Just a Pack Contributor: Marie Concilus | July 8th, 2019 | No comments

best day trips from florence italy

While Florence is an incredible city, it’s important not to miss out on the magical surrounding area!  If you’re pressed for time, then a day trip from Florence is a great way to get a taste of Italy beyond this incredible city.

The birthplace of the Renaissance, you’ll never run out of exciting new things to do in Florence including having plenty of fresh food to eat, architecture to admire, and art to gawk at. It is a city home to fashion empires, priceless masterpieces, and epic cultural heritage. Not only that, but Florence is surrounded by a wealth of spectacular travel destinations, most of which are a short– and affordable– train ride away. So, there are loads of options when it comes to day trips from Florence Italy!

Here is a list of the ultimate Florence day trips. Whether you’re daydreaming of sunbathing on the colorful Italian Coast, wine tasting in Tuscany, or strolling through captivating ancient ruins, Florence is the place to start. Every destination below is not only accessible by train, but entirely feasible for a single day.

So pack your suitcase– but not your pajamas– and enjoy these twelve incredible day trips from Florence.

Please note – Some of our selections contain affiliate links which allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links helps us keep Just a Pack running, and allows us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge. Happy travels!

Cinque Terre

cinque terra italy

Cinque Terre– translated loosely to “five lands”– is a series of small towns on the western coast of Italy. Only an hour and a half from the city by train, Cinque Terre is the perfect blend of small-town charm and beach-day vibes.

If you’re feeling athletic, hike the Via dell’Amore, or “Lover’s Lane”. Wide, flat, and relatively short, this cliff-side walk spans from Riomaggiore to Manarola– two of the most beautiful towns in Cinque Terre.

If the beach is calling, make your way to Monterosso al Mare, a colorful– and slightly larger– historic town built into the bright, coastal cliffs of Tuscany. Lay on the smooth pebble beach and swim in the turquoise waters of the Medditeranian while you wait for your fresh fruit smoothie. Take advantage of the beach vendors and pick up a tapestry to spread out on.

No matter what you are looking for in a day trip, Cinque Terre has you covered.

How to get to Cinque Terre from Florence

The easiest way to get to Cinque Terre from Florence is, unsurprisingly, by train. Take TrenItalia straight from Santa Maria Novella directly to Monterossso for a beach day or start at Manarola and hike your way through the five towns.

Alternatively, you can treat yourself to a guided tour with transportation, a boat tour, and lunch included!

Pisa

pisa italy

It goes without saying that the Leaning Tower of Pisa should be your first stop at this small city. This white marble bell tower was originally supposed to stand 185 feet high but famously began to lean during construction. While the tower is by far Pisa’s most popular attraction, don’t miss out on it’s beautiful counterparts- the Cathedral and Baptistery of Pisa, also conveniently located in Piazza dei Miracoli. If you’re lucky, you may even get to experience an acoustic demonstration of the Cathedral.

How to get to Pisa from Florence

While many buses run to Pisa from Florence, trains are usually the better option as they are both more affordable and faster. They are all direct and depart either from Florence’s Santa Maria Novella or Campo di Marte train station and arrive at Pisa’s Centrale train station. It’s a fast train, taking as little as 45 minutes one way– with trains back running about every half an hour.

If you want a no-hassle day trip to Pisa from Florence you might consider this tour that includes transportation, a guide, and entrance fees to the Cathedral of Pisa!

Livorno

livorno italy

If you’re looking to combine the city and sea, Livorno is the perfect way to spend a day. Nestled on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Livorno is a traditional, Italian, seaside town. Explore Fortezza Vecchia overlooking the port, or stroll through Quartiere La Venezia, a quaint neighborhood dotted with bridges and canals reminiscent of Venice. If you’re feeling motivated, take a walk up to Terrazza Mascagni for a beautiful overlook of Tuscany.

How to get to Livorno from Florence

Trains running from Livorno Centrale Station to Firenze Santa Maria Novella run Monday through Saturday from 5:00 a.m. until 9:12 p.m. departing about every 40 minutes during peak times.

Lucca

lucca italy

This tiny walled city only needs one day to steal your heart. The ancient fortress encircling the town has been converted into a popular, tree lined walking path– so rent a bike for the day and explore Lucca from a few stories up. You’ll have plenty of room, too– although Lucca gets its share of visitors, it never feels overrun. Just make sure you don’t leave without trying the town’s famous dish, Tortelli Luccese– a bright yellow pasta stuffed with meat and topped with a creamy ragu.

How to get to Lucca from Florence

Trains typically run from Florence and Luca two or three times an hour, with the journey just over an hour and a half. FlixBus is another great option, with prices as low as eleven euro round trip. These run less frequently, but also make less stops.

Want to combine two day trips into one? Then this 8 hour tour fo Lucca and Pisa from Florence is the perfect option!

Siena

siena italy

Siena, famous for its burnt orange buildings and biannual horse race, is a great option for a day trip from Florence. Eat gelato in Piazza Del Campo– one of the most spectacular medieval squares in Europe, and walk through the Siena Cathedral admiring the famous marble mosaic flooring and works by Donatello and Michelangelo.

Take a lunch of pici pasta, a thick noodle developed in Siena, and keep a lookout for the distinct neighborhood districts within the city, marked by flags, carvings and animal mascots.

How to get to Siena from Florence

The Regionale trains makes the trip from Firenze Santa Maria Novella to Siena in about an hour and a half leaving Florence roughly once per hour and costing around €11.00.

See the best sites in Siena in just two hours with this guided tour that includes transportation from Florence!

San Gimignano

san gimignano

San Gimignano is one of the most visually distinct towns in Tuscany. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990, San Gimignano boasts 14 intact medieval towers– once 72– and overlooks miles of picturesque hills. Stroll along the narrow, winding streets and admire the medieval architecture or sample the region’s famous dry, white wine from a hillside vineyard. Don’t forget to try the “best gelato in the world” at Gelateria Dondoli, a small gelateria frequented by Michele Obama and winner of the Gelato World Championships.

How to get to San Gimignano from Florence

While there is no direct bus from Florence to San Gimignano, the journey is relatively quick and affordable. Take the local bus (number 131) from Santa Maria Novella to Poggibonsi and then from Poggibonsi to San Gimignano (bus number 130). The entirety of the trip should only take about an hour and a half.

Looking to treat yourself to something truly unique? Check out this Dessert Cooking Class in San Gimignano Winery or gawk at the city’s eye candy aka its Medieval skyline with this half day tour!

Orvieto

orvieto italy

Orvieto is a small town perched on the rocky cliffs of Umbria, Italy. Only accessible by a ten minute hike by foot, this medieval city is perfectly preserved and relatively traffic free. Not only that, but Orvieto is built atop a spanning underground network of Etruscan-era wells, caves, and tunnels. Take a guided tour to see how ancient Italians lived, or spend your day sipping Orvieto’s famous Classico wine, made in the traditional style of the Etruscans and flavored by the rich volcanic soil of the region.

See the most important sites in Orvieto on this two hour guided tour of the city!

How to get to Orvieto from Florence

A little bit farther south than most other Florentine day trips, Orvieto is absolutely worth the trek. Catch one of the 23 trains per day from Santa Maria Novella with the slower trains taking around two and a half hours and the fast trains taking one and a half.

Viareggio

viareggio italy beach

Viareggio, a pale pastel beach town, is perfect for a day in the sun. Famous for its modern boardwalk and rows of bright umbrellas, note that you have to purchase a chair for the day if you want to swim in the ocean. Spend time swimming, or, if you’re feeling a little less ambitious, sit at one of the seaside cafes eating fried Calamari and sipping an Aperol spritz. The views of the mountains meeting the sea won’t disappoint.

How to get to Viareggio from Florence

The best way to get to Viareggio from Florence is by direct train. The prices and times fluctuate but usually run about 9 euro for a one way ticket, with the journey running at about an hour and a half.

Spiagge Bianchi

spiagge bianchi italy

Another beach town, Spiagge Bianchi is a truly interesting way to spend the day. Bleached by a nearby chemical plant– yet still totally safe to swim in– Spiagge Bianchi has brilliant white sand and unreal turquoise water. It’s the perfect place to spend the day with calm waters and bright, smooth sand. The entire beach is public as well, so you don’t have to worry about an entrance fee. Pack a picnic and relax buy the water, or buy a refreshing granita from one of the local vendors. Either way, don’t forget your sunscreen!

How to get to Spiagge Bianchi from Florence

Take the train from Santa Maria Novella in Florence to Rosignano, transfering in Pisa. Then, take a quick 10 minute walk to the public beach and you’re ready to go.

Cortona

cortona italy

Cortona, an ancient Etruscan city is the perfect day trip from Florence if you need to get away from the crowds of tourists. The set of ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, arriving in Cortona truly feels like walking into a postcard. Take a light lunch at one of the bars off of Piazza Garibaldi or stroll through the narrow streets of the historic city center. Head down to Giardini Parterre with a gelato and enjoy the magnificent views along the Valdichiana region.

How to get to Cortona from Florence

Take the Regionale train RE (or local train), which takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the Camucia-Cortona train station. This Fare ticket is about 10 euros.

Rome

things to do in rome

Rome, the most famous, and ambitious, of day trips from Florence will overwhelm you with it’s history, culture, food and art. Climb the Spanish Steps for a panoramic view of the city, take a few hours to explore the Vatican and experience the ancient magic of the Pantheon. Finish off your day with a relaxing dinner in Trastevere, a charming neighborhood across the Tiber, and listen to the local musicians while sipping Rome’s famous sweet, white wine.

How to get to Rome from Florence

Rome is by far the easiest day trip to get to from Florence with TrenItalia trains running every few minutes. The fastest trains can get you to Rome in under two hours, while the slower trains and busses are closer to three.

Bologna

bologna italy

Bologna, a city east of Florence, is famous for its food, historic Universities, and fusion of ancient and contemporary culture. Explore sprawling Piazza Maggiore with its arched colonnades, quaint cafes and medieval Renaissance structures. Snap a photo by the Basilica of San Petronio and make a wish at the Fountain of Neptune. Finish off your day with a dinner of fresh, handmade tagliatelle al ragu– the dish that inspired the modern Bolognese sauce.

If you love cooking then a Gourmet Food Tour of Bologna from Florence might be a great option for you!

How to get to Bologna from Florence

Train is, once again, the most efficient way to get from Florence to Bologna and back. The average journey time by train is about 40 minutes, with up to 56 trains running per day.

As you can tell, there are no shortage of incredible day trips to take from Florence. Whether you’re looking for a day at the beach, a hike through the mountains, or an afternoon in the city, Florence is the perfect place to start your journey.

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Best Day Trips from Florence Italy - Want to explore Italy? These quick and easy day trips from Florence are perfect for getting to know the country if you don't have a lot of time! #florence #italy #europe #europeantravel #daytrips #europe Travel

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