Walking in February on the Tuscan Stages

Walking in February on the Tuscan Stages

February is a cold month in Tuscany, similar to January, with the potential for snow in the Casentino National Park and the Apennines. Despite the cold temperatures and possible snowy trail conditions, February offers a peaceful atmosphere with fewer tourists. Consider booking a guided tour with a local company if you plan to walk the trail during this season.

Key Highlights

  1. February in Tuscany is cold and snowy, offering a peaceful atmosphere with fewer tourists.
  2. Proper clothing and guided tours are recommended for safety during February.
  3. Accommodations may be limited in February, with some smaller lodgings closed.
  4. Carnevale and Fiera del Cioccolato Artigianale are February events worth attending.
  5. Weather in Umbria and Lazio is also cold and snowy in February, making it less than ideal for walking.

Weather and Trail Conditions

In February, expect cold temperatures, ranging from -0.9ºC to 6.3ºC. Snow is still likely, particularly in the mountainous areas, making the trail potentially dangerous and difficult to navigate.

  • Average temp: 2.5ºC
  • Average Low Temp: -0.9ºC
  • Average High Temp: 6.3ºC
  • Rainy Days: 7
  • Rainfall (mm): 88
  • Trail Conditions: The trail is likely to be covered in snow and may be dangerous to navigate without a guide.


Pack warm clothing, including layers, waterproof outerwear, insulated boots, gloves, and a hat to protect yourself from the cold and wet conditions.


February can be a challenging time to walk the Tuscan stages due to snow and cold temperatures. Ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear and consider booking a guided tour to ensure your safety on the trail.

Pilgrims and Accommodations

Number of Pilgrims

February sees very few pilgrims on the trail. Most pilgrims during this time will be on guided snow tours with local guides.

Stages with Open Accommodations

Accommodations may be available on all stages except Consuma. However, some smaller accommodations may be closed during this time, making it more challenging to find a place to stay. It is not an ideal time for walking the trail independently.

Booking Recommendation

Book in advance to make sure accommodations are open for each stage.

Consider booking a guided excursion with a local company such as AlterTrek or Donkey Tours to help navigate the snowy conditions and secure accommodations.

Public Transportation

Public transportation is available for all stages, but there may be interruptions due to school holidays, as most buses in the Casentino region are used primarily for school transportation.

Starting in Florence in February

February is a great month to start in Florence if you want to explore the museums and experience uncrowded popular attractions. The trail conditions, however, may be impassable without a guide because of snow, and accommodations may be limited due to closures.

Experiencing Florence in February

Florence is generally quiet in February, allowing you to enjoy the city at your own pace and appreciate its culture and art without the crowds. Take advantage of shorter lines at museums and attractions, and enjoy the Carnevale celebrations.

Casentino National Park in February

February’s snowy landscape in the Casentino National Park offers a picturesque and unique experience. However, the cold temperatures and snow make the trail difficult to navigate without a guide. Photographers and nature enthusiasts will love Casentino National Park in February, transformed by the snow and ice, adding a magical quality to the landscape. Snowshoe guided tours of the Casentinesi Forests with AlterTrek.

Foods Highlighted in Month

During February, Tuscany offers a blend of hearty winter dishes and sweet treats for those with a sweet tooth.

  • Polenta e Osei: A traditional northern Italian dish, polenta is served with small roasted birds, perfect for a filling meal in February.
  • Schiacciata alla Fiorentina: A fluffy, orange-flavored cake dusted with powdered sugar, typical of Florence during Carnival season. Pasticceria Giorgio is known for its exceptional version of this treat.

Special Activities and Events in February

Florence and Casentino Events

In February, the biggest event in Italy is Carnevale. While the dates vary each year, festivities often occur in February in cities and towns throughout the country. For a taste of one of the oldest carnivals in Italy, visit the smaller-scale Foiano della Chiana carnival outside of Arezzo, accessible by public transit.

  • Carnevale: Held annually 40 days before Easter on the liturgical calendar, Italy’s Carnival celebrations occur sometime between January and April but often fall in February. This is the biggest event of the month, with festivities in cities and towns throughout the country. Visit the smaller-scale Foiano della Chiana carnival outside of Arezzo for a taste of one of the oldest carnivals in the country.
  • Fiera del Cioccolato Artigianale: Held in Florence’s Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, this chocolate fair brings together artisan chocolatiers from Italy and abroad. Sample unique flavors, attend workshops, and watch live chocolate-making demonstrations. This Chocolate Fair takes place over 10 days during the first half of February at Piazza Santa Croce. You’ll be able to do plenty of chocolate tasting, watch a cooking show and enjoy all sorts of chocolate-related events.
  • Free Museums: The first Sunday of the month offers free admission to state-owned museums and archaeological sites in Florence, including the Uffizi and Bargello.

Tips for Walking the Tuscan Stages in February

The trail conditions in February may be impassable without a guide due to snow, and accommodations may be limited. Some smaller lodgings may be closed during this time. Consider booking a guided excursion with AlterTrek or Gli Amici dell’Asino Donkey Tours if planning to cross the mountains in this season.

Beyond Tuscany

Umbria Stages: Pieve Santo Stefano to Assisi to Rieti (Stages 7-23)

During February, the weather in Umbria can be cold, with average temperatures around 2.5ºC. Due to the winter climate and the likelihood of heavy rain and snow, a pilgrimage between November and March is generally unwise. Trail washouts, overflowing streams, and signage lost due to snow present hazards, and the danger of hypothermia and getting lost outweigh any advantages of walking during these months.

Lazio Stages: Rieti to Rome (Stages 24-28)

In Lazio, the weather during February is similar to that in Tuscany and Umbria, with cold temperatures and the possibility of rain and snow. The same concerns about trail conditions and safety apply, making it less than ideal for walking during this time. However, visiting cities like Rome during February can provide the opportunity to experience the sights with fewer crowds and more affordable accommodations.

In conclusion, walking the Via di Francesco in Tuscany during February offers a serene and visually stunning experience for pilgrims. Embrace the picturesque snowy landscapes and enjoy the benefits of fewer crowds and unique events like Carnival and the Chocolate Fair. However, be prepared for cold temperatures, challenging trail conditions, and possible accommodation limitations. For a safe and enjoyable journey, we highly recommend considering a guided tour to navigate the snowy trails and secure a comfortable place to stay.