Averages for Florence in December
The weather continues to get worse in December in Florence, Italy, when the temperatures drop and the cloud coverage increases, although the probability of precipitation decreases, too. At this time of year, the average temperature for the city begins at 8.5°C, created by highs of 12°C during the daytime and lows of 5°C after dark. This drops down to 6.5°C by the end of the month, created by highs of 10°C during the daytime and lows of 3°C after...
The weather continues to get worse in December in Florence, Italy, when the temperatures drop and the cloud coverage increases, although the probability of precipitation decreases, too. At this time of year, the average temperature for the city begins at 8.5°C, created by highs of 12°C during the daytime and lows of 5°C after dark. This drops down to 6.5°C by the end of the month, created by highs of 10°C during the daytime and lows of 3°C after dark. This makes the first week of December the warmest time of the month.
Even though it only occurs on an average of 10% of days, temperatures can sometimes rise above 16°c and fall below -3°C in Florence in December. The highest temperature ever registered here at this time of year is 20°C, whilst the coldest temperature ever registered here during this month is -10°C.
Over the course of December, the length of the day is essentially constant in Florence, with a difference of 13 minutes between the start and the end. The shortest day is December 21st with 8:54 hours of daylight, whilst the longest day December 1st with 9:08 hours of daylight.
During this month, Florence enjoys an average of five hours of sunshine each day – that's the same as in November – along with median cloud coverage which ranges between 63% (partly cloudy) at the beginning of the month and 66% (partly cloudy) by the end. On an average day, the sky is clear/mostly clear 26% of the time, partly cloudy 18% and mostly cloudy/overcast 31% of the time. Florence is also affected by foggy conditions on an average of six days throughout the month.
The average monthly precipitation for Florence in December is 87mm/3 inches – that's significantly less than the previous month – which is divided between 13 rainy days and one snowy day. The probability of rainfall occurring during this month averages at 40% and slightly decreases as the month develops. The days least likely to see rainfall are December 29th to December 31st inclusive, when it falls on 39% of days. The day most likely to see rainfall is December 6th, when it falls on 41% of days.
Even though December marks the beginning of the winter season in Florence, snowfall is still unlikely to occur during this month. Moderate snow only falls on 2% of days with precipitation and light snow only falls on 1% of days with precipitation. If you want to visit the city when it's covered in snow, delay your Florence holiday until January or February, when the city experiences the majority of its snowfall.
The most common types of precipitation for Florence in December are moderate rain (which occurs on 50% of days with rainfall), light rain (23%), and drizzle (13%).
With temperatures as cold as these, you'll need to take a lot of winter clothing – such as coats, jumpers, jeans, hats, scarves and gloves – to make sure you stay warm whilst on holiday, as well as a couple of t-shirts and lighter pieces of clothing for when the sun gets out. With precipitation falling on almost ½ of days throughout the month, it's also a good idea to pack some waterproofs or an umbrella. If you hate the cold and want to visit Florence when temperatures are at their highest, forget about going in December and plan your trip for July or August, when the city enjoys its hottest weather.
The average daily relative humidity for Florence in December is 72% – that's slightly lower than the previous month. The humidity ranges between 60% (mildly humid) and 94% (very humid) throughout the month, rarely reaching as high as 100% (very humid) or falling below 34% (comfortable). The air is driest around December 31st, when the relative humidity falls below 74% (humid) three days out of four, whilst it's at its most humid around December 4th, when it rises above 92% (very humid) three days out of four.
Across the month, normal wind speeds vary between 0 m/s (calm) and 3 m/s (light breeze), rarely going over 8 m/s (moderate breeze). The highest average wind speed of 1 m/s (light air) happens around December 17th, when the average daily maximum is 3 m/s (light breeze), whilst the lowest average wind speed of 1 m/s occurs around December 1st, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 3 m/s.
Panoramic city view with the Duomo in the centre in Florence, Italy taken by Giuseppe
Where to stay
The four-star Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio is located just 7m away from the Ponte Vechio, within walking distance of the Vasari Corridor, Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace. This recently-renovated hotel is set inside the 13th century Rossi Tower and features traditional Tuscan décor. Accommodation is provided in the form of 27 classic rooms, 11 deluxe rooms, 15 view rooms, eight single rooms, five junior suites, three triple rooms, four superior rooms and one queen suite. Each guestroom features views of a historical attraction, air conditioning, satellite TV, free WiFi access and private bathroom with bath, shower and hairdryer. Suites also feature a separate lounge with sofa bed. Onsite dining options include American bar, Alla Torre de' Rossi Restaurant and Wine Bar which is located on the 6th floor's panoramic terrace, breakfast room overlooking Ponte Vecchio and room service. Other onsite services and facilities include free WiFi access throughout, car/bike rental, excursion booking and babysitting.
Hotel Restaurant La Scaletta is a more affordable option, located in Oltrarno which is overflowing with restaurants, artisan workshops, art museums and important monuments. Here guests can choose between economy, standard, superior and deluxe rooms, as well as junior suites and luxury suites. Each guestroom features unique décor, air conditioning/heating, free WiFi access, satellite TV, tea making facilities and private bathroom with shower, whilst each suite also includes a separate lounge with sofa bed, larger TV and private bathroom with Jacuzzi. Onsite dining options include the Terrace Restaurant which serves Florentine cuisine and Chianti wines, the Lounge Bar which serves cocktails and Tuscan wines and the Restaurant (open May-September) which serves more general Italian dishes. Other onsite services and facilities include continental breakfast buffet, free WiFi access throughout and both public and private parking nearby.
The three-star Albergo Firenze is another budget-friendly accommodation choice, situated in the centre of the city, close to the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio. Spread out over five floors inside a medieval tower once inhabited by the Donati family, this hotel provides accommodation in the form of 57 recently renovated single, double triple and family rooms. Each guestroom comes with flat-screen satellite TV, air conditioning and private bathroom with bath or shower, toiletries and hairdryer. Onsite services and facilities include breakfast room which serves complimentary continental cold breakfast buffets with gluten-free options, two free internet points, free WiFi access throughout and concierge service for museum ticket and excursion booking. Although there is no restaurant onsite, you'll find loads of cafes, pubs, wine bars and restaurants in the local area.
If you want to stay in an even more central location, consider staying at the Hotel City. Situated just steps away from the Santa Maria Novella railway station and the Duomo, as well as all major art museums, monuments and galleries, this hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the city. Here travellers can choose between single, twin, double, triple and quadruple rooms, each of which features air conditioning, free WiFi access, satellite TV and private bathroom with bath or shower, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries. Although onsite services and facilities are limited to international breakfast buffet, bicycle rental, bar and private parking nearby, there is a huge choice of restaurants, cafes, bars, supermarkets, shops and wellness centres nearby.
Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio close to the Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy taken by Andree & Edward
Things to do
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (sometimes known as Duomo) is the most iconic landmark in the city, making it a must-see during your holiday in Florence. This cathedral dates back to 1296 when it was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio in the Gothic style, before Filippo Brunelleschi completed it in 1436. The cathedral is most famous for its incredible architecture and historical features, particularly the dome, mosaic floors, the 15th century clock at the entrance and the Last Judgement fresco on the ceiling, designed by Giorgio Vasari and painted by Frederico Zuccari in 1579. Entrance is completely free of charge and opening hours are 10am-4pm/5pm, depending on the day and season.
Most well-known for the museum housed inside it, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure literally means "workshop of semi-precious stones" and is a world-leader in the art of restoration. The building complex is made up of a school which teaches art restoration, specialist library and archive of conservation where you can see examples of artefacts inlaid with semi-precious stones. The onsite museum is where you'll find even more semi-precious stone works, such as table tops, cabinets and plates which are decorated by using the stones in creative ways so they resemble animals, fruits, flowers and landscapes. Here you can also see a baroque fireplace covered in malachite, exhibitions dedicated to specific types of stones and copies of paintings inlaid with stones.
If precious stones don't appeal to you, maybe the Stibbert Museum will be more your thing. Located in a villa which used to be Stibbert's home, the Stibbert Museum is made up of 57 rooms used to display more than 36,000 artefacts from all over the world, including a colossal collection of armour from Western and Eastern civilisations. Most of the walls are decorated in tapestries and leather, with paintings – including still lifes and portraits – also on display in almost every room. The most popular exhibit – the collection of armour – is comprised of European, Islamic, Oriental and Japanese pieces of armour from between the 15th and 19th centuries. Of particular interest is the cavalcade room, where you'll find 16th century knights on horseback, foot soldiers holding weapons, more than 80 samurai suits and hundreds of swords.
If you're planning on visiting the Piazza della Signoria during your holiday in Florence, take the time to visit the Loggia dei Lanzi to see the Ratto della Sabina. This statue, located on the far right, is one of the most famous in the outdoor gallery and was created by Giambologna from one solid block of white marble – the largest one every to be transported to Florence. What makes the Ratto della Sabina so special is that it was the first single figure in European sculpture history to incorporate the "figura serpentine" composition so that it can equally be admired from all angles.
Display inside the Stibbert Museum in Florence, Italy taken by Robert
Eating and drinking out
If you're in the mood for a quick lunchtime sandwich, All'Antico Vinaio is the place to go. This small café serves freshly-prepared sandwiches made primarily of a meat-cheese-butter combination, alongside very cheap beer and wine by the glass. There is no seating available here, so you'll have to order your sandwich to-go. Although there is almost always a huge queue in front of the café, the service is remarkably quick, so you'll never have to wait long. Be aware that you can only pay by cash at All'Antico Vinaio and it's open 10am-11pm.
Amorino is another fantastic place to grab a gourmet sandwich during your holiday in Florence. This restaurant offers a selection of 26 sandwiches, including veggie options such as mozzarella and tomato, fish-based options such as tuna, baby onions and mayonnaise and meat-based options such as roast pork and truffle cream. To complement the sandwiches, there are around 50 different varieties of local Chianti wine available by the bottle and the glass. Unlike All'Antico Vinaio, this restaurant does provide seating for its diners.
For something more filling than a sandwich, consider A Casa Ca.Fe. This modern café serves contemporary Italian cuisine in stylish and simple surroundings. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day from 8am until 9pm, the menu here offers a huge choice of healthy, indulgent, vegetarian, meat-based and fish-based options, with everything from fruit parfaits and mozzarella salads to roast pork sandwiches and beef tartare. The drinks menu is typical for the area and includes a choice of local and European beers, local wines, coffee and soft drinks.
Porchetta sandwich from All'Antico Vinaio in Florence, Italy taken by Bing