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Winter In Tuscany- 11 Important Things To Know Before You Go

Tuscany is definitely worth mentioning when we talk about Italy as it is completely flooded with the treasures of beauty and aspiring places to visit it all around. Widely known as the most popular wine region of Italy, Tuscany is filled with vineyards as far as your eyes can see and according to many people, these vineyards are the main tourist attraction of Tuscany. However, Tuscany has a lot more to offer than its famous vineyards, especially during winters. If you are planning to spend a winter in Tuscany for the first time, then keep reading; this article will provide you with everything you need to know about visiting Tuscany during this time of the year.

Before we get to the actual list, I just want to share this special offer by Qatar Airways that will help you get the cheapest flights to mutliple different cities in Tuscany. Also, if you need help planning your first trip to Tuscany or Italy, check out our guide to spending 10 days in Italy.

Weather Overview

Tuscany in winter

Exploring Tuscany in winter reveals a region with diverse climates: northern and eastern areas often see snow, especially from late December to February, while the coast and south-central plains enjoy milder, drier conditions. The hinterland, including the Chianti and Val d’Orcia regions, experiences colder weather with occasional snow. Average temperatures in winter typically range from a high of 12°C in mid-December to a low of 3°C in January and February, with coastal areas generally warmer. For a truly Tuscan winter experience, snow chains for your car are mandatory from November to April due to frequent snow in the mountains (Love From Tuscany).

Top Winter Destinations in Tuscany

This guide to winter in Tuscany couldn’t be complete if we don’t cover some of the best places to visit in Tuscany in winter, starting with…

Val’d Orcia

val d orcia

When I think about Tuscany, a couple of things that come to my mind after the amazing wine are the lush green fields and rolling hills. What if I told you that this idealized image of Tuscany actually exists? You’ll find it in the Val’d Orcia, extending from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. This picturesque valley hides some charming small towns that you probably heard of but never really thought about visiting. Some of them include Pienza, Monticchiello, San Quirico d’Orcia, Bagno Vignioni, and Montalcino. Wherever you go, you will find World Heritage sites, as the whole area is protected by UNESCO.

Enjoying this article? Then, you’ll surely like my guide to Sicily off the beaten track or this list of hidden gems in Northern Italy.


giglio winter

Hiding from the tourist development in the Tuscan archipelago, you will find Giglio. Giglio is one of the last relatively unspoiled (by tourists) places dotted with citadels, charming villages, and panoramic views. The island has a strict policy when it comes to motorbikes/cars, which just adds to its unspoiled, authentic beauty.

La Verna

la verna winter

St Francis’s mountaintop hides a thriving Franciscan monastery that offers some of the most amazing views of the Apennines. The La Verna sanctuary is Tuscany’s major pilgrimage site and in the winter, it looks even more beautiful since snow here isn’t a rare occurrence. Some people visit out of curiosity, others to pay homage, and you can even stay in the guesthouse adjoining the monks. If you’re looking for a place to experience peace away from Tuscany’s tourist hubs, LaVerna is definitely a great choice.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano winter

Worthy of the nickname ‘Medieval Manhattan’, San Gimignano is arguably the most beautiful hill town in Tuscany. Hidden deep in the countryside, the narrow streets and typical stone towers of San Gimignano host some of the best Italian vineyards specialized for producing the famous Vernaccia. The town is also home to some of the most beautiful medieval palaces in Tuscany, like Palazzo del Popolo and Palazzo del Podestà. The whole town looks like it came out of a postcard but you will experience the most iconic view if you climb the Torre Grossa. You will get a 360 panoramic view of the surrounding countryside and hills looming over San Gimignano.

Monti Dell’Uccellina

Monti Dell’Uccellina

If you’re spending your holiday in winter in Tuscany, your trip couldn’t be complete without seeing the snow-covered peaks of Monti dell’Uccellina. The protected area of Monti dell’Uccellina is one of the last pristine stretches of coastline in Tuscany. Lying in the corner of Maremma, Tuscany’s long forgotten region, Monti dell’Uccellina managed to preserve its beautiful nature. The forest-covered hills and coastal plains have been a place of exile throughout history but is today a regional park that hides some of Tuscany’s most amazing natural treasures.



Cortona is an idyllic hill town in Tuscany that became famous in Francies Mayes book “Under the Tuscan sun”. This picturesque town has another layer of history added by the 3,000-year-old Etruscan walls but the city between those walls is just as impressive. Even though a small town, Cortona is home to some iconic buildings like the Abbazia Farneta, and the Chiesa San Francesco. Additionally, its perfect location offers a grandiose view of the Chiana Valley and Lake Trasimeno.

If you’re enjoying this article, also check out the article I wrote about the best hidden gems in Florence.

Vie Cave

via cava

When you visit Tuscany for the first time, you should definitely leave some time to visit the Vie Cave, one of Maremma’s best-kept secrets. These mysterious sunken roads carved by the Etruscans during the bronze age. However, the reason for their creation and how they were created remains unknown even today. If you want to visit these magical tight passages, you better hurry up. The Vie Cave has recently been listed as an endangered monument due to their fragility.



Imagine wandering the less crowded corridors of the Uffizi, enjoying a more intimate viewing of Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.” Or picture strolling along the Arno, the crisp air filled with the scent of roasting chestnuts, then finding warmth in a local café with a thick, rich hot chocolate, Florence’s winter offering a different kind of warmth, one that’s found in the glow of street lamps reflecting off cobblestones, and in the hearty Tuscan meals that taste even better when the air is chilly.


siena winter

The colder months bring a mysterious charm to its dark alleyways and beautifully illuminated squares, offering a tranquil exploration of its splendid architecture without the usual crowds. Christmas in Siena is especially enchanting, with local pasticcerie producing traditional sweets like ricciarelli and panforte based on ancient recipes. The city’s cozy trattorias become inviting spots to enjoy hearty Tuscan meals, complemented by a glass of Chianti, in a more intimate setting​​.



A trip in the winter in Tuscany wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Arezzo. Delve into the heart of Tuscany with a visit to the Saracen Joust, a medieval knightly tournament that transforms Piazza Grande into a vibrant center of competition and historical reenactment twice a year​​. For those intrigued by the ancient past, the Archaeological Museum & Roman Amphitheatre in Arezzo, built partly atop the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheatre, showcases cultural gems from the 2nd century, offering a deep dive into the city’s Etruscan and Roman heritage​​.

Art enthusiasts should not miss the Vasari House Museum, the beautifully preserved home of Giorgio Vasari, adorned with frescoes and paintings by the artist and his pupils, offering a glimpse into the life of the Renaissance man​​. The Museum of Medieval and Modern Art, housed in one of Arezzo’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings, displays a collection of sculptures and paintings spanning from the 13th to the 16th century, including works by notable artists like Giorgio Vasari and Luca Signorelli​​.


Montepulciano 3 days in italy

For winter in Montepulciano, I can tell you that it’s a season marked by a quieter atmosphere compared to the bustling summer months. The town, known for its Vino Nobile, offers a cozy retreat with its medieval architecture, wine cellars, and restaurants serving hearty Tuscan dishes ideal for the colder weather.


lucca tuscany

The charm of Lucca in winter lies in the town’s slower pace; it’s that time of the year when you can wander the cobblestone streets almost undisturbed. The city’s famous Renaissance walls, which in summer buzz with picnics and leisurely strolls, transform into a serene pathway offering stunning views of mist-covered towers and rooftops dusted with frost.

Thermal Baths

Tuscany thermal bath

If you’re planning to spend sometime enjoying the winter in Tuscany, you just have to try out some of the best thermal baths in the area. The two most popular options include Saturnia’s Cascate del Mulino renowned for its azure pools formed over centuries, and Bagno Vignoni, set in the picturesque Val d’Orcia, famous for its large thermal pool.

Viareggio Carnival

Viareggio Carnival

The Viareggio Carnival is a seasonal spectacle that takes place in February every year (going back all the way to 1873). If I can describe this festival in 3 words, I’d use colors, satire, and celebration; the participants always cover satirical themes, poking fun at political figures and/or global issues with a sense of humor and critique that you can only find here and nowhere else.


pisa tower italy on a budget

Finally, round up your first visit to Tuscany with a day trip to Pisa and see the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Standing at 60 meters tall, the Pisa tower is one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe. This tower was planned to be perfectly vertical but it started leaning during the construction. Ever since it has been one of Italy’s most iconic tourist attractions.

Wine Tasting Tours

visit Tuscany for the first time

A trip to the Tuscan region wouldn’t be complete without visiting a vineyard and tasting Italian wine straight from the producer’s wine cellar. There are organized tours that can take you to vineyard hopping, where you’ll taste some excellent wines while getting to know some wine basics and history.

I believe Tuscany, despite being really touristy, is a place that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime. With its lyrical landscapes, fascinating history, and the superb cuisine, the Tuscan experience is something you really don’t want to miss while visiting Italy.

Cultural and Festive Highlights During Winter In Tuscany

winter in tuscany

1. Don’t miss the chance to try some steaming Vin Santo at a cozy Christmas market in Pienza, a place that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Renaissance painting.

2. Immerse yourself in Siena’s Palio di San Sebastiano, a thrilling horse race fueled by fiery local pride (minus the summer crowds!).

3. Witness the magic of the Presepe Vivente in San Gimignano, a cultural event that brings the Christmas story to life in the town’s charming medieval streets.

4. Enjoy a glass of Brunello di Montalcino in the 16th century Talosa wine cellar in the beautiful town of Montepulciano.

5. Attend the Lucca Comics & Games convention, a haven for geeks and cosplayers that transforms the city into a fantasy wonderland.

6. Attend the Carnevale in Viareggio and see the vibrant parade of giant papier-mâché floats and masked revelers.

Outdoor Activities To Enjoy In Winter In Tuscany

winter in tuscany
  1. Skiing and Snowboarding: Tuscany may not be the first region that comes to mind for snow sports, but the mountainous areas in the Apennines offer skiing and snowboarding opportunities. The resort at Monte Amiata is particularly noted for its winter sports facilities​​.
  2. Winter Hiking: The cooler temperatures make winter ideal for hiking Tuscany’s varied landscapes. The Val d’Orcia region offers picturesque trails with breathtaking views, while the Apuan Alps provide more challenging routes for experienced hikers​​.
  3. Truffle Hunting: Winter is truffle season in Tuscany, and participating in a truffle hunt is a unique way to explore the countryside​​.
  4. Cycling Tours: With milder winter temperatures compared to other regions, cycling through Tuscany’s hills and medieval villages can be a wonderful way to see the countryside.
  5. Horseback Riding: Experience Tuscany’s rural landscape from a different perspective by going on a guided horseback riding tour​​.
  6. Bird Watching: The Maremma Regional Park and the Orbetello Lagoon are excellent spots to observe migratory birds in their natural habitat​​.
  7. Visiting Vineyards: While not an “adventure” in the traditional sense, exploring Tuscany’s vineyards during the winter months offers its own type of thrill​​.
  8. Photography Tours: The winter light in Tuscany is exceptional for photography. Join a photography tour or simply set out with your camera to capture the stunning landscapes, historic towns, and vibrant city life​​.
  9. City Walking Tours: Explore Tuscany’s cities like Florence, Siena, and Pisa without the crowds. Winter offers a more intimate experience of these historic centers, with the added charm of festive decorations if you visit during the holiday season​​.

Tuscan Winter Cuisine

Tuscany winter food

This guide to winter in Tuscany couldn’t be complete without a few of the most popular winter delicacies that everyone should try when visiting Tuscany during this time of the year.

Ribollita: A hearty soup made with bread, cannellini beans, and vegetables, often enjoyed on cold winter days.

Pappa al Pomodoro: A thick and comforting tomato and bread soup, a staple of Tuscan winter cuisine.

Cacciucco: A rich fish stew hailing from the coastal areas of Tuscany, perfect for warming up after a day of exploring.

Colonnata Lard: A specialty of the Carrara mountains, this cured pork fat is often used to add flavor to winter dishes.

Castagnaccio: A traditional chestnut flour cake, infused with the earthy flavors of the season, often enjoyed as a dessert or snack.

Wine Pairing: Enhance your winter dining experience with a glass of the excellent local red wine, which complements the rich flavors of Tuscan winter dishes.

Accommodation Tips For Winter In Tuscany

winter in tuscany

Next, we’ll quickly go through some accommodation tips for your winter trip in Tuscany. There are tons of Tuscan holiday rentals to choose from for your holiday here – budget to luxury, localized to isolated.

Agriturismo and Spa Towns: Consider staying in an atmospheric agriturismo in the Val d’Orcia countryside or one of the delightful spa towns like Bagno Vignoni, Saturnia, Rapolano Terme, or Chianciano to enjoy the restorative benefits of their thermal waters

Small towns: Consider staying in a small town instead of a big city. This will give you a more authentic experience and allow you to escape the crowds. Some charming towns to consider include Cortona, Pienza, and Montepulciano.

City Stays: If you prefer a more vibrant atmosphere, staying in towns like Siena or Lucca can offer more options for dining and activities, especially during the long winter evenings.

What To Pack For Winter In Tuscany

winter in tuscany
  1. Layered Clothing: Tuscany’s winter weather can be unpredictable, so pack thermal underwear, cozy sweaters, and a mix of long and short-sleeved shirts to layer up or down as needed.
  2. Warm Accessories: Don’t forget to bring your favorite scarf, gloves, and a stylish hat to stay toasty while strolling through the charming streets and breathtaking countryside.
  3. Sturdy Footwear: Comfortable, water-resistant shoes are a must for exploring Tuscany’s cobbled streets and rugged landscapes, so opt for a pair that’s both practical and chic.
  4. Weather Essentials: Be prepared for the occasional rain by packing a compact umbrella and a waterproof jacket to stay dry and comfortable during your outdoor adventures.
  5. Evening Attire: If you plan to enjoy Tuscany’s vibrant nightlife or indulge in a romantic dinner, consider packing a few dressier outfits to ensure you’re ready for any special occasions.
  6. Indoor Comfort: Tuscany’s historic buildings can get chilly, so pack cozy pajamas and slippers to stay warm and comfortable during your indoor relaxation time.
  7. Electronics and Adapters: Don’t forget to bring your camera, phone, and any necessary chargers, along with a universal adapter to keep your devices powered up throughout your trip.
  8. Medications and Toiletries: Pack any essential medications, along with travel-sized toiletries and a small first-aid kit to ensure you stay healthy and comfortable during your travels.
  9. Travel Documents: Keep your passport, tickets, and any necessary travel documents in a secure, easily accessible location to streamline your journey through airports and train stations.

Helpful Resources For Winter In Tuscany

Get the cheapest flights to Italy (and Tuscany) by using this special offer by Qatar Airways.

Travel insurance is a must if you want to visit Italy and if you don’t have any, I recommend you buy a package from SafetyWing.

If you want to rent a car in Tuscany, you can get up to 30% off by using this AutoEurope offer.

For transportation bookings from and to cities in Tuscany, use this Busbud offer and save up to 10% on all bus and train rides in the region (for more info, check out our Busbud review).

Finally, to save some money on accommodation in Tuscany, use my Booking discount code.

Are you planning to visit Tuscany for the first time? How did you like this guide to winter in Tuscany? Did you find our guide helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Alexander Popkov

Saturday 9th of February 2019

Cool, I think as a first timer, you can land a lot of good shots with your guide. Would love to go around there with my camera.

Passport Symphony

Sunday 10th of February 2019

Indeed, you can, Alexander :)

The little lai: Beyond limits

Saturday 9th of February 2019

Wow, your blog post about Tuscany is actually loaded with amazing and stunning scenery. I haven't been to any of those places, but hopefully soon I get the chance. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Passport Symphony

Saturday 9th of February 2019

Thank you, I'm really glad to hear you liked it. I hope you get the chance to visit Tuscany soon :)

Valentina Djordjevic

Friday 8th of February 2019

This brings me back! I visited last summer and absolutely loved this charming region. I'll make sure to check out Giglio next time!

Passport Symphony

Saturday 9th of February 2019

Thank you, Valentina. You definitely should. Giglio is amazing!


Friday 8th of February 2019

Never been to Tuscany but I have to say that indeed it looks like a very photogenic place. Great post!

blair villanueva

Friday 8th of February 2019

Wow this is one of my dream destination, after I watched Under the Tuscan Sun! Count me in for wine tasting :D

Passport Symphony

Friday 8th of February 2019

Yeah, the movie is amazing, Blair :) and Tuscany looks even better in real life.