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Tuscany summer packing list – What to wear and how to wear it

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In the summer months in Tuscany you should wear comfortable clothing and shoes that can take you from lunch to aperitivo, from walking in cobblestone streets to visiting a winery. Casual chic is the right kind of outfit to pack for a Tuscan summer.

Tuscany is primarily rural and filled with small medieval villages with old streets and quaint paths. On our trip to Tuscany, we will spend time in the countryside hunting for truffles, visiting wineries and olive groves, and enjoying casual walks among nature.

So when thinking about what to pack for Tuscany, you should bear in mind that high heels and cosmopolitan urban outfits are most suitable for Florence and that elsewhere casual chic is best. 

Summers in Tuscany can be hot and humid, with long days and plenty of sunshine. So loose-fitting, flowing and natural fibers will get you far. Italians are known to dress well, so appearing put together is always a good idea.

What to expect in the summer months in Tuscany

Summers in Tuscany are warm and the sun stays up until late. However, not all summer months are made equal. 

June sees long days where the sun is up until past 9pm and summer solstice celebrations abound. It is a wonderful month with warm temperatures, beautiful evenings, extra long days and plenty of festivals in the many medieval towns where age-old traditions are kept alive. It is a month we love because it is the beginning of summer and spirits are high with anticipation. 

July and August are hot and sticky and temperatures can make sightseeing unpleasant in the heat of the day. This is particularly true of the second half of July and the first half of August which we recommend to avoid at all costs.

In August, Italians take their summer holidays and Florence and Tuscany are packed with tourists and fewer locals who prefer to head to the mountains or the beaches. Anything frequented by locals will be booked out.

September is the peak month for tourism in Tuscany. The weather is warm but more bearable than in July and August, days are still long, rains are low and it is the wine harvest season. But peak season means higher prices and everything is booked out early in advance, some villas and hotels even a year out.

Weather in Tuscany in the summer

Summertime in Tuscany runs from June to September, officially, from the 23rd of June until the 23rd of September but each month is slightly different.

The weather in July and August is hot, with temperatures well above the 30 degrees Celsius and humidity levels approaching 100%. In the peak hours of the day, you can’t do much, which is why everyone heads to the beach or takes a break. Siestas are also an Italian tradition.

Although both months share a similar weather outlook, there are also some differences; one is at the beginning of the summer while the other is the end of it, so the atmosphere varies and the climate is slightly different.

The weather in June in Tuscany

June is a beautiful month to visit Tuscany, perhaps our favorite. 

Summer solstice festivals abound, with live music and reenactment of medieval celebrations across the many towns such as the knightly tournaments in Arezzo, Palio del Cerro in Volterra where tugs of war and jousts honor local traditions or cherry festivals in towns like Montacino.

Florence celebrates St. John the Baptist Feast on the 24th of June with street parades and dancing and in Pisa, the Feast of St. Ranieri on the 16th and 17th lights the city with candles.

Temperatures in June are very mild and range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius or 65 to 85 Fahrenheit. Rain is rare in June and when it happens, it is short, and the sun is up an average of 9h a day making it a great sightseeing month.

Evenings can get a bit chilly so a light jacket is welcome if you plan to eat at the many terraces or enjoy a stroll back to your accommodation.

The weather in September in Tuscany

In September, locals are more laid back and relaxed after the summer holidays and they anticipate fall with a clearer mind and a rested body.

Days continue to be long, though sunshine drops from 9 to 7 hours since the days are shorter than in June (though still very long) but the temperatures are the same. You should still expect temperatures between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius or 65 to 85 Fahrenheit for the month.

The probability of rain remains low with an average of 9 days with some drops. But when it does rain, you should expect short showers that pass.

September continues to see lots of festivals, especially wine related. Arezzo’s Giostra del Saracino is a very popular medieval reenactment that ends with a joust. 

On the last Sunday of the month, Greve in Chianti welcomes a large market with artisanal products from the area. On the same weekend, Florence celebrates wine with the Carro Mato, a festival where locals dress in traditional costumes and follow a parade headed by two oxen.

How to dress for summer in Tuscany

With the above weather conditions in mind, it is important to pack accordingly for a trip to Tuscany in the summer, not so much for cultural reasons but to make sure you are comfortable. 

Footwear for cobblestone streets

Tuscany reached its splendor during the medieval period, and in particular during the Renaissance when artists transformed Florence and the region into a beautiful example of this new artistic movement.

Most of the villages and towns that make Tuscany what it is today were developed during that period and have been maintained until today largely unchanged.

This means that the streets are made of the original cobblestone that was used at the time, with uneven surfaces and lots of gaps. Wearing adequate footwear is critical not only to be comfortable and able to walk for a few hours every day but also for safety, to avoid twisted ankles.

High-heels or very flat shoes without grip or support will make your feet tired and walking the wonderful villages more challenging. 

A pair of cute sneakers like the ever present Italian brand Superga or any other sturdy pair of shoes that provides support (aka holds your foot in place) and cushion (for the long days of walking) is a great idea.

Italians are not big fans of AC

While the weather will be hot outside, public indoor spaces will have AC, though it is not something readily available everywhere and locals prefer to open windows and doors. Hotels and indoor restaurants may be the exception.

Beware of pickpockets

Europe is generally a very safe continent for solo female travelers but the popular tourist destinations such as London, Paris, Milan or Florence are magnets for pickpockets who, believe me, are absolute pros. 

When walking the many touristy villages or wandering the streets of Florence, you should be extra alert to anyone trying to distract you, asking something from you, etc. who may have hidden intentions. Never leave belongings unattended or in plain sight and keep everything inside a zipped handbag.

Slash-proof bags designed for extra safety are highly recommended in Tuscany. Alternatively, a cross-body bag that is always zipped and in front of you should work. 

There are so many easy targets available in crowded places that, as soon as you make yourself a more difficult one, you raise the barrier for the average thief. 

Everything goes, but locals like it stylish

In Tuscany you can dress however you like with the weather in mind. There are no restrictions, cultural or otherwise, on what clothes you should or should not wear. Modesty is only required in religious buildings where you should cover knees and shoulders. 

High-end fine dining restaurants in Florence are more traditional and old school and will most likely require long trousers, closed toe shoes and a jacket for men, but women have more freedom although sports clothes will not be welcome for either gender. 

However, if you want to blend in and dress like the locals, smart casual with a dash of chic is the way to go, but bear in mind that the Italian version of casual is not sports clothes, it’s well put together outfits that are fitted, stylish and sophisticated. 

While comfort trumps style in the countryside, people still dress nicely, and good appearance will get you far. Cut denims, flip flops and oversized clothing that doesn’t fit your shape will distinguish tourists from locals.

Try the local designers

If you have watched the movie House of Gucci starring Lady Gaga, you’ll know that the brand hails from this region and makes its products with leather from the local cow breed. You can learn more about the brand and shop for exclusive pieces at Gucci Garden in Florence.

Salvatore Ferragamo, my mum’s most favorite shoe brand, is also from Florence, although the designer was originally from the south of Italy. Did you know that he found his calling at age 9 when he made a pair of shoes for his sister’s communion? He also has the highest number of patents for shoe designs.

Emilio Pucci’s colorful and geometric designs follow no fashion trend and set themselves apart thanks to their recognisable patterns and the fact that the designer himself was born a Marquis and traded under a pseudonym.

Less bright but equally bold and oblivious to trends, Cavalli is another high end designer from Tuscany that can easily be recognised for its sexy designs, unique animal prints and gold accessories.

Ermanno Scervino is a more sophisticated and newer brand that is less famous than the rest but making inroads. 

For more accessible high-street fashion options, Patrizia Pepe is a great representative of the Florentine fashion style, elegant and modern.

Other local brands to check include jewelry from local designer Angela Caputi, made to order, slow shoes from Viajiyu (perfect for a trip to Tuscany).

What to pack for Tuscany in the summer

Now that you understand the weather and the fashion sense of Tuscany, it’s time to have a look at what to wear in Tuscany in the summer. But before we get started, I want to say that the most common souvenir anyone gets from Tuscany is a couple of extra pounds.

The food is good, so fresh, so local and so amazing that you just can’t say no. Plus on our Florence and Tuscany trip we take you to make gastronomic experiences, from olive oil groves to truffle hunting in the forest, from cheese farms to pata making workshops, pizza parties and many an aperitivo, the last thing you want is to bring tight clothing you can no longer fit in by the end of the trip 🙂 

Dresses

The best thing to wear during a Tuscan summer is a light, comfortable, flowy dress. It can be long or short, mini or maxi, in a solid color or patterned, but generally, it is loose and not tight.

Think wrap-around dresses, spaghetti strap dresses, florals, etc. if they are below the knee you’ll be sure to be allowed into churches (there are many in Tuscany) so bear that in mind.

For the night, a cute short or long dress in a solid color paired with a nice accessory will help you blend in. I love this V-neck one and this statement tunic dress or this great summery option.

Skirts

Skirts, of all lengths. Long skirts with a cute top, three quarter length with a blouse, tule ones, lace skirts, plated, etc. Skirts are a girl’s best friend in Tuscany and Florence and all the skirts from ChicWish are the PERFECT Tuscan chic style.

Leggings or skinny jeans

Leggings or skinny jeans are another great comfortable outfit to pack. They cover your legs and knees for any religious building and can pair up with lots of tops. They are light and comfy and locals wear them too.

On the other hand, sports leggings (eg. Lululemon style) are not something Italians wear. Athleisure is not an Italian trend outside gyms and sports facilities so leave them at home if you want to blend in. 

Crop pants

I am a big fan of crop pants because they can be really cute, come in a variety of materials and are fun yet conservative and cover me from the sun, plus they fit my silhouette. 

A pair of light crop denims like these ones in aqua or linen pants will come in handy. You could also opt for jumpsuits or rompers. This cute romper would fit right in.

Linen shirts and slacks

Linen is a great material for the hot summer weather and I love to wear it, especially in loose fitting shirts over leggings or as a pair of long trousers. 

The main issue with linen clothing is that it requires ironing and I don’t like to iron when I am on holidays. To minimize creasing, check out our packing hacks and roll the clothes. 

A light jacket

Although it is quite warm in June and September in Tuscany, evenings get chilly so a light jacket comes in handy. Think structured jacket, a cute denim jacket, a leather jacket (especially for late September or early June) or a knitted cardigan, anything that is light to carry if you will be out and about all day.

Swimwear

Whether you prefer a bikini or a swimming suit, you can’t visit Tuscany in the summer without bringing appropriate swimwear with you, not just for the beach but because every Tuscan villa and hotel has a pool to take a dip during the hottest hours of the day.

Cute t-shirts and tops

Italian women like to wear comfy but cute tshirts, sleeveless tops and blouses that may be floral, with a design or have details that make them a bit more than just a white tshirt. Materials such as cotton and silk can dress you up and are light and fresh, linen works great in the summer.

Crop tops, spaghetti strap tops and other clothes that show a lot of skin are certainly worn by teenagers (like everywhere else) but you will not generally find a local woman dressed like that. 

A pair of sneakers

Even if you choose not to wear sneakers for the rest of the trip, we will spend a lot of time in the countryside, in farms and especially, in the vineyards and in the forest, hunting for truffles so you should at least bring a pair of sneakers for that day. 

As mentioned earlier, Superga are a great shoe for Tuscany. Cute, light, comfortable and very Italian. I also love to wear ballet flats which are comfortable and stylish. These ones are made for walking and for travel and these golden ones are sleek and pair with everything.

A kaftan

Did we mention our Tuscan villa has a wonderful pool with the typical postcard perfect views of the rolling hills around? 

That’s right, channel your inner goddess and Italian chic style with a flowy kaftan for poolside chilling, we will have an entire day dedicated to just that.

A cute evening outfit

Italians like to dress up, we’ve mentioned that, and for dinner, they dress up extra nicely with pretty accessories, nice dresses and perfect hair and makeup. You don’t have to follow local attire but if you like to, this is when you should bring out your most elegant and fashionable outfits.

Statement accessories

Italians like to dress up relatively neutral outfits with statement accessories for maximum impact. Pack a couple of pieces of jewellery, a cute handbag, earrings, a scarf or even just an oversized pair of sunglasses or hat to show off your style.

Other things to pack for Tuscany

Besides clothing, there are a few other things worth packing for your trip to Tuscany.

  • A sun hat: As mentioned, the sun will be shining all day long so a hat is a great way to protect eyes and face from the sun exposure. Locals like straw hats and fedoras. Check out this wide brim one.
  • A strapless bra: For all those tops and dresses, or if your outfit demands it, a stick-on one so you look perfect.
  • A travel umbrella: We discussed the weather in the summer months earlier and you know that there is a 30% chance of showers at this time of year. We will be spending a lot of time outdoors and if showers appear, a travel umbrella will come in handy. This one weighs less than 500 gr. And is wind-resistant. Ponchos scream tourist.
  • European / universal plug adaptor: Italy uses standard two round prong European plugs. We like the ones which come with USB ports so that we can charge phones, cameras and everything else with just one adaptor. I love this one because it has USB ports for all the electronics we now carry.
  • Power bank: Because the days will be long and we will spend many hours in the car, making several stops along the way, a power bank will ensure you can continue taking photos. We use the incredible Anker 30,000 AMP which is the real deal and can even charge your laptop, but you don’t need something this big, a power bank that can recharge your phone twice is enough.
  • Sunglasses: We expect sunshine galore so a pair of sunglasses is an essential travel item in Tuscany. We like Oakley sunglasses as they are polarized and protect your eyes from any damaging sun rays. I alway wear them. Yes, they are not fashionable, but I have sensitive eyes that don’t like bright days, so they are a lifesaver for me. 
  • Water bottle: Single use plastic bottles are terrible for the environment so we recommend you bring your own reusable bottle as part of our efforts towards zero-waste and responsible travel. Tap water in Italy is safe to drink and you don’t need to bring a water filter, just your regular bottle will do. Replenish it in your room or at breakfast, or use any of the public fountains.
  • Sunscreen: Perhaps the most important item in this packing list for Tuscany in the summer is sunscreen. The sun is very strong in the summer and you will be under its powerful rays for many hours, protecting your skin is key. We like using Japanese Biore SPF 50++++ because you can wear it under makeup and it is non-sticky and silky smooth. Living in the tropics, this is an everyday item for me I never leave the house without.
  • Lip balm: The sun makes it particularly tough for the skin and lips so you should bring a lip balm to stay moisturized. We find these are essential to not end up with completely ruined lips or even blisters. We like Neutrogena for their Nordic formula that tends to heal battered lips overnight and comes with SPF.
  • Sleep mask: Although hotels have proper blinds, you will be sharing the room with another traveler who may be a late owl. Bring a sleep mask like this one to block the light.
  • Pajamas: As mentioned, you will most likely be sharing a room so don’t forget to pack your pajamas!
  • Ear plugs: It is never a bad idea to have a pair of earplugs handy, for the flight, a noisy neighbor or an antsy roommate.
  • First aid kit and medication: Available medications, brands and products in Italy may not be the same as back home, so it’s always best to bring everything you are used to and of course, all prescription medication or vitamins you take. We also recommend packing a basic first aid kit with items such as plasters, an antiseptic ointment, eye drops, hydration powder, etc. We’ll spend time in a car so motion sickness medication is a good idea if you are prone to getting it. Have a look at our suggested first aid kit here.
  • A shawl: Some religious buildings such as churches will require that you cover your shoulders and knees so a shawl or sarong comes in pretty handy in those situations. Most notably, this will be required inside churches, chapels and cathedrals (of which there are many!). This beautiful one is very similar to the “manton de Manila” shawls worn by flamenco dancers and adds a touch of Spain to your outfit.

What not to pack for summer in Tuscany

There are also a few things we do not recommend you bring to Tuscany if you are coming in the summer, mainly, because you won’t need them.

  • Hair dryer: Most hotels have them and if yours is old, you’ll also need to carry a converter or make sure it works with double voltage so that it does not get fried by the Italian 220V.
  • Hand bags that don’t close: You know the ones, the basket-style ones that don’t have a zipper to close them are a big no-no in Tuscany’s most popular tourist sights, unless you want to make pickpockets happy.
  • Dress like you are going on safari: I find it hilarious when I see tourists dressed in Tuscany like they are in the Serengeti, with khaki clothes, trousers that unzip to shorts and trekking boots, in the middle of Florence, everyone will know you are a tourist and didn’t get the memo on dressing up.

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