Best day trips from Florence by train and car (2022-2023)


Updated on Nov 21 • 8 minute read

Florence is home to the world’s most famous museums, art galleries, and cathedrals, including some that have the Unesco World Heritage Site status. While Florence is the main attraction of Tuscany, the surrounding areas and cities are worth seeing and serve as a good escape from your daily life in Florence.

You’ll be surprised to know that in just a little less than 2 hours, you’ll be able to escape the tourists in Florence and find yourself surrounded by breath-taking landscapes and charming destinations__.

Here’re some of the best weekend or day trips you can do from Florence, Italy:

  1. Pisa
  2. Chianti
  3. Val D’orcia
  4. Saturnia
  5. Siena
  6. Rome
  7. Livorno
  8. Portovenere, Cinque Terre and La Spezia

1. Pisa

Pisa, famous for its leaning tower, has much more to offer to its visitors, such as churches, museums, art galleries and parks. It's a pleasant city to visit, full of charm and walking friendly.

What to do

Apart from taking a picture with the leaning tower and going up its stairs to enjoy the panoramic view at the top, here’re some things to do in Pisa:

  1. Visit Piazza Dei Miracoli and Battistero di San Giovanni (the church next to the tower of Pisa).
  2. Take a walk along the river in Lungarno and admire the colourful houses.
  3. Go for a run or a relaxing walk in the local park Giardino Scotto.
  4. Visit the Bambu Forest in Pisa's Botanical Garden.

Would you like to see something that only locals know? Take the opportunity to see the hidden gem of Pisa. In Corso Italia, you’ll find the beautiful Feltrinelli Bookshop, where in spring, the inner courtyard explodes with wisteria pergola. Here you’ll be able to read a book and enjoy a delicious coffee.

How to get to Pisa from Florence

  • By train: The train is the fastest way to get to Pisa, as it takes only 50 minutes. There’s a direct train from Firenze S.M.N (Santa Maria Novella) to Pisa Centrale. The ticket price ranges from €5 to €12.
  • By bus: It takes 1-hour and the ticket prices range from €7 to €30.
  • By car: Pisa is 115 km from Florence, and you’ll reach it in 1.5 hours by taking the highway.

2. Chianti

Chianti is one of the most beautiful hilly regions in Tuscany. It’s distinguished by a landscape that consists primarily of vineyards, olive groves, ancient fortresses, Romanesque churches, and castles.

What to do

There’re a lot of things you can do in Chianti. If you’re planning to do a day trip, here’re the things you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Visit Greve in Chianti and the famous Piazza Mercatale.
  2. Reach Montefioralle and take a look at the medieval castle.
  3. Go for a wine tasting tour and enjoy local appetizers, such as cheese, ham, and other local appetizers.
  4. If you love outdoor activities, going for a hike, horseback riding or a cycle ride in the hills of Chianti won’t let you down.

How to get to Chianti from Florence

The most convenient way to reach Chianti is by car or bus. You’ll reach Chianti in 20 mins by car and 40 mins by bus.

Trains don’t run often. Even though the 2 cities are only 33 km apart, you’ll need to take a train from Firenze S.M. to Empoli and here take another regional train to Castellina in Chianti. The total journey lasts 1 hour 40 minutes and the tickets cost €8.70.

3. Val D’orcia

Val D’orcia has it all: medieval villages, ancient abbeys, history, art, and nature that create a landscape that is unique in the world.

What to do

In Val D’orcia, you can stroll through the streets of ancient villages, and visit medieval castles and abbeys surrounded by spectacular cypresses. Wine tasting is popular here because of the production of the Italian wine: Brunello di Montalcino.

Here’re some things to do that will enchant you and make you fall in love with the Val D'orcia.:

  1. Visit Pienza, an ancient renaissance city and pass through the narrow streets and the famous Via Dell’Amore while tasting their local cheese: Pecorino.
  2. Head towards Monticchiello, a small medieval village surrounded by 13th-century walls. Here you can go for a walk in the beautiful agricultural fields surrounded by cypress trees.
  3. Enjoy lunch at Le Macchie, a 17th-century farmhouse where you can enjoy __massages, cooking classes, go for a hike, a bike ride, and winery tours.
  4. Go for a wine and food tasting in the nature in Motalcino.
  5. If you want to relax, visit the spa Bagno Vignoni.

How to get to Val D’orcia from Florence

The best way to travel from Florence to Val D’orcia is by car. It takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.

You can also get the train or the bus, however, these take longer.

  • By train: There’s no direct train from Florence to Val D’orcia. From Florence, you can take the train and get off at Buon Convento, where you can take a local bus to BIvio Dell’Asso.
  • By bus: It takes about 2 hours and buses only run on Mondays and Fridays.

4. Saturnia

Saturnia is regarded as one of Italy's most beautiful spa towns, with its natural thermal water that reaches 37℃ thanks to the volcanic heat.

What to do

Besides visiting the various medieval villages, the churches and the roman remains, here’re the best things to do in Saturnia:

  1. Walk around Saturnia’s Roman walls.
  2. Visit the church Santa Maria Maddalena.
  3. Go for a thermal bath in the amazing natural spa Cascata del Mulino. They’re free and you can spend the whole day in the thermal water surrounded by trees and green fields.
  4. Go for a walk in Vie Cave, ancient and enthralling open-air Etruscan trails. The trails go all the way through the woods, so we recommend you wear comfortable shoes.

How to get to Saturnia from Florence

The best way to go to Saturnia from Florence is by car and it takes about 3 hours.

5. Siena

The Duomo, the ancient towers, the museums and the gastronomic delicacies make Siena one of Italy's most beautiful art cities.

What to do

Siena is usually compared to Florence for the many beautiful things to do in this charming city. Let’s take a look at what you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Visit the cathedral of Siena and admire the beautiful interior which features a roman-gothic style.
  2. Go for a walk at Fortezza Medicea and reach the amphitheatre where you can see the breath-taking panoramic view of Siena.
  3. Take the 400 steps and go up the 88m tall tower Torre dei Mangia. You can see the city of Siena from above.
  4. Walk past the tiny shops selling local products and enjoy the local food at one of the many local restaurants.
  5. If you like art, don’t miss Pinacoteca Nazionale. Here you’ll be able to find the masterpieces of some of the most famous Italian artists, such as Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, Lorenzetti, Sassetta, and Francesco di Giorgio.

How to get to Siena from Florence

  • By bus: It takes a bit more than 1-hour. The price for the ticket varies from €6 to €9.
  • By train: You can take the direct regional train from Firenze S.M. to Siena, which takes 1hour 30 minutes. The price of the ticket goes from €6 to €14.
  • By car: Siena is located an hour away from Florence by car.

6. Rome

In Italy, Rome is referred to as La Città Eterna (the eternal city) because of its architecture, culture, society, and art that never fade.

What to do

Rome is a big city, so in order to see everything you need more than 1 day. If you’re here for a weekend or longer, here’re the best things to do in the capital of Italy:

  1. Go for a walk in the heart of Rome, Piazza Di Spagna and Piazza Venezia.
  2. Throw a coin in Fontana di Trevi and make a wish.
  3. Visit the Colosseum.
  4. Enjoy lunch at Mangiarè Roma, a local restaurant where you can enjoy delicious Roman cuisine and the real Pasta Alla Carbonara.
  5. Visit the Pantheon.
  6. Go for a walk at Giardino Degli Aranci and enjoy the breathtaking view over the city.
  7. If you’ve some time left, or you love art, book a visit to Musei Vaticani.
  8. Go for a walk in Isola Tiberina and Trastevere.
  9. If you’d like to have a nice walk outside of the capital crowd, go to Parco Dell’EUR and grab an ice cream at one of the many delicious ice cream shops around here.

How to get to Rome from Florence

  • By train: The train is the fastest way to get to Rome from Florence as it takes only 1 hour 25 minutes. The price for a ticket is around €16 and €25.
  • By car: Rome is 274 km from Florence and you’ll be able to reach it in 2 hours 40 minutes.
  • By bus: It takes 3 hours 30 minutes to get to Rome by bus. Prices range from €15 to €19.

7. Livorno

Livorno: warm, welcoming, and windy. It’s a quiet seaside town, famous for its port. It’s known as the "Venice of the Mediterranean" because of its canals and ancient buildings that remind of Venice.

Livorno is the perfect city to spend a relaxing day away from the city crowd. Here's what you can do in Livorno:

What to do

  1. Try the local food, such as truffles and scagliozzi at Mercato Delle Vettovaglie and enjoy the street food in the colourful and noisy stalls of Piazza Cavallotti.
  2. Enjoy the sunset at Terrazza Mascagni, a big square by the sea.
  3. Visit the Duomo di Livorno and enjoy a walk in the historic centre where you’ll find many local souvenirs.
  4. If you want to see the rest of the city from a different perspective, go on a boat tour. Tickets are €15 for adults, €7 for children up to 150 cm, and free for children under 100 cm.
  5. Visit the Fortezza Vecchia (old fortress) and Fortezza Nuova(new fortress), important historic symbols of Livorno since 1500.
  6. To discover the true soul of Livorno, head towards the "Venezia Nuova" district, which resembles Venice.

How to get to Siena from Florence

  • By car: Siena is 70 km from Florence, and you can reach it in an hour by car.
  • By bus: Taking the bus from Firenze Autostazione, you’ll be able to reach Siena in 1 hour 15 minutes. The ticket price goes from €6 to €9.
  • By train: It takes 1 hour 30 minutes to get to Siena by train. Tickets cost between €6 and €14.

8. Portovenere, Cinque Terre and La Spezia

One of the most beautiful places by the sea and close to Florence is Portovenere. Located on the Ligurian coast, Portovenere is famous for its sea caves, fascinating dive sites and blue seawater.

Porto Venere is the perfect place where you can walk and explore. Because of its proximity to Cinque Terre, you can combine your visit to Portovenere with a beautiful stop at Cinque Terre or La Spezia.

Here’re some things you can do in Porto Venere:

  1. Visit Chiesa di San Pietro of Porto Venere and enjoy the unmissible breathtaking viewover the sea.
  2. Next to Chiesa di San Pietro, take the stairs and go down to admire the beauty of Grotta di Byron (Byron’s cave).
  3. Go for a walk and see Castello Doria, a castle located at the top of the hill. The entry fee is €5 for adults and €3 for children under 14.
  4. Visit Isola Palmaria, and go for a dive in one of the 36 caves that you can find in the sea.
  5. Enjoy a mix of fried fish at La Bottega del Fritto in the centre and walk through the steps of the city.
  6. Head to La Spezia by bus to admire the orange trees, the port, beautiful parks and the historic centre.
  7. Take the train, the local bus, or a ferry, and visit the Cinque Terre for a day or two of walking, eating, drinking, and relaxing in any of the 5 villages.

How to get to Porto Venere from Florence

  • By car: taking the car is the best way to reach Porto Venere from Florence, which takes around 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • By train: You can take the train from Firenze S.M.N to Pisa and another train to La Spezia. From La Spezia, you can take a local bus that will take you to Portovenere in only 20 mins.

Alternatively, you can take a direct train from Firenze S.M.N. to Sarzana and then a local bus to Portovenere. Trains run every 30 minutes and the total trip takes an average of 4 hours. Tickets start at €13.

More city trips to make from Florence

If you’d like to take a long-weekend trip and visit more charming and not too far Italian destinations, you can enjoy Milan, Turin, Venice, and the underrated but spectacular Bologna. You can be sure that these cities won’t let you down since there’s always a lot to see and do!

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