Best Day Trips to take from Florence

The capital of Tuscany, Florence is an ideal location, not only to explore the city itself but the many other towns and cities nearby. See our top picks below!

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations with plenty of art and history to keep you busy! However, once you’ve ticked off all the major sites and attractions, its high-time you broadened your horizons and explored surrounding towns, award-winning vineyards, and stunning hilly landscapes that can be easily reached by a short trip. So, once you’ve spent a week or so exploring one of Italy’s most beautiful and significant cities, don’t stop there! Just outside of the cities streets lies the rolling hills of Tuscany. Take a car, bus or train and see what else this infamous region has to offer!

After all, being at the beating heart of Italy makes Florence a great base for one to explore the rest of the country. The following are gorgeous day trips from Florence – that are definitely worth a look.

Day trips from Florence

  • PISA

    Yes, Pisa is an Italian town best known for its photogenic Leaning Tower, but it offers much more to do besides posing for your next Insta photo! The whole Square of Miracles or Piazza dei Miracoli has several famous buildings, including the Baptistery of St. John, Pisa Cathedral and the Camposanto Monumentale. It’s no wonder the square is considered one of the finest architectural complexes in the world. The clue is in the name – miracles! Once you’ve exerted your appreciation for grand buildings, go shopping on borgo street where you pick up a souvenir or treat yourself to an item from one of the many designer shops along the street. And let’s not forget the Ponte di Mezzo Bridge! A great place to escape the crowds and watch the sun reflect off the Arno River, the most important river running through central Italy, after the Tiber of course. To get your creative fix check out the Palazzo Blu’s rotating art exhibits or unwind at the green Scotto Garden while listening to a local open-air concert. There’s so much to do in Pisa that we recommend spending a whole day in the city if possible.

    How to get there: To get to Pisa from Florence, you can drive, which takes just over an hour by car. Or you can take the train, which is direct, although takes a similar time to driving, maybe 10-minutes quicker. There are 45 trains covering the route from Florence to Pisa with the first train leaving Firenze Santa Maria Novella at 00:45 and the last train leaving at 23:13. Get off at Pisa Centrale station and enjoy your day wandering around Pisa!

  • SIENA

    A close cousin to Florence’s art, architecture, and acclaim, the gorgeous town of Siena is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its long existent medieval foundations that can still be seen today. 78 km from Florence, Siena is a popular day trip for its Medieval structures, sweeping views and historic horse racing. From an eye-catching tour of the iconic cathedral to a leisurely stroll through the city’s 17 contrade (districts) and a lot more in-between, Siena offers a true Tuscan adventure that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Kick start your day in the Piazza del Campo, which is the heart and soul of Siena and where most of its distinct landmarks can be found. The Public Palace, for example, is also home to Siena’s civic museum as well as some incredible frescoes. To the left of the palace is the Torre del Mangia, the city’s recognisable tower that provides excellent views of the surrounding streets and beyond. Keep walking Siena’s cobblestoned streets to discover more! If you’re lucky enough to be in Siena during July and August then you might get the chance to see the city’s bi-annual horse race. The Palio di Siena is a famous horse race that’s been taking place in Siena since the 17th century. Very traditional in that the ten riders race bareback through the city as the crowds cheer them on.

    How to get there: By car, the journey takes just over an hour via Raccordo Autostradale Firenze. By train, it takes an hour and a half. Although the latter is a little longer, we recommend taking the train as both cities are difficult to park in and don’t require a car once you’re there. Buy your train tickets online or at the station (just make sure you activate them before boarding!). You” want to board on at Firenze Novella again and get off at Siena train station.

  • LUCCA

    While Lucca is much smaller and less well known than Pisa or Siena, this charming fortified town is worth the detour. A similar distance from Florence as Siena and Pisa, Lucca is another good day trip, or a visit that you could combine on your trip to Pisa. From the train station, take a 10-minute walk to the old town to get a closer look at the city’s huge, looming 12m walls that encompass the whole of Lucca. To get around the city rent out a bike and pedal along the beautiful tree-lined trails as you take in the stunning vistas of the Romanic amphitheatre with traditional houses built into its walls. Many of you will be surprised by how uncommercialised Lucca is, choosing to stick to its more traditional roots which gives it an antique charm. The thousand year old Cathedral for instance often draws tourists in for its impressive decor insight and out. Or for an extraordinary sight, do not miss ‘Torre Guinigi’, a tower with a leafy public garden on its roof!

    How to get there: An hour and 10-minutes by car is all it takes to get to Lucca. Take the A11 via Pistoia to get to this intriguing city. Or take one of the hourly trains from Firenze station to Lucca. The trip takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes by rail.

  • SAN GIMIGNANO

    Last but not least on our list is San Gimignano, also known as the Town of Towers. Here’s one of those dreamy Tuscan towns that boast of award-winning vineyards and picturesque hills dotted with rustic agriturismos to offer you the best of a countrified Italian getaway. Also regarded as Medieval Manhattan, it is a haven for history enthusiasts – with 14 medieval towers that cater to sweeping vistas of the virgin countryside in addition to a preserved city centre that transports you back in time. It’s hilltop originally housed 72 towers built to display the wealth of aristocratic families in the 13th and 14th centuries, but nowadays 14 seems to be enough. Encircled by 13th-century walls, San Gimignano’s old town centres on the Piazza dell Cisterna, a triangular square lined with medieval houses. It also has a gorgeous Romanesque church, an archaeological museum, and several local vineyards known for brewing Vernaccia white wine. Sample these local delights and more when you visit this little town.

    How to get there: Again, by car the trip to San Gimignano from Florence only takes about an hour, being just 60 km away from the city. Car is your easiest option, whilst bus is your cheapest. To the left of the Santa Maria Novella train station is the bus station. Catch the bus going to Poggibonsi, and changes there and take the 130 San Gimignano-Siena bus to get to San Gimignano. In total, the journey takes about an hour and a half including the changeover time. Check the bus schedule the day before you want to travel to help plan your trip.

We include day trips on our Florence Tours, so check them and see if there’s something for you! Saves the hassle of transport and planning an itinerary.

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