Planning to spend a few days in Florence, you definitely have to visit the historical center. Listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its beauty, it has thirteen million visitors every year. Moreover, to enrich your Tuscan holiday with more exciting experiences, you may think to include in your itinerary some day trips to take from Florence.

Thanks to its central position, you easily reach many destinations, famous or unusual, by train or by car. Here is my personal list of the ten best day trips to take from Florence.

10 Day Trips to take from Florence

Fiesole

Take a bus and climb the hill overlooking Florence to reach the town of Fiesole. The town has been one the favourite places of many foreigners since the end of the 1700s. Of Etruscan origins, Fiesole was an important city of the Roman Age.

Today we can still admire the well-preserved Roman Amphitheatre and the ruins of the Necropolis, a Thermal bath, and other imperial palaces. Another interesting attraction is the Medici Villa, built during the fifth teen century, but we can only the gardens (free entry) reserving in advance.

Villa Medici Fiesole

Mugello

In less than one hour you enter the valley of Mugello. Rich in beautiful landscapes and nature, many are opportunities for hiking and biking along a system of tracks in sync with its surroundings. Two of the fourteen Medici Villas included in the UNESCO World Heritage List are in Mugello. But the main reason why Mugello is known worldwide is the MotoGP motorcycle racing. It takes place every year and attracts fans of stars such as Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo from all over the world. Moreover, if you like do shopping, in Barberino del Mugello there is a big outlet where you can make great deals and bring home with you nice clothes Made in Italy.

Mugello in tuscany
The landscape of Mugello – Photo Credits: Valentina Dainelli, Too Much Tuscany

Chianti

The fairytale landscape of Chianti is one of the most visited rural areas of the whole world and if you come to Tuscany, you cannot miss it. The car is the best way to explore Chianti, slowly driving along the Chiantigiana Road or the Via Cassia. Foodies must not miss to taste a delicious Bistecca alla Fiorentina served with a bottle of Chianti Red DOC. There are so many wonderful views that you would stop every minute to take amazing pics of this unique countryside where everyone would like to live.

Chianti Castelnuovo Berardenga wine tours of Tuscany

San Gimignano and Certaldo

San Gimignano does not need too much introduction being visited every year by more than three million tourists. Thanks to its intact fourteen towers, this enchanting village along the pilgrimage route of the Via Francigena and example of a well-preserved medieval hamlet, has been nicknamed “the Medieval Manhattan of Tuscany”. To step out of the crowd follow this unconventional tour of San Gimignano we personally experienced.

Piazza del Duomo at sunset San Gimignano

Along the way from Florence to San Gimignano, which takes you about 90 minutes by car, you can even think to stop in Certaldo, another nice medieval village, known as the birthplace of the Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio author of the Decameron. The historical center, the central Via Boccaccio, and the Palazzo Pretorio are in the old part called Certaldo Alto, on top of a hill that you can reach directly by car along a panoramic path or by a funicular from the lower and more modern part of the town.

Certaldo The Main Via Boccaccio

Siena and Monteriggioni

Siena, the wonderful city famous for the Palio, is only one hour and a half from Florence, and you can reach it both by car and by train. Enjoy the walk along the narrow alleys of the historical center, and rest in the marvelous Piazza del Campo where every 2 July and 16 August the horse race takes place. The complex of the gothic Cathedral, with the Dome and its wonderful decorated floor, the Piccolomini Library, and the “Facciatone”, is another must-see in town. Do not forget to try some deliciousness as Pici pasta with meat ragout or the traditional Christmas cakes.

View of the Piazza del Campo of Siena, one the best-known places in Tuscany

If you are driving the car, I highly recommend stopping also in the splendid fortified village of Monteriggioni, one of my favorites in Tuscany.

Monteriggioni Villages in Tuscany

Day trips to take from Florence: the wonderful town of Arezzo

Arezzo is a beautiful city of Etruscan-Roman origin situated at the junction of four Tuscan valleys. It became famous to the world with the touching movie La vita è Bella by Roberto Benigni.

Discover here other famous movies set in Tuscany.

Start the tour from the leaning Piazza Grande, surrounded by medieval and baroque buildings, and do not miss to visit the exhibit of the frescoes of the inestimable value of the Golden Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca.

Arezzo Piazza Grande
Piazza Grande of Arezzo – Photo Credits: Frammenti di Toscana

Pisa and the Square of Miracles

Head to Pisa to visit one of the most known squares in the world, the Square of Miracles. Pisa is easy to reach both by car or by direct train, just one hour outside Florence. Do not stop only in front of the leaning tower. Go beyond and explore the rest of the center. Unmissable spots are the Lungarno, Piazza dei Cavalieri, and the portico of Borgo Stretto.

Things to do in pisa lungarni

The walled city of Lucca

In Lucca, enjoy a walk, a run, or a bike ride along the four km circle of the walls. Perfectly preserved, they date back to the Middle Ages. Lucca is known also to have more than a hundred churches and for the unique rounded Piazza Anfiteatro. At the end of October, the center hosts Lucca Comics, the second biggest comic festival in the world attracting thousands of fans of cartoons, video games, manga, and movies. From Florence, it takes about one hour by car and 90 minutes by direct train.

Guinigi Tower Lucca, one the best-known places in Tuscany and one of the favourite day trips to take from Florence

Day Trips to Take from Florence to escape from the summer heat: the coast of Versilia

During the summertime, if you feel like a swim in the sea, head to Versilia and Viareggio. They are just one hour away from Florence. You can take the train or drive your car. The city is famous to host in February one of the biggest Carnival in Europe. There are beach clubs for all budgets. Choose between the most luxurious ones with big cabanas and a swimming pool and the simple ones with the traditional colored sun umbrellas. Looking for something wild, away from the crowd, the beautiful beach of La Lecciona is the place for you. If you are into art, visit the close town Pietrasanta and its many marble and bronze workshops and galleries.

An example of Art Nouveau in Viareggio, famous for carnival, beaches and to be an easy day trips from Florence to escape from the summer heat.
Example of art Nouveau in Viareggio Seaside Promenade

Bolgheri and the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia

The most distant of the day trips to take from Florence that I suggest to you is Bolgheri Wine Region. Bolgheri is famous worldwide for the Super Tuscan Wines Sassicaia and Ornellaia. Set on the coast of the Etruscan Riviera, you can both visit a vineyard and dive in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Keep in mind that the end of August/September is the harvest period and not all wineries will be open. Once in Bolgheri, you can drive a bit further and reach the Gulf of Baratti. It is one of the best beaches in Tuscany and you also find the Archaeological park of Baratti and Populonia.

The old Gate to enter in Bolgheri, on the Etruscan Coast, one of the best day trips to take from Florence.

I hope this list of day trips to take from Florence makes you curious to explore the region. Even if only for a day or an afternoon, it totally worth it. Have you got any other ideas to add to this list?

Day Trips to Take From Florence. Pin It for Later

DAY TRIPS TO TAKE FROM FLORENCE PINTEREST

(Updated the 7 of August 2022)

4 thoughts on “The Best Day Trips To Take From Florence

  1. Anne Harrison says:

    Every time I read one of your post I just want to get in a plane and fly to Italy! I have such great memories of Fiesole and San Gimigiano, of getting lost in the one-way streets of Sienna and having my first pasta carbonara in Pisa. I’ll just have to come back and try the others!

    • Nicola says:

      Tks Anne for sharing these memories with us. I remember your words about Fiesole and unusual Florence…we wait for you to try many other delicacies!! 🙂

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