Tuscany in May has everything you could wish for, and more. The countryside is alive with colour, temperatures are ideal, and throughout the region festivals and events are celebrating spring, and one of Tuscany’s best loved products, its wine.
Florence offers some amazing spectacles too, starting with the flag throwing competition in Piazza Signoria on the 1st of May, to historical events, markets and the amazing rose garden on the hills overlooking Florence. If you’re travelling to Florence, check out the major events and the best spots to visit in Florence in May.
Tuscany in May – Wine festivals and events
‘Cantine Aperte’ – 26th-27th May 2018
Cantine Aperte (or Open Wine cellars) has become a popular event in Italy, that mixes passion for wine and the landscape that produces it. All around Tuscany wineries and cellars will open their doors to wine enthusiasts, so it’s a perfect time to join in and visit your favourite spots in the Chianti, or Montalcino in the Val d’Orcia, where the famous Brunello wine is produced. You’ll be able to explore rooms that are usually kept hidden, discover the secrets of ancient wineries and savour some excellent wines.
‘Radda nel Bicchiere’ 27th-28th May 2018 – Where Chianti wine is king
An event that’s designed to delight every wine lover, and dedicated to Chianti. In the scenic town of Radda in Chianti Local producers will be offering up their glorious nectars for tasting, just buy yourself a tasting glass and get lost in the sea of choice. In this part of the world everything related to wine is taken very seriously indeed, during ‘Radda nel Bicchere’ there are various events and meetings dedicated to the different aspects of wine production (full program: official site).
Mostra del Chianti – Montespertoli, 26 May-3 June 2018
This wine festival is held in the “city of wine”, as Montespertoli proudly calls itself. In a territory dedicated to wine since time immemorial, you can join a friendly and informal wine tasting event that offers local food (from pasta with wild boar to sandwiches and local brigidini) and music. It’s an event for all the family.
A month blooming with Flower Festivals in Tuscany
Pienza e i Fiori – 1st-13th May 2018
Pienza is one of Tuscany’s most charming small towns. Founded in the Renaissance, this ‘ideal city’ is beautifully dressed with flowers every year in May, during the event “Pienza e i Fiori”, when flower displays offer even more magic to the already unique setting of Piazza Pio II and the ancient streets of the historic centre. It’s breathtaking and poetic. A great occasion to see Pienza in all its timeless glory.
Find out about the top attractions near Pienza.
Maggiolata fower festival – Lucignano, 20th-27th May 2018
Every year the small town of Lucignano near Arezzo celebrates the blossoming of nature with a very special and colourful flower festival. The Maggiolata Lucignanese (official site). On the 20th, 22nd and 27th May 2018 the streets of this Medieval village will be filled with all the colours of spring. A parade of carts with huge flower displays, folk music, marching bands, historical costumes and plenty of food stalls celebrates spring in Tuscan style. Fun and lively.
‘Scarperia Infiorata’ – 27th May 2018
The small town of Scarperia in the Mugello, north of Florence, gets inundated by flowers during the last weekend in May. The streets of the historic centre are covered in flowers and leaves creating elaborate designs, it’s a homage to spring and a great occasion to visit this Medieval town. This year sees the 38th edition of the event, and the chosen theme is ‘comics’.
Great trip ideas in Tuscany in May
Head to the ruined Gothic Abbey of San Galgano in the Sienese countryside and enjoy an atmospheric setting, endless green fields and visit the legendary Montesiepi Chapel that guards Tuscany’s own Sword in the Stone. Drive around the Crete Senesi for a truly unique landscape, or take a scenic drive in the Val d’Orcia to experience the iconic green of Tuscany. Visit the Maremma in southern Tuscany and be the first one to enjoy the beach out of season. It might be still a bit cold for a swim, but there’s nothing better than a long walk on a solitary beach in the Uccellina natural park.
If you like the idea of walking in nature, spend a day in the Orecchiella Park north of Lucca with a botanical garden and a small zoo with local fauna. Or keep driving north to the valleys and mountains of the Garfagnana and Lunigiana, great places to hike in a peaceful green setting. As May is a popular time to visit Tuscany, you’ll find that these areas are less touristy and you can still find some hidden spots that you can have all to yourself.
Tuscany in May – Weather and temperatures
The temperatures in May are ideal, average 24 degrees (74 F) max and 12/13 degrees (55 F) min. By the end of the month it gets a bit warmer (temperatures can reach 26 during the day, whereas evenings are always cooler at around 15 degrees). The chance of rain decreases in the second half of May (9 days average rainy day).
In the coastal areas temperatures are usually a few degrees warmer than the rest of the region. Mountainous areas in northern Tuscany get more rain and cooler temperatures, especially at night. Overall May is a great time to be here. Bring layers, a medium-light jacket for the evening, during the day you need a light jacket or nothing.