11 Things to Do in Florence in February

Florence is art, culture and history. I tell you what to do in this city during the month of February, away from the typical tourist plans, to enjoy the local vibe as it should be.

Carolina Morales

Carolina Morales

9 min read

11 Things to Do in Florence in February

Florence, Italy | ©Jim Richter

Visiting Florence is ideal at any time of the year, but in February you will find some particular events to discover the cradle of the Italian Renaissance. There is a lot to see in this city, so I recommend you to read this article with the activities and places that are a must Florence, and at any time of the year. Do not lose detail because in this guide we tell you what to see and do in Florence if you visit the Italian city in February.

1. Carnivals with all the Italian spirit

Enjoying Carnival| ©marco monetti
Enjoying Carnival| ©marco monetti

As usual, February is the month of carnivals all over the world and Florence is no exception. The city dresses up for visitors to enjoy a colorful parade with classic Renaissance costumes, masks, traditional sweets, local bands and dancers.

The tradition of carnival is ancient. Its name derives from the Latin 'carnem levare' which means to remove the meat. The Florence carnival starts from the first week of February and lasts for almost a month until March 4. Don't you want to miss it?

Get to know the Carnival of Tuscany in an excursion

But if you have time and you want to live even more the spirit of these celebrations, I recommend you to make an excursion from Florence to some other cities in the Tuscany region, such as Viareggio, where you will find one of the most colorful and ancient carnivals in Europe.

From Florence you can also visit the vineyards, for a tasting of the best Italian wine. And I also recommend you to book an excursion to the best of Tuscany from Florence. Explore here everything you need to know about Tuscany vineyard tours from Florence. My recommendation to see a typical Tuscan landscape is to take a trip to Chianti and its famous wineries.

Book an excursion to Chianti from Florence

2. Tour the city by tourist bus

Sightseeing bus in Florence| ©Chris Sampson
Sightseeing bus in Florence| ©Chris Sampson

Booking tickets for a sightseeing bus may seem like a very "boring" activity, but this kind of tours are sometimes the perfect opportunity to take a break in the middle of your hectic travel schedule. You just need to take a seat and enjoy the ride, while you get to know the most emblematic corners of Florence. Besides, the fact that you visit Florence in February, will make this plan perfect and very practical to protect you from the cold and make you feel more comfortable.

It can also help you to recognize places that you did not have on your must-see list, so you can include them and visit them later with more time. Believe it or not, sometimes these tours are useful to discover places that escape the traditional tourist guides.

Reserve a place on the tourist bus

3. A day of museums to discover all of Florence's art

Piazza Degli, Uffizi Gallery| ©pittaya
Piazza Degli, Uffizi Gallery| ©pittaya

The museums of Florence are a must for those who visit the city. In February you can do so without the crowds of other times of the year such as summer. You will enjoy not only quieter weather but also less crowds. I don't know about you, but I prefer to visit this kind of places in seasons like autumn or winter, as it allows me to enjoy more and appreciate the works of art in more detail and without haste.

A must is to book tickets for the Uffizi Gallery, a palace and museum in the city that houses one of the largest art collections in the world. Be sure to see the Porcellino, a bronze boar on display in the gallery and a replica of which can be found in the historic center of the city.

Tradition has it that if you want to return to Florence, you should pet the snout of the boar in the historic area, which you can also put a coin in its mouth to wish for good luck.

You can find guided tours of the Uffizi Gallery in English. I recommend this other article to discover the best museums in Florence to visit on your trip.

Buy tickets to the Uffizi Gallery

4. Always pizza in Piazza della Signoria

Eating Pizza| ©Cats Coming
Eating Pizza| ©Cats Coming

Right next to the Duomo you will find the renowned Piazza della Sinoria, an open-air museum, a meeting point for friends and families. At night this place comes alive with music and the possibility to enjoy the taste of a local pizza. The best thing is that you can do it sitting on the steps of the square, in a relaxed and inexpensive plan. It's sure to be a travel experience you won't forget and will tell your friends about again and again.

Pizza will always be a good plan, no matter what time of year or time of day. If you are a big fan you can also book a cooking class where you can learn the secrets of this essential of Italian gastronomy. If you are also traveling to Florence with children, they will love to enjoy a day dedicated to pizza and ice cream in a Tuscan farm.

Book a pizza and ice cream cooking class

5. Enjoy an excursion to Cinque Terre

Vernazza, Cinque Terre| ©Dimitry Anikin
Vernazza, Cinque Terre| ©Dimitry Anikin

You can also organize your agenda to get to know something beyond Florence and enjoy a magical and colorful place that will take your breath away. This is Cinque Terre, an area of small villages that crisscross a coastline. In February it will be ideal to make an excursion, as you will find less tourist influx to fully explore this idyllic Italian place.

ACinque Terre you can go to spend the day by booking an excursion from Florence that will allow you to take wonderful colorful pictures, enjoy a place with a magical atmosphere and get away from the tourist routine. During the second month of the year you can enjoy this destination with a fresh atmosphere. Does it inspire you?

Book an excursion to Cinque Terre

6. Enjoy the magic of Florence at night as an excuse to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Michelangelo's Piazzale| ©Carlos Alkmin
Michelangelo's Piazzale| ©Carlos Alkmin

February is the month of lovers and in Florence love is in the air. The celebration of Valentine's Day is universal and Florence is no stranger to it. Touring a city that looks more like a museum and enjoying a romantic dinner with the hallmark of Italian gastronomy seems enough, but there is more.

Much of the local commerce such as restaurants, bars and cafes offer during this month special plans to celebrate love. I recommend waiting for nightfall to go for a walk through the streets of Florence and enjoy the atmosphere that the night lights give to this beautiful Italian city.

Surprise your partner with a hot air balloon ride over Tuscany

If you want to go further in your Valentine's Day celebration in Florence, book one of the balloon rides in Tuscany and enjoy the breathtaking views of the countryside. Plus, you can toast with a glass of champagne as you soar over 600 meters in the air!

Book a balloon ride over Tuscany

7. Attend a classical music concert inspired by The Three Tenors

Night of music| ©Colosseum Rome
Night of music| ©Colosseum Rome

If you love classical music you have to take advantage of your trip to Florence to book tickets for a classical music concert inspired by The Three Tenors. It is a tribute to the three great classics of modern opera Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, and is held in the auditorium of Santo Stefano near the Ponte Vecchio, in the heart of Florence. The building was reopened to the public in 2015 in a renovated form and aimed to be multifunctional and multimedia exhibition space so demanded at a cultural level by the city.

In this unforgettable act, which lasts about 90 minutes, you can listen to some of the famous opera arias, such as La Traviata, Rigoletto, Tosca, O Sole Mio.... You can't miss it!

Book tickets for a concert of The Three Tenors

8. Treat yourself to a sweet treat with Florence's artisan chocolate festival

Chocolate Festival| ©Giorgia
Chocolate Festival| ©Giorgia

If you love chocolate and visit Florence in February, you will feel in paradise, because during this month, the city organizes the artisan chocolate festival or fair, which brings together different events and activities around chocolate and with special guests from different parts of the world.

For the event you do not need to pay admission, as it is held outdoors, mainly in Piazza Santa Croce, where chocolate masters from all over Italy gather here to offer visitors a variety between chocolates, candies, bars, cakes and much more. A sweet tour that will delight you.

This square is located in the historic heart of Florence, surrounded by palaces and a dazzling statue of Dante Alighieri. As a fact, I tell you that in the church of the square are the tombs of historical figures such as Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo and Machiavelli, and is popularly known as the Pantheon of Italian Glories.

9. Enjoy the season of bargains in local markets and bookstores

Touring San Lorenzo| ©Richard Chester
Touring San Lorenzo| ©Richard Chester

February is quintessentially a month of bargains, so it's a good time to browse the local stores and find what you're looking for to take home as a souvenir. In addition to the commercial stores, you can visit local flea markets to buy handicrafts or visit bookstores and galleries to find something more special to remember your trip to Florence.

If you want to explore the luxury shopping plan, you can take a stroll through the exclusive jewelry stores along the Ponte Vecchio. If you are looking for leather goods, you have to know that in Florence there is much of the best in this industry, so you can find plenty of variety for all tastes and pockets.

They say that a trip is not a trip if you do not visit the city market, so in Florence a must is the Mercato Centrale de Firenzi, where you can find the best of the local gastronomy. In this article I recommend you the best gastronomic tours of Florence and surroundings.

10. Furniture and books with the antiques fair in Florence

Florence antiques fair| ©RH&XL
Florence antiques fair| ©RH&XL

If you like antiques and books, and you visit Florence at the end of February, you may come across this exhibition that takes place in the city the third weekend of every month.

Here, hundreds of collectors and specialized bookstores meet to show their relics that include art objects, clocks, furniture, books, instruments and even toys. A plan for those who like vintage and want to take a travel souvenir that has a powerful story behind.

The entrance to the exhibition has a unique value of € 3.(Free up to 14 years and after 70 years). Learn more about the event on the official website.

11. A romantic sunset across Ponte Vecchio

Sunset on Ponte Vechio| © Op23
Sunset on Ponte Vechio| © Op23

There is nothing more romantic than enjoying a sunset, and nothing better than doing it with the colors and the atmosphere offered by the February sunsets.

The Ponte Vecchio is a symbol of the city. Besides being surrounded by jewelry stores, it is one of the most famous suspension bridges in the world, from where thousands of padlocks left by couples who have pledged their allegiance to each other hang from this dreamy place.

A walk across this emblematic bridge, a sunset you will not forget and then enjoy a delicious Italian dinner. A unique plan.

Temperatures in Florence in the month of February

Rainy day in Florence| ©Tolga Kilinc
Rainy day in Florence| ©Tolga Kilinc

Bundle up because it will be cold but nothing that can not be fixed with a good coat. Temperatures in Florence during the month of February are around 13° / 6°C. During this month there are some rainy days, but in general you will enjoy a pleasant weather that will allow you to walk around the city, giving it a romantic and classic air that you will surely not forget from your visit.

Mobility in Florence

Tramway in Florence| ©Richard-Enjoy my life!
Tramway in Florence| ©Richard-Enjoy my life!

When visiting the city you have several alternatives to move from one place to another. If you arrive by plane, I tell you here all about the transfers from Florence Airport. In addition, you have several options such as:

  • Walking: if your accommodation is in the historic center, walking will be the best option. Walk through the streets and squares of the city. You will be able to stop for a coffee and discover places you might otherwise miss.
  • Bus: Florence has about 100 easily accessible bus lines so you can travel all over the city. Don't worry if your night runs long, as the city offers a special night service called 'Nottetempo'.
  • Tramway: You can enjoy this means of transportation that has 3 lines currently operational and was inaugurated in 2010.

Traveller Tip

No doubt Florence breathes art in every corner. Do not miss the street art in the city, especially in the Oltrano area, on the other side of the Arno river.