October is a great time to be in Florence. It’s the beginning of Autumn, the weather is good and the city is bathed in a soft light, with temperatures that are just perfect for sightseeing in the city.
Here we give you a peek at what’s on in October: the best exhibits, events to enjoy in Florence and its surroundings. From the contemporary Florence Biennale to a parade in historic costume, and a look at the best food festivals just outside the city!
Florence in October – Best Art Events
FLORENCE BIENNALE, 14th – 22nd October 2023
The Florence Biennale is the major contemporary art exhibition in Florence, showcasing international contemporary artists, and hosted in the Spadolini Pavillon in the Fortezza da Basso. This year the Biennale is dedicated to Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci, marking the 500th anniversary of his death. Da Vinci’s never-ending legacy gets reinterpreted by contemporary artists, in a fascinating dialogue between past and present (see more on the official site).
While you’re in Florence, take advantage of this small-group Florence Super Saver TOUR that includes skip-the-line entry to the prestigious Accademia and Uffizi galleries, two of the most famous art museums in the world. Start your morning skipping the line at the Accademia Gallery, enjoy a walking tour around the town’s historic centre and round off your day with a guided Uffizi Gallery tour.
Check out the art exhibits at Palazzo Strozzi or Palazzo Pitti
For more contemporary art, have a look at the program of Palazzo Strozzi, the best venue in Florence for contemporary artists. Palazzo Pitti is the other grand Renaissance palace that regularly hosts art exhibitions. An opportunity to explore art works in unique settings!
Traditional Festivals & Markets
SANTA REPARATA – Parade in Historic costumes, October 8th
Saint Reparata is a Catholic martyr, one of Florence’s patron saints and is celebrated each year in Florence on the 8th October. According to legend, it was thanks to her intercession that the Florentine was delivered from the Ostrogoths in 406 AD, and it was then that Christianity won over barbarians.
Each year a parade in historic costume leaves from Piazza di Parte Guelfa at 3:45pm reaching the crypt of the Cathedral, where the former Cathedral of Santa Reparata is – the remains of this ancient church can be seen today under the Cathedral => learn about the crypt and all the secrets of Florence’s Duomo on this Guided VIPS Tour led by an expert guide.
FIERUCOLINA D’AUTUNNO Local food & craft Market in Piazza S. Spirito | 3rd weekend in October
As Fall is colouring Florence and the surrounding countryside, the city’s traditional market ‘fierucolina’ in Piazza Santo Spirito brings some of Autumn’s flavour to the table. In this lively square in the Oltrarno, you’ll find stalls selling local organic food from nearby farms, and handicrafts. (this year on 15th October 2023).
Food Festivals & Wine Tasting near Florence
Chestnuts, mushrooms and truffles are the VIP’s of Autumn’s menu in Florence and Tuscany. All around the region you find fall-flavoured food festivals like the Chestnut Festival in Marradi or the Truffle Festival in Barberino di Mugello on the last weekend of October.
You can take the opportunity to visit Medieval Certaldo during the popular Boccaccesca Food and Wine festival (it’s usually on a weekend mid-October) or see how Impruneta, one of the gateways to the Chianti region, celebrates the beloved Fiera di San Luca (usually a week mid October). There’s plenty to choose from => See the Best October Events in Tuscany.
Get a taste of the Chianti region with this Full Day Guided Tour from Florence: explore an historic Villa, a Chianti winery and taste some of the delicious local food and wine.
Florence in October Weather
The weather in Florence in October is quite mild, with plenty of sunny days and an average of 9 days of rain. Temperatures range from a max of 21° C (69° F) during the day to a minimum of 9° C (48° F) at night. Sun rises at 6:30am and sunset is at 5:30pm.
During the day if it’s sunny you can wear a light jacket, while in the evening you might need to add a light jumper. If you’re planning a visit to the countryside, consider that in the evening it gets a bit colder than in the towns, so you might need a heavier jumper or coat. Temperatures go down towards the end of the month. Layers are the key. For more info, check out our post on what to wear in Autumn in Tuscany.
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