The best day trips and weekend getaways from Florence
We all know Florence, it is one of the most beautiful and artistically impactful cities in Italy. You could spend a whole year there and it still wouldn’t be enough to uncover all of its marvels. Located in Tuscany, one of the most stunning Italian regions right in the heart of Italy, you’ll find that Firenze is a great base to explore Tuscany and the nearby regions. Today we’ll talk to you about the best day trips from Florence to make your Tuscan stay even more unforgettable.
Train Travel in Tuscany
Does the Chianti region need an introduction? If you’re a wine lover you’ve come across a Chianti wine at least once in your life (and if you haven’t, this is definitely a place you have to cross off your list). This region is one of the most amazing and unique winemaking areas. Picture this: you’re in Florence, you’re surrounded by art, amazing restaurants, food and great company. On your second day in Florence, you decide to take a day trip to the Chianti region. Can you picture the breathtakingly beautiful scenery? At the end of the car ride, you’ll end up visiting vineyards and wine estates, tasting the most amazing wine with cured meats and cheese boards to complete your experience.
San Gimignano and Siena
How to arrive: Train to Siena (90 min) or Car (60 min)
Tour Suggestion: Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano with Lunch and Wine in Chianti
Just an hour away from Florence lies the stunning San Gimignano. This beautiful town is home to the delicious Saffron and Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine, so if you’re a wine lover this is a great stop for you. But apart from the food and wine specialties, San Gimignano is known for its 14 medieval towers and medieval architecture. If you’re on a strict time schedule and you’d like to fit in two destinations in one day, after San Gimignano you could head over towards the medieval town of Siena, this beauty is best known for the famous “Palio di Siena” horse race, which takes place twice every summer. Don’t forget to visit the Siena Cathedral and the Palazzo Comunale which are located on the Piazza del Campo, the most famous tourist attraction in the entire town. Here you will find a myriad of different restaurants to pick from and souvenir shops.
How to arrive: Train (130-180 min) or Car (85 min)
Tour Suggestion: Ask us!
This hilltop Tuscan town is famous for being a winemaking area and for its Rosso di Montepulciano red wine. Endless vineyards surround the beautiful town of Montepulciano but there is more to this gem than its wine. The views of the rolling Tuscan hills are worth the trip. During your time here, don’t forget to visit the church of San Biagio, this church is not very famous among tourists so you just picked up on an interesting tip. The Piazza Comunale, where you will find Montepulciano’s most famous monuments, is also a must visit!
How to arrive: Train (60-80 min) or Car (65 min)
Tour Suggestion: Half Day private tour of Pisa
Since you’re in Italy, it would be a shame not to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa for yourself! And the good news is that you don’t even need a car: Pisa is easily reached by hopping on a regional train at Florence’s Santa Maria Novella train station. If you’re not acquainted with the story, the Torre di Pisa is famed for its inclination of 3.9 degrees (previously of 5.5 degree) and for having been where Galileo Galileo dropped two cannonballs of different weight from the tower to prove that mass does not affect the speed of falling objects. The famed landmark is located in Piazza del Miracoli where you’ll also find the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Monumental Graveyard.
How to arrive: Train to Chiusi-Chianciano Terme (110 min) or Car (90 min)
Tour Suggestion: Val D’Orcia: Cheese and Wine Tasting Tour from Florence
Situated in the stunning Val d’Orcia region, Pienza is a must-visit borgo that dominates the valley, offering endless views of the rolling Tuscan hills. Although the atmosphere and the views themselves are enough of a reason to visit this charming town, Pienza is actually renowned worldwide for its millennial tradition in cheese making, resulting in the famous pecorino di Pienza. While you’re here, don’t miss out on dining in Pienza’s characteristic restaurants, tasting the famed pecorino with some honey and sampling the region’s wines. You deserve it.
How to arrive: Train to Buonconvento – 10 km from Montalcino (150 min) or Car (100 min)
Tour Suggestion: Brunello di Montalcino Full-Day Wine Tour with Tastings
Just a few kilometers from Pienza, Montalcino is a Medieval village completely surrounded by 13th century fortified walls. Gaze out onto the rolling Tuscan hills, the olive groves and vineyards, stop by for lunch in one of its charming restaurants and don’t even think about leaving before you’ve had a glass (or two) of its famous Brunello di Montalcino red wine (one of the Super Tuscans)!
How to arrive: Train (80-100 min) or Car (60 min)
Tour Suggestion: Ask us!
Enclosed within its famous Renaissance-era walls, Lucca is a small, yet richly artistic city between Pisa and Florence. Panoramic views from medieval towers, strolls atop old defensive walls, and museums housing masterpieces of Italian art supply visitors with unforgettable experiences and sights in Lucca. Encircled by Lucca’s walls is a refined, cultivated city with incredible museums, churches, piazzas, and palaces. You won’t miss any of Lucca’s medieval towers, such as the Torre Guinigi and Torre delle Ore (Clock Tower). From atop of the Torre Guinigi, which you’ll spot from the bundle of trees on its roof, you’ll get a breathtaking panoramic view of the city.
How to arrive: Train (60-90 min) or Car (60 min)
Coming from Florence, you probably appreciate art and culture, or maybe you’re trying to get away from it for the day. Either way, Arezzo is the birthplace of the world-renowned artists Giorgio Vasari and Pietro della Francesca, and hence is filled with art! From the beautiful Piazza Grande filled with stalls, to the many cathedrals, there are various gems to visit. Don’t forget to visit the fortress, it offers a 360-degree view of the town of Arezzo! If you want to combine another destination with Arezzo, we recommend Cortona.
How to arrive: Train (80 min) or Car (90 min)
Tour Suggestion: Assisi and Cortona Full-Day Guided Tour from Florence
If you’ve ever seen the movie “Under The Tuscan Sun” starring Diane Lane and wished to swap your lives with hers, this is the place that will give you a glimpse of the life she created for herself. Cortona is a classic and delightful Tuscan hill top town with the most spectacular view of the Tuscan fields and the Lago Trasimeno. It was built in historical stone walls to give you that true and authentic Tuscan vibe. Walk down the streets of the centro storico, marvel at the churches and don’t miss out on the Giardini Parterre. Don’t miss out.
How to arrive: Car (80 min)
Situated in between Florence, Pisa and Siena, Volterra is a charming town known for its Etruscan origins. Here, you’ll be able to admire the thousand-year-old Etruscan arch, visit the Etruscan museum but also appreciate the town’s Medieval, Roman and Renaissance architecture and artworks.
Capalbio (Giardino dei Tarocchi)
How to arrive: Train (210 min) or Car (150 min)
Bordering Lazio and close to Argentario, Capalbio is renowned for its beautiful borgo and for its coast, boasting crystal clear waters and sandy beaches. If you head on a day trip to Capalbio, make sure to visit the beautiful Giardino dei Tarocchi, or Garden of Tarot Cards, just a few kilometers from the center. Created by the French artist Niki de Snate Phalle, the garden is popular for the large sculptures depicting 22 Major Arcanes of the tarot cards. Truly a must-visit!
How to arrive: train to Orbetello (190-220 min) or car (135 min)
Tuscany is home to Mount Argentario, one of the most beautiful and popular seaside escapes in Italy. There are two strips of sand, known as the Giannella and the Feniglia, connecting the Argentario to the mainland, which are filled with great beach establishments and restaurants. But the hotspots at Argentario are Porto Santo Stefano, the main port of Argentario, with ferries that head to the Giglio island, and Porto Ercole, smaller but more chic. Both of these towns are surrounded by stunning beach coves which you can visit by hiring a boat for the day. If you want to spend a day soaking under the sun, this is a great place to head to! If you’re searching for a more exclusive stay head to Hotel Torre di Cala Piccola or Hotel Pellicano and stay the night!