13 Best Day Trips From Florence

You can go on many incredible day trips from Florence. The capital city of Tuscany is so centrally located in the region and in the country, that it really makes traveling to many other cities and regions of central and northern Italy a real breeze by car, train or even bus.

If you don’t know where to go, you are in the right place: I have selected the best day trips from Florence for you. In most cases, the places mentioned in this post can be easily reached via a quick train ride. In other cases, and especially if you want to hit a couple of places on the same day, you are better off either renting a car for the day, or joining a guided tour that includes transportation. Don’t worry – for each of these trips, where relevant, I point out the best guided tour options too.

Check out the prices of car rental in Italy here and don’t forget to read my post A Guide To Renting A Car In Italy.

Make sure to also read my posts The Best Things To Do In Florence and The Best Places To Visit In Italy.

Fiesole day trips from Florence

The Best Day Trips From Florence

Fiesole

If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to travel very far, Fiesole is a perfect choice for a day trip from Florence. This small hilltop village is within the Florence Metropolitan area and looks down into the valley where the city is located.

Fiesole was once known as a getaway for the upper class. Today it’s known for its lovely villas, gardens and ruins such as the Roman Theater. These ruins are incredibly preserved and have a history dating back to the 4th century BC. Other popular attractions in the village include the remains of the Etruscan Walls, the 14th-century Palazzo Comunale, the Cathedral of Fiesole, Episcopal Palace, the Roman Baths and the Monastery of San Francesco.

Fiesole is only 6 miles (10 kilometers) away from Florence. If you’re looking for the easiest way to travel between the two locations, your best bet is to travel by bus. Head to either the Santa Maria Novella train station or San Marco Square in Florence and hop on the ATAF bus number 7 which will take you to the main square in Fiesole. From there, the main attractions are only a short walk away. These buses run approximately every 20 minutes.

You can book a guided bike tour of Florence that also goes to Fiesole here.

day trips from Florence

Pisa

Most people know the city of Pisa for its famous leaning tower which was built in the 1300s, but this exciting city has so much more to offer on a day trip from Florence. Pisa has a long history which is on display at the many museums around the city such as Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo delle Sinopie, Museo Nazionale di San Matteo and Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale.

The city is also home to many stately churches, medieval palaces and other notable attractions including Knight’s Square, Orto Botanico Botanical Gardens and Mural Tuttomondo by Keith Haring. Many visitors love to take a walk along the Arno River where you can see several beautiful bridges or through the old neighborhood of Borgo Stretto where you’ll see incredible architecture from various periods.

Pisa is situated 51 miles (83 kilometers) away from Florence and the best way to get there is by high-speed train. A number of these trains make the journey from Florence to Pisa every day and the journey takes about 50 minutes. You can find the train schedule on the website of Trenitalia and you can get tickets on the Omio App here.

Most guided day trips from Florence to Pisa also go to Siena and San Gimignano. You can book yours here.

For a guided tour that also goes to Cinque Terre, click here.

Make sure to read my post How To Plan The Best Florence To Pisa Day Trip.

Siena day trip from Florence

Siena

Situated in the heart of Tuscany, Siena is known for its historic center, which is a designated UNESCO site, and its beautiful medieval architecture. This ancient city is surrounded by an incredibly-preserved wall that’s over 1,000 years old.

The main gathering place in the city is Piazza del Campo where you’ll find the Palazzo Pubblico, Town Hall and the 14th-century Torre del Mangia. Other top attractions in the city include the 13th-century Siena Cathedral, Siena National Gallery, Medicea Fort, Siena Civic Museum and the Baptistery of Santa Maria Assunta.

Siena is about 48 miles (78 kilometers) away from Florence and the best way to get there is by train. You can catch a train from the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence that will take you to the Stazione di Siena. Some trains are direct while others may require a transfer but typically, it takes about 90 minutes to complete this journey. You can find the train schedule on the website of Trenitalia and you can get tickets on the Omio App here.

From the station in Siena, it’s a steep climb to the city center unless you take the train station escalator or bus.

For a guided day trip of Siena from Florence that also goes to the Chianti region and San Gimignano, click here, here or here.

For a more budget friendly tour, click here.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is another beautiful town in Tuscany that can be easily visited from Florence on a day trip. Within the town’s 13th-century walls, you’ll find stunning architecture and fascinating historical sites.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site has many attractions that are worth seeing, including the 12th-century Duomo di San Gimignano, Piazza della Cisterna and Sant’Agostino. The town is known as the Town of Fine Towers due to the number of towers that dominate the skyline including Torre Grossa and Torre Rognosa. Take a break during your exploration of San Gimignano and try the local white wine Vernaccia di Gimignano.

San Gimignano is about 37 miles (60 kilometers) away from Florence and the best way to get there is by bus. You can catch this bus every hour at Via Santa Caterina da Siena next to the Santa Maria Novella train station and it takes about 75 minutes to get there with one transfer at Poggibonsi.

In San Gimignano, you’ll exit the bus at the Porta San Giovanni and walk about 300 meters to reach the city center.

For the best guided day trips from Florence to San Gimignano that also go to the Chianti region and Siena, click here, here or here.

For a more budget friendly tour, click here.

Lucca day trips from Florence

Lucca

Situated along the banks of the Serchio River in Tuscany, Lucca is another Italian city that’s surrounded by beautifully-preserved walls from the Renaissance era. This historic city is known for its stunning city center with cobblestone streets and its many palaces, squares, villas and museums.

Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi, Ducal Palace, Villa Garzoni, Torre delle Ore, Teatro del Giglio Opera House, Academy of Sciences and the Comunale di Lucca Botanical Garden are just some of the attractions you’ll find while exploring this amazing city.

The best way to explore Lucca is on a guided walking tour. On a tour you’ll check out the old city walls, see all the main attractions in the city center and learn about the history and culture of the city.

You can book a guided walking tour of Lucca here.

Lucca is about 51 miles (82 kilometers) away from Florence. You can get there by train – there are regular departures and the journey takes about one hour and 20 minutes. You can find the train schedule on the website of Trenitalia and you can get tickets on the Omio App here.

For a day trip from Florence to Lucca, click here.

Pistoia best day trips from Florence

Pistoia

The walled city of Pistoia is a less-visited city in Tuscany but one that is worth checking out on a day trip from Florence. The city’s main square, the Piazza del Duomo, is where most of the action takes place.

This is where you can sit and watch people go about their daily activities or visit several of the city’s main attractions including the Cathedral of San Zeno, Palazzo del Comune, the Tower of Catilina, Palazzo del Vescovi and Palazzo del Podestà. Other attractions that you’ll find around the city include the Basilica of Our Lady of Humility, Ospedale del Ceppo and Medici Fortress of Santa Barbara.

As you explore Pistoia, make sure to take some time to admire the stunning architecture and taste the incredible local food such as the artisan chocolate the city is known for.

For a guided walking tour of Pistoia, click here.

Pistoia is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) away from Florence and the best way to get there is by train. Trains depart Florence multiple times a day starting very early in the morning and running until around midnight. The journey takes about 35 minutes. You can find the train schedule on the website of Trenitalia and you can get tickets on the Omio App here.

Val D'Orcia

Val d’Orcia

Val d’Orcia is a beautiful valley and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tuscany that’s known for its medieval villages, vineyards, olive groves, sunflower fields and rolling hills dissected by the Orcia River. As you explore the area, you’ll see castles, rural farmhouses and roads bordered by cypress trees.

Cruise along the scenic Val d’Orcia Drive or Le Crete Senesi Drive and see top attractions such as Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey. Make sure to stop along the way to sample some of the regional delicacies including pecorino cheese, truffles and wild boar! After a long day of driving and visiting attractions, relax in one of the thermal spas that can be found in the region such as the ones at Bagno Vignoni and Bagni di San Filippo.

Val d’Orcia is about 83 miles (133 kilometers) away from Florence. The best way to explore this area is to rent a car in Florence and explore it independently. If you take a bus or train there, you won’t be able to do the scenic drives and you’ll be limited in where you can go. In Florence, there are many car rental agencies. I recommend using a comparison site such as Discover Cars to get the best deal.

If you don’t feel like driving, you’ll have to opt for a guided tour. For the best guided day trips from Florence to Val d’Orcia, click here or here.

Chianti

Chianti Region

If the name Chianti sounds familiar, you’ve likely heard it before but it’s probably in reference to the famous red wine that comes from this gorgeous region in Italy rather than the region itself. This renowned area of Tuscany is one of the most beautiful places in all of Italy with mountains, rolling hills, vineyards, orchards, olive groves and pretty little villages.

Some of the best villages to visit on a tour of this region are Gaiole, Greve in Chianti, Montefioralle, Panzano, Castellina in Chianti and San Gusmé. As you explore the area, you’ll see many incredible sights including Meleto Castle, Castello di Brolio, Parco Sculture del Chianti and Albola Castle. Of course, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to stop and sample some of those delicious Chianti wines.

The Chianti region is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from Florence and the best way to experience the region is with a guided tour. A number of day tours depart Florence including the Chianti Safari. During tours, you’ll visit Tuscan villas, indulge in wine and cheese, explore some off-road areas and enjoy a three-course dinner in the stunning countryside.

For the best day trips from Florence to the Chianti region click here, here or here.

Cinque Terre

Rugged, beautiful and remote. These are just some of the words that can be used to describe the spectacular Cinque Terre region of Italy. Situated along the scenic Italian Riviera, the region consists of the five historic coastal villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. A day is hardly enough to fully appreciate the area, but if that’s all you have definitely go. I promise you won’t regret it!

As you explore the area, you’ll see colorful villas, beautiful beaches, boat-filled harbors and cliffside terraces with vineyards. Several hiking trails traverse between the villages including the Sentiero Azzurro.

Cinque Terre is about 112 miles (180 kilometers) away from Florence and taking a guided tour is the best way to get the most out of your visit to the region. During guided tours, you’ll visit all five villages of the Cinque Terre region, take a boat ride in Vernazza, sample local wine and learn about the history of the area.

The following are the best guided day trips from Florence to Cinque Terre:

For more excellent tours of Cinque Terre departing from Florence, click here.

Head over to my post How To Plan A Day Trip From Florence To Cinque Terre.

Rome

The capital city of Rome is a must-visit during any trip to Italy and fortunately, and while a day trip is hardly enough to get to appreciate it, it’s easily accessible from Florence.

With an ancient history that goes back thousands of years, incredibly well-preserved architecture from various eras and some of the most famous works of art of all time, Rome has it all.

Some of the world-renowned attractions that you’ll see as you roam the Eternal City include the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican museums.

Rome is about 170 miles (273 kilometers) away from Florence and the best way to get there is by train. Most of the trains to Rome leave from the Santa Maria Novella Station and arrive at the Rome Termini Station. Multiple trains leave every hour and the journey takes around 1.5 hours on the high-speed trains. The trains pass through various scenic areas of Tuscany and Lazioso you can get a taste of those areas along the way. You can find the train schedule on the website of Trenitalia and you can get tickets on the Omio App here.

Remember you will need tickets to visit most attractions in Rome, and in many cases you need to book them in advance.

Get your ticket for the Colosseum here or here.

For a guided tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, click here.

Get your tickets to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel here or here.

For a complete Vatican tour that also includes a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Dome climb click here.

This Rome in a day tour with Vatican, Colosseum & Historic Center departs at 9:30 am so you don’t even have to leave Florence at the crack of dawn. For more information, click here.

Don’t forget to read my post The Best Things To Do In Rome.

Bologna

Located in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, Bologna is another popular place to visit in the country and it’s very easily accessible from Florence. The city is known for its numerous medieval towers, beautiful architecture and delicious cuisine (book a table for lunch at Cesari for the best tagliatelle alla bolognese!).

There are many amazing attractions to visit in Bologna including the Seven Churches of Santo Stefano, the stunning Teatro Anatomico, MAMbo Modern Art Museum, the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, the Hidden Canals and the Piazza Maggiore where you’ll find the Fountain of Neptune and the Basilica di San Petronio.

Bologna is about 73 miles (118 kilometers) away from Florence and the best way to get there is by train. Multiple trains travel this route each day and the journey takes about 38 minutes. I did the journey myself recently and can assure you it’s a breeze! You can find the train schedule on the website of Trenitalia and you can get tickets on the Omio App here.

For a guided day trip to Bologna from Florence, with food tour and Parmesan making experiences click here.

For information on guided day trips from Florence to Bologna, click here.

For a walking tour of Bologna, click here.

Milan

Milan

Milan is a large urban center in the Lombardy region of Italy and is another one of the top destinations to visit on a day trip from Florence. This city, which is an incredible mesh of old and new, is known for its high-end eateries and retail shops and historic buildings. It certainly deserves more than a day, but it’s not nearly overwhelming as Rome and in fact the atmosphere is way more chilled.

Some of the top attractions in Milan include the Duomo di Milano Cathedral, La Scala Opera House, Sforza Castle and Pinacoteca di Brera Art Gallery.

Sant Ambrogio, Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology, Piazza dei Mercanti, the Milan Archaeology Museum and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent which is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco “The Last Supper”, are also top attractions in the city.

Should you want to admire the Last Supper remember that this attraction must be booked well in advance. For information and tickets, click here.

Walking along the Naviglio Grande and exploring the Brera District are other popular things to do in Milan.

For a walking tour of Milan that includes the Last Supper click here.

Milan is about 195 miles (314 kilometers) away from Florence and the best way to get there is via the high-speed trains operated by Trenitalia and Italo. Multiple trains leave Florence every hour and if you go by fast train, it’ll take you about 1.5 hours to get there. You can find the train schedule on the website of Trenitalia and you can get tickets on the Omio App here.

Assisi

Assisi

Located in a hilly area of Umbria, Assisi is best known for being the birthplace of the patron saint, St. Francis. This medieval city is home to many world-class attractions including the 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rocca Maggiore Castle, the Roman Amphitheater, the Piazza del Comune, the Temple of Minerva and the Abbey of St. Benedict.

Assisi is about 107 miles (172 kilometers) away from Florence. It takes about two hours and 40 minutes to travel to Assisi by train and this is the best way to get there from Florence. You can find the train schedule on the website of Trenitalia and you can get tickets on the Omio App here.

For the best guided day trips from Florence to Assisi (and including Cortona) click here.

Further Readings

These posts will be useful when planning a trip to Florence:

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Read about the best day trips from Florence, Italy - via @clautavani

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