12 Things to Do in Florence in September

September is one of the best months to travel to Florence and enjoy its incomparable artistic wealth. In addition, the city offers a series of activities that will make your visit an even more unforgettable experience.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

10 min read

12 Things to Do in Florence in September

View of Florence at night | ©Magic K

If you are researching what to see and do in Florence in September, I advise you to focus not only on the many artistic attractions that the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance has to offer. Certainly, these cannot be ignored, but the city also hosts several cultural and festive events that can make your stay more entertaining.

Although still considered high season, Florence begins to regain a bit of calm from September onwards. The drop in temperatures is coupled with the return of Florentines from vacation and a decrease in tourists, although still very numerous. These reasons make this month one of the best to visit the Tuscan city.

1. Take part in the Festa della Rificolona, one of the Florentines' favorites

Festa della Rificolona| ©Char
Festa della Rificolona| ©Char

If you have the good fortune to be in Florence on the evening of September 7, you will be able to take part in one of the most beloved festivals by Florentines: the Festa della Rificolona. Although there are events all over the city, the place where it is most lively is the Piazza Santissima Annunziata, where a large fair is set up with food stalls , street artists and musicians.

On the evening of September 7, Florentines gather on the riverbank with their paper lanterns and make their way in procession to the square. There, in the evening, the blessing of the Rificolona takes place and the most beautiful lantern is awarded. Finally, the lanterns are shot with blowguns until they burn. In addition to these activities, the celebration features a boat parade on the Arno that takes place on September 6.

Climb up to the terrace of the cathedral

You may think you've already seen all that Florence's cathedral has to offer, but if you're in the city on September 8 you'll be able to discover a corner that is usually always closed. On the occasion of the holiday, that day is allowed entry to the terrace of the cathedral, from where you have the best views of the city.

Buy your tickets to the cathedral with access to the terraces

2. Enjoy (in moderation) the Gelato Festival

Gelato| ©JÉSHOOTS
Gelato| ©JÉSHOOTS

If you have just come out of visiting the best paintings of the Uffizi Gallery and you feel like having one of the fantastic Italian ice creams offered in Florence there is a plan that you will love: head to Piazzale Michelangelo and enjoy the Gelato Festival.

This festival, which is usually held in mid-September but whose date is not fixed, is a real temptation for all who come. The event brings together the best gelato from each Italian region, as well as some manufacturers from other European countries. At the stands you will be able to taste the ice creams on display and help decide who wins the first prize among them all.

While you're there, don't miss the views of the city

If you have decided to attend the festival, you will not only be able to enjoy the ice cream. The Piazzale Michelangelo is considered one of the best viewpoints in Florence, as it is located on a hill from which you can see the city perfectly. In addition, in the same square you can see a bronze replica of Michelangelo's David.

Although you can walk from the south bank of the Arno River, the square can also be reached by bus lines 12 and 13.

Book a pizza and gelato cooking class

3. Celebrate the wine harvest with Carro Matto

Carro Matto in Florence| ©Sailko
Carro Matto in Florence| ©Sailko

Several gastronomic tours are available in Florence where, in addition to the food, you will also learn something about the wine of the region. Those who are in the city on the last Saturday of September will also witness a tradition related to this wine that shows the importance in the life of the Tuscans: the Carro Matto.

This event celebrates the arrival of the first wine of the season. On that day, a cart pulled by two white oxen and loaded with more than 2,000 jugs full of the wine travels through the city until it reaches Piazza della Signoria.

The cart, which departs from Piazza del Duomo from Chianti Rufina, is accompanied by numerous people dressed in historical costumes, as well as by flag throwers and a cannon. The tradition was established when empty bottles made in Florence were sent to the vineyards and returned full after the grape harvest. Upon arrival at the church of San Carlo the wine receives the blessing and then the city authorities taste the wine.

Book a wine tasting in Florence

4. Enjoy the views while taking a balloon ride over Tuscany

Balloon Ride| ©Clayton Shonkwiler
Balloon Ride| ©Clayton Shonkwiler

An experience you will never forget is this excursion that we propose. Booking a balloon ride over Tuscany will allow you to visit the area from a completely different perspective and with breathtaking panoramic views. For about 1 hour you will enjoy a ride at heights of over 600 meters.

Upon landing you will also have a glass of champagne to toast the unique experience. You just have to relax and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Italian countryside because a fully equipped crew will accompany you at all times and you will have a mini-lesson on safety rules to apply during the flight. Are you up for it?

Book a balloon ride in Tuscany

5. Visit 'Cinque Terre' from Florence

Cinque Terre| ©Clayton Shonkwiler
Cinque Terre| ©Clayton Shonkwiler

Booking an excursion to Cinque Terre from Florence can be a very good idea if you are going to spend several days in the city and want to take the opportunity to visit its surroundings. Cinque Terre, or in other words, Cinque Terre, is one of the most beautiful areas of the Mediterranean that combines five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Its narrow streets, colorful houses and steep slopes will make you fall in love with a group of picturesque fishing villages that are considered World Heritage Sites by Unesco and are located only about 200 km away from Florence.

You will enjoy all the details of these fishing villages accompanied by a tour guide and in addition, to visit one of them, Monterosso, with wide white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, you can choose to live a journey of about forty-five minutes by sea to reach it.

Book your excursion to 'Cinque Terre' from Florence

6. Discover Tuscan wine

White wine tasting| ©Valeria Boltneva
White wine tasting| ©Valeria Boltneva

Taking advantage of the fact that at the end of September the new wines of each year start to appear, I propose you to make an excursion to the vineyards of Tuscany, specifically to the famous town of Greve in Chianti.

During this visit you will be able to discover the colors of Tuscany, as well as its vineyards and beautiful landscapes. During the tour, two wine tastings are held in two Chianti wineries so that you can learn how to better enjoy this type of wine.

Another different option, but also related to wine, is to take a wine tour during the sunset in Florence where you can taste the wines of Tuscany, as well as the most popular appetizers of the city.

Book your tour to the vineyards

7. Attend a performance of the Florence Fortissimissimo Festival.

Participants of, Festival Fortissimissimo| ©SG
Participants of, Festival Fortissimissimo| ©SG

Classical music lovers have an appointment in Florence during the month of September as part of the cultural events that the city offers for all audiences, including tourists who are in the city and want to attend one of these concerts such as booking tickets for one of the most famous concert of The Three Tenors in Florence. In this case, it is the Fortissimissimo Festival, which usually takes place from the middle of the month.

The line-up of this festival is composed of young and promising musicians offering concerts of piano, violin, quartets and other modalities.

Usually, the performances of the first two weeks take place in the auditorium of the CR Firenze Foundation, In total, the program consists of 20 concerts, 14 of which are offered in Florence itself and 6 in the nearby municipalities of Empoli and Sesto Fiorentino.

8. Firenze Jazz Festival, one of the Florentine summer classics

Firenze Jazz Festival| ©Festivals Florence
Firenze Jazz Festival| ©Festivals Florence

Although any traveler visiting Florence is going to have in mind to visit the Uffizi Gallery (here I leave you information about tickets to the Uffizi Gallery and guided tours to the Uffizi Gallery) and the best museums in the city, in my opinion you should not overlook some other cultural activities that may interest you. A good example is the Firenze Jazz Festival, one of the most important of this musical genre held in the country.

For five days, usually in the second week of September, up to 35 live events are scheduled on about 10 different stages. Most of these venues are located in the Oltrarno area, near the Pitti Palace and can be reached by the Florence tourist bus.

Some of these venues are also spectacular, such as the one in Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the best viewpoints in the city.

9. Take a look at the Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell'Antiquariato

Mostra Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell'Antiquariato Festival| ©Ryan Tocker
Mostra Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell'Antiquariato Festival| ©Ryan Tocker

In a city where you can see the wonders housed in the Galleria dell'Accademia and inside the palaces could not miss a great antiques fair. Although much of it is only for collectors, during its celebration you will find some musical performances and galas.

La Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell'Antiquariato, the name of the event, is held every two years at the end of September. The place where it is set up is already worthwhile, as it is the Palazzo Corsini, a spectacular building located on the banks of the Arno River.

10. Come to Sesto Fiorentino to experience Settembre Sestese

Sesto Fiorentino| ©Bestholidaysitaly
Sesto Fiorentino| ©Bestholidaysitaly

If you are in Florence for four days or more during the month of September, I recommend that you take the train to nearby Sesto Fiorentino (it's only a 15-minute ride) to participate in one of the many events that take place during the Settembre Sestete.

Although some activities are also organized in August, September is when most of the 150 events that take place in this small town take place. Some of them take place at the fairgrounds in Piazza Lavagnini, where you can see concerts or participate in gastronomic events.

Some events also take place in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, in particular those belonging to the Sesto Sound. Every night live music is offered here accompanied by the best food in the area.

Finally, in the garden of the Palazzo Comunale is usually installed the Fuori Dal Comune, a kind of bar where concerts and DJ sessions take place.

11. Take advantage of the good weather to enjoy the evening on the terraces of Florence.

Flò Firenze Terrace| ©mandy944
Flò Firenze Terrace| ©mandy944

Although the weather in September starts to get milder, it still easily reaches 30°C during the day. This means that after walking around to see all the sights of the city, it's quite possible that you'll end up sweating and in the mood to relax over a drink. If you feel like it, the best thing to do is to imitate the Florentines and go to one of the city's terraces.

September is also the last month that many of them are open and there are often parties or concerts to bid farewell to the season. Last but not least, most of them have breathtaking views, comparable to those you can see if you climb the dome of the Duomo.

you will be able to contemplate a luxurious view, with Piazza Santa Maria Novella, the Duomo and the hills at your fingertips. It is the perfect place to have an aperitif.

  • La Rinascente: the café located on the rooftop of La Rinascente is another place where the views will make you forget the fatigue of the day. In addition, the closing hours extend well into the night.
  • Cafe La Terrazza: is perhaps one of the best places in Florence to watch the sunset in the city. In the heart of Piazza della Repubblica, this place is also ideal to rest between two visits while sipping an excellent coffee.
  • Biblioteca delle Oblate: this little jewel of the city currently houses an interesting cultural center. On its second floor there is a wonderful terrace with a cafeteria where you can spend your time in the best possible way.

12. Dance at Decibel Open Air

Decibel Open Air Festival| ©festicket
Decibel Open Air Festival| ©festicket

It is possible that if you are in Florence on these dates, around the 10th approximately, your plan is to go to an event that attracts every year thousands of young people from all over Europe: the Decibel Open Air.

This great electronic music festival has become one of the most important events in the whole country for lovers of this type of music. The concerts take place in Visarno Arena and are accompanied by an intense dance party.

Weather in Florence in September

Florence in September| ©DannyM8
Florence in September| ©DannyM8

Although not as high as in July and August, temperatures in Florence in September are still characterized by a fairly high heat. Thus, the average highs reach 27° C, while the average lows do not drop below 16° C.

On the other hand, rain is present on average for about 9 days in this month, so it is always advisable to check the weather before traveling.