition brings the highest craft tradition to the public, with a special focus on the emerging generations of artists, selected from Italy and Europe. This exhibit takes you through the Lemon Grove of the Renaissance Garden and some rooms of Palazzo Corsini. For more information click here.
There are lots of concerts and other events available to book for your trip to Florence in September - 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
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.
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 free entrance events are very popular, so plan to arrive early to be sure you get in.
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: