12 Best Day Trips from Florence, Italy
Looking for Day Trips from Florence? Bella Firenze is the perfect place to base yourself in Italy if you want to immerse yourself in the Tuscan beauties. In fact there are so many things to do in Florence to keep you busy. But once you have spent some time in the city there are plenty of day trips from Florence to consider.
Day Trips from Florence
Whether you want to head out into the countryside, explore the nearby cities and towns, or even head to the seaside, there are plenty of nearby towns and attractions to choose from. We have put together our favourites below!
Day trips from Florence to heritage sites
Any trip to Florence is incomplete without visiting Tuscany’s historic towns many of which are UNESCO heritage sites. These are some easy day trips from Florence you won’t want to miss.
Pisa is an easy day trip from Florence and one of the most popular ones too. And that is because it is home to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. It can be so much fun clicking some really cool photographs in front of the tower. And if you are up for a climb, you can get to the top for some stunning vistas.
The leaning tower complex also houses a medieval cathedral called the Pisa Cathedral and an equally imposing Baptistery. Plus, you can check out Campo Santo, an old cemetery with impressive Gothic architecture, creepy funeral chambers, and restored frescoes.
You can get to Pisa in an hour and half by train from the Florence City Center. Driving can save you another 30 minutes. That is why, Pisa makes for such an amazing day trip option.
If you are done with Pisa and still have some time, head to the port city of Livorno which is only 15 minutes away. You will be rewarded gorgeous sea views and lots of history.
The second largest city of Tuscany and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Siena makes for a wonderful day trip from Florence. You can just hop on to a train and get to Siena in an hour and half.
Begin your day at Piazza del Campo, one of the most famous public squares in Europe. It still hosts interesting cultural events such as the Palio and the Carnival.
After that, you can explore several medieval monuments – all within a 5-min walk from the piazza. Palazzo Pubblico, Torre del Mangia, and Fonte Gaia are some of the popular ones. End your day with a visit to Siena’s Duomo, a remarkable Gothic structure that is filled with Renaissance masterpieces.
3. San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a charming Italian hillside town that often figures in many Tuscan itineraries. And that is because of its exceptional collection of medieval towers that soar high into the sky and make for a unique skyline.
These towers were symbols of patriarchal wealth and power in medieval Tuscany. Originally 72 towers were constructed. Only 14 remain today. You can climb the tallest one, Torre Grossa, to get stunning views of the countryside.
San Gimignano is only 90 minutes away from Florence by train, car, or bus. Spending a day in the Tower Town is a great way of finding more about medieval city layouts.
If you have some time left after San Gimignano, drive to Certaldo known for its Museum of Holy Art or to Volterra known for its Etruscan history. Both of them are pretty close by.
Lucca is another incredibly beautiful city located on the Serchio river in Tuscany. Lucca has been around since the time of Etruscans. So, we know it is home to a lot of history.
The 16th century city walls of Lucca are among the most distinctive features of the city. You can comfortably walk around a track created on top of them. Once done, you can explore Lucca’s historic center, a world heritage site. It is filled with many extraordinary churches showcasing architecture from various eras. One of the grandest ones is Chiesa di San Michele in Foro.
Day trips From Florence to nearby towns
When you are in Tuscany, you cannot leave without visiting some of prettiest towns in the Tuscan countryside.
Bologna, a city full of life and energy, is best known for its delicious food, red terracotta roofs, and for housing the world’s oldest university. That is why it is often referred to as La Dotta (The Learned), La Rossa (The Red), and La Grassa (The Fat).
You can easily spend a couple of days exploring Bologna. However, if you are short on time, we highly recommend doing a day trip. It takes only 40 minutes to get to Bologna from Florence by train.
When in Bologna, you can climb the Asinelli Tower, do a food tour, go shopping in one of the many vibrant marketplaces, stroll through Piazza Maggiore, and check out many pretty porticoes.
Orvieto is a charming little town situated in southwestern Umbria. Its dramatic location on the side of a tufa cliff makes it a unique day trip choice from Florence.
The history of Orvieto dates back to the Etruscans. No doubt, there’s plenty of history and culture to be experienced here.
Orvieto’s Cathedral with its Chapel of San Brizio is one of the most visited monuments in the country. A tour of Orvieto’s underground world filled with caves, wells, and tunnels is highly intriguing. And do not forget to check out the double-helix design of St. Patrick’s Well and try some classic Orvieto wine when here.
A train journey from Florence to Orvieto takes a little longer than 3 hours. However, if you have a car, Orvieto is totally worth it.
The hilltop town of Fiesole is one the easiest day trips from Florence. A 40-min bus ride from Florence will get you to Piazza Mino, the center of Fiesole.
Once you get to Fiesole, head to the Monastery of San Francesco for some of the most spectacular views of Florence and its Duomo. A perfect photo spot for Instagrammers. You can also explore a Roman amphitheater, an ancient bath, and a temple in Fiesole. Then go, check out the Bandini Museum located right next to the Duomo if you are a fan of Florentine art.
8. Arezzo & Casentino
Less than an hour away from Florence is the medieval town of Arezzo, a pretty offbeat destination in Italy. If you watched the movie “Life is Beautiful”, then you will know that it was shot here.
Old buildings, ancient walls, quaint alleys, and a primitive watermill give Arezzo a distinct medieval flavor. You can almost step back in time as you stroll through the streets of Arezzo, walk into the Duomo, or visit the Medici Fortress. If you are lucky, you can witness the Arezzo Antiques Fair which happens on the first Sunday of every month and the Saturday before.
A little further away from Arezzon is the Casentino Valley which is filled with lush green mountains, crystal streams, and mighty olive groves. True havens for history and nature lovers, Arezzo and Casentino make for an offbeat but easy day trip from Florence.
While it may seem far away on the map, Rome is actually under 90 minutes away on the fast train and can easily be visited on a day trip from Florence.
So, even if you are planning to stay in the North of Italy, you can still make sure to see Italy’s capital and marvel at the sights of the Colloseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and the Vatican, even if only for a day.
Read More: Things to do in Rome with kids
Day trips from Florence to beautiful natural landscapes
The landscape of Tuscany is breathtakingly beautiful. And there is no way you are going back without visiting one or many of these natural treasures on a day trip from Florence.
10. Pienza & Val d’Orcia
When we think of Tuscan landscapes, the first place that comes to our mind is the gorgeous Val d’Orcia, a World Heritage Site. Wide rolling hills, lone cypress trees, golden wheat fields, and occasional medieval towns make the scenery of Val d’Orcia extremely picturesque.
Pienza is a charming little village located among the undulating hills of Val d’Orcia. Pope Pius II, who was born here, transformed Pienza into an exemplary Renaissance town where the first town planning concepts were implemented. An extraordinary square called Piazza Pio II, surrounded by the Piccolomini Palace, the Borgia Palace, and the Duomo, stands testimony to that.
11. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre, a collection of five pretty villages along the western coast of Italy, is a must-visit when you are in Florence. Here, you can hike one of the numerous coastal trails or the famous sanctuary walks, take a dip in the sea, sunbathe, scuba dive, paraglide, or simply take a boat tour to appreciate the beauty around you.
You could easily spend a few days in Cinque Terre but if you are constrained by time, then a day trip is doable. The easiest way to get to Cinque Terre from Florence is by train. The journey takes a little more than 3 hours. So, if you are planning for a day trip, you should ideally be seated on an early morning train.
With verdant rolling hills, seemingly endless vineyards and numerous castles, Chianti makes for a stunning side trip option from Florence. And if you are a wine connoisseur, then a day trip could not get any better.
The Chianti region is well known for producing Chianti Classico wines. And there is no better place to drink some Chianti Classic than in the region where it is made. Take a wine tour of Chianti, visit some historic cellars, and stroll through sprawling vineyards. An idyllic day trip from Florence.
More Day Trips from Florence?
If you are looking for more day trips from Florence, try out the fairytale town of Montalcino that is well known for its Brunello red wine. Or discover Mugello, a verdant green valley that is home to the Mugello Circuit which hosts the Moto GP every year.
Don’t forget to check out our guide to Family Travel in Italy with lots of information on what to see and do on your Italian holiday.