Step outside the region’s capital and see what else Tuscany has to offer by taking one of these day trips from Florence.

With Siena less than a couple of hour’s train ride to the south, Bologna to the north, and the charming combination of Lucca and Pisa to the west, the capital city of Florence lends itself as the ideal base to explore the attractions of central Italy. From the luscious chain of Chianti Hills to the sloping Tuscan countryside, and art-filled towns of Prato and Pistoia, you can binge-watch plenty of Tuscany on a rewarding day trip from Florence:

  • Pisa

    Located 83 kilometres to the west of Florence, the bustling university city of Pisa houses iconic churches, ancient gothic style buildings, charming bridges and of course, the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa! Start your day trip with a serene walk along the Arno River, crossing over the charming Ponte Vecchio Bridge, and climb up the Guelfa tower for panoramic views of the city. Lastly, of course, you can mark your presence at the leaning Bell Tower of Pisa, which also features a Cathedral and a Bell tower next to it.

    How to get there:

    You can take a regional train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella which takes about an hour and drops you at Pisa Centrale station.

  • Porto Venere

    A hidden gem on the Ligurian coast on the northwest of Italy, Porto Venere is a village encompassing beaches, caves and gothic-style churches. This is a small town paused in time, with centuries old roads and lanes to explore, along with stone fortresses and churches that sit high above the ocean. Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Porto Venere shares in the same charm and cultural history as Florence, but without the hoards of tourists.

    How to get there: A 2 hour and 14 minute car drive away, Porto Venere is the furthest day trip on our list. There are a few different options including, car, train or bus. We recommend getting the train to La Spezia Central and then a bus from here to Portovenere.

  • Lucca

    One of the most charming cities in Tuscany that sits north of Pisa, Lucca is just an hour’s train ride away from Florence. A perfect medieval town that boasts of imposing 16th century walls, bastions and classic gothic architecture, Lucca offers a serene and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city life. Don’t miss the bird’s eye view from the Guinigi tower and the iconic masterpieces at Cattedrale di San Martino!

    How to get there:

    There’s a train departing from Firenze Santa Maria Novella to Lucca about twice every hour.

  • San Gimignano

    Situated 50 kilometres to the southwest of Florence, San Gimignano is a beautiful medieval town that boasts of twelve scenic stone towers, narrow cobblestoned streets, iconic museums, and surrounding wineries. Don’t miss the city’s two central squares namely Piazza del Duomo & Piazza della Cisterna that are always bustling with numerous cafés, shops, restaurants.

    How to get there:

    You can take a bus from Florence’s main bus stand called Autostazione Sita to Poggibonsi and then change the bus for San Gimignano.

  • Siena

    Your trip to Tuscany is incomplete without paying a visit to the historic city of Siena! Just a short and serene train ride away, the gothic city sits atop three marvellous hills surrounded by the spectacular Chianti wine region and crowned by the towering Torre Del Mangia, which is built alongside the city’s shell-shaped square called the Piazza del Campo!

    How to get there:

    While trains are available round-the-clock, it’s more convenient to reach Siena by bus that takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes.

  • Val D’Orcia

    Extending from the hills of south Siena is the beautiful region of Val d’Orcia. With gentle, rolling hills occasionally broken by gullies and picturesque towns, Val d’Orcia serves as the iconic picture of Tuscany that you see in magazines and travel guides. 116 kilometres from Florence, you get to enjoy the scenic landscape of Tuscany for almost 2-hours straight. Put on your best tunes, kick back and relax! As you head down the SR2 road, finish off your scenic drive with a wander round Montalcino. A small hill town known for its Brunello di Montalcino wine and Pienza cheese.

    How to get there:

    The easiest way to make this trip is by car. Either hire or rent one for the day, or you can take a bus from Florence to Siena and then from Siena to Montalcino. The latter is a good option if you’re going to Siena anyway, and you want to save money.

  • Arezzo

    76 kilometres south-east of Florence is the small city of Arezzo. Tourists are sparse whilst culture and attractions are plentiful. The perfect size to be explored in a day, visit the town’s historic centre of Piazza Grande, before walking to the Duomo San Donato (Arezzo Cathedral) built using sandstone and completed in 1511. Once you’ve had enough of the old, head to the lower section of the town which is more modern, boasting houses, restaurants and some beautiful boutique stores for you to do some window shopping or purchase a souvenir as memento to your trip.

    How to get there:

    The train from Firenze S. M. Novella to Arezzo takes just over an hour, making it a quick and easy option when travelling from Florence.

  • Greve

    A small town in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Greve is a great day trip if you want to get off the beaten track. Coupling history with culture and plenty of wine, what else do you need on your break from the city? With dozens of artisan shops Greve can be explored by sauntering from one boutique store to another. The main square is encompassed by cafes and coffee shops, and of course bars selling the best chianti wine.

    How to get there:

    Greve is easily accessible by bus, if you get the blue 365A line from Busitalia Sita Nord Autostazione stop and get off at Greve Piazza Trento. Or even better, book onto Morning Tuscany Vespa Tour from Florence and arrive in Chianti in style.

With so much to do, remember to research your favourites and see if you can include two stops in one! Siena and Montalcino for example could both be explored in a day as they sit within easy distance of one another.

We hope this guide has helped you realise what else lies beyond Tuscany’s capital, and inspires you to take a day trip or two from its borders.

Make the Most of Our Day Trips from Florence

Previous article: