Julie Italy 6 Comments

Florence is not only filled with some of Italy’s most awe-inspiring sights, but it also makes a fantastic home base for exploring Tuscany and nearby cities. There is a long list of day trips from Florence, from quick visits to Tuscan hill towns to full day excursions to the Cinque Terre, Siena, and Pisa.

In this guide, we list the best day trips from Florence, with practical information about the best way to get around and how to plan your day trip. At the end of this guide, we also list our three favorite day trip options, which allow you to explore several different regions of Tuscany, all from one spot.

Transportation Options

When planning your day trips from Florence, one of the biggest factors to consider is how you will get around.

Florence is well connected to other major Italian cities by bus and train. There are also numerous buses and trains that connect Florence to nearby Tuscan towns. In addition to the buses and trains, you also have the option to rent a car, hire a driver, or join a tour. These all have advantages and disadvantages.

Getting Around By Train

Getting around by train is generally the fastest and most convenient mode of transportation. Within an hour, you can travel from Florence to places like Bologna and Arezzo.

However, not every town in Tuscany is easily reachable by train. Some small towns do not have a train station, or if they do, could be as much as a few kilometers outside of town, meaning you’ll either be facing a long walk or you will have to take a bus or taxi to the city center.

You will also have to pay attention to the speed of the train. In Italy, there are high-speed trains, such as the frecciarossa, and then there are slower trains such as the regional trains. Regional trains are the predominant train type connecting Florence to the Tuscan towns, but in a few cases you have the option to take a high-speed train, as is the case for Bologna or Milan.

We use Italiarail.com to look up train schedules and make our reservations in advance.

The best day trips from Florence by train:

  • Pisa
  • Lucca
  • Cinque Terre
  • Bologna
  • Milan
  • Arezzo
  • Orvieto
  • Assisi

Getting Around By Bus

Traveling by bus is the cheapest way to day trip from Florence. But this is also the slowest mode of transportation and it can take several hours to reach some towns, with the possibility of a transfer along the way. Buses also tend to run late, which means you could spend your valuable time waiting at the bus stations for the next bus to arrive.

It will also be very difficult to string together several Tuscan hill towns into one day trip. If you want to do this, we recommend renting a car, hiring a driver, or joining a tour that includes the places you want to visit.

On our first visit to Florence, we attempted to get around by bus and had a terrible experience. On some occasions, buses were running over an hour late, which gets to be very frustrating. We eventually gave up and rented a car instead, which was a much better overall experience.

The best town to visit by bus is Siena.

Palazzo Comunale Montepulciano | Best Day Trips from Florence

Palazzo Communale in Montepulciano

Getting Around By Rental Car

Getting around by rental car allows you to travel at your own pace. You can pack as much into a day as you want, and since you won’t be traveling with a tour group, can spend as long or as little in each place you visit.

Rental cars give you a lot more freedom but they still have a few disadvantages. Driving in Florence is extremely challenging, so it is best to pick up your rental car and/or park it on the outskirts of the city, to avoid driving in the ZTL zone.

In each hill town, you will also have to park in a lot or garage, spending on average several euros per hour for parking. It’s best to research where the parking lots are before you show up in town, and we also have parking recommendations listed in each of our guides for the hill towns in Tuscany, to make your life a little easier.

If you plan to travel through Italy by train, you can rent a car for however many days you plan to day trip from Florence. You can rent cars from the major companies at the train station and airport (the train station is more convenient since it is within walking distance of the city center).

All of the day trips from Florence mentioned below can easily be done with a rental car.

Getting Around By Private Driver

If you want the freedom of the rental car but don’t want the hassle of driving and parking, hiring a driver is the way to go. This is the most expensive way to travel, but it eliminates most of the headaches and hassles…no long waits for a bus, no need to research where to park in advance, and you can drink as much wine as you like without having to later get behind the wheel of a car.

Each of the day trips below can be done with a private driver.

Getting Around on a Tour

Joining a tour is perfect for those with limited time and those who don’t want to go through the hassle of planning a day trip. Tours include your transportation and a knowledgeable guide, and many also include visits to wineries or even include a cooking class.

There are many companies that offer day trips from Florence to places like Pisa, the Cinque Terre, Siena, and the Tuscan hill towns. For example, this full day tour includes Pisa, Siena, and San Gimignano, which puts together three beautiful places into one memorable day trip. And this tour of Montepulciano and Pienza from Florence is another great option.

Best Day Trips from Florence

Here is a list of the best day trips from Florence. We cover these in much more detail below.

  • Siena
  • Monteriggioni
  • San Gimignano
  • Lucca
  • Pisa
  • Cinque Terre
  • Chianti Wine Region
  • Val d’Orcia
  • Volterra
  • Arezzo
  • Cortona
  • Bologna
  • Milan
  • Assisi
  • Orvieto

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each place to go. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

1. Siena

Siena is one of the best day trips from Florence for several reasons.

For one thing, it is cheap and easy to get to. Siena is one of the best towns to visit by bus, making this a great day trip option for those on a budget.

Siena is one of our favorite cities in Tuscany. With its incredible Duomo, picturesque main square (Il Campo), medieval streets to explore, wonderful collection of restaurants, and the views from the top of Torre del Mangia, there is plenty here to keep you busy all day.

It’s also very easy to include our next day trip destination, Monteriggioni, with Siena, since they are located close to one another. Monteriggioni is tiny and can be visited in an hour.

Piazza del Campo Siena

Piazza del Campo and Palazzo Pubblico | Best Day Trips from Florence

 Siena Italy | Best Day Trips from Florence

The view of Siena from Torre del Mangia

 

Duomo di Siena

Inside the Siena Cathedral | Best Day Trips from Florence

Plan Your Siena Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: Siena is a large Tuscan hill town and for the best experience, plan on spending one full day here.

TRANSPORTATION: The best ways to travel from Florence to Siena are by bus, train, rental car, and private driver. By bus, take line 131R (the Rapida bus by Tiemme) with a travel time of 1 hour and 15 minutes and a cost of approximately €8. Flixbus also offers several buses per day from Piazzale Montelugo or Villa Costanza in Florence, with a travel time of one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes and a cost of €8 to €10.

You can also travel by train, with a travel time of 1.5 to 2 hours and a cost of €10 one way. There is a regional train with a travel time of 1.5 hours with no transfers. Check train times on Italiarail.com.

If you will have a rental car, one of the most convenient places to park in Siena is Parcheggio San Franceso. It is located just outside of the city center. You will ride up a long series of escalators, coming out next to Basilica di San Francesco. It is a 15-minute walk to the city center.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: Siena is one of the largest Tuscan hill towns and it is easy to fill your day with the top sites here. To help you plan your time, read our article One Perfect Day in Siena.

2. Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni is a small, walled town in Tuscany, Italy.

A visit here is quick, with a stroll through town and a walk on the walls topping the list of things to do in Monteriggioni.

Monteriggioni is located just outside of Siena, so these two towns can easily be grouped together on a day trip from Florence.

Monteriggioni Photo | Best Day Trips from Florence

Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni | Best Day Trips from Florence

Plan Your Monteriggioni Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: If you simply want to walk the walls, take a stroll through town, and visit the museum, an hour is all you need. With more time, you can sit down to lunch or dinner.

TRANSPORTATION: There is no train station in town but there are buses that run frequently from Siena. Here is a link to the timetable (select “GLI Orari Autobus da Siena a Monteriggioni). You can also get here by rental car. It is a 1 hour drive from Florence to Monteriggioni and a 20-minute drive from Siena to Monteriggioni.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: This town is tiny. Take a stroll through the center of town (it takes less than 10 minutes to walk from one end to the other) and then walk the walls for the best views. A visit here lasts about 2 hours.

3. San Gimignano

San Gimignano is one of the most popular day trips from Florence. It is easy to get to, fun to explore, and included on a lot of tours of Tuscany.

With that being said, it will also be one of the most touristy towns in Tuscany to visit, so if you prefer less touristy destinations, we recommend places like Cortona and Montalcino over San Gimignano.

San Gimignano is famous for its medieval towers. In fact, San Gimignano has more medieval towers than any other hill town in Tuscany. Climbing these towers for a view over the town and the Tuscan hillside is one of the best things to do in San Gimignano. It’s also a wonderful place to go shopping and dine on local foods.

If you want to combine San Gimignano with another destination in Tuscany, we recommend Volterra, Pisa, or Siena.

San Gimignano | Best Day Trips from Florence

San Gimignano | Best Day Trips from Florence

 San Gimigano Photo

San Gimigano | Best Day Trips from Florence

Plan Your San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: San Gimignano can be visited in half a day, which means you can pair it with another Tuscan hill town or return to Florence in the afternoon.

TRANSPORTATION: You can travel to San Gimignano by bus, train, car, and on a tour. There are no direct buses. Buses run approximately every hour with a transfer in Poggibonsi, for a total travel time of 1.5 to 2 hours (take bus 131 from Florence to Poggibonsi and bus 130 or 133 from Poggibonsi to San Gimignano).

By train, take the regional train from Florence to Poggibonsi, transfer to bus 130 or 133 to San Gimignano for a travel time of 1.5 to 2 hours.

If you have a rental car or driver, it takes just over one hour to drive from Florence to San Gimignano, making this the fastest mode of transportation.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: With half of a day in San Gimignano, stroll the city streets, climb one or two towers for views of the town, go shopping, and have lunch or dinner.

Tours of San Gimignano

San Gimignano is one of the easiest Tuscan hill towns to visit on a tour. This small group tour combines San Gimignano and Volterra together.

This highly rated tour includes Pisa, Siena, and San Gimignano.

And this full day tour includes Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, Siena, plus lunch in a winery in Chianti. It packs a lot in, so you don’t have much time in any one place, but you do get to see a lot on this tour.

4. Lucca

Lucca is a walled city that sits in western Tuscany, not far from Pisa, the Cinque Terre, and the Ligurian Sea. Walking the Renaissance-era walls, climbing the numerous towers for a view over the city, and having lunch in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro all top the list of the best things to do in Lucca.

It’s quite popular, and easy to do, to combine Lucca and Pisa into a day trip from Florence. They both easily accessible by train and have a short list of sights.

Lucca in September | Best Day Trips from Florence

Lucca | Best Day Trips from Florence

 

Lucca Restaurants

Outdoor restaurants on Piazza dell’Anfiteatro

Plan Your Lucca Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: You need a half to a full day to visit Lucca.

TRANSPORTATION: The best way to get to Lucca is by train. From Florence, it takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to travel to Lucca by train. The Lucca train station sits just outside of the walls and it is a very short walk to the city center.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: Take a morning train to Lucca and spend the day exploring the city. You also have the option to combine Lucca and Pisa together in a day trip from Florence, which we outline in our article One Day in Pisa and Lucca.

5. Pisa

Easily reachable by train and with a short to-do list, Pisa is a great day trip from Florence. Plus, you get to see one of Italy’s most famous landmarks, the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Leaning Tower of Pisa | Best Day Trips from Florence

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

 

Pisa Italy Photo

Pisa | Best Day Trips from Florence

Plan Your Pisa Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED:A visit to Pisa takes 2 to 3 hours. This includes your time to walk to and from the train station to the Leaning Tower, plus time for photos, to climb the tower, and to visit the other monuments in the duomo complex.

TRANSPORTATION: The best way to travel from Florence to Pisa is by train. Trains run frequently throughout the day with a travel time of one hour. By car, it takes an hour and a half to drive here. If you prefer to take a tour, this highly rated tour of Pisa also includes San Gimignano and Siena.

PLANNING YOUR TIME:For details on how to plan your day trip and how to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the duomo, read our article How to Plan a Day Trip to Pisa. It’s also very easy to combine Pisa and Lucca together. Learn how to do this in our article One Day in Pisa and Lucca.

Italy Travel Guide Rome

6. Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a group of five towns perched on the dramatic coastline of Italy, just north of Pisa.

Since the Cinque Terre is easy to get to by train, it makes a nice day trip destination from Florence. Visiting the Cinque Terre on a day trip from Florence is a nice option for those with limited time in Italy. But if you can spare more time, for the best experience plan to spend at least one night in one of the five coastal towns, to give yourself more time here.

One of the best ways to explore the Cinque Terre is to hike from town to town. You will need an early start and a full day to do this. It is possible to speed up the experience by taking the train once or twice to skip over some of the walking.

Cinque Terre Italy | Best Day Trips from Florence

Vernazza | Best Day Trips from Florence

 

Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore | Best Day Trips from Florence

Plan Your Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: Plan on spending one full day on the Cinque Terre. Take an early morning train and late evening train to give yourself as much time as possible here. Sunsets are beautiful so if you can, plan to board the return train to Florence in the evening.

TRANSPORTATION: The best way to get from Florence to the Cinque Terre is by train. There is no direct train. You will travel from Florence to Le Spezia and then transfer to the regional train for the Cinque Terre, with an average travel time of 2.5 hours. You can also visit Pisa on the way to the Cinque Terre and we cover how to do this in our Pisa Day Trip guide.

If you have a car, it takes about 2.5 hours to drive to the Cinque Terre.

This highly rated tour covers your transportation to and from the Cinque Terre with the option to add on a short hike.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: Take an early morning train to the Cinque Terre. Spend the day visiting the five towns, either hiking or taking the regional train from town to town. Have dinner, watch the sunset, and then return to Florence by train.

7. Chianti Wine Region

Chianti is a wine region that sits to the south of Florence. This wine region, also called Monti del Chianti, includes the provinces of Florence and Siena and extends towards Arezzo, Val d’Orcia, and Pisa.

This wine region is further divided into smaller appellations, including Chianti Classico, Chianti Montalbano, Colli Senesi, and Chianti Rufina, just to name a few.

You can day trip into the Chianti wine region by visiting the towns in this area (such as Siena, Arezzo, Volterra, and San Gimignano) or join a tour that has wine tastings in the vineyards in this area.

Chianti wine region | Best Day Trips from Florence

Overlooking the Chianti wine region from San Gimignano

Plan Your Chianti Wine Region Day Trip

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: With one day, visit one or two of the towns located in the Chianti wine region or take a tour of the Chianti vineyards.

TRANSPORTATION: This depends on where you plan to go. Some towns are easily accessible by bus (such as Siena) whereas others are easier to reach by car or driver.

Tours of the Chianti Wine Region

One of the best ways to visit the Chianti wine region is on a tour.

This highly rated tour includes a visit to two wineries in the Chianti Classico region with food and wine pairings.

On this half day tour from Florence, visit two wineries in the Chianti wine region.

Have a 4 course lunch in a vineyard, with wine tastings and a spectacular at the vineyard. This looks amazing and something we would like to do on our next visit to Tuscany.

You can also go truffle hunting or tour the Chianti wine region on a Vespa.

 

 

8. Val d’Orcia

Val d’Orcia is a region of Tuscany that includes the towns of Pienza, Radicofani, Montalcino, and San Quirico d’Orcia. This is one of the prettiest areas of Tuscany, with its rolling hills and picture-perfect hill towns. When you see postcards of twisting lines of cypress trees and green rolling hills, there is a good chance that that photo was taken in Val d’Orcia.

This area is also where Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines are produced. If you are a wine aficionado, Val d’Orcia should be at the top of your list as one of the best day trips from Florence.

Montepulciano Italy | Best Day Trips from Florence

Montepulciano | Best Day Trips from Florence

 Montalcino Wine Tasting Photo

Wine tasting in Montalcino | Best Day Trips from Florence

 

Things to Do in Montalcino

Montalcino | Best Day Trips from Florence

 

Pienza Italy

Pienza | Best Day Trips from Florence

Plan Your Val d’Orcia Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: With one busy day, you can explore the trio of Montalcino, Pienza, and Montepulciano. If you prefer to slow down the visit, choose two of these towns.

TRANSPORTATION: The best way to get here is by rental car or driver. It is possible to travel from Florence to Val d’Orcia by bus or train, but with limited schedules and multiple transfers, most of your day will be spent traveling, rather than visiting the hill towns. If you don’t plan to rent a car, you can hire a private driver, visit Val d’Orcia on a private tour, or visit Montepulciano and Pienza on a group tour.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: If you plan to rent a car or hire a driver, get an early start. It takes 2 hours to drive from Florence to Montepulciano. Spend a few hours in Montepulciano, drive to Pienza and have lunch, and spend the afternoon in Montalcino. From Montalcino, it is a 2-hour drive back to Florence. You can also do this in the opposite order (Montalcino to Pienza to Montepulciano) and take out a town for a more leisurely experience.

9. Volterra

Volterra is similar to other Tuscan hill towns, with its medieval streets, boutique shops, palazzos, and piazzas, but it contains a longer list of museums and archaeological sites than you will find in places like Montepulciano and Pienza. For those with an interest in history, Volterra is one of the top Tuscan hill towns to visit.

With its narrow, medieval streets, ancient walls, and fortress, Volterra makes an appearance in quite a few movies, books, and video games. If you have watched the Twilight series, you’ve no doubt seen Volterra. In this series, Volterra is home to the Volturi, a clan of vampires who rule the world’s vampires.

Volterra | Best Day Trips from Florence

View from the tower of Palazzo dei Priori

 

Volterra Tuscany Italy Photo

Volterra | Best Day Trips from Florence

Plan Your Volterra Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: With half of a day, you can stroll the streets, climb to the top of the town hall tower for a bird’s eye view of Volterra, visit a museum that is of interest to you, have lunch, and do a little shopping. With more time, visit the Roman Theater and visit another museum or two.

TRANSPORTATION: The easiest way to get to Volterra by car. From Florence, it takes an hour and a half to drive here. The best place to park is Parcheggio La Dogana Srl. The closest train station to Volterra is Volterra Saline – Pomerance, which is 10 km outside of town. From the train station, you will need to take a bus or taxi to get into town. By bus, transfer in Colle di Val d’Elsa. This highly rated tour includes San Gimignano and Volterra.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: For a list of things to do and for a one day itinerary, read our Guide to Volterra.

10. Arezzo

With its grand piazzas, hilltop views, and medieval buildings and streets, Arezzo is one of the most charming Tuscan hill towns.

On a visit here, you can fill your time by visiting the churches and art museums, enjoying the views from the fortress, shopping for antiques at the monthly market, and learning about jousting.

Arezzo is located near the southeast corner of Tuscany, not far from Cortona, so these town towns can be combined into one day trip from Florence.

Arezzo Piazza Grande | Best Day Trips from Florence

Piazza Grande in Arezzo | Best Day Trips from Florence

 

Corso Italia Arezzo Italy

Corso Italia

 Where to Eat in Arezzo

Lunch in Arezzo

 

Piazza Grande Arezzo Italy

Overlooking Piazza Grande from the clock tower

Plan Your Arezzo Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: With a half of a day, you can see the highlights of Arezzo, if you move very quickly. A full day is ideal, to get to everything, plus have lunch and/or dinner in Arezzo.

TRANSPORTATION: From Florence, there are frequent trains to Arezzo and the journey takes 1 hour to 1 and a half hours from Florence to Arezzo, depending on the speed of the train. It’s a bit slower and trickier to get from Florence to Arezzo by bus, so if you plan to use public transportation, the train is the way to go. By car, it takes an hour and fifteen minutes to drive to Arezzo.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: In the morning, drive or take the train to Arezzo. Spend the day in Arezzo. In the afternoon, you have the option to add on Cortona, but this is best done with a rental car, since it can be tricky to get between these two towns using public transportation.

11. Cortona

Made famous by the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, Cortona is a small, Tuscan hill town with a short to do list. Stroll the medieval streets, enjoy the views over Tuscany, go wine tasting, and shop in the boutique shops.

This lovely hilltop town is a delight to explore. It’s short list of sites and small size makes it a great day trip idea from Florence. Cortona can also be combined with Arezzo or Assisi.

Cortona Italy | Best Day Trips from Florence

Cortona | Best Day Trips from Florence

 Via Nazionale Cortona

Via Nazionale | Best Day Trips from Florence

 

Il Pozzo Cortona Italy | Best Day Trips from Florence

Cortona is a great place to go shopping, with lots of boutique art galleries like Il Pozzo

Plan Your Cortona Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: If you want to stroll the city streets, go shopping, have a bite to eat, and visit museum or church or two, you will need 2 to 3 hours in Cortona. In order to visit the sites that sit outside of the city center, add on another 2 to 4 hours, which means that your visit to Cortona will last about one full day.

TRANSPORTATION: The fastest, most convenient way to get to Cortona is by car (it is an hour and a half drive from Florence). By train, there are frequent trains from Florence to the Terontola-Cortona station with travel times ranging from an hour to 1.75 hours, some direct and some with a transfer. From the Camuccia-Cortona station, take a bus or taxi to the city center.

You can visit Cortona on this private tour that also includes Montepulciano and this full day tour that includes Cortona, Montepulciano, and Siena.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: Cortona needs about 3 to 4 hours to see the highlights.

12. Bologna

In just 40 minutes, you can travel by high-speed train from Florence to Bologna, making this another great day trip option.

Bologna is famous for its food, medieval city streets, towers to climb, and as the place where Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ducati are located.

One of the best things to do in Bologna is to eat and this food tour gets rave reviews and can be done as a day trip from Florence.

Bologna

Piazza Maggiore in Bologna | Yasonya/shutterstock.com

Plan Your Bologna Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: Plan on spending one full day in Bologna, to tour the city center, climb a tower or two, take a food tour, and for those with an interest in cars, tour the Lamborghini and Ferrari museums.

TRANSPORTATION: The best way to get to Bologna is by train. By direct high-speed train, it takes just 40 minutes to travel to Bologna. You can save a little money by taking a regional train with a transfer for a travel time of just under 2 hours.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: Take an early morning train and spend the day exploring Bologna. Taking a food tour is one of the best things to do on a visit to Bologna. After dinner, return to Florence by train.

13. Milan

If you look at Italy on a map, Milan looks incredibly far away from Florence. However, a direct, high-speed train connects these two cities, which makes Milan a great day trip from Florence.

If you have always wanted to tour the Milan cathedral, go shopping, or see Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper, it’s possible to do so on a day trip from Florence.

10 Day Italy Itinerary with Milan | Best Day Trips from Florence

Duomo di Milan | Best Day Trips from Florence

Plan Your Milan Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: You need 4 to 5 hours in Milan to tour the duomo, see The Last Supper, go shopping, and have lunch.

TRANSPORTATION: A direct, high-speed train to Milan takes 1 hour and 55 minutes, making the train the best way to day trip to Milan (by car it takes 3.5 hours).

PLANNING YOUR TIME: Take a morning train to Milan, spend the day touring the main sites, and return to Florence in the evening. For the best experience, it is best to book your duomo tickets and tickets to see The Last Supper in advance.

14. Assisi

Assisi is a city in Umbria. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Italy to visit and famous for being the birthplace of St. Francis.

Since it is located so far from Florence, this is one of the longest day trips with a lot of time spent traveling. It is worth it for those with an interest in the life and history of St. Francis and those who want to explore beyond Tuscany.

This city is a delight to visit, with its streets that look like they belong on a postcard, to the long list of churches in and around the city center.

Top places to visit in Assisi include the St. Francis Basilica, Piazza del Comune, the Basilica of Santa Chiara, strolling the city streets, enjoying the view from Rocca Maggiore, and having lunch and/or dinner at an outdoor café.

Assisi Sunset Umbria Italy

St. Francis Basilica | Best Day Trips from Florence

 

Assisi Italy

The view from Rocca Maggiore

 Best Restaurants in Assisi

Taverna dei Consoli is a beautiful spot to have lunch

 

Piazza del Comune Assisi

Piazza del Comune

Plan Your Assisi Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: For the best experience, plan on spending one full day here. That is almost impossible to do on a day trip from Florence, since it takes several hours to travel here, but you will still have enough time to see the highlights.

TRANSPORTATION: By car, it takes 2 hours to drive from Florence to Assisi. There is a direct train from Florence to Assisi that takes just over 2.5 hours. There are also train routes with one transfer that take 3 to 4 hours. To maximize your time in Assisi, pick the earliest train with a direct route to Assisi.

There is also a tour from Florence that includes Assisi and Cortona.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: Plan your travel so that you arrive in Assisi as early as possible (by taking a direct train early in the morning or renting a car, leaving Florence around 7 am). Follow our One Day Assisi Itinerary that includes a walking tour of historic city center.

15. Orvieto

Orvieto is also in Umbria. On a visit here, tour the Duomo (which looks very similar to the Siena Cathedral), explore the labyrinth of caves and tunnels under the city, gaze out over the rooftops from Torre del Moro, go wine tasting, and explore the maze of city streets.

Orvieto is located roughly halfway between Rome and Florence. If you are traveling between these two cities, you can spend a half day in Orvieto, breaking up the drive or train ride.

Orvieto Cathedral

Orvieto Cathedral | Best Day Trips from Florence

 

Lunch in Tuscany

Lunch in Orvieto

 Albornoz Fortress Orvieto

The view from Albornoz Fortress

Plan Your Orvieto Day Trip from Florence

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED: This is a relatively large town so expect to spend a half to full day here.

TRANSPORTATION: Orvieto is located along the Rome – Florence – Milan train line, so it is very easy to get here by train. Travel times range from 2 to 2.5 hours. The train station is located just outside of the historic city center. To get to the city center, ride the funicular (the bottom station is located next to the train station) to Piazza Cahen.

PLANNING YOUR TIME: Take an early morning train from Florence, spend the day in Orvieto, and return to Florence in the evening by train.

Best Day Trips from Florence: Our Recommendations

First Visit to Tuscany

If you only have time for one day trip and have never been to Tuscany, here are a few recommendations:

For those who want to visit several towns on a tour, I recommend this tour which includes Siena, Monteriggioni, and San Gimignano or this tour of Siena, Montepulciano, and Cortona.

If you prefer to travel on your own schedule, rent a car and hire a driver. Combining Montepulciano, Pienza, and Montalcino together is a very long but memorable day. For something a bit closer to Florence with less travel time, you can visit San Gimignano and Volterra in the same day.

Finally, Siena is a great day trip from Florence, as it is easy to get to by bus and one of our favorite towns in Tuscany.

For Budget Travelers

If you are traveling on a budget, the best day trips from Florence include visiting Siena by bus, visiting Pisa or San Gimignano by train, or traveling by train to Arezzo.

For Families

If you are traveling with kids, day tripping to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower is fun for kids, as they get to see an iconic landmark of Italy that they’ll be sure to recognize. The Cinque Terre is a longer day trip but our kids loved hiking between these colorful towns. Walking the walls of Monteriggioni and strolling through Siena are more places to consider if you are traveling with kids.

For Wine Lovers

For wine lovers, a visit to Val d’Orcia is one of the best day trips from Florence, as is a tour of the Chianti wine region.

Doing More than One Day Trip

If you have time in Florence to take several day trips, then you are fortunate in that you can visit several different areas of Tuscany.

On your first day, we highly recommend spending a day in Siena with the option to also add on Monteriggioni.

On day 2, visit Val d’Orcia, one of the prettiest areas of Tuscany, and tour Montepulciano, Pienza, and Montalcino.

On your third day, visit Arezzo or Volterra, or do something a bit more unique, such as the 4-course lunch in the Chianti wine region or venture all of the way to the beautiful town of Assisi.

Tuscany Itinerary

If you have more than one day in Tuscany, take a look at our Tuscany Itinerary, which has recommendations on how to plan your time, whether you have 1 day, 3 days, or an entire week.

Wine Shop in Montepulciano

Wine shop in Montepulciano | Best Day Trips from Florence

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best day trips from Florence?

From Florence, there is a long list of day trips you can take. Some of the most popular day trips include San Gimignano, Pisa, and the Chianti wine region. Other great day trip ideas include Val d’Orcia (to visit Pienza, Montalcino, and Montepulciano), Arezzo, Volterra, the Cinque Terre, or even places like Milan and Bologna.

How many days do you need in Florence?

We recommend spending two full days in Florence, to visit the main sites in the historic city center. With more time, you can visit some of Florence’s less popular places or day trip to Tuscany.

Can you day trip from Florence to the Cinque Terre?

The Cinque Terre makes a great day trip from Florence. It is easy to get to by train and you can spend the day hiking or taking the train from town to town. This makes for a long day but it is a good option for those with limited time in Italy who want to see these five colorful coastal towns.

Do I need to rent a car to visit Tuscany?

Having a rental car gives you the freedom to tour Tuscany, without bus schedules and tour groups. However, a car is not absolutely necessary, as it is possible to travel through Tuscany using a combination of trains and buses.

More Information about Florence & Tuscany

FLORENCE: For a list of things to do, take a look at our Florence Bucket List. We also have information about how to visit the Florence Cathedral, about the best rooftop bars in Florence, the best viewpoints in Florence, and where to stay in Florence.

FLORENCE ITINERARIES: Learn how to plan your time with our articles on how to spend One Day in Florence and Two Days in Florence.

TUSCANY: Get started with our guide to the Best Things to Do in Tuscany. Learn how to plan your visit with our Tuscany Itinerary, which has sample itineraries, whether you have 3 days, 5 days, or an entire week in Tuscany.

TUSCAN HILL TOWNS: Check out our detailed guides to Siena, Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, San Quirico d’Orcia, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Lucca, Volterra, Arezzo, and Cortona.

SIENA: Plan your visit to Siena with our articles Best Things to do in Siena, One Perfect Day in Siena and How to Visit the Siena Cathedral.

PISA: Learn how to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa while traveling from Florence to the Cinque Terre and how to combine Lucca and Pisa in one day trip from Florence.

CINQUE TERRE: One of the best experiences in the Cinque Terre is to hike between all five towns. If you are traveling on a budget, get our money saving tips for the Cinque Terre.


If you have any questions about the best day trips from Florence, or if you want to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Italy

BEST OF ITALY: In our guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy.

ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Italy. We also have a detailed 10 day itinerary that includes Rome, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and Venice. For those with more time, check out our 14 day Italy itinerary, which covers the highlights of Italy.

UMBRIA: In our article Best Things to Do in Assisi, we cover the top experiences to have, plus where to eat and where to stay. In our One Day in Assisi Itinerary, we have a detailed walking tour of the historic city center. And don’t miss our guide to the Best Things to Do in Orvieto.

PUGLIA: Read about 15 beautiful places to visit in Puglia and the best things to do in Alberobello. We also have a guide to the best things to do on the Gargano Peninsula, how to spend one day in Vieste, and about how to take a boat tour to visit the Gargano sea caves.

LAKE GARDA: Get started with our article Best Things to Do in Lake Garda. Learn how to plan your time with our Lake Garda Itinerary. We also have information about things to do in Sirmione and Riva del Garda.

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, Basilicata, and Puglia.

 

Best Tuscany Day Trips from Florence

Best Day Trips from Florence Italy

 

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Comments 6

  1. Avatar for Douglas W De Leo
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
  2. Avatar for Gina
    Gina

    Please send the direct link to the 4-course lunch in the Chianti wine region. When I click on any of the specific tours recommended, it goes to a page with 162 activities.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      The lunch is the first box in the list, called the San Gimignano: Canopy Vineyard Lunch and Wine Tasting. Unfortunately, that’s a weird quirk of GetYourGuide, that it goes to page with multiple options, rather than the one tour I choose to highlight. However, on that same page, there are several related options. The San Gimignano: Romantic Vineyard Lunch is a new tour and much more affordable than the other tour. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Ellie
    Ellie

    Planning my trip and this article has been so helpful, definitely gives very great information with all the travel combinations to different towns and suggestions. Definitely saving it to review further and plan my itinerary. Thank you for such a informative guide.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author

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