Day Trips From Florence

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Tuscany is the capital city of . It’s also the location where the Stendhal syndrome was born. The overwhelming feeling of being overwhelmed is not only a result of the crowds that flock to Florence‘s attractions, but also from the beauty of these attractions. There are many day trips that can be taken from Florence.

My preference is for day trips that aren’t too long in transit. If I’m lucky, I only spend a few hours on the bus or train. These places are plentiful near Florence. However, there are plenty of other options that will be just as good if you are willing to spend a bit more time getting there.

Below, I have broken down the list by how long you will spend in transit. This will allow you to choose the day trip that best suits your travel needs and your tolerance. You can visit many other places on a day trip to Florence than the ones listed here. However, this list is a good place to start your planning and research.

Guided Tours in & from Florence

These places can all be done as day trips. But if you prefer to leave the planning to others, here are some tours from Florence.

Fast Day Trips From Florence: In Transit in 2 Hours or Less

  • Fiesole– It’s amazing to stand at Piazzale Michelangelo looking back at Florence. You can reach Fiesole by taking a 20-minute bus trip into the hills. Although it’s a suburb of Florence, it’s a charming little ‘burb. It’s a beautiful view of Florence, with a small-town feel that is close to the city.
  • Bologna– The distance between Florence and Bologna was reduced to just 35 minutes one-way by the high-speed train system. This makes it an easy day-trip option. Bologna and its region are home to classics in Italian cuisine like parmigiano-reggiano, balsamic vinegar and prosciutto. It is also home to the headquarters of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Ducati as well as the oldest continuously operating university in the world.
  • Siena– Many people consider Siena the jewel of Tuscany. It is possible to walk around the historic center of Siena, which is surrounded by old city walls. Although there is a train station in Siena it is faster and more convenient to travel by bus from Florence. The journey takes approximately 45-50 minutes.
  • Greve Chianti Wine lovers, take a trip to Greve Chianti to discover the heart of Chianti’s wine region. The town is small and charming. There’s an old monastery, an annual wine festival in September and a few wine shops in Greve. You can reach it in about half an hour if you own a car or approximately 50 minutes by bus from Florence.
  • Pisa Pisa houses one of Italy’s most well-known symbols. It’s also the Italy Explained logo. The leaning tower. It was once Florence’s largest rival. But today it is undoubtedly the most popular day trip from Florence. The trip takes less than an hour and is made by regular trains.
  • Arezzo Arezzo was once an Etruscan city and is now home to an antiques market. It’s a popular place for shopping that many consider to be one of the best in Italy. This is the perfect place for treasure hunters, as it is just an hour away from Florence by train.

Medium Day Trips From Florence: 2-4 hours in Transit

  • San Gimignano San Gimignano does not have a train station but that shouldn’t stop people from visiting this charming hilltop town. You can either take a bus from Florence with a change of Poggibonsi or book a guided tour with transportation. But you will love the view as San Gimignano appears – 14 towers, once there were many more, rise from this beautiful town.
  • Monteriggioni Monteriggioni, a Tuscan town with walls dating back to the 13th Century, is walled. The walls are dotted with towers and there is a central piazza. Dante fans might recognize the name of the town, since it is featured in “The Divine Comedy”. You will need to travel by bus from Florence to Monteriggioni. The trip takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes.
  • Lucca The charming town center of Lucca is worth a day trip to Tuscany, even without the city walls. But the walls make it even more special. Although the walls were built in the 15th or 16th centuries, they date back to the 3rd Century. The walls are wide at the top and have a path that runs around the city. By train or bus, Lucca takes less than 20 minutes to reach Florence.
  • Cortona Cortona was almost a household name following the publication of Frances Mayes “Under The Tuscan Sun.” However, it is also an Etruscan city. You will find an Etruscan museum and Etruscan tombs near the town, along with beautiful buildings. Cortona can be reached by train in approximately one hour and twenty minutes from Florence.
  • Viareggio– Viareggio is a historic seaside resort town with an annual Carnevale celebration. It’s located on the Tuscan coast, not far from Ligurian borders. Although the Carnevale parade featured large papier-mache floats, it was first introduced in 1925. However, the festival in Viareggio dates back to the 1870s. Viareggio can be reached by train in just over an hour from Florence.
  • Rome or Rome may already be on your agenda. But, it’s only an hour and 20 minutes one way from Florence. This could make it a great day trip if the city is new to you and you just want to see a few things. If you are new to Rome and want to make the most of your sightseeing, a guided tour is recommended.
  • Cinque Terre– A day trip from Florence to the Cinque Terre takes almost two hours train one-way, with stops in Pisa and La Spezia. However, if you are determined, it is possible. A guided, organized trip is a better choice, especially if transportation is included. However, if you have never hiked the trail between Cinque Terre and Florence and just want to gaze at the sea, you can do it.

Florence: Longer day trips from Florence: More than 4 hours in transit

  • Volterra Volterra was once an Etruscan city. It is still surrounded with 13th-century walls. A 1st Century B.C.E. can be seen. There is a Roman theater and an Etruscan museum. It takes less than 3 hours to travel from Florence by bus (with a stop in Colle di Val d’Elsa) or just 1 hour and 15 minutes by car.
  • Montepulciano Today, Montepulciano, a hilltop town, is best known for its Vino Nobile wines, but it was founded in Etruscan times. If you are reliant on public transport, this is a difficult day trip. It takes about three hours one way with a combination train and bus. But if your car can take you just over an hour and twenty minutes one way, it’s a simple one.
  • Pienza – The charming town of Pienza lies in the heart of Val d’Orcia. It is less than an hour from Florence by car and more than three hours by train one-way.
  • Montalcino Montalcino is another Tuscan hill-town that’s well-known for its wine (Brunello Di Montalcino in this instance) and fortifications. This includes a 14th century fortress at the top. It’s a long day trip by public transport, taking approximately three hours with a combination train and bus. However, it takes about an hour 45 minutes to drive with a car.
  • Assisi It takes approximately two and a quarter hours to travel from Florence to Assisi by bus. The bus doesn’t run every single day. It takes approximately the same time to get to Santa Maria degli Angeli, and runs more often than the bus. From there, you will need to take the bus to Assisi (a five minute trip). The main attraction is the UNESCO-listed complex that includes buildings dedicated to St. Francis and the crypt which houses his tomb. This is a significant pilgrimage site.
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7 Responses to “Day Trips from Florence”.

  • Alicia Staz said:

    This post is amazing! Just returned from 2 1/2 weeks in Italy. My next trip will be a month in a villa located within an hour of Florence. I find your blog to be very helpful in planning for my trip.

  • Linda says:

    We appreciate your assistance. Castello di Gargonza will be our destination in Tuscany, October. Please provide information about the weather, so that packing is easy and special roads for driving will be easier. Grazie

    • Jess has the following:

      Linda, thank you for your note! To get you started, I recommend reading my October In Italy article as well as my general Italy and packing tips for Italy pages. These are only average weather conditions. It’s best to check a forecast before you pack so you can know if it will be rainy or warm.

      Driving is a different matter. I don’t know what you mean with “special roads”, but I recommend that you get a map of Italy if you are driving there. Although your car might have a GPS, which is great, a detailed map showing all roads is useful for planning your route and in case it doesn’t work as it should. Some maps are available before you leave the house, while others are only for a specific part of a particular region. These maps are often sold in shops once you reach Italy. For a complete list of options, you can visit the Via Michelin site . However, I still prefer having the paper map on the ground.

  • It is great to have a list of places to visit if you don’t own a car. It is often difficult to find day trips that are not listed in the tour books. You can now find other options to bus travel if you don’t know where to go! This is the beauty and wonder of the train!

  • gayatri says:

    This is an incredible post. It contains so many useful information. Is there a company that organizes day trips from Florence to the towns on your first list?