11 Things to Do in Florence in November

With visitor numbers dropping quite a bit, November is a great month to visit Florence. Adding to its usual charms are a number of events that will make your stay that much more entertaining.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

11 min read

11 Things to Do in Florence in November

Aerial View of the City of Florence | ©Admed Mansour

Few cities need less introduction to travelers than the capital of the Tuscany region. All the art and other attractions that Florence houses in its streets have made it a must-see for many decades.

Florence not only offers museums, churches, palaces and other historic buildings, but also has an intense cultural and leisure life throughout the year. November, despite representing the end of the high season, is no exception, when you can attend concerts inside the churches, various food festivals and even skating and skiing near the river.

1. Enjoy the music at Note al Museo

Inside the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo| ©Sailko
Inside the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo| ©Sailko

On your trip to Florence, I definitely recommend a tour of the Duomo square to see all it has to offer and also to climb the dome of the Duomo to contemplate the magnificent views of the city from there. In the same area, if you travel in November, you will be able to attend a series of concerts in the fantastic setting of the Museo dell' Opera.

The event, called Note al Museo, takes place in the Sala del Paradiso of this building and, for several months, the stage will host performances by internationally renowned musicians in the field of classical music.

This concert season has become an unmissable event for music lovers because of the artistic quality of the participants, as well as the variety of styles. And if you plan to attend any of these concerts I advise you to take the opportunity to see the museum itself. Inside you will find original sketches that were used to build the cathedral, as well as some tools.

Practical information

  • Address: in the Duomo square
  • Hours: performances usually start at 21:00 pm on weekends. However, it is advisable to check the program in case of changes.
  • Prices: admission is free, but you must book in advance through the Museo dell' Opera's website.

Book a tour of the Duomo of Florence

2. Visit the Truffle Fair of San Miniato

Truffle Fair of San Miniato| ©Sailko
Truffle Fair of San Miniato| ©Sailko

Those of you who have been on a gastronomic tour of Florence may have come across a dish featuring one of the most prestigious ingredients of Florentine cuisine: the white truffle. In case you want to delve deeper into the subject, the famous San Miniato Truffle Fair is held in November, a perfect place to learn about this tuber.

San Miniato, a beautiful town located near Pisa (a city that you can easily visit with an excursion from Florence), holds this fair every year during the last three weekends of November.

During this event, gourmets, professionals and amateurs who want to enjoy truffle-based menus gather in the town. As the organizers themselves indicate, the town becomes a real "laboratory of taste" in the open air, with many stalls offering this ingredient in their squares. You can taste them and participate in activities such as truffle hunting.

How to get to San Miniato

The best way to get to San Miniato, if you don't have a car, is by train. On the TrenItalia website you can find the timetables that connect Florence with this town.

Book an excursion to Pisa from Florence

3. Visit the Uffizi Gallery at your leisure

Uffizi Gallery| ©Andres Alvarado
Uffizi Gallery| ©Andres Alvarado

November, with the number of visitors dropping sharply, may be one of the best times to see the best works in the Uffizi Gallery.

There is no doubt that one of the must-sees when traveling to Florence, no matter the season, is the Uffizi Gallery. With some 1,500 works on display, a good guided tour of the Gallery will allow you to leave with a little more knowledge about the history of classical art.

In any case, it is always a good idea to buy tickets to the Uffizi Gallery in advance for what may happen and opt for one that allows you not to have to wait in line to enter.

Practical information

  • Hours: open from Tuesday to Sunday and, in addition to Mondays, closed on December 25 and January 1. The gallery opens at 8:15 am and closes at 6:50 pm. Special opening hours are available on some summer evenings.
  • Prices: the entrance fee depends a lot on whether you want to take a guided tour, if you hire a tour that includes some other places in Florence or if you just want to enter for free. In this article about tickets to the Uffizi Gallery you can find all the information.

Buy your ticket for the Uffizi Gallery

4. Enjoy the spectacle of the Marathon of Florence

Florence Marathon| ©Guillerme H
Florence Marathon| ©Guillerme H

Whether you are a big sports fan or you just like to enjoy the atmosphere that is created around this event, the Florence Marathon is a spectacle that no one should miss if you are in the city at the end of November.

With small changes, the event can boast of having one of the most beautiful courses in the world. No matter where they look, participants and fans are going to be surrounded by art everywhere: the Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio and the Santa Croce.... In other words, a route that could be covered by any tourist bus in Florence.

In addition to the marathon itself, with its 42 kilometers, other shorter races are also held on that day so that those who want to participate but are not sufficiently prepared can choose their own.

Practical information

  • How to participate: you must fill in a registration form on the event's website and pay for the race bib (from 50 €).
  • Drop-off and start: the drop-off area for bags is located in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, while the start line is assigned to participants according to the race time indicated on their registration form.

Book your touristic bus in Florence

5. Find a gift at Fiera delle Lane di San Martino

Wool from the Wool Fair in Florence| ©Maurizio Costanzo
Wool from the Wool Fair in Florence| ©Maurizio Costanzo

If you want to take advantage of your visit to buy some original Christmas gifts, a good place to go is the Fiera delle Lane di San Martino, an open-air craft fair focused on the world of wool.

Alongside the stalls dedicated to wool products, there are others selling various items made by other artisans. If you stroll around the area you can choose from fantastic farmhouse cheeses to ceramic tableware, without forgetting the natural soaps, handmade leather shoes and games for the little ones.

If you like fashion you can also take advantage of a day of your trip to Florence to make a shopping trip to the Barberino outlet from Florence, a shopping center with over 100 stores where you can find the best outfits of Italian fashion.

Event information

  • Location: piazza della Santissima Annunziata
  • Dates: usually held in the first week of November.
  • Also interesting... If you are traveling with children, workshops are organized.

Reservation at the Berberino outlet

6. Don't miss the concerts in the churches of Florence

Inside the Church of Orsanmichele| ©Sailko
Inside the Church of Orsanmichele| ©Sailko

While you will be able to see many of Florence' s extraordinary churches on your own or by hiring a guided tour of the city, there is another way to visit them and enjoy the best classical music concerts.

In November you can attend a large number of musical performances that have several of these churches as unique stages. Part of these concerts belong to the music season in the city.

The main performances take place in the church of Orsanmichele and in Santa Monaca, as well as in Santa Maria Novella. Those who want to attend this type of concert can also choose another great venue, Santo Stefano al Ponte. This 11th century basilica has been converted into an auditorium where you can admire some of the best performances in the whole city.

Book a guided tour of Florence

7. Experience a hot air balloon adventure in the heart of Tuscany

Hot air balloons|©Pixabay
Hot air balloons|©Pixabay

Have you ever thought about going up in a hot air balloon? Well, your trip to Florence (the capital of Tuscany) in November can be the perfect setting to finally fulfill that little dream. Autumn is one of the best times to fly in a hot air balloon in Tuscany, as temperatures are still mild and you don't have to get up as early as in summer.

In addition, during this season the views will be a real blast. Imagine for a moment to see the autumn landscape of beautiful Tuscany from the heights? Shades of brown, yellow, dark green and the charming Tuscan houses will be the scenery that you will contemplate from the top. Sounds good right?

You will arrive at more than 600 meters high, closing your experience as it is always done: with a good glass of champagne to celebrate the flight.

Book a balloon flight over Tuscany

8. Take refuge in one of Florence's historic cafes

Caffè Rivoire| ©Andrea T
Caffè Rivoire| ©Andrea T

After strolling for hours through the beautiful streets of Florence, you may start to feel cold or, more uncomfortably, you may be caught in the rain. Luckily for you, the city is full of fantastic cafes where you can warm up with a good coffee or hot chocolate.

As with the rest of the country, Florentines are proud of their coffee culture. If you are going to join them, remember that Italians only order it with milk in the morning, while in the afternoon they opt for black and short coffee.

If you prefer another type of drink, Florence's coffee shops are famous for the great hot chocolate they serve to their customers. In November, moreover, there may be nothing better to warm you up.

Some of the historic coffee shops in Florence

  • Caffè Rivoire: it was none other than the personal chocolate maker of the royal house of Savoy who opened it in 1872. Since then, it has become a regular place among Florentines to order a hot chocolate in a cup and avoid the cold outside. It is located in Piazza della Signoria.
  • Café Piansa: in Viale Europa you will find a place famous for its great coffee, which is saying a lot by Florentine standards. In addition, the interior design is really fantastic and, to top it off, the prices are not too high.
  • Caffè Gilli: if you want to enter this historic coffee shop located in Piazza Repubblica you have to be aware that its almost 3 centuries of history and its Belle Epoque decoration are going to be noticed (and a lot) in the prices. However, it is worth indulging yourself and spending some time in its lounge.
  • L'Opera Caffè: located next to Santa Maria dei Fiore, L'Opera Caffè is perfect for a hot chocolate in a truly magical place in the city.

9. Feel in the Alps at Firenze Winter Park

Firenze Winter Park| ©Sicrea
Firenze Winter Park| ©Sicrea

Visitors to Florence come mainly to see the city's best museums and the art on every corner, but how about combining it with winter activities like ice skating? In November, and until February, this is possible if you go to the Firenze Winter Park.

Along the river, in the gardens of Tuscany Hall, every year for a few months an indoor structure is opened where you can enjoy winter sports, food and, of course, guaranteed fun.

In this winter park you will find two different slopes: a large one and a smaller one for beginners and children. If you want to learn to ski, this complex offers lessons, as well as skating training courses and ice shows.

Practical information

  • Address: Lungarno Aldo Moro, 3
  • Opening hours: although it is always advisable to confirm, it usually opens in mid-November. From Monday to Thursday the facility is intended for games such as Icestock, always with prior reservation. On Fridays, the slopes are open from 3:00 pm to 1:00 am, while on Saturdays and Sundays it opens at 10:30 am and closes at around 00:30 am.
  • Prices: the price for access to the inside depends on the activities. Skate rental costs about 2 €, to which must be added the cost of admission, between 6 and 8 euros depending on the day.

10. Have fun like a kid at the Brick in Florence Festival

Brick in Florence Festival| ©Gogo
Brick in Florence Festival| ©Gogo

It could be said that this activity is perfect if you are traveling with children to Florence, but in reality there are not few adults who will also enjoy it.

For a couple of days, is celebrated in the city the Brick Festival, dedicated entirely to Lego, which takes place in the Tuscany Hall.

There you are going to find from exhibitions with Lego to play areas with more than 150 kilos of Lego bricks, through talks in which fans share their secrets on this subject and show their best works. In addition, there are also exhibitions where you can learn about the history of the Lego brand, as well as stalls where you can buy old Lego games, books and clothing.

11. Enter the cinema during the Festival dei Popoli

Enjoying the Festival dei Popoli| ©Viky H
Enjoying the Festival dei Popoli| ©Viky H

November features two important cinema events in Florence: the Festival dei Popoli, focusing on international documentaries, and Lo Schermo dell'Arte, focusing on art.

In total there are two weeks of screenings during which you can always find something you are passionate about. In the case of the Festival dei Popoli there is no fixed venue, as screenings are held in various parts of the city. It also has a section dedicated to young people.

In the case of Lo Schermo dell'Arte, the documentaries are presented at the Cinema La Compagnia and at the fantastic Palazzo Medici Riccardi. At the same time, and as part of the festival, an exhibition on contemporary art is taking place at Palazzo Strozzi.

Weather in Florence in November

Ponte Vecchio at night| ©Michael Costa
Ponte Vecchio at night| ©Michael Costa

Autumn is making its presence felt in Florence during this month, with temperatures averaging 15°C for the highs and 6°C for the lows.

Despite this, temperatures are easily bearable if you wear some winter clothing and check the weather forecast to be prepared. The main problem may be the rains, as this is the rainiest month of the year.

Advantages of traveling to Florence in November

Taking pictures of Florence| ©Jackie Jabson
Taking pictures of Florence| ©Jackie Jabson

Although temperatures are starting to get colder, there are several reasons why traveling to Florence in November can be a great idea:

  • Off peak season: from the end of October onwards, the city receives far fewer tourists than in the spring and summer months. This is clearly reflected in the comfort with which you can stroll through the streets and visit the main monuments.
  • Less time is wasted in the queues: related to the above, the time lost in high season in the queues to enter the museums can be spent in November on other visits.
  • Youwill interact more with Florentines: the smaller number of tourists, who sometimes occupy all the seats in restaurants and bars, allows Florentines to regain the protagonism of their city. This is your chance to meet them and learn about their way of life.
  • Cultural activities: Florence offers during this month a great variety of cultural, sport and leisure activities that will make your trip much more complete.