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Best Day Trips from Florence

Best Day Trips from Florence

Tourists have been flocking to Italy’s Tuscany region for generations. Lush, rolling hills bear the olives and grapes that produce some of Italy’s finest products. Florence is the capital of this region, and a great place to base yourself for a Tuscan vacation. The city of Florence has much to offer to it’s visitors: some of the world’s most famous Renaissance art and architecture is found here.

Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and a cultural hub for Renaissance art and architecture. You will see many references in Florence to the Medici Family, a political dynasty that ruled Florence for 300 years and used their banking fortune to help foster the Italian Renaissance. Florence is also a hub for delicious and simple Tuscan cuisine. Florence is relatively small and easy to travel by foot and/or public transportation. The major airport is in nearby Pisa, and you can then catch a train into Florence. Being just 3 hours from Rome by vehicle, Florence is also a popular stop for an Italy road trip, and while Florence does see crowds in the summer, you won’t have to contend with cruise ship crowds as in other cities. To help you start planning your Tuscan vacation, we’ve got a list of all the best day trips from Florence.

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Pisa

Many visitors to Florence will arrive at the Pisa Airport, as it is the largest in the region and many low-cost European airlines come here. Pisa is less than one hour from Florence by high-speed train, making it an excellent day trip destination. From the train station, you can walk to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in about 20 minutes. Reservations are strongly recommended if you want to climb the tower. If you want a quick way to see all the highlights of Pisa on your day trip from Florence, check out the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour.

Day trips to Pisa 

PISA, ITALY - Tourist sightseeing Pisa Cathedral, Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Mary and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, bell tower of cathedral in Pisa, Italy.

Bologna

Foodie travelers will definitely want to take a day trip from Florence to Bologna. Just 35 minutes by fast train, and you’ll be in a new capital city. Set in the Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna is a university town that dates back to the 11th century. In Bologna you’ll over 40 kilometers of porticoed sidewalks to explore, two medieval towers, churches and the main square, Piazza Maggiore. Of course, plan to have one or more amazing meals while you are in Bologna, as the cuisine here is quite different than Tuscan cuisine. Travelers tired of the tourist crowds might find respite in Bologna, as it doesn’t see quite as many visitors as other tourist destinations in Italy.

Day trips to Bologna

Aerial view of Bologna Cathedral and towers towering above of the roofs of Old Town in medieval city Bologna during evening blue hour, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Siena

Another Tuscan city you must visit is Siena, which is 80 kilometers from Florence. Siena is famous for Il Campo, the medieval town square, and the heart of the city. Don’t miss the Duomo, or Siena Cathedral, with it’s intricate mosaic exterior. Inside the Duomo, you’ll find an amazing art collection that includes work by Michelangelo and Donatello. The City Tower, or Torre del Mangia, is easily spotted from all over Siena as it looms over the rest of the city. For the best aerial views of Siena and the surrounding countryside, make sure to climb the tower. You can travel to Siena from Florence by bus or train, but the bus tends to be faster, with multiple departures each hour.

Day trips to Siena

Beautiful view of Dome and campanile of Siena Cathedral, Duomo di Siena, and Old Town of medieval city of Siena at gorgeous sunset, Tuscany, Italy

Fiesole

A very short day trip from Florence is Fiesole, which could really be considered a suburb given the 8 kilometer distance. Fiesole sits on a hillside just outside of Florence, and is popular for visitors wanting to see Etruscan and Roman ruins. You can see the remains of Roman baths and visit a Roman amphitheater that still holds summer music festivals. Fiesole offers nice views of Florence, but also a quiet respite from the tourist path. While less visited than other areas of Florence, Fiesole still has several museums, gardens, churches and walking paths, plus a great selection cafes, restaurants and pizzerias to choose from before descending back down to Florence. There is a bus line from Florence that takes about 30 minutes, and runs late in the evening, so you can enjoy a full day and even dinner in Fiesole before returning to Florence.

Day trips to Fiesole

View of city center of Fiesole with cathedral tower.

La Spezia

If Cinque Terre is not on your Italy vacation itinerary, you should at the very least plan a day trip to La Spezia. The journey takes about two hours, usually with a train transfer in Pisa. This port city is home to Italy’s largest navy base and many historical attractions. Take a stroll along the scenic waterfront of La Spezia, visit San Giorgio Castle, or hop a ferry over to Palmaria Island. Nature lovers might want to check out the Parco Giardini Pubblici near the waterfront, or the Porto Venere Natural Park.

Day trips to La Spezia

Manarola Village, Cinque Terre Coast of Italy. Manarola is a beautiful small town in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, north of Italy.

Chianti

One of Italy’s best wine-growing regions is Chianti. Wine-lovers will love this day trip from Florence! The region is less than one hour from Florence, but the best way to see it is with a private car, or guided tour. Unlike other day trips by public transportation, a day trip to Chianti means traveling between several vineyards, and you’ll appreciate the flexibility of sampling wines at many places. There are many tour operators offering half-day and full-day trips from Florence to Chianti. If you are a full-fledged wine fanatic and have specific vineyards you’d like to see, consider hiring a private driver for the day. Another wine region a bit farther from Florence, but also less touristic, is Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage region that is about 90 minutes from Florence.

Day trips to Chianti

Panoramic view of countryside and chianti vernaccia vineyards from San Gimignano on sunrise. Tuscany, Italy, Europe.

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Best Day Trips from Florence

Best Day Trips from Florence




Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!