September is a perfect time to visit Tuscany. The heat of the summer has eased off, the farmers are busy with the grape harvest, and the countryside invites you to explore its wonders.
The towns are filled with traditional events like the Luminara in Lucca and the Rificolona in Florence. It’s the perfect time to experience the natural beauty of places like the Mugello and its fine food. Or even venture out to Massa Marittima to see an art expo. Explore a less travelled part of Tuscany at the best possible time of year.
1. Why you’ll love Lucca in September
Lucca is lovely every day of the year, but in September there’s an extra reason to head to this walled town in Tuscany end enjoy its delightful atmosphere and many attractions. On the evening of 13th September, Lucca becomes the setting for one of the most evocative festivals of the region, the Luminara di Santa Croce. It’s a candle-lit procession with ancient roots, that takes place in the town’s historic centre. The star of the show is the Volto Santo, a wooden crucifix with a legendary origin.
But that’s not all. September in Lucca is rich with colourful events: there’s an antique market on the 15th and 16th, and on 7-8-9 September 2018 the city’s majestic walls become the setting for “Murabilia”, a show-market dedicated to gardening in great style. Here, 250 stands from all over Italy arrive in Lucca to show the best of their plants and garden furnishings.
Lucca is also the home town of the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, so why not dedicate a bit of time to visit his home? And if you’re in town on the 6th, you have a great opportunity to listen to Madame Butterfly in Piazza Cittadella (6pm – 12 euros, 17 euros including the visit to Puccini museum (Casa natale” (per informazioni: Puccini Museum – Casa Natale tel.0583.584028, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.puccinimuseum.it).
⇒ Find out about the Top things to do in Lucca and you’ll fall in love with it if you visit in Autumn!
2. September trip idea: explore the Mugello area
A food festival is one of the highlights of visiting the Mugello, a mountainous area north of Florence. With “Le Vie del Gusto” Festival (14-16 September 2018) the streets of Borgo San Lorenzo fills with delicious flavours, while showing off the best local food. Being a less touristy spot, you can experience an authentic side of Tuscany, and appreciate the natural beauty of the area with woods, fresh air and verdant hills.
⇒ Top things to do in the Mugello: Don’t miss Scarperia with the handsome Palazzo dei Vicari, and the pretty small town of Dicomano. Shopping lovers should head for the shops of the famous Outlet near Barberino di Mugello. Castello del Trebbio in Santa Brigida is a fabulous place for wine tasting.
If you’re driving up to the Mugello from Florence, you’ll encounter the vast park of Villa Demidoff with the gigantic statue by Giambologna, known as the “Colossus of the Apennines”. (The park is open from 1 April to 28th October: on Friday, Saturday, Sundays and Bank Holidays, from 10am to 8pm – It closes at 6pm in October). It’s one of the most beautiful parks in Tuscany.
3. Massa Marittima & the Etruscan coast
Florence isn’t the only place to see famous art. This Summer (until 16th September 2018) eleven masterpieces by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, visual storyteller of the Middle Ages, can be admired in the Complesso Museale di San Pietro all’Orto in the town of Massa Marittima. The expo, entitled “Ambrogio Lorenzetti in Maremma. Capolavori dei territori di Grosseto e Siena” is on at Corso Diaz, 36. Opening hours in the official site (in Italian).
Why not take this opportunity to spend some time in the delightful town of Massa Marittima and the surrounding area, known as Etruscan Coast. From lovely beaches to stunning views over the Gulf of Baratti from Populonia’s fortress, you’ll be in your element if you love the sea. And considering that September is a quieter time at the beach, and not too hot, you might have found the best spot for an end-of-the-summer holiday.
For a bit of off-the-beaten-track sightseeing you can visit the Etruscan necropolis in Populonia. Or head into the interior to see the small hilltop towns like Suvereto and Campiglia Marittima, whose Medieval past is still visible in the architecture.
⇒ Discover 8 Picturesque Villages to explore in Tuscany.
What is the weather like in September in Tuscany?
How hot is it? After the peak temperatures of July and August, September averages 22°C (72 F) – reaching highs of 27°C (81 F) during the day and 15°C (59 F) after dark.
Consider that Florence is always a couple of degrees hotter than other places, like the beach or the countryside which are more windy. The mountainous areas in northern and eastern Tuscany are the coolest, especially at night. It’s a great time for hiking or cycling.
Photo credit: View from Populonia – Gulf of Baratti – photo @kkmoresi on Instagram