Could February be the perfect time to visit Florence? We can give you lots of reasons why we love the city of the Renaissance in February. The queues shorten, Carnival is in the air, and some irresistible treats appear in the bakery windows.
Plus, winter suits Florence well. What’s better than walking the quiet back streets of the Oltrarno on a crisp afternoon, going in search of a café where they serve the best hot chocolate, and marvelling at an artistic masterpiece with fewer tourists around? Yes, it can get cold and a bit wet, but with the right attire there’s nothing stopping you!
Florence in February – There’s a lot to love
Appreciate art, in peace
Art lovers can pursue their passion with ease in winter. Whether it’s the most famous Florentine museums you’re after, or a little known fresco, you’ll find that the experience is so much more enjoyable when you’re not competing with crowds of tourists to get the best view. And when it’s cold outside there’s nothing better than spending a few hours in a warm museum delving into the delights of the Renaissance.
If you visit the Uffizi, the ultimate experience is joining a guided Tour that introduces you to the museum’s highlights . It’s easy to get lost in 50 rooms filled with paintings, so give yourself the best chance to enjoy the paintings and learn the stories behind their creation!
You can discover smaller museums by yourself too that’ll really help you get into the spirit of the city. Our personal favourites are the Renaissance sculpture mecca Bargello, or the moving frescoes in San Marco Convent.
Walk like a Florentine
Forget the rushing around. Strolling is the name of the game in Florence. Pleasure-seeking Florentines love their passeggiate. And with no crowds it all takes on another perspective.
You can walk early in the morning along the river Arno, and cross the Ponte Vecchio to lose yourself in the Oltrarno‘s quieter streets, or saunter through the (pretty expensive) shopping district around Via Tornabuoni and Piazza della Repubblica.
To discover more about Florence’s history you could take a walking tour of the city, that’ll also help you get your bearings in the city. A very popular one is this Florence Walking Tour with an expert local guide. Not to be missed.
Shopping – Grab a February deals
Florence in February means the sales are on. They start after the 6th January, giving everyone the opportunity to get just the right Florentine leather bag or that jacket you’ve been longing for. Shoes, pottery or gold on the Ponte Vecchio. The choice is endless.
You can also head to the one of the Outlets near Florence for a full-on shopping extravaganza. You’ll find famous designers, Italian and international brands, and all sorts of clothes and accessories.
Accommodation and flights are definitely cheaper during February, and it’s easier to get a good deal. Even many museums in Florence have a cheaper price in low season, to encourage off-peak visitors. What’s not to like?
Carnival is in the air
Carnival lasts just short of one month, and it always includes the month of February, though the dates vary a bit. Carnival brings a festive feel with it, and some delicious sweet treats, that you can only taste at this time of year.
The traditional Carnival sweets in Florence are: frittelle (fritters made with rice or semolino), cenci (fried dough with powdered sugar on the top) and schiacciata alla fiorentina (light, soft, vanilla flavoured cake). Go and ask in the bakery (or pasticcerie): “Scusi, ha le frittelle?” or “Vorrei un pezzo di schiacciata alla fiorentina, per favore”.
Would you like to try the Carnival thrill somewhere near Florence? Easy. Hop on a train to Viareggio, this coastal town has one of Italy’s best Carnival float parades.
The ultimate hot chocolate
Why not dedicate an afternoon to searching for the perfect hot chocolate? If ice cream is the preferred summer treat, you might opt for something thick and hot in February.
Head for the Hemingway Firenze in the Oltrarno and then to the historic Caffè Rivoire in Piazza Signoria, and decide which one makes the best cioccolata calda.
Art exhibitions February 2020 – What’s on in Florence
At the Uffizi you can explore the world of Pietro Aretino, the 16th century Italian great thinker, writer, poet and satirist. The exhibit illustrates his fascinating life, from his early days in his hometown Arezzo, to his role at the papal court in Rome and later in northern Italy. An exhibit of Renaissance paintings, sculptures, objects and books reconstructing Aretino’s time. (“Pietro Aretino and the Art of the Renaissance”, from 28th Nov. 2019 to 1st March 2020).
Palazzo Strozzi hosts (until 12h February 2020) an exhibit dedicated to Russian artist Natalia Goncharova, “A woman of the avant-garde”, and from 22nd February to 10th July 2020) you can admire the work of Tomás Saraceno, that mix art, architecture, biology, astrophysics and engineering; his floating sculptures and interactive installations explore new and sustainable ways of inhabiting our world (see official site).
Until 20th March 2020 at the museum of Villa Bardini, an exhibit entirely dedicated to Pinocchio – the iconic wooden puppet born from the imagination of Tuscan writer Collodi – with works by various contemporary artists. (“Enigma Pinocchio”, from 22nd October 2019 to 20 March 2020)
What is the Weather like in February in Florence?
Average temperatures in February range from lows of 3˚ to highs of 13˚. Temperatures drop at night, but days can often be clear and pleasant. Expect some rain. Temperatures rise slightly towards the end of the month.
What to wear? A puff jacket or heavy coat, better if it’s water proof. Bring a scarf and wollen hat if you’re one who feels the cold.
=> Follow in the Medici footsteps with this popular Medici Walking Tour!
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