Florence is the heartbeat of Italy and one of the country’s most popular destinations because of the art, history, and culture but just outside of Florence you will find tons of vineyards, medieval towns, stunning landscapes, charming villages which can be reached within a few hours of Florence. This makes Florence the perfect home base if you are planning to take day trips from Florence.
After you have spent countless hours wandering around Florence going in and out of museums, eating at off the beaten path restaurants and enjoying the local wine you will want to venture off and find the best day trips from Florence.
Here are the best day trips from Florence, Italy just is either an easy train ride, rent you a car, or book a day trip through Viator.
The Best Day Trips From Florence, Italy
1. Chianti, Italy
The area of Chianti is made up of picturesque town squares, medieval villages and hilltop castles that will capture your imagination and take you back in time. A visit to Greve in Chianti, Barberino Val D’Elsa, Castellina in Chianti, San Donato or Castelnuovo Berardenga will take you on an exciting trip through history.
Chianti is one of the most famous wine regions in all of Tuscany and its only Just 45 minutes south of Florence. I suggest renting a car and cruise around the countryside and stop at wineries like Antinori nel Chianti Classico, Azienda Agricola Montefioralle Winery, or the Fontodi Winery
If you are visiting the Chianti region make sure you stop at one of the many restaurants along the way for lunch where you can sip Sangiovese and eat a big bowl of tagliolini pasta with white truffles.
Famed for the squat wine bottles held within a straw basket, known as a fiasco, if you even love wine just a little bit you will not pass up the opportunity to explore this phenomenal wine region.
Top Tour Company For Day Trips From Florence
I used Viator to book all of my day trips from Florence. We rode in a nice, air-conditioned bus. Our guide was not too enthusiastic or informative, but we were there for the transportation and wine tasting not to make friends with the guide!
Once we reached the winery the tour was amazing. We tasted 3 different wines, had some snacks and we were able to take photos and make purchases at the winery.
Below are a few things to expect from your day trip to from Florence to Chianti.
- 5-hour Chianti wine tasting tour from Florence, led by a tour escort and a wine expert guide
- Travel through the glorious region of Tuscany and ogle the countryside views
- Stop at a quiet hamlet tucked away in either the Chianti Classico or Chianti Fiorentino winemaking region
- Tour a castle winery and explore the wine cellars where prestigious Tuscan wine is left to mature
- Hear the secrets of Tuscan winemaking and learn about the different grapes that are used
- Taste several varietals of Chianti wine alongside traditional Italian snacks such as crostini
Pisa is one of the most famous Italian towns and it is also a good option for a day trip from Florence. Of course, you need to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a white marble bell tower that would have stood 185 feet high had it not started to lean during construction.
Pisa may be full of tourist but it’s for good reason and there’s much more to do besides taking pictures next to the Leaning Tower. Instead of spending all of your time at the Leaning Tower of Pisa surrounded by thousands of people explore the massive 11th-century cathedral and baptistery. Next, check out the Palazzo Blu’s rotating art exhibits or find some street art, including the colorful Tuttomondo mural by Keith Haring.
In the afternoon, relax at the Scotto Garden and listen to an open-air concert which is held throughout the summer
The Italian capital city is just 2 hours away from Florence by train and if you can drag yourself out of bed to get an early start this can be one of the best day trips from Florence. Rome is home to some of the most impressive architecture in all of the world.
Travelers come from all over to see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and of course the Trevi Fountain. I only stayed in Rome for the day so it is possible to tick off all the major sites in Rome and not feel rushed including St. Peter’s Basilica.
You Should definitely make Rome one of your Day Trips From Florence, Italy
Siena is a classic Tuscan medieval hill town and is one of the most popular day trips from Florence. It’s a pretty town with a large fan-shaped piazza, beautiful cathedral, pedestrian streets with shops, and the second highest medieval bell tower in Italy with 505 steps to the top so make sure you wear comfy shoes. (Click here to see the shoes I wore)
Siena is also known for its cathedral, the Palazzo Civico, and Torre del Mangia, a 400-steps tower for amazing vistas of the city and surrounding hills.
Siena is 37 miles south of Florence and is accessible by either train or bus but the bus stops near the center while the train station is below town and you need to take a connecting bus to the center.
This charming little town, known for its Etruscan origins, is located between Florence, Pisa, Siena and the coast. The layout reminds me of its Etruscan origins but there are also many Roman remains to visit, such as the Roman Theatre.
It was relatively unknown to tourists until the Twilight series, but fans might be disappointed to know that the movie scenes were actually filmed in Montepulciano. Palazzo dei Priori is the oldest town hall in Tuscany and while the tower was destroyed during an earthquake and rebuilt in the 1800s. Palazzo Pretorio’s tower, on the other hand, is known as the Torre del Porcellino, or Tower of the Piglet.
Fall in love with the town’s narrow medieval streets and its central piazza. You’ll appreciate the 13th century Palazzo dei Priori which sits over the piazza.
Bologna, known for its great cuisine, is a beautiful city with two great squares, porticoed walkways, fine historic buildings, and an interesting medieval center with a tall medieval tower whose steep staircase you can climb for great views from the top.
If you are a foodie like your girl you should hop the train and take the ride an hour north to Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and one of the biggest culinary destinations in the country. Bologna is the birthplace of my personal favorites like prosciutto di parma, parmigiano–reggiano cheese, tortelli pasta, and balsamic vinegar.
Try all of my favorites at the new FICO Eataly World. The FICO Eataly World features cooking classes, rotating gastronomic exhibits including a panettone bakery, a mortadella bar and offers more wine than you can ever imagine.
7. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is not located in the Tuscany region but it is still one of the more popular day trips from Florence. You will not be disappointed and this is a one day trip that will be worth your while.
While it is possible to drive to Cinque Terre, it seems such a waste of time because the whole reason for visiting Cinque Terre is to hike the many trails.
Cinque Terre comprises five small towns (hence the name, which translates to “Five Lands”) on the western coast of Italy in the region of Liguria, just above Tuscany. The town is situated within a national park with stunning colorful towns that appear to rise from the Mediterranean Sea.
Cinque Terre is not a museum and art gallery kinda destination. Most people travel to this region for the hiking but don’t feel pressured to stick to the popular hiking trails. There are dozens of trails between the villages and up into the hillside beyond. There is a beautiful little town just past La Spezia that should be number one on your list and if you’re not comfortable hiking on your own, hire a guide from Viator and they will make sure you are comfortable and safe.
If you are visiting Italy Cinque Terre is a must see and in my opinion, one of the Best Day Trips From Florence.
- World-famous medieval towns, scenery, cuisine, and wine.
- Visit the beautiful medieval town of Siena, see its cathedral and wander its atmospheric streets; enjoy lunch and wine-tasting at an authentic Chianti farmhouse and vineyard.
- Hiking in Cinque Terre
- Eat your way through Bologna the culinary epic center of Italy
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From start to finish your day trips from Florence will focus on stunning scenery, delicious wines, and lazy strolls. Did any of your favorite town make my list of day trips from Florence? I would love to hear your feedback so drop a comment below or head on over to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!