Tuscany Late November

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Scott S
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Tuscany Late November

#1 Post by Scott S » August 21st, 2018, 7:28 am

Thinking about taking my wife to Tuscany in mid-late November as we could be there for her birthday. Can anyone provide any feedback concerning weather that time of year? Thanks for any feedback.

Scott
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Ian Sutton
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Re: Tuscany Late November

#2 Post by Ian Sutton » August 21st, 2018, 3:41 pm

At that time of year I'd make sure I was always based in a town or city, as the countryside can feel more isolated and driving in the dark simply to get an evening meal might not be fun.

Although Tuscany is famed for its countryside, and you'll not see it at it's best, it's still going to offer joy. My suggestion for day trips is to get out early, make full use of the morning until everything starts to close at 12:30-1pm. Have lunch and then head back to your base without waiting for the re-opening at 3:30-4pm. Have a later siesta if needed when you get back to your base, then stroll out for a leisurely aperitivo and evening meal. Even if wine tasting, I'd still put the focus on the morning, followed by lunch and back to base on the same schedule.

What this avoids is that dead time after lunch, but before everything opens up again, where it's easy to get fed up waiting and traipse back to base, disillusioned with the long lunches.

Places to consider.
Pisa: Imeediately around the field of miracles and between there and the two stations represents the pits of mass tourism. Overpriced, dirty, rubbish, soulless - it's all of that. However the city itself is almost 'under the radar' with so many reporting that Pisa 'is a dump' based on the above, it's actually got much more too it, as well as a very east eviening passeggiata along the main pedestrianised shopping street

Firenze: It's never going to be quiet, but away from peak season will reduce the tourist numbers, so arguably it's a great time to go

Siena: I didn't take to it, but that's how it goes some time. Many others love it, and good bus links and a wonderful small weekly farmers market might tip the balance in its favour

Montepulciano: For me this is a shoe-in. Strolling to wineries morning or afternoon, great views even on a cold & wet day, plus walking that inevitably warms you up (it is steep). Throw in excellent accommodation (Politian apartments are very good indeed) and it's going to feel cosy and warming on even a cold and wet day.

San Gimignano: Another place rather overrun by tourists (blame Rick Steves), but again out of season gives you the place without the hordes.

Spa towns (a slightly off the wall suggestion), e.g, Chianciamo Terme. Can be slightly surreal, but puts you amongst real Italians who value the treatments. These places can be a bit 'senior' but then I find older Italians wonderfully engaging and talkative, so often a great pleasure to spend time with.

There are other options, but each fits the bill of a place with lots of choice if based in the town/city or at least in walking distance.
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Ian Sutton
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Re: Tuscany Late November

#3 Post by Ian Sutton » August 21st, 2018, 3:42 pm

As to the specific question, yes I often find November might have the odd pleasantly warm day, but rather more cold & wet days than October (a favourite month to be in Italy). Sometimes compounded by the Italians to be a little slow to put the heating on!
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Re: Tuscany Late November

#4 Post by LoriMcLaughlin » August 24th, 2018, 9:39 am

We've been to Tuscany for two separate Thanksgiving trips - both in the countryside as well as in Florence. It's a great time to go and I've found the weather to be really nice and warm (and no rain) for the majority of our trips. I often was able to dress in a turtleneck with a fur vest and no coat.

We also found that we were able to visit wineries very easily and with little crowds. We prefer the countryside to the cities - even in the late fall but as Ian mentioned it turns dark quickly and you'll need to be comfortable with driving in the dark.

A few musts in no order (and excluding the big sites - Uffizi, etc.):
- the American cemetery of Florence (near Greve in Chianti)
- a tour and tasting at Mate (near Montalcino)
- wine tasting tour and gourmet lunch at Castello Banfi or at Avignonesi (I preferred Avignonesi, but it may be a bit too far depending on where you are based but the food was excellent and seeing the apassimento (drying of the grapes) is worth the drive)
- lunch at Antinori's Osteria in Badia a Passignano (and nearby a Tasting at Casa Emma)
- dinner with Dario at Solociccia in Panzano (one of our favorites - yes it's a lot of meat, which I was worried about, but it was one of our favorite experiences)
- fresh pecorino in Pienza (quaint to stroll right before dinner in the dark - before the stores close)
- a café pepe at Café Polizano in Montepulciano
- Walking across the Ponte Vecchio at night
- a visit to Acqua Flor (perfumeria) in Florence
- we really enjoyed our visit to Bagna Vagnoni - I'm not sure if it would be the same in the winter though
- Arezzo for the frescoes

On the first trip, we staying at La Collegiata (near San Gimignano) and Locanda all Amorosa (near Singaluna). The second trip we stayed at Villa Bordoni (Greve in Chiani), St. Regis (Florence), and a return to Locanda all Amorosa (near Singaluna). On a most recent trip this May, we stayed at Lupaia (a "farmhouse" in the hills outside of Montepulciano) - it was a great place, but the roads are challenging and may be more challenging in the winter. I'd recommend all of these.

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Re: Tuscany Late November

#5 Post by Lee Braem » August 28th, 2018, 5:39 pm

We honeymooned in Tuscany in mid-November. They were harvesting olives near our villa, but it snowed two nights during the week we were there. Days were comfortable but don’t remember exact temps - that’s what weather apps are for.

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Re: Tuscany Late November

#6 Post by Mike DiSalvo » August 30th, 2018, 6:50 am

If you were to pick the absolutely best month to visit considering weather, crowds, etc., what would by your most favorite time to travel there?

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Re: Tuscany Late November

#7 Post by brigcampbell » August 30th, 2018, 11:23 am

Mike DiSalvo wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 6:50 am
If you were to pick the absolutely best month to visit considering weather, crowds, etc., what would by your most favorite time to travel there?
April and October. Works for most of Europe except Ireland, Scotland and the Scandinavian countries.

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Re: Tuscany Late November

#8 Post by M.Kaplan » August 30th, 2018, 11:45 am

October in Scotland isn't bad. December/January in Scotland is bad.

I prefer May to April in Europe, as the climate is normally drier. We tend to travel in Europe during the shoulder seasons, before schools let out in mid-June and after the August holiday. October is my favorite in the fall.
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Re: Tuscany Late November

#9 Post by Ian Sutton » August 30th, 2018, 12:47 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 11:45 am


I prefer May to April in Europe, as the climate is normally drier.
Err - that's the whole year! [wink.gif]
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Re: Tuscany Late November

#10 Post by Ian Sutton » August 30th, 2018, 12:51 pm

brigcampbell wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 11:23 am
Mike DiSalvo wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 6:50 am
If you were to pick the absolutely best month to visit considering weather, crowds, etc., what would by your most favorite time to travel there?
April and October.
Yes, I'd agree that, though personally we extend it a little to be April/May plus October.

It's also great for produce. The early fruit and veg can be a joy, including alpine strawberries and my favourite fruit - Nespole, plus zucchini flowers. Meanwhile October usually sees the mushrooms still hanging in there, chestnuts and of course white (and black) truffles, along with new season olive oils.
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Re: Tuscany Late November

#11 Post by craig v » September 11th, 2018, 2:58 pm

We were in floerance, lucca and Umbria around Halloween and early November in 2016 and loved the weather. Lucca saw light rain and it added to the atmosphere at night. I don't want hot summer sun and liked the lighter crowds. Had plenty of sun anyhow though.


Scott S wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 7:28 am
Thinking about taking my wife to Tuscany in mid-late November as we could be there for her birthday. Can anyone provide any feedback concerning weather that time of year? Thanks for any feedback.

Scott
c vanderah

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Re: Tuscany Late November

#12 Post by Lonnie F. » September 15th, 2018, 2:02 pm

Just got back from spending 2 weeks in Italy. Weather was wonderful. San gimignano is magical after dark. We went around dusk for dinner and then walked back through town after dinner. All the tour buses were long gone. Florence after dark is wonderful as well.
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Re: Tuscany Late November

#13 Post by R M Kriete » September 24th, 2018, 11:51 am

Lonnie F. wrote:
September 15th, 2018, 2:02 pm
Just got back from spending 2 weeks in Italy. Weather was wonderful. San gimignano is magical after dark. We went around dusk for dinner and then walked back through town after dinner. All the tour buses were long gone. Florence after dark is wonderful as well.
2 weeks in Italy and this is all we get? Come on Lonnie, more trip details! [wink.gif]

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Re: Tuscany Late November

#14 Post by J a y H a c k » September 25th, 2018, 8:15 am

We were there in October about 8 years ago. We stayed at Viticcio in Greve. Miscellaneous thoughts.

Rent a car but not not believe the GPS. I would be at the bottom of a cliff more than once if I did.

Albergaccio in Castelina in Chianti was an excellent meal.

Dario Cecchini's in Panzano is a nice place to eat and sit at community tables if you like no frills grilled meat. If you don't, and prefer Noma's with white glove waiters, you will hate it.

Make sure you stop at the farmers' markets that go from town to town every day. I got a Five Guys size brown paper bag full of Chanterelles for about 3 Euros, and it was the only place I ever had head cheese that was worth eating. Rebecca fell in love with the deep fried polenta.
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Re: Tuscany Late November

#15 Post by Julius L » September 25th, 2018, 12:45 pm

Flying out tomorrow evening for an 8 night stay in the Montalcino area with 9 winery visits booked. According to online weather reports, temperature range of upper 40's overnight to upper 70's during the day with one day of rain.
L = L@$Øff

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Re: Tuscany Late November

#16 Post by R M Kriete » September 26th, 2018, 11:06 am

Julius L wrote:
September 25th, 2018, 12:45 pm
Flying out tomorrow evening for an 8 night stay in the Montalcino area with 9 winery visits booked. According to online weather reports, temperature range of upper 40's overnight to upper 70's during the day with one day of rain.
Running account please [wink.gif]

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