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Cluster of grapes almost ready to be harvested in the Tuscan countryside--wine tours can easily be one of the best day trips from Florence Italy!

21 Best Day Trips from Florence (+ Detailed Travel Advice)

Italy

Nestled in central Italy and well-connected as the capital of Tuscany, there is arguably nowhere better to use as a base for day trips in all of central Italy than Florence–and as you’ll see, the best day trips from Florence are incredibly diverse, perfect for a wide variety of travelers.

Whether you’re looking for a food-centered trip, a little sun and sea air, a taste of one of Italy’s largest cities, or a classic Tuscan countryside escape, we’ve got a Florence day trip here for you.

We’ve put together this guide to the best day trips from Florence based on a cumulative several months traveling in Tuscany and its surrounding region over a period of years, including one trip where we based ourselves in Florence for a solid month.

Though the bulk of this guide is structured based on the given destination’s distance from Florence, we’ve also included a few memorable countryside experiences toward the bottom and a reliable, tried-and-true option for those looking for a quick decision toward the top.

Here’s where the find the best day trips from Florence.

Small Tuscan country road lined by trees--roads like this are one of the benefits of taking epic day trips from Florence!

How to Reach Your Florence Day Trip Destination

While there are plenty of Florence day trip guides on the internet, many of them tend to gloss over one of the most important details: how to get there!

The bulk of these day trips from Florence can be completed by train, and the time estimates we’ve used to structure this guide are based on taking the fast train (not regional train–more on that below) to and from your destination.

In a few cases, you’ll need to take a car and/or bus to reach the destination, and we’ve noted those where applicable.

If you’d like to rent a car for the day to explore on a mini road trip, we highly recommend it (though we suggest reading over the tips in our Tuscany road trip guide before grabbing the keys). You can search for car rental prices in Florence through Discover Cars here.

Check prices for rental cars in Florence today!

Kate Storm in the Tuscan countryside at sunset, with a sun flare on the right side of the photo.

The Differences Between Fast & Regional Trains in Italy

In Italy, including in Florence, you’ll find two types of trains: fast trains, for which ticket prices are flexible, and regional trains, for which they’re set.

When taking a fast train, you’ll want to book in advance, as prices can change as your day trip gets closer. Naturally, these tickets also tend to be more expensive overall than regional tickets.

Regional trains are cheaper, have fares set by the government (therefore you can simply purchase tickets as you leave for the day), stop more along the route, and are slower.

When traveling to Bologna from Florence, for example, you have the choice between taking the fast train (about 40 minutes each way) or the regional train (about 1.5 hours each way) on your day trip.

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Therefore, we’ve listed Bologna as a day trip located less than one hour from Florence… but if you don’t book your ticket in advance, you may find that it’s quite expensive to take the fast train at the last minute!

We recommend using Omio to search for fast train tickets (it will search tickets and compare prices both for Trenitalia, Italy’s national train company, and Italo, a private company that offers some routes, as well as bus routes).

While some of these day trips from Florence are easy to use the regional trains for and generally don’t require train tickets to be purchased in advance (like Pisa), others (like Rome) require a fast train ticket to even be feasible. 

If you have your heart set on a particular day trip, we recommend researching exact train times and prices as soon as possible to get a realistic look at what your day will look like.

Check fast train ticket prices for your day trips from Florence today!

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Quick Decision: An Epic & Easy Day Trip from Florence

Does choosing between 21 day trips from Florence feel a bit overwhelming? Want to make a quick, easy, reliable choice that is bound to be unforgettable?

Enter this full Tuscany day trip, which covers a visit to Siena, a wine tasting in the Chianti countryside, and a trip to the beautiful village of San Gimignano, all in one day!

This is a one-stop-shop day trip from Florence, and includes a little bit of everything: a Tuscan city, some delicious local food and wine, and a trip to a small village with incredible views of the rolling hills of Tuscany, making it an easy choice for those looking for a small taste of several different things that Tuscany has to offer.

With over 900 near-perfect reviews on Walks of Italy alone, this day trip is a tried-and-true crowd pleaser–don’t forget to save room after lunch for some of the best gelato in Italy from Gelateria Dondoli in San Gimignano!

Book this full Tuscany day trip from Florence today!

Honeymoon in Tuscany: Views of Tuscan Countryside

Day Trips Within 1 Hour of Florence

Pisa

Perhaps the most iconic of all these Florence day trips, heading to the Leaning Tower of Pisa to snap cheesy-but-fun selfies while holding up the tower is on plenty of Tuscany bucket lists.

Truthfully, Pisa is really a better half-day trip than full day trip, and for that reason we recommend combining it with Lucca–but if you’re the type to savor a destination, you may like to do it as a standalone trip!

A guided tour isn’t really necessary here, though if you prefer one, this is a great option.

Pisa is an easy regional train ride away from Florence, but if you want to climb the tower, we recommend pre-booking tickets in advance to ensure you get a chance to head to the top.

Once you finish up at the tower, be sure to spend some time in the rest of the complex visiting the stunning Pisa Cathedral and baptistery!

Booking your Pisa Complex skip-the-line tickets OR your full Pisa day trip now!

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm at the Leaning Tower of Pisa--this bucket list spot is part of just about any Tuscany road trip itinerary!

Arezzo

For a day trip from Florence that’s not as well-established on the tourist circuit as somewhere like Pisa (though it is far from unknown), head to the beautiful Tuscan city of Arezzo.

Located less than an hour south of Florence by train, Arezzo is easy to reach and easy to enjoy, boasting gorgeous churches, beautiful views over the Tuscan countryside, and plenty to do.

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While you’re there, be sure to check out the Medici Fortress, pay a visit to the archaeological museum (complete with the remains of a Roman amphitheatre), admire the remarkable frescoes in the Church of San Francesco, and climb to the top of the clock tower at the Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici for some incredible views.

Arezzo is also known for its antiquing, so if you’d like to do a little shopping for antiques during your trip to Tuscany, this is the place to do it!

Kate Storm sitting on a ledge overlooking Arezzo, one of the best day trips from Florence

Bologna

As the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, Bologna is known primarily for its absolutely phenomenal food–and if your plan for one of your day trips from Florence is simply to eat your heart out, this is the place to do it!

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The Emilia-Romagna region is the original birthplace of many of the dishes that are synonymous with Italian food abroad, though most people who visit agree that the original versions are far tastier.

Parmigiano-reggiano, traditional balsamic vinegar, mortadella (aka bologna), and tagliatelle al ragu (aka spaghetti bolognese) are just a few of the delicacies worth sampling on a day trip to Bologna.

The Best Things to Do in Bologna: Climb Asinelli Tower

In between meals, consider heading to the top of Asinelli Tower for some amazing views of the city, hunting down Bologna’s hidden canals, visiting the anatomical theatre and library of Archiginnasio, and strolling through Bologna’s markets.

Prefer to focus your day trip solely on food and to track down some of Emilia-Romagna’s delicacies at their source? 

This day trip from Florence includes a visit to a parmigiano-reggiano storehouse (visiting one of these is still one of our favorite travel experiences in Italy!), a trip to a small farm that produces traditional balsamic vinegar, and a visit to Bologna… with a chance to eat just about everywhere along the way.

Book your food tour of Emilia-Romagna from Florence today!

What to Do in Bologna: Tour Cheese Factory

Fiesole

Located high above Florence in the Tuscan countryside, Fiesole is unique among these Florence day trips in that it’s only located an hour from Florence… on foot!

That’s right, an hour’s hike is one of the most popular ways to visit Fiesole from Florence–but don’t worry, for those less inclined, you can easily take a quick bus ride up as well.

Once you’re in Fiesole (and manage to tear your eyes away from the stunning views of Florence below), be sure to visit the local Roman ruins (including an amphitheatre), check out the incredible Monastery of San Francesco, the remains of walls left behind by the Etruscans, and of course Fiesole’s beautiful cathedral.

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Day Trips Within 2 Hours of Florence

Siena

As the second-largest city in Tuscany, Siena was once the military rival of Florence, and today is known for its incredible beauty (especially its Duomo, which is arguably even prettier than Florence’s) and its biannual Palio di Siena horse race.

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On a day trip to Siena, don’t miss an opportunity to admire Siena from above (our favorite angle is from the top of the Opera della Metropolitana), to tour the Duomo (if you can fit in the behind-the-scenes rooftop tour, absolutely do), visit the Piazza di Campo, and sit down for a leisurely and delicious lunch–we can heartily recommend Antica Trattoria Papei if you’re looking for a place to eat.

Siena can easily be reached from Florence by train, car, or bus.

2 Weeks in Italy Itinerary: View of Siena

Lucca

Often combined with Pisa for a two-destinations-in-one day tour from Florence, Lucca is a laid-back and beautiful Tuscan town that is perfect for walking around and enjoying the ambiance of Tuscany without skipping from one sight to the next.

Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll (or bike) along the top of Lucca’s medieval fortified town walls–it’s the only city in Tuscany where you can walk the entire route!

Be sure to also stop by the beautiful oval Piazza del’Anfiteatro, which began life as a Roman amphiteatre, climb the Guinigi Tower, and duck into at least a couple of Lucca’s one hundred (no exaggeration) churches.

Prefer to take a guided tour to Lucca?

This fun tour will show you the best of both Pisa and Lucca in one day!

Part of the oval square in Lucca Italy, one of the essential stops on your Tuscany road trip itinerary

Verona

In many ways, Florence and Verona have lots in common: they’re both beautiful Italian cities set on rivers, both have a plethora of art and history to explore, and both have delicious cuisines.

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In the details, though, they are very different: the food is different, the architecture is different, the history is different–and yet, both Verona and Florence rank among our favorite cities in Italy.

Come to Verona for a chance to tour a gorgeous Roman arena in the center of town, for stunning views from Castel San Pietro, visit the beautiful Piazza delle Erbe, and, perhaps most famously, indulge in a little bit of Romeo and Juliet tourism in the hometown of these legendary star-crossed lovers.

Best Things to Do in Verona: Castel San Pietro

San Gimignano

Easily one of the most popular day trips from Florence, San Gimignano is known for its soaring towers, beautiful views, prime location in Tuscany (once upon a time, it sat along a Roman trading route, enriching the town), and its delicious gelato–popular Gelateria Dondoli is known as some of the best gelato in all of Italy!

Though you can’t take a train directly to San Gimignano, you can travel there independently by car or bus.

However, San Gimignano is easy to combine with a trip to the Chianti countryside and wine tasting, making it an excellent town to experience as part of a guided day tour from Florence!

This classic Tuscany day trip is an excellent option for getting a taste of San Gimignano!

Street of San Gimignano in Tuscany, one of the best day trips from Florence Italy

Rome

Ah, Rome: I must admit that I’m a bit biased in that I’m hesitant to recommend Rome as a Florence day trip, simply because I love it so much that I have a hard time seeing how one day could be enough.

However, all trips to Italy require hard choices about where to go and where to skip, and if you are hoping to taste the Eternal City but don’t have longer than a day to spend there, it’s absolutely worth going!

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With one day in Rome, you can pay a visit to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, stroll past the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, briefly visit Vatican City, admire the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, and visit Campo de’ Fiori.

We have a full recommended one day in Rome itinerary here.

The only realistic way to take a day trip to Rome from Florence is via the fast train, which takes 1.5 hours vs more than 3 hours each way on the regional train, so if you have your heart set on this day trip, be sure to reserve your tickets in advance!

Purchase train tickets for your day trip to Rome today!

Couple standing in from of Colosseum, One Day in Rome -- Rome in a Day

Val d’Orcia + Surrounding Villages

The rolling hills and endless fields of the Val d’Orcia are often considered the most beautiful place in Tuscany–and with good reason.

This part of Tuscany is truly a feast for the eyes, and exactly where to come if you are looking for the idyllic Tuscan countryside of movies and postcards.

Combine stunning countryside with adorable Tuscan villages and wine tasting in this epic day trip, which includes visits to the towns of Pienza, Montalcino, and Montepulciano (which happens to be one of my favorite villages in Tuscany).

If you would rather avoid taking a guided tour, you certainly can–but you’ll definitely need to rent a car to effectively make the trip happen (and have someone willing to forgo the wine and act as your group’s designated driver!).

Book your day trip to Val d’Orcia today!

Main square of Montepulciano, one of the best Florence day trips

Volterra

Dating back to the Etruscans and far less crowded than many of these best day trips from Florence, Volterra is a delightful Tuscan hilltop town with a plethora of interesting sites and history.

Pay a visit to the Piazza dei Priori, stroll through remaining Etruscan walls and gates, check out the city’s Roman ruins, and visit the beautiful local cathedral and baptistery.

Twilight fans will recognize Volterra as the seat of power of the Volturi, though if you’re hunting down filming locations, you’re in the wrong place: Montepulciano actually stood in for Volterra in the films.

Unlike most of these Florence day trips, Volterra is not reachable directly by train. While driving is the easiest way to reach Volterra, you can also transfer from a train to a bus and get to Volterra in about 2.5 hours each way.

Shop rental cars for your Volterra day trip today!

Photo of Volterra as seen from outside the town--Volterra is an excellent addition to any road trip in Tuscany.

Milan

Italy’s fashion capital is located less than 2 hours from Florence by train, making it a simple and fun day trip that will give you a taste of an Italian city that feels very different from Florence.

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Milan’s major sights, like its famous Duomo (don’t forget to check out the rooftop–it’s absolutely fabulous), the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Castello Sforzesco, and the La Scala Opera House are all within a comfortable walk of each other, making Milan an excellent place to see over the course of a day.

If you’d like to see The Last Supper, you will absolutely need to plan in advance: we recommend booking a tour like this if you’d like to see Da Vinci’s famous painting on your trip to Milan.

Book your visit to the The Last Supper now!

One Day in Milan Itinerary: Duomo

Day Trips Within 3 Hours of Florence

Orvieto

Located just barely over 2 hours from Florence by train, Orvieto is a dream of a hilltop town in the Italian region of Umbria, offering gorgeous views, a beautiful town center, plenty of interesting things to do, and some unique local foods definitely worth trying (starting with pigeon–yes pigeon–and Orvieto Classico wine).

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While you’re in Orvieto, definitely stop by the Duomo (including the fascinating Cappella di San Brizio inside), step inside St. Patrick’s Well, visit the Orvieto underground, tour the Etruscan necropolis, and climb the Torre del Moro for beautiful views over the city.

View of Orvieto Cathedral from Torre del Moro, one of the best day trips from Florence Italy

Assisi

As the birthplace of Saint Francis, one of the patron saints of Italy, Assisi is an enormously popular Florence day trip for Catholic travelers–but even if you’re not a practicing Catholic, the history and beauty of Assisi is sure to draw you in.

No trip to Assisi could be complete without a visit to the UNESCO-recognized St. Francis Basilica–but once you wrap up there, be sure to also check out Assisi’s Roman Forum, the Rocca Maggiore fort, the Roman Temple of Minerva located in the center of town, and the Cathedral of San Rufino.

While Assisi is a meaningful and interesting Florence day trip, it’s also a bit long, with most journeys take well over 2 hours each way–so be prepared for a long day!

This Assisi day trip takes care of transportation concerns and also includes a stop in beautiful Cortona!

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Cinque Terre

There’s no doubt that Cinque Terre is one of the most sought-after day trips from Florence: these delightful Ligurian fishing villages have captured hearts around the world, and it’s no surprise–they’re truly incredibly beautiful.

However, as a day trip from Florence, they’re a bit of a stretch to get to, requiring you to time the fast trains, spend lots of your day in transition, and dedicate a huge amount of energy to logistics on what is already a very full day. 

We go into detail on that in this post, so I won’t repeat myself too much here, but I will say that we absolutely recommend booking an organized tour to Cinque Terre if you want to accomplish a visit as a day trip from Florence.

Your day will be much simpler for it, and you’ll be able to spend all of your energy focused on gorgeous views and tasty seafood instead of fretting about logistics.

Book your day trip to Cinque Terre from Florence today!

View of Vernazza harbor from above--worth adding to your list of sights when planning a trip to Italy!

Epic Experiences Outside of Florence

Rather than focus on a specific town or city, these best day trips from Florence are all about having unforgettable experiences in Tuscany–including some of our favorite Tuscany travel experiences of all time!

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Vespa Tour

One of our all-time favorite experiences in Tuscany is taking a day trip to the countryside via Vespa.

There’s truly nothing like the feeling of zipping along country lanes and admiring passing villas, olive orchards, and vineyards from the back of a Vespa.

This tour will take you up to San Miniato al Monte for some truly incredible views of Florence before a ride through the countryside, and is a completely phenomenal experience, and if you’re looking for an idyllic day trip in Tuscany, you can’t go wrong with this one!

Book your vintage Vespa day tour from Florence now!

Kate Storm on a white Vespa in the Tuscan countryside--riding a Vespa is an incredibly fun experience during a Tuscany itinerary!

Tuscan Cooking Class

Want to try your hand at some Tuscan cooking?

Taking a cooking class in Tuscany is one of the most popular things to do when visiting the region, but while there are plenty of classes you can take within Florence, we personally think cooking in a farmhouse in the countryside is far more idyllic!

This cooking class is an all-day affair at a Tuscan farmhouse, includes transportation to and from Florence, and is an excellent way to combine a day outside the city while sampling plenty of delicious food (and learning how to replicate it at home!).

We adored this Tuscan cooking class and can highly recommend it!

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm holding up a pizza at a cooking class in Tuscany

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding in Tuscany is a special experience: trails wind through vineyards, past orchards and farmhouses, and along small country lanes.

Admiring the views of the Tuscan countryside is, of course, one of the more popular things to do on a day trip from Florence, wherever you choose to go, and it’s even more special while on horseback.

This tour combines horseback riding with a wine tour, making it the perfect Tuscany day trip combination!

Schedule your horseback ride in Tuscany now!

Romantic Things to Do in Tuscany: Horseback Riding

Wine Tour + Tasting

Prefer to skip the cities and focus solely on delightful Tuscan wine? This popular Chianti day trip will take you right to two different vineyards, where you will tour their wine cellars, learn a bit about the wine process, and then move right on to tasting the local wines.

A trip to the Chianti countryside is a quick-and-easy option when looking for day trips from Florence that will offer you a chance to see the Tuscan countryside, enjoy some of the local delicacies, and not have to dedicate too much time away from the city.

Book your Chianti wine tour today!

Photo of a villa in the Tuscan countryside. Black text on a white background reads "the best day trips from Florence"

2 Comments Write a comment

Kate has been traveling the world full-time for more than 3 years. She tries to keep a balance between going on new adventures and exploring favorite destinations (like Italy!) in depth, and is always on the lookout for the next beautiful overlook and delicious meal.

2 Comments

  • Chris November 4, 2019

    Thanks for an interesting read. Just wondering why you excluded Venice from the list as a train takes 2 hours and 5 minutes from Florence?

    • Kate Storm November 6, 2019

      A few reasons, starting with the fact that if I included all possible day trips from Florence here, this already giant post would be the size of a book, lol.

      Another reason is that while I adore Venice, I’m not blind to the fact that it’s a bit controversial with many visitors and that plenty of people leave unsatisfied due to the crowds and hassle of getting in and out of the city (from the train station, it’s still a long walk or crowded waterbus ride to the main sights). I don’t want to recommend something that I think has a high chance of leaving people disappointed with a city as special as Venice, which a day trip that involves 4+ hours on a train is likely to do.

      I would never tell someone not to go if that’s what they want or have planned, but it doesn’t make my list of top day trip choices from Florence, either. 🙂

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