Take a look at our ten best day trips from Florence, including why you should visit and how to get there.
- San Gimignano
- Castellina in Chianti
The Eternal City can easily be reached by train from Florence, as the journey from Florence to Rome takes only 1h 12m on Frecciarossa high-speed trains. If you travel in Premium, Business or Executive Class, a welcome service will be brought to your seat shortly after departure, including a wide selection of sweet or savoury snacks and 9 hot and cold drinks.
Take in famous sights like the Trevi Fountain or the Colosseum, and explore historical icons like the Vatican and the Capitoline Museums. At the latter, located in the square of the Campidoglio, among other breathtaking works of art you'll find a statue of the Capitoline Wolf, nursing the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. While in Rome, don't forget to try local specialities such as Scaloppine alla Romana, thin veal slices sautéed with fresh baby artichokes.
Considered one of the most attractive cities in Tuscany, Siena is a day trip from Florence not to be missed. Jointly with Florence, Siena was the artistic and technological centre of Italy during the 13th and 14th centuries. Today, its most emblematic square is Piazza del Campo, which is surrounded by impressive, historic palaces. The shell-shaped Piazza del Campo is also famous worldwide as the site of the bareback Palio horse races held twice a year in July and in August. You can travel from Florence to Siena with Trenitalia’s regional trains in only 1h 19m.
3. San Gimignano
Seventy-two towers once crowned the picturesque, walled town of San Gimignano, and 14 of them are still standing. Make sure to climb the more than 50m high Grossa tower and enjoy the splendid landscape of Tuscany from this outstanding vantage point. Getting from Florence to San Gimignano for a day trip couldn't be easier – just take the Trenitalia regional train from Florence to Poggibonsi station and then one of the local buses bound for San Gimignano.
4. Castellina in Chianti
A small town on top of a hill, Castellina in Chianti has a lot to offer. Its historical and cultural significance is represented by the fortress known as La Rocca, or the Rock, which was expertly restored after the Second World War. Atop the fortress, you will find the Sala del Capitano, known for its incredible medieval walls. Not surprisingly, this room is a favourite for wedding celebrations. Trenitalia’s regional trains will take you directly from Florence to Castellina in Chianti in just 1h 15m.
Visit the Leaning Tower, but while you're in town, you'll also want to discover how much more Pisa has to offer. This day trip from Florence is particularly easy, given the quick train journey of 48m to the Central train station in Pisa. Upon arrival, head for Piazza dei Miracoli, the ‘Square of Miracles’, where you'll not only find the tower, but other architectural gems such as the Duomo, the baptistry, and a nearby cemetery which is now considered a museum. This collection of sights is also on UNESCO's World Heritage list. After sightseeing, tuck into any number of regional dishes, including bordatino, kale and bread-based soup. Don't be surprised if the bread you buy for your picnic is made without salt as this is typical of the region.
Situated between Pisa and Florence in northern Tuscany, Lucca is famous for its many towers and churches. Visit the medieval Guinigi Tower and enjoy the sight of oaks growing in the rooftop garden. Stroll over the only oval-shaped square in the world, Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, and you'll see vestiges of the square's original amphitheatre walls among its many restaurants and souvenir shops. Travel with Trenitalia regional trains from Florence to Lucca in just 1h 13m.
The medieval university town of Perugia is also the home of Bacio, a hazelnut-flavoured chocolate treat you'll want to sample over and over. To visit the city's famous, pink-façade cathedral, head over to Piazza IV Novembre, one of the most beautiful squares of the town. Don’t miss your chance to visit Rocca Paolina, a Renaissance fortress from which little remains, but the real attraction here is the journey by lift from the lower town. On the way, enjoy the view of the medieval streets that now serve as the site's foundation. And to finish your day trip by train from Florence in style, stroll the old town and enjoy some gelato. Getting there and back takes less than two hours, as the train journey is 1h 27m, and it's a twenty-minute walk from Perugia train station to the city centre.
Milan is Italy's fashion capital. The best way to discover what is in vogue is by wandering the Quadrilatero d'Oro neighbourhood, where the most prestigious designers exhibit their creations in luxurious shops. Enjoy window shopping, and then walk along the Navigli canals for a bit of tranquillity. Visit the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery, popularly known as the Milan Salon, and afterwards, stick your foot in the hole of the bull of Torino statue and turn it three times for good luck. And don't miss out on visiting the Duomo, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. To discover these fantastic sights, travel from Florence to Milan in a mere 1h 40min with Frecciarossa.
The colour of Bologna's roofs and buildings, almost all of them red, will be the first thing that will surprise you when you arrive. Be sure to see the twin towers of Asinelli and Garisenda, another example of leaning Italian tower. Climb the Asinelli Tower and you’ll be rewarded with an impressive view over the whole city. Bologna is also famous for its delicious cuisine – try fresh tortellini, tagliatelle or lasagna, signature dishes at many local restaurants. End your meal with a torta di riso, a mouth-watering cake made of almonds, rice, and amaretto liquor. Italo's high-speed trains connect Florence to Bologna, and the journey takes only 35m.
Already settled in the Stone Age, Arezzo was known in the past as one of the twelve hilltop towns of the Etruscan league. Visit the Museo Archeologico Gaio Cilnio to learn more about this fascinating, and still not fully understood, culture. Wander the streets and follow the signs that indicate the different locations where Roberto Begnini's masterpiece La Vita è Bella was filmed. The journey time between Florence and Arezzo is around 30min, making this one of the quickest day trips from Florence.
Immerse yourself in a unique, charming atmosphere on holiday in Florence, and easily avail yourself of the fascinating surrounds by travelling via train. If you want to know more, visit our comprehensive trains in Italy page.