Florence in the rain: 4 indoor activities & 2 ideas to do in Florence when it rains

Everyone knows that springtime with its sunshine and ideal temperatures is the best time to visit cities in Italy. Usually, however, visitors to Florence will find crowds and long lines at the museums in the months of April and May, which is why I recommend the winter months (November to March) for those looking to do a cultural visit. The city is empty; the prices are lower, and reservations aren’t needed even at major museums.

But what to do in Florence when it rains? Rain isn’t a problem!

Here is the perfect guide for visiting Florence in the rain.

Florence temperature: When to expect the highest amount of rain in Florence?

In Florence, precipitation tends to be regular throughout the year, peaking in early autumn. But rain in a city of art is never a problem! With its museums, theaters, and exhibits, Florence is the ideal place for a visit even in bad weather. You won’t be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens perhaps, but you surely won’t be bored.

4 activities to do in Florence in the rain

What can you do? Here are the perfect activities for a rainy day in Florence.

florence rain

1. Explore museums, churches and basilicas

When it rains, in Florence you can spend the day inside one of the marvelous museums or visit the basilicas and churches of Florence!

The Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti, the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, the Medici Chapels, the Accademia Gallery, the Bargello: these are some of the museums where you can take refuge from the rain. The artistic collections of the city are unparalleled! A visit to these museums will allow you to discover the art of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raffaello, Tiziano, Ghiberti, Donatello and many others.

You can spend half a day at the grand Uffizi Gallery. Keep in mind that you need at least three hours for a comprehensive visit of the Uffizi. You can also spend many hours browsing the exhibits at Palazzo Pitti in the Palatine Galleries, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museo degli Argenti, and you won’t even notice if it’s raining outside.

florence rain

There are also the grand basilicas and churches of Florence, such as Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito; each of these is a treasure trove of art.

At Santa Croce you can walk among the tombs of illustrious Italians. Michelangelo, Galileo, Macchiavelli and Ugo Foscolo are buried here. You can also enjoy Giotto’s frescoes and other painters of Giotto’s school who were active in fourteenth-century Florence.

Santa Maria Novella tells the history of the early Renaissance with Masaccio’s Trinity, Brunelleschi’s crucifix and stories from the Old Testament by Paolo Uccello.

At San Lorenzo you can learn about the history of the Medici family, who financed the reconstruction of the church and made it the family’s basilica.

Finally, in Santo Spirito you can admire Michelangelo’s wooden crucifix, given as a gift to the friars in thanks for their hospitality at the convent and for the opportunity they provided for conducting anatomical studies there.

2. Exhibits

If this is not your first time in Florence and you are already familiar with Florence’s museums, you can visit one of the city’s temporary exhibits. Before arriving in the city check the websites of the Palazzo Strozzi, Villa Bardini and the Museo del Novecento. You are sure to find something interesting in one of these museums!

3. Enjoy theaters and the Opera

What to do in Florence in the evening if it rains?

Go to the theater or to the Opera! Few people know that Florence is one of the world’s capitals of music and theater. Did you know that opera was born here and that the first performances were staged for the Medici’s wedding celebrations? Today this tradition is cultivated at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino which prepares an interesting opera and concert season each year.

On the other hand, if you prefer prose, take a look at the program of the Teatro della Pergola. An evening at this historical theater, inaugurated in 1657, will enrich your Florentine visit and will be an experience you won’t forget!

4. A trip to the market

When it’s raining you can also take refuge in one of Florence’s indoor markets, the Mercato Centrale or the Sant’Ambrogio market. You will find typical products such as lampredotto and Florentine steak, and you will see that these markets are still the center of activity in these neighborhoods; a visit to one of these markets will allow you to experience how Florentines live today.

Also, you can taste some delicious, local dishes. It might be raining outside but you won’t even notice!

What to do in Florence when it rains? 2 perfect ideas

What to do in Florence if it rains unexpectedly? Do what the locals do: a coffee break is still the best way to wait out the rain.

florence temperature

1. Stop at a historical café

I personally love Florence’s historical cafés. Sometimes, during a break between tours, I sit down alone in the corner of one of these cafés and watch people: people coming and going, or trying to get the barman’s attention.

My favorites are Gilli and Paszkowski in Piazza della Repubblica, Rivoire in Piazza della Signoria and Scudieri in Piazza San Giovanni. They all have a timeless elegance. Take it easy and enjoy a coffee and a delicious dessert!

2. Discover the literary Cafés

Some Florentine historic cafés were the meeting ground of literati and artists, such as the famous Giubbe Rosse in Piazza della Repubblica. The famous brawl between the Futurists of Milan took place here on June 30, 1911, involving Marinetti Carrà, Boccioni and Russolo, with Ardengo Soffici, the Florentine writer who took the liberty to criticize the first Futurist exhibit in Milan in the pages of La Voce.

Eugenio Montale and Ottone Rosai, the Florentine painter, also often spent time at this caffe. In 2019 the café closed due to bankruptcy. After a long restoration it was reopened in 2024!

Visiting Florence in the rain: How to get around?

The city center is small. It’s easiest to walk places. If it’s not raining too hard, grab a rain jacket and an umbrella and walk to your destination. Florence is charming in the rain.

On the other hand, if it’s raining too hard and you need to go further, call a cab. There are two taxi companies in Florence: you can call 0554390 or 0554242 or download the Taximove app.

Remember, you can surely enjoy a wonderful vacation and visit the city even in bad weather. Have an umbrella ready and discover the wonders of Florence!

Are you looking for a tour guide in Florence? Contact us to book a tour! We would be happy to organize your stay!