Tuscany has so much to offer in the summer, the hardest part of planning your itinerary will be deciding what to do with your precious time! This season offers golden picturesque landscapes, fields of sunflowers, grapes on the vines, long hot sunny days and warm evenings which lead to late nights out and about.

Along the coast between Livorno and Piombino lies a stretch of beautiful beaches, inlets, pine groves, stunning views and ancient towns. This popular summer destination, known as The Etruscan Coast, takes its name from the Etruscan civilization which populated the area between 400 BC and 800 BC, leaving behind archeological sites, remains and artifacts that can now be seen in local museums and parks, such as the Archeological Park of Baratti, Populonia, and the Etruscan Necropolis at Casale Marittimo. Enjoy dynamic views of steep hills which seem to plunge into the deep blue sea as you explore the area from the surprisingly red sand of the Gulf of Baratti to the rocky seasides of Castiglioncello and the “Buca delle Fate” in Populonia. There’s not much that beats relaxing days at the beach, exploring the countryside and historic hilltop towns or ending magical days in characteristic squares where you can savour delicious Italian cuisine, seasonal fruit, refreshing cocktails or homemade gelato while gazing out over the sea from one of the festive open-air trattorias or bars. This area is also a wine lovers dream, as it produces some of Italy’s most revered wines: Bolgheri, Castagneto Carducci, Bibbona and Montescudaio.

The higher altitudes of Garfagnana and Lunigiana are lovely mountainous locations that also merit a visit during the heat of the summer. Garfagnana offers a strategic position near the popular city of Lucca and other quaint medieval hamlets, along with plenty of green space and lower temperatures. This area also offers wonderful events which include traditional food festivals, fairs, colourful markets and concerts in towns like Barga and Castelnuovo Garfagnana.


  • The Puccini Festival is a very popular outdoor music events which runs from late July to late August. It’s in honour of Tuscan opera composer Giacomo Puccini and held in a beautiful open-air theatre located on the Massaciuccoli lakefront in Torre del Lago (Lucca).
  • The most popular music event of the summer is the Lucca Summer Festival which is held in July. It’s held every year in Lucca’s historic centre and hosts both international and Italian artists. Advance ticket purchasing is necessary.
  • Another fantastic music festival which is held in July is the Pistoia Blues. Great artists perform in Piazza del Duomo in Pistoia.
  • After a magnificent procession held on the 25th of July to honour St. James, the patron saint of the city, twelve knights take part in the Giostra dell’Orso, a medieval jousting tournament. The knights’ objective is to hit two stylized bears with their lances. The bear is the heraldic animal of Pistoia and this event is the highlight of the July Pistoia Festival.
  • July is also the time of the Mercantia which is a street art festival which boasts more than 100 shows per night. The medieval town of Certaldo is the setting where you can you can enjoy a variety of stands and performances.
  • In July there’s one of the best medieval festivals in Tuscany and the location of this event is truly amazing. Monteriggioni is a small village which is surrounded by one of the most intact defensive walls in Italy. You are sure to be captivated by the medieval costumes, town market, parades, music, street theatre, puppet shows and illusionists.
  • The medieval town of Volterra hosts its AD1398 Festival in August when the town is traditionally decked out and home to a variety of events which relive their colourful past.
  • On the last Sunday in August you should go to Montepulciano for the Bravio delle Botti which is a barrel rolling race. The heavy barrels (80 kilos each) have to be rolled uphill along the main street of the town. The atmosphere is festive and there are costume processions before the race and a street banquet after.
  • On the first Sunday in September you can visit Arezzo for the Giostra del Saracino. This event is held twice a year; it also takes place on the third Saturday in June. It originated in the early 16th century and commemorates Christian efforts to hold back the tide of Islam in the 14th century. A colourful medieval parade precedes the main event in which eight knights armed with lances charge a wooden representation of the Saracen. The target, which is the Saracen’s shield, can even swivel around and hit back! Each pair of knights represents one of Arezzo’s four rival districts and their supporters each occupy a side of the piazza. The victorious team is awarded a golden lance.
  • The Palio di Siena is a historic bareback horse race which is held twice a year (2/7 and 16/8) in Siena’s most famous medieval square. The neighbourhoods of the city (contrade) compete for the banner (palio) in honour of the Virgin Mary. Piazza di Campo is vibrant with colourful costumes and to city streets are decked out for feasting and festivities.
  • On June 24th Florence celebrates San Giovanni and the famous square of Santa Croce becomes a medieval stadium for Calcio Storico Fiorentino (Historic Florentine Soccer). This 16th Century sport is an aggressive mix of rugby, wrestling and soccer. The sky is lit up at the end of the day with an impressive fireworks display.


-See our Beach Day on the Tuscan Coast under Day Trips, along with our Destinations and Experiences for more inspirational ideas.

-It’s very hot in Tuscany in July and August, so choosing accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool is a good idea.

-Sightseeing in the towns and cities is best before midday.

-Museum visits are best pre-booked and a richer experience if you choose a guided tour with an art expert.

-Siesta is a part of Italy and during the summer months many shops are closed from 1pm to 4:00pm.

-High season for the coast is in July and August. So, along with the crowds, you can expect higher prices. The traffic is heavy on weekends, therefore dates, time of travel and route should be taken into consideration to avoid the line-ups.

-Please remember that advance reservations are necessary for many of the popular festivals and events.

-Useful items include; insect repellent, bottled water and sun hats.

Contact Tuscany Travelist if you want to save time, remove the stress of driving and the frustration of finding parking during your holiday or day trip. Let us know the dates and we’ll give you a free estimate for your transportation. If you book with us, we’ll be happy to assist you in perfecting your travel plans.