What’s special about June in Tuscany? Aside from the long sunny days, verdant countryside, warm evenings filled with stars, Tuscany offers its visitors a rich calendar of events including traditional Festivals in Medieval costume and plenty of sagre or food festivals to whet your appetite.
Tuscany in June – Enjoy the Tuscan countryside
If you’re planning a stay in the countryside, you’re in for a treat. In June a feast of flowers dot the fields, including poppies, irises and roses that grow next to the vines. It’s a time when the fields are at their greenest.As the grapes are ripening on the vines, it’s the perfect time to experience some wine tasting and visit some of Tuscany’s famed cellars.
If you’re staying in an agriturismo, this is a lovely time to enjoy the atmosphere. Swimming pools are open in June and you can have long, languorous evening dinners al fresco. Fireflies fill the gardens and crickets provide a soothing background ambience.
With this Chianti Tour from Florence you’ll travel the scenic roads of the Chianti region, visit two family-run wineries, see Greve and Castellina, and taste some excellent local wines.
=> Get a taste of the Best of Tuscany with this One Day Guided Tour from Florence. You’ll be exploring Siena, San Gimignano and Pisa.
Check out a traditional Festival
In Tuscany June’s calendar is filled with traditional festivals. The beginning of summer season brings some great events, from the rowdy ‘Calcio in costume’ in Florence to the magical Luminaria di San Ranieri in Pisa and a Medieval joust in Arezzo. History comes alive during these Tuscan festivals, some of which are as old as the land itself.
CALCIO STORICO, Florence 24th June
Calcio in Costume is a ancient game similar to football and rugby, played every year in Piazza Santa Croce. Florentines have been playing this exciting full-throttle contact sport since the 16th century and they are extremely proud of it. Just think that the game rules were first written in 1580!
If you don’t get to see the match (tickets are only available in the box office in Florence, and are not pre-sold on line), you can follow the parade in historic costume that starts at around 4pm from Piazza S. M. Novella and head to Santa Croce Square. It’s a day of great excitement around Florence’s city centre.
TIP: The 24th June is a bank holiday in Florence – the day of San Giovanni the city’s patron saint – some of the shops might be closed in the afternoon.
In the evening, between 10 and 11pm, a firework display brings more colourful magic to Florence. They are set off in Piazzale Michelangelo, but can be seen from various locations around Florence. A viewing spot along the river Arno is your best bet, but expect crowds (many roads will be closed around the area of Piazzale Michelangelo and surroundings).Photo by Comune di Firenze – http://www.comune.firenze.it/video_csf.htm, Copyrighted free use, Link
LUMINARA & REGATA di San Ranieri, Pisa 16th – 17th June
In Pisa every year on the evening of 16th June the buildings facing the River Arno are lit up by thousands of candles, and all the electric lights are switched off, making for a moving and romantic sight.
The ‘Luminara Festival’ celebrates the local patron saint San Ranieri. Crowds and food stalls line up along the river bank, and locals start to get their spaces from 6pm with the spectacle starting as the sun goes down at around 9pm. Fireworks on the river Arno at 11pm. It’s spectacular, crowded, and totally free.
On the 17th June the historic boat race Regata di San Ranieri takes place on the river Arno, making an exciting reminder of Pisa’s nautical past.
GIOCO DEL PONTE, Pisa – Last Saturday in June
The “Game of the Bridge” is played on the central Ponte di Mezzo, in Pisa’s historic centre on the third Saturday in June. The two teams push a huge iron cart set the middle of the bridge trying to ‘conquer’ the bridge. The participants wear vibrant 16th century costumes.
JOUST OF THE SARACEN, Arezzo 23rd June
Every year on the 3rd saturday in June Arezzo hosts the spectacular Joust of the Saracen (Giostra del Saracino) a Medieval joust, where knights in Medieval costumes ride on horses and compete with each other by attempting to hit a wooden shield with their lances. It’s the perfect way to feel the Medieval vibe in the splendid Piazza Grande in Arezzo. – More info on the official site
JOUST OF THE ARCHIDADO, Cortona 1-9 June
In the first week of June, Cortona travels back to the Middle Ages, with a Medieval market and a crossbow shooting competition. (official site)
PALIO DEL CERO, Volterra – 2nd June 2020
A competition of Medieval origin where the town’s district compete by pulling a cart on which a massive candle is set.
FESTA SANT’ERASMO, Porto Ercole 2nd June
Porto Ercole on Mount Argentario hosts a boat parade at sea to celebrate the patron saint. Firework display in the evening.Photo by Jan Drewes (www.jandrewes.de) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Taste some local dishes at a Food Festivals
Would you like to stuff your face at a sagra, a traditional food festival? In Tuscany there’s no shortage of palate-pleasing events, especially at this time of year.
A few examples? From “Du’ Pici sotto le stelle” in Chianciano Terme for a traditional pasta-feast, “Festa della schiacciata” (typical Tuscan flatbread) in Lucolena – “Profumi di Lamole” where you can taste some Chianti wine and food (11am-8pm).
At the beginning of June there’s usually a Cherry Festival known as the “Sagra Ciliegia” in Lari (dates for this year haven’t yet been confirmed). This year the popular wine festival “Radda nel bicchiere” is held in Radda in Chianti on 1st and 2nd June 2020.
Markets & Medieval Markets
The Medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano is the perfect setting for the “Ferie delle messi”, with a Medieval market and shows played out in historic costume.
Lucca hosts a Medieval Market on 1st and 2nd June 2019 with plenty of artisan products, and various Medieval-themed shows.
‘Stelle e Mercanti’ Stars and Merchants Festival. Strada in Chianti, night craft market in the square of Strada in Chianti with music and entertainment, June 13th from 5pm to 11pm.
Enjoy the beaches
June is possibly the best time for a beach holiday in Tuscany. If you visit in the first half of June, you won’t find too many people – especially on weekdays – and the atmosphere is still relaxing. Temperatures are high though less intense than in July and August, and the sea is warm enough for the first swim of the season. Summer school holidays start mid-June in Italy, so by the end of June prices go up and beaches tend to be busier.
What’s the weather like in Tuscany in June
Temperatures in June go from 14/15 degrees (59 F) to 27/28 (81 F), but on sunny days it can feel hotter, especially in Florence. The coast enjoys cooling breezes and pleasant evenings and the same goes for the countryside. Mountainous areas are usually a few degrees lower, especially at night. There may be the occasional rainy day.
Towards the second half of the month temperatures tend to rise. But the evenings are still very pleasant, with the occasional need of a light jacket.
The average temperature of the sea is 23 degrees. Swimming pools are open in June.
=> TIP :2nd June is a bank holiday in Italy, check opening times of museums