Tuscany in Winter

December 11, 2012 by

Things To Do, Travel Tips

Florence in winter. Photo courtesy of scaredda via Flickr.

The iconic images of Tuscany are of its rolling hills and cobbled streets, usually bathed in sunlight or fog, but there are very good reasons to make plans to visit Tuscany in winter, too. Yes, the weather will be colder, but you might be willing to sacrifice a little summer sun for some better travel deals and a festive atmosphere.

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The winter months in Tuscany, December through February, aren’t entirely the “low season.” January and February are definitely part of the low season, which will mean reliably lower prices on things like airfare and hotels, but December can be a bit trickier. Both Christmas and New Year’s Eve are popular holidays in Italy for Italians as well as foreigners, since already charming towns become even more so with Christmas markets, concerts, and holiday decor. You may still find bargains on airfare, but hotels may not be offering discounted rates quite yet, and restaurants may be booked up (especially for holiday dinners). After the holidays, however, you’re bound to find serious travel bargains in January and February.

You already know it’ll be chilly in Tuscany in winter, but there are a few reasons why that may not matter at all to you. Are you a culture vulture whose itinerary includes loads of museums, galleries, and churches? Those are all indoors, so any cold weather outside won’t matter. Are you a foodie who planned to eat your way through Tuscany? You’ll be dining indoors instead of at a sidewalk cafe, but Tuscany’s hearty winter dishes will warm you from the inside out. And if you’re the sort of person for whom a fresh blanket of snow has you digging out your skis, then you’ll be pleased to know that the mountains in Tuscany are ready and waiting for you. (Oh, and Tuscany’s hot springs are waiting, too, for some apres-ski action.)

- Jessica Spiegel

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