10 Best Day Trips from Florence, Italy

As the cradle of the Renaissance, the romantic city of Florence may be a little difficult to leave even for a day as there’s already so much art and fascinating history to explore here. This capital city of the Tuscan region is also in close proximity and access to many other intriguing destinations. Which makes them good day trips from Florence.

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Here are some of those places you can visit for a day, all just within a few hours or less from Florence.

10 Day Trips from Florence, Italy

1. Chianti

Chianti

One of the most popular areas in Tuscany, Chianti is best explored if you have a car or by joining a guided tour. This area is known for its wineries, as well as its scenic landscape, charming small towns, and vibrant culinary culture.

This is probably one of the most laid back and relaxing day tours from Florence, as you’ll mostly see lush vineyards, orchards, and farms.

You’ll be taken through scenic winding roads as well as charming back alleys, all with a gorgeous view with each turn. If you’re up to it, you may also explore Chianti on horseback, riding through vineyards then into where the wineries are.

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2. Milan

Milan

Only an hour and forty-five minutes by train from Florence, Milan is another perfect day trip. This city is considered by some as the least Italian city, with it being modern, sleek and organized.

It could be the influence of nearby Switzerland but still, there’s plenty to see here that will remind you that yes, you’re still in Italy.

When in Milan, make sure you see the Gothic Duomo Cathedral, the Castello Sforzesco and the Teatro alla Scala which is one of the finest opera theatres in Europe.

There’s also the scenic bike path along the Naviglio della Martesana and of course, make sure you visit Da Vinci’s The Last Supper at the monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie.

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3. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Easily accessible from Florence by train is the UNESCO World Heritage site Cinque Terre, which is made up of five villages. These villages are all connected by an old local rail that makes it easy to go from one village to another and explore each one.

Situated by coast and covered with lush vineyards, olive orchards, and lemon groves, Cinque Terre makes for a fascinating day tour from Florence.

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4. San Gimignano

San Gimignano

The picturesque Tuscan village of San Gimignano is situated between Florence and Siena. The scenic hour-long drive from Florence to this village is not to be missed either, as both sides are filled with lush vineyards, olive groves, hills with rustic agriturismos and ancient farms.

San Gimignano also has 14 medieval towers that all boasts of scenic views over the surrounding hills.

A must-do in this idyllic Florence day trip is to stroll through its cobblestone streets as you marvel at its multitude of medieval buildings. This is one excursion out of Florence that you simply must experience.

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5. Val d’Orcia

Val d'Orcia

Only two hours away from Florence is the picturesque Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, which is among the most visited areas in the region.

A pretty laid back yet enchanting Florence day tour, this area is known for its grain covered rolling hills, a lush green valley spanning the Orcia river and the vineyards for the wine they produce such as the Brunello and Val d’Orcia DOC.

Also known as Valdorcia, this part of Tuscany is home to some of the most stunning structures you’ll ever see such as the Palazzo Piccolomini, the fortress in Castiglion d’Orcia, and the Romanesque Abbey of Sant’ Antimo.

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6. Venice

Venice

One of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world is actually easily reached via rail from Florence, making it an ideal day trip. Made up of islands and a maze of winding canals, Venice is more than just the famous Gran Canale and gondola rides.

Even with the absence of roads, it is still pretty manageable to go from one attraction to another.

Make sure you check out Doge’s Palace, which is one of the most iconic Gothic buildings in all of Italy, as well as the gorgeous Piazza San Marco and Saint Mark’s Basilica.

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7. Lucca

Lucca

An ideal base for exploring the northern and central parts of Tuscany, Lucca is pretty accessible if you’re coming from Florence. This city is situated on the plains at the foot of the Apuan Alps, with most of its attractions showcasing its long history.

Check out the traces of a Roman amphitheater in the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, the archeological remains under the 12th-century church of Saints Giovanni and Reparata or the many towers and villas that date back to as early as the 12th century.

Lucca may look quite modern today, but the walls surrounding the old town were maintained as they are reminders of the city’s defense system many centuries ago.

A charming, historic place that’s as fascinating as it is picturesque, Lucca is one of the best day trips from Florence that you must try during your visit.

Other attractions that you must see in Lucca are the Basilica of San Frediano, the Piazza of San Michele with its beautiful Church of San Michele in Foro, the Guinigi Tower and the Clock Tower.

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8. Rome

Rome

The fascinating capital of Italy is about three hours by train from Florence so make sure you set out early. It’s bound to be a jam-packed day trip as you simply won’t just look at the sights spread all over this city, its stunning architecture deserves more than just a few photos.

Some of the definite must-visit when in Rome are the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Trevi Fountain. And most of these attractions in Rome are free.

If you want to see both magnificent architecture and exquisite art, then head on to the massive St. Peter’s Basilica as it will amaze you whether you’re a Catholic or not.

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9. Siena

Siena

The ancient city of Siena’s entire town center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the popular day tours from Florence.

This town is best known for the horse race that runs in Piazza del Campo two days a year which is called Palio. Siena is also quite famous for its medieval architecture as seen in its cathedral, and stunning art showcased in the frescoes on Palazzo Civico.

A must visit in Siena is the Torre del Mangia, a tower of 400 steps that offers scenic views of the town as well as the surrounding hills.

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10. Pisa

Pisa

Home to the Leaning Tower, Pisa is one of the most visited destinations in Italy. It is one of the most easily accessible Florence day trips, and its strange leaning tower is definitely among this town’s major draws.

That famous structure would’ve been a 185 feet high bell tower had it not started to lean during construction. There’s more to see in Pisa, however, as you’ll find that in Piazza Dei Miracoli there’s a Cathedral and baptistery attached to the tower that’s also worth visiting.

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