Is November a good time to visit Tuscany? Yes, if you’re looking for cheaper deals, fewer tourists, and amazing food experiences. November is when local truffle and chestnuts are celebrated, and the new olive oil arrive on the table. It’s a month that’s chock-full of tasty events all around the region.
In November temperatures during the day usually vary between 13 to 16 degrees Celsius, and it can be cloudy and/or rainy. You’ll find the countryside is very atmospheric at this time of year, with misty mornings and the first fires of the season being lit.
Enjoy Tuscany in November
Best Food Festivals – Truffles & more
Various Truffle Festivals take place in November in various locations around Tuscany. One of the most famous ones is held in the hilltop town of San Miniato (three weekends in November starting from 9th-10th November 2019) near Florence, dedicated to the prized local white tartufo.
The small and pretty town of San Giovanni d’Asso , at the heart of the Crete Senesi, hosts a Truffle Festival on the second and third weekend in November 2019, (official site), and has a Truffle Museum you can visit.
If you love the intense flavour of truffles you can join a private truffle hunting expedition and get your hands dirty. A local guide and his dog will lead the search for this prized delicacy, and after the hunt you’ll be able to taste your pickings!
“Volterragusto” (26th-28th October and 1st-3rd November 2019) in Volterra is one of Tuscany’s most popular food & local tradition festivals, with a special focus on the local White truffle.
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana hosts ‘Tutti i sapori della Garfagnana’ Festival, dedicated to street food prepared Garfagnana-style: local specialities like frittelle e cagio, chestnut pancakes and ricotta cheese, local bread and the traditional pig blood sausage biroldo (this year is on from 8th to 10th November 2019).
Reggello, near Florence, organises a festival to celebrate the new olive oil, deeply green and spicy: “Oro Verde” (green gold) from 1st to 3rd November 2019.
“Centogusti dell’Appennino” in Anghiari (31st October 2018 – 3rd November 2019): you can savour all the flavours of the Apennines at this popular food festival in Anghiari, famous for its artisan traditions. The festival is an opportunity to discover local food producers and browse around the lovely ancient streets of the town.
In Montepulciano, on the 9th and 10th November 2019, traditional Tuscan dishes and products rub shoulders with the food from the Val d’Aosta in Northern Italy, on the occasion of “Toscana Gustando” Festival.
Trip ideas for November around Tuscany
The province of Arezzo boasts a variety of events throughout November. Starting with the first weekend (2nd-3rd November 2019) in Arezzo, that hosts the monthly Antique Fair in the beautiful Piazza Grande, every year Anghiari organises another food festival, the “Festa di San Martino e dei Bringoli” (9th and 10th November 2019) – bringoli are a variety of hand made thick spaghetti served with mushroom or meat sauce.
On Sunday 10th November 2019 in Castel San Niccolò, near Cetica, there’s a chestnut festival (see official site). Take this opportunity to explore the Casentino area, a gorgeous spot with secular forests and secluded monasteries. You can also visit the birthplace of Michelangelo, the small village of Caprese Michelangelo, surrounded by chestnut woods.
=> Check out this Chianti Afternoon Tour from Florence: explore the scenic Chianti region, visit enchanting wineries with local experts!
Looking for a hot spot? When outside the temperatures are going down, it might be just the perfect time to choose your favourite spa town in Tuscany. You can book a stay at one of the charming resorts that dot the region, visit one of the spa towns like magical Bagno Vignoni or Chianciano Terme, or opt for a totally free experience at Saturnia hot springs in the Maremma.
If you’re planning to do some sightseeing in Florence , you’ll find there are fewer crowds in Autumn, and plenty of art exhibitions for you to choose from.
Olive harvest in Tuscany
The olive harvest usually starts at the end of October, and if you drive around the countryside you’ll see big green nets being stretched out at the base of the olive trees. In November the olive mills work night and day, to produce the ‘green gold’ that is famous all over the world for its taste and quality.
If you are fascinated by this liquid treasure, we suggest a visit to a local farm that produces an award-winning olive oil. You can also see the ancient olive mill and taste some of their prized olive oil.
Weather in November in Tuscany
November is when the weather really changes around Tuscany, and Autumn in full swing. The radiators are usually put on from 1st November and woolen jumpers and coats are taken out of the wardrobe. Check out our Autumn packing list for Tuscany.
Temperatures range between 7 degrees Celsius (45 F) and 16 degrees Celsius (61 F). It can be a rainy month, especially in northern Tuscany and in mountainous areas, which are also the coldest parts of the region.
It’s a great time to get out into the countryside. For the first two weeks the trees and vineyards still have some of the Autumn foliage. It’s a bit chilly to be eating al fresco now, so head indoors to the fireplaces and taste some of the roasted chestnuts, that have been harvested in late October.
=> 1st November, All Saints’ Day, is a public holiday – shops will be closed (in the smaller towns) and public transport follow festive timetable. People usually pay a visit to the cemeteries on this day.
What’s on the table in November
Mushrooms and truffles, game sauces like wild boar and hare, persimmons, chestnuts (“bruciate‘ is one of the Tuscan names for roasted chestnuts) and dishes made with chestnut flour (like the flat cake castagnaccio or the ‘necci‘ from the Lucca area).
It’s the perfect time for meaty dishes, stews, bistecca alla fiorentina, and earthy soups like ribollita, with a dash of new olive oil, deliciously spicy.