As temperatures reach sizzling peaks in July, Tuscany is filled with music, traditional festivals, and well-known events like Siena’s captivating Palio. Days are hot, evenings are long and the nights are warm. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the beaches, explore the mountains, or join in one of the many local food sagre or cultural events.

Tuscany in July – A feast of festivals

Palio fever in Siena – 2nd July

July opens with perhaps the most famous Tuscan festival, the Palio. A historic bareback horse race that takes place every year on 2nd July and 16th August in the splendid setting of Piazza del Campo. The Medieval square is turned into a racetrack (with a layer of earth covering the terracotta-tiled pavement), and Siena wheels out its ancient rivalries of the town’s various contrade or districts.

If you arrive in Siena a few days before the race, you’ll be able to see the ‘tratta‘ (the selection of the horses, three days before the race), and watch Siena getting decked out for the race. Choose a contrada to support, and look out for its banners and sigil. The historic parade arrives in Piazza del Campo around 5pm on the day of the Palio.

=> You can buy the tickets on the official site . If you’d like to discover all the Palio’s traditions, you can join a Private Palio Tour of Siena. An expert guide will reveal the secrets of Siena’s most ancient tradition and the 17 contrade.

tuscany in july
The Palio in Siena – Image by Luciano B from Pixabay

Tuscany in July – Music’s in the air

Tuscany loves its music, and in July the musical fever rises. International and Italian pop and rock artists descend on Lucca for the Summer Festival (this year 2023: Blur, Kiss, Norah Jones among others, see official site).

Nearby Torre del Lago stages the Puccini Festival, with a series of operas created by the Lucca-born composer Giacomo Puccini in the atmospheric setting of the Massaciuccoli Lake. (throughout July and August 2023, see official site for full program and tickets).

Every year Pistoia dedicates the month of July to music, with the renowned Pistoia Blues Festival which this year sees the participation of Wolfmother and Steve Hackett.

The “Estate Fiesolana” is an event with a rich program of concerts, theatre shows that takes place every Summer in the spectacular setting of the Roman Theatre in Fiesole, a small town perched on a scenic hill just above Florence. Usually from the end of June to mid-August, dates for 2023 TBA. (FB page).

tuscany in july
Summer sunset in Florence – Image by Geralbe from Pixabay

Other events to enjoy around Tuscany this July 2023

The seaside resort of Marina di Pietrasanta, on the Versilia coast, hosts La Versiliana Festival, a cultural hub of theatre, dance shows and concerts. (See the full program here).

This stretch of the Tuscan coast, with popular resorts such as Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi is a great place to be in the Summer for those looking for activities and entertainment, and beach life with plenty of bathing establishments. Pietrasanta itself is a charming small town dedicated to art and marble crafts.

Every July the fortified village of Monteriggioni puts on its best Medieval costume during the Medieval festival “Monteriggioni di Torri si corona” (dates for 2023 to be confirmed), while Certaldo Alto becomes the setting for a charming street theatre festival, “Mercantia” that brings magic and wonders in the Medieval historic centre of this small town. (this year from 12th to 16th July 2023).

monteriggioni
Monteriggioni

Plenty of food festivals dot the Tuscan Summer, and even the smallest town organises its own sagra with local specialities during the weekends. Many towns and villages – from the northern Garfagnana to the southern Maremma – set up night markets and special events in the evening. There’s definitely no time to get bored!

If you’re visiting the Chianti region, check out all the Greve in Chianti events with concerts, night markets, theatre in Greve and surroundings.

Trip ideas for your July vacation in Tuscany

Looking for a beach holiday? Opt for Versilia if you’re up for (crowded) well equipped beaches, plenty of activities for kids, and upmarket shopping opportunities. If you’re in the mood for something quieter, better to head south to the Maremma, where you can find plenty of beaches (both free and equipped) but there’s definitely more ‘space’. Bear in mind that weekends are very busy pretty much everywhere on the Tuscan coast – so expect traffic.

=> Discover the Best Beaches in Tuscany.

=> Where to try the best ice cream in Florence.

summer in tuscany
photo @jhonny_best on pixabay

For something a bit quieter (less hot) why not head to the mountains. Visiting off-the-beaten track places like the Garfagnana or Casentino in the Summer can give you a respite from the heat and the crowds. Outside the cities it’s still hot during the day, but it cools down in the evenings. The countryside is painted shades of yellow in the Val d’Orcia, with expanses of sunflower and wheat fields.

If you’re planning to do some sightseeing in the cities, try to do it in the early morning or late afternoon… to avoid the heat! In Florence and Siena and the other popular towns, shops stay open all day. While in the smaller, less touristy, towns shops usually close at 1pm at reopen not before 4:30pm.

=> For more ideas of things to do during your July trip, check out this 8 Great summer destinations in Tuscany

=> Best ways to enjoy Summer in Tuscany

4 Great Activities to Enjoy on your Vacation in Tuscany

tuscany in july
Image by blacktunes from Pixabay

What is the weather like in July?

July along with August, is the hottest month in Tuscany. Temperatures can reach 35 degrees celsius (95 F ), and in the evening they go down to 18/21 (65 F). It’s generally one of the driest months.

In Florence – and generally in the region’s interior – the weather is hotter and more humid. In the hilly areas there are a few degrees less, with pleasant evenings and nights. On the mountainous areas in northern Tuscany climate is definitely less hot, and it can rain in the Summer. Along the coast, the weather is more pleasant and windy.

Sea is around 25 degrees in July and Augist, perfect for a swim. If you mind the heat, make sure there’s air conditioning in your accommodation, especially if you’re based in Florence.

Sun is up just before 6am and sunset around 9pm.

=> Summer in Florence: What to do and What not to do!

tuscany in july
Crete senesi -Image by irineos from Pixabay

This article has been last updated in June 2023.