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The best times to visit Tuscany and Umbria are in the spring and fall. Starting in late May, the summer tourist rush really picks up, and from July to mid-September the country is teeming with visitors. August is the worst month to visit. Not only does it get uncomfortably hot, muggy, and crowded, but the entire country goes on vacation at least from August 15 until the end of the month, and many Italians (especially in the cities) take off the entire month. Pisa is virtually deserted in August, and Florence's low season includes August. Many hotels, restaurants, and shops are closed -- except at the spas, beaches, and islands, which are where 70% of the Italians are headed. In winter (late Oct to Easter), most sights go to shorter winter hours or are closed for restoration and rearrangement, many hotels and restaurants take a month or two off between November and February, spa and beach destinations become padlocked ghost towns, and it can get much colder than most people expect -- it may even snow on occasion.

Weather

Tuscany and Umbria cover some pretty diverse terrain and climate areas. Tuscany has lowlands along the coast with the most moderate of Mediterranean climes, but there are also snowcapped Apennine mountains in the north of Tuscany and eastern Umbria that stay cooler throughout the year and can get downright frozen in winter. Both regions are made up primarily of hills, however, and the climate varies with the seasons and the landscape. It can get uncomfortably hot at the height of August in valley cities such as Florence, but the breeze-cooled hill towns are usually eminently livable in summer. The long spring is temperate and very comfortable, with occasional showers. Fall is also fairly mild, with lots of rainfall being the only drawback. Winter, though mild for most months, can get quite cold in late December or January; it can drizzle a great deal, and snowfall isn't impossible.

Holidays

Official state holidays include January 1, January 6 (Epiphany), Easter Sunday and Monday, April 25 (Liberation Day), May 1 (Labor Day), August 15 (Ferragosto and Assumption Day), November 1 (All Saints' Day), December 8 (Day of the Immaculate Conception), December 25, and December 26 (Santo Stefano). Florence also shuts down to honor its patron, St. John the Baptist, on June 24.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.