Florence is beautiful, and the classic image of the domes of the Florence Cathedral at night is a sight that has traveled the world photographically as postcards and social media posts for a long time now. It isn’t just the iconic cathedral; Florence has so many amazing things to do in 2023. It is a city of arts, wine tasting, and stunning views.
You can easily see why visiting Florence is such a bucket list tourist activity. The city center is an absolute hub for sightseeing and embracing indulgent Italian living. So when it comes to day trips from Florence, finding day trip destinations that actually justify tearing yourself away from Florence city center can seem ludicrous if you aren’t familiar with its surrounding ‘day trip territory’. Please don’t make the rookie move of staying in Florence’s city center; these day trips from Florence are well worth it.
22 Best Day Trips from Florence
Whether you want a leisurely half-day trip or an ambitious regional train scramble, these best day trips from Florence will provide some of the most memorable experiences for your Italy itinerary. A day trip from Florence is one of the most exciting things you can do, and you’ve got to take advantage of the incredible network of high-speed trains and the city’s prime location in the Tuscan countryside. Don’t make Florence your final destination – no matter how alluring that Florence Vespa tour looks.
Planning Your Trip To Florence Right Now?
Below are some of the top day trip tours from Florence. Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting Italy!
Top Day Trip Activities and Tours from Florence:
1. Cinque Terre
If you want to tick off iconic destinations and pick a memorable day trip, Cinque Terre is one of the most classic day trips from Florence. Cinque Terre is a world-famous row of ancient seaside villages dotted in clusters along the dramatic Riviera coastline. The region is famous for its colorful houses and cliffside appeal, with the houses almost spilling over rock faces on their way down to the oceanfront.
Cinque Terre has five main towns: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso, and Corniglia – if you can, visit them all. Each town has its train station, and it is one of the best day trips if you’d like to indulge in great food, aesthetic town scenes, and optional hiking trails. A Cinque Terre day trip is not to be missed, and you can check out our complete guide to visiting here.
Distance from Florence: 3 hours by train or car
2. Wine Tasting
To be a wine lover, you must visit Tuscany and its beautiful wine regions. The most famous is the Chianti wine region, which has Sangiovese grapes that create delicious pale wines. The Chianti hills are full of wine estates, with the Chianti wines dating back to before the early 15th century, and you can take a guided wine tour that whisks you around the best. The Chianti wine region is popular because of its high density of wine estates and the tastiness of its produce.
You should book a guided tour for this Florence day trip for obvious reasons. Public transport is limited in remote areas, and rental cars are an obvious no-go. Still, luckily there are so many organized wine-tasting tours from Florence. Tours typically last half a day, lasting between 5.5 and 7 hours – so you’ll get to see a good chunk of the Tuscan countryside while hopping between wine estates. A wine tour is so much fun.
Distance from Florence: An hour by car
Who doesn’t dream of visiting Pisa? And thanks to Italy’s high-speed train system, you can reach Pisa in less than an hour from the central Florence train station. A day trip to Pisa is full of sightseeing and culture; you have the iconic Leaning Tower, delicious food, and many art museums. Pose in the classic ‘hold up the Leaning Tower’ position and wander through stunning white marble buildings; visiting Pisa is fantastic for the relaxed sightseer type of traveler.
Wine lovers can put all their newly accrued wine tour knowledge to the test by ordering a glass to people-watch with and dine al fresco. A day in Pisa should be on your cards. It is one of the best cultural spots in Italy, and direct trains like the Pisa to Florence connection are God sends when it comes to Florence day trips.
Distance from Florence: 1 hour by train
4. San Gimignano
If you want a more rustic, medieval-style day trip from Florence, a San Gimignano day trip should be on the cards. San Gimignano is a tiny hill town with ancient city walls that date back to the 13th century and a skyline covered with medieval spires and rooftops.
San Gimignano’s feudal atmosphere has lingered over the years, and it has a ‘step back in time’ quality that attracts many tourists. The town is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Florence day trip is ideal for anyone wanting a small, walkable destination. And San Gimignano’s history is hard to resist.
You can catch a train to Poggibonsi and then a bus to San Gimignano to get there. There are regular train schedules, so planning train rides and bus trips is easy, despite the brief stopover in Poggibonsi, and the whole journey takes less than two hours one way. Or you can book a rental car and drive this day trip from Florence in an hour.
Distance from Florence: 2 hours by public transport or an hour by car
Volterra is another medieval town easily accessible as one of the main Florence day trips. This time, though, it has a distinctive dark aesthetic, with orangey brown buildings and a solemn architectural vibe. Volterra has seen everything from the Etruscan to the Roman and Medieval periods, and this half-day trip from Florence is one of the most historical small-town destinations you can choose. Ancient city walls surround the town, and its Palazzo dei Priori is adorned with medieval frescoes.
A Volterra day trip is more than just wandering medieval streets. It has some brilliant attractions, perfect for history-loving day trippers. A major Volterra attraction is the Roman Theater complex, which has bath ruins dating back to the 3rd century. Visit the Roman Theater and also pay a visit to admire the extravagant ceiling of the Palace of the Priors.
Distance from Florence: 1.5 hours by car or 2.5 hours by public transport
Lucca is a beautifully historic medieval city known for its Renaissance walls and stunning city center. Lucca has a cobblestone aesthetic with some big city attractions and is slightly larger than the medieval towns we’ve already listed. Split in half by the Serchio River and surrounded by tree-lined streets and 16th-century ramparts, Lucca is beautiful to explore on foot.
You can catch a train to Lucca train station through rolling hills, enjoying some gorgeous scenery and Pisa stopover before arriving in Lucca in under two hours. Alternatively, take the direct route to Lucca on the bus in just over an hour. Lucca is one of the most photogenic day trips from Florence and is best for hopping between monuments. It also has one of the best direct buses out of all these day trips from Florence.
Distance from Florence: 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus or car
Montepulciano is a hilltop town full of character. The charming town is set within the Tuscan countryside and is one of the most rural day trips from Florence. Vineyards surround Montepulciano, and it is a paradise for wine lovers; famous for its vino nobile red wine – medium-bodied and fruity. However, it isn’t all scenery and wine. Visitors also have the town’s medieval history to enjoy. Set high in the Tuscan hills, attractions like the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Biagio become even more dramatic.
Small towns like Montepulciano are best visited by rental car. With rental cars, you can enjoy a more liberating journey to Montepulciano. And besides, with no direct train, you’ll shave over an hour off your travel time.
Distance from Florence: 1.5 hours by car or 3 hours by public transport.
Milan is a big name. And for those who have yet to visit Milan, Italy’s fashion capital, it is an unmissable day trip from Florence. The city is famous for Milan Fashion Week and has attracted huge designer and model names over the past years. Milan is all shopping and architecture – so if either sounds up your street, this is one of the best day trips from Florence. The iconic Duomo di Milano is where to fill your architecture bucket. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the fanciest shopping centers ever seen.
Milan is also one of the most eco-friendly Florence day trips; it is quicker to get there by train than by car. The high-speed train from Florence reaches Milan in less than 2 hours, while you travel for 3.5 hours by car.
Distance from Florence: 2 hours by train or 3.5 hours by car
Siena is far from just a beautiful name; this UNESCO World Heritage Site has a striking main square-shaped like a fan and some ridiculously pretty medieval buildings. It is one of the best day trips from Florence if you want medieval Tuscan sightseeing without the hassle of inaccessible, out-of-the-way villages and hilltop towns.
Siena is beautiful, historic, and highly accessible. Regarding must-visits, the fan-shaped square, Piazza del Campo, is a top choice while you are there. You should also climb to the top of the Torre del Mangia and enjoy some local cuisine.
Siena is best reached by bus. You can also catch the regional train without booking train tickets in advance. However, the bus is marginally quicker, so if you fancy saving yourself 30 minutes, take the bus instead.
Distance from Florence: 1 hour by car or bus
Venice is one of the best places to visit in Italy, and if you go to Florence, there’s no reason you can’t have the best of both worlds. Venice has many things to do, including taking a canal gondola ride and visiting St Mark’s Square.
The city center is best experienced by walking tour – guided or self-guided – and is famously set on water, divided by canals and connected by boats and tiny overwater bridges. If you want a day trip from Florence that will make an impact, a trip to Venice is one of your most reliable options. Venice is magical.
Distance from Florence: 3 hours by car or 2 hours by train
You’ll need your ambition for this trip, but Rome is one of the best day trips from Florence. If you catch a fast train, you can arrive directly at one of the central Rome train stations in just 1.5 hours. The fast trains are an excellent way of meaning you still get plenty of free time on your Rome day trip. The real-time cruncher is trying to cherry-pick the best of Rome to see in just a single day – this city usually demands three to four days at least.
Pick a few attractions and research transport between them because Rome is huge; hardly explorable on just a walking tour. The Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Trevi Fountain combine well in a single day. While if you want to see the Vatican City, you’ll need a whole day to visit this region of Rome.
Central Italy is well worth detouring to on a day trip from Florence. Just make sure you catch the direct trains and high-speed options. You can read all about the best places to see in Rome here.
Distance from Florence: 1.5 hours by train
Bologna is one of those Italian cities you hear of loads but tend to overlook for more mainstream destinations. We are here to change your mind on beautiful Bologna, though. And you should carve out time for a day trip from Florence to Bologna, especially if you are a foodie. Bologna is renowned for its delicious food and is the perfect place to take a cooking class or food tour. Think pasta, tiramisu, and more. The whole city feels like one big restaurant, and it even has the nickname ‘Fat City.’
Bologna is 40 minutes away by train, so we recommend heading there for an evening meal or a half-day trip from Florence. It is the perfect nearby destination to divert to for some high-quality cuisine. Keep your stomach happy and add this to your must-do Florence day trips.
Distance from Florence: 40 minutes by train
Fiesole is a town of ruins but in the best possible way. The town has many historical and archaeological attractions, including the original segments of the town’s Etruscan wall, preserved Roman baths and theater, and numerous religious landmarks. Fiesole is one of the best day trips from Florence to get a taste of lesser-visited history. Its history is thought to date back even further than its larger neighbor of Florence, making it a sought-after location for history enthusiasts and those in the know.
You can make the most of regional trains or drive to Fiesole. The town is just outside of Florence’s bounds, so it is one of the most convenient sightseeing destinations you can enjoy outside the city center.
Distance from Florence: 35 minutes by train or 20 minutes by car
Verona is one of the most romantic cities on Earth, so when it comes to the most memorable day trips from Florence, Verona needs to be at the top. Verona is the city of the opera Romeo and Juliet – which Shakespeare set in the city. You can even visit Juliet’s House to enter onto the tiny balcony to recreate the iconic ‘Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou’ scene. Love is a central theme of this city, and if you want to win some serious brownie points, Verona is where to bring your significant other.
It is a great day trip from Florence for all traveler types and groups. You can visit the Verona Arena, Giusti Garden, Scaliger Tombs, and numerous castles and basilicas. Verona is a reasonably walkable city and very doable as a single-day trip. Catch the train to maximize your time sightseeing.
Distance from Florence: 2 hours 15 minutes by train or 3 hours by car
Arezzo is another of the best day trips from Florence to reach by train – knocking an impressive 50% off your travel time instead of visiting by car. So, if you don’t drive or want to be more eco-friendly, listen up. Arezzo is known for two main things; gold and fashion. Poets and artists alike have called the tiny medieval townhome, and it has had a remarkable impact on Italian culture for a hill town of its size. You can visit independent shops and galleries and coordinate your trip to coincide with events like its monthly antique market.
If you like locally made valuables and shopping for antiques, Arezzo is an amazing Florence day trip. It is easy to get diverted to the more significant destinations when planning a day trip from Florence. Arezzo is evidence of why you should also consider some of the smaller destinations. Plus, it is just a 30-minute train ride away. Arezzo is a huge win, win.
Distance from Florence: 1 hour by car and 30 minutes by train
As pretty as the Tuscan countryside is with its cypress trees and beautiful vineyards, you should visit more of the Emilia-Romagna region. And if you want a real foodie hotspot, Parma is your day trip. The city is famously home to Parmesan cheese and Parma ham, and it is a great, smaller alternative to massive Bologna if you want a more lowkey vibe. As a university city, Parma is super friendly. Parma is pretty special, and gastronomical tradition and heritage rule supreme in this northern city.
It is best to visit Parma by train. It is quick for one, and second, this means you can indulge in some wine with your cheese and ham tasting.
Distance from Florence: 2 hours by train and 3 hours by car
Pistoia is one of the most accessible day trips from Florence. So note this down as one of the best day trips from Florence if you are short on time or budget. This historic city is usually not on the tourist radar. Only a few venture out through the Tuscan countryside to see Pistoia, which is an absolute shame.
Those that wisely do are rewarded with medieval churches, fewer crowds, and festivals like the Pistoia Blues Festival, which hosts artists like Mumford & Sons and the Arctic Monkeys.
Short and sweet journey-wise, and rewarding attraction-wise, Pistoia is easily a top choice when considering day trips from Florence. Sometimes the last thing you want is more crowds, and underrated Pistoia is an antidote for people overload.
Distance from Florence: 35 minutes by train or 45 minutes by car
Orvieto is lesser known but by no means less significant. This tiny city sits on a tufa cliff with an exciting network of caves underneath the city floor. Orvieto is one of the most interestingly laid out cities you can visit on a day trip from Florence. It feels exciting, almost mythical. And if you visit, an underground tour of some of its networks is essential. The tours usually last an hour or so – leaving plenty more time to explore the other attractions, including the 13th-century cathedral and Well of St Patrick.
Orvieto has that wow factor and is more off-the-beaten-track than the rest of our best day trips from Florence. If you already know Italy quite well, Orvieto is one of the better options to broaden your familiarity with the lesser-visited regions of the country.
Distance from Florence: 3 hours by public transport or 2 hours by car
Monteriggioni is hands down one of the best day trips from Florence. This stunning town still has its ancient walls, and the city walls are famous for their medieval features, including dramatic watchtowers. Monteriggioni is on the cusp of the wine-famed Chianti region and has stunning views over the rolling hills from the city walls. It is full of atmosphere, good views, and character – all the different ingredients for a day trip of a lifetime.
Monteriggioni is one of those day trips that only a tiny demographic of tourists know about and makes an effort to visit while in Florence. The town leaves such a huge impression with its lingering medieval structures and heritage; take advantage of experiencing this firsthand. While visiting Monteriggioni, you should also visit the Arme Museum, which has replicas of ancient weaponry.
Distance from Florence: 2 hours by bus or 1 hour by car
Assisi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of St Francis, one of Italy’s two beloved patron saints. It goes without saying that Assisi is one of the best day trips from Florence for religious or patriotic history. The Basilica of St Francis is the hub of all the collective religious history and contains frescoes portraying the saint’s life, even holding his sarcophagus in its crypt.
Whether you are religious or not, it is a remarkable place to visit, and the history is vividly displayed, making it an engaging visit. The medieval city is also beautiful to walk around, and the Tuscan sun does it a favor, especially when the white marble historic buildings appear sun-kissed at midday.
You can reach Assisi by public transport, just purchasing train tickets on arrival at Florence train station. However, we’d recommend driving as it takes a long time with multiple stops by public transport.
Distance from Florence: 2.5 hours by car and 2-3 hours by public transport
Livorno has a different vibe from all the other day trips from Florence in this guide. A humble-sized port city, it is known for seafood and maritime culture. Since most Florence day trips take you to inland destinations and use regional trains to reach hilltop village train stations, having a coastal option is a huge plus. Besides, after a few days in the inland city of Florence, you’ll likely be ready to see the ocean. Livorno has its own train station, so you can catch a direct train into the city – no advance train tickets are necessary.
When you reach Livorno, you should walk the Terrazza Mascagni promenade for stunning ocean views. This promenade has striking checkboard flooring with black and white patterns as far as the eye can see. There’s also the Fortezza Vecchia, a massive fortress once dedicated to protecting the exposed coastal city. Of course, sampling local seafood is a must. For an insight into coastal Italian culture, Livorno is the perfect choice.
Distance from Florence: 1.5 hours by train or car
Cortona is one of the prettiest day trips from Florence and is the filming site of the film Under the Tuscan Sun. A beautiful day trip candidate, it is also one of the most accessible hilltop destinations you can visit from Florence. It takes just 1.5 hours by car or public transport to reach Cortona, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the town.
Cortona is not only pretty but an absolute hotspot for museums. Check out the Etruscan Academy Museum, its Archaeological Park, and the Diocesan Museum. The town is small enough to explore on foot, and since it is so close to Florence, a brilliant candidate for those wanting to spend time enjoying museums. You have barely any travel time on this Florence day trip.
Distance from Florence: 1.5 hours by car or public transport
FAQs About Day Trips from Florence
Day trips from Florence are magical, whether you take a tour for wine lovers or visit historical monuments for a day in Rome or Venice. Even if you visit the city for the first time, a day trip from Florence should be on your list. Italy is one of those countries where the more you can fit in, the better. And these destinations are just too convenient to miss out on.
Is it worth making a day trip from Florence?
Day trips from Florence are one of the best things you can do in the city. The public transport system is so efficient that you should take full advantage of all the high-speed trains to other major Italian destinations. You can easily reach dreamy destinations like Rome, Verona, Venice, and Pisa. Never mind all the smaller romantic towns and villages.
Can you take day trips to Tuscany from Florence?
Yes, you can take day trips from Florence to Tuscany very easily. There are a select few train stations with links to Florence, many bus routes, and even more organized tours.
Is it possible to do a day trip to Cinque Terre from Florence?
Yes, it is possible to do a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre. You can take an organized tour, visit by train, or book a rental car.
How long is the train ride from Florence to Tuscany?
The train ride takes around an hour, depending on whereabouts in Tuscany you choose to visit.
Are you heading to a hilltop town for a medieval ambiance? Or to the Chianti wine region for wine tasting amongst friends? Or are you taking full advantage of the high-speed trains and whisking down to Rome for a day? Any of these best day trips from Florence will provide a fantastic experience. It is up to you to decide how far you want to go.
Florence is ideally located as a base to experience even more of Italy; you do right to take full advantage of that. As beautiful as its Renaissance art and historical monuments are, when you visit Florence, you also access a network of amazing destinations. Make sure you expand your Italy itinerary after touching down in Florence.
Would you like some more Florence inspiration? Check out this guide on where to stay in Florence for the rundown of all the best hotels and neighborhoods. Otherwise, have a wonderful time on your day trips from Florence.