9 Excellent Day Journeys from Florence: From Bologna and Siena to Cinque Terre

If you happen to’re heading to Florence however haven’t deliberate to go to any of the smaller cities in Tuscany, you’ll wish to rethink your itinerary. Even in case you’re not a lot of a wine drinker—which can increase a number of eyebrows in Italy—there’s an unbelievable quantity of locations to discover, meals to eat, and sights to see on the very best day journeys from Florence. Truthfully, you could possibly cease in any little city alongside the best way and love what you discover. However in case you’re in search of the can’t-miss locations to go to in Tuscany, this listing is for you.

Maybe you’d prefer to see the “medieval Manhattan” of San Gimignano, or wander a winery in Val D’Orcia, or snap your individual photograph holding up the tower of Pisa. Nevertheless you select to day journey from Florence, studying Italian earlier than you arrive is one solution to make your journey even higher. Italians love to speak, and so they’ll fortunately converse with you as you observe talking Italian with them!

Ideas for getting round Tuscany in your day journeys from Florence

Cities like Florence are simply walkable, however you’ll must plan forward in case you’re desirous to discover the Tuscan countryside or head to the coast to see Cinque Terre. To succeed in some cities that we suggest for day journeys from Florence, you could possibly hire a automotive and go to a number of of them in a single day. Different cities, like Bologna, are greatest reached by prepare. 

You’ll be able to simply ebook tickets on Trenitalia, which is the most well-liked reserving website in Italy for regional and high-speed trains. They even have an app you possibly can obtain. The stazione (station) you’ll use is known as Firenze S. M. Novella (Florence Santa Maria Novella). Bear in mind that you simply’ll must validate any regional (not excessive pace) biglietto (ticket) when bought on-line. It’s normally so simple as clicking “Test In” in your e-mail affirmation. 

If you happen to select to hire a automotive, be sure to’re snug driving a handbook quite than automated as there are restricted automated automobiles out there. You’ll must navigate slender streets and plan forward for the place to park. Nonetheless, driving a automotive within the countryside of Italy is way simpler than within the bustling streets of Rome. You may even attempt renting a vespa to journey to a few of the close by villages round Florence!

>> Use our listing of the greatest cities to go to in Italy as you propose your trip!

1. Lucca: the exceptional fortress metropolis

From Florence: 1 hour by automotive; roughly 1.5 hours by prepare

If you wish to hit up a number of Italian cities in your day journey from Florence, then we suggest beginning in Lucca. It’s simple to get to by prepare or by automotive, although you’ll spend much less on a prepare ticket than on benzina (gasoline). Lucca is a captivating metropolis that has roots courting again to the Etruscan period previous to the Roman Empire. It’s not as well-liked as many different locations, which makes it an ideal metropolis to go to round Florence. 

So what do you have to do on this historical walled metropolis? Nicely, we suggest trying out the remarkably preserved Roman partitions in Lucca’s metropolis middle on foot, with a motorbike, or on a tour. You’ll have your choose of church buildings to discover, however don’t skip Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Reparata that sits atop historical Roman baths and a crypt. If you happen to love a great panoramic view, climb the bell tower right here or at Torre Guinigi. 

2. Pisa: the one with the leaning tower

From Florence: 1 hour by automotive; roughly 1 hour by prepare

Whereas Pisa is a well-liked Florence day journey vacation spot, it makes much more sense to mix this after spending the morning in Lucca. In any case, it’s simply 20 minutes away by automotive or half-hour by prepare for about 4 euros. It’s no secret that you simply’re in all probability most serious about taking that touristy photograph of you pretending to carry up the leaning tower of Pisa. Most individuals do, so don’t hesitate to get your photograph too! Although you possibly can climb the tower, it prices about 20 euros, so we don’t suggest it because it’s fairly costly for what you get.

As a substitute, spend your time exploring the Duomo complicated which incorporates Cattedrale di Pisa (Pisa Cathedral), Battistero di San Giovanni (San Giovanni Baptistery) and the Camposanto (cemetery). Every has their very own distinctive options, like frescoes from the 14th century or bronze doorways just like the Florence Duomo. A day in Pisa might be definitely worth the effort!

3. Siena: probably the most well-known Tuscan city

From Florence: 1 hour by automotive; 1.5 hours by prepare

Maybe some of the well-known medieval cities close to Florence, Siena is taken into account top-of-the-line day journeys from Florence, Italy. The sight of the imposing bell tower in Piazza del Campo rising from the center of this metropolis on a hill might be immediately recognizable after you’ve visited this stunning city. An attention-grabbing reality is that this metropolis is house to Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the oldest financial institution on the planet, which opened in 1472!

If you happen to plan forward, you could possibly be in Siena throughout July or August to observe the Palio. It’s a well-known horse race held totally inside PIazza del Campo that’s dearly beloved by locals. For a singular factor to do in Siena, head underground to discover the labyrinth of aqueduct canals that also present water to fountains you’ll discover all through town. And naturally, no cease in Siena can be full with out venturing into the gorgeous cathedral.

4. San Gimignano: town of stone skyscrapers and cobblestones

From Florence: 1 hour by automotive; no prepare; mix with a gaggle tour to Siena

Although there is no such thing as a prepare station right here, San Gimignano (sahn zjim-in-YAH-no) is without doubt one of the hottest day journeys from Florence. When you have a automotive or wish to ebook a small group tour, you’ll undoubtedly wish to cease on this Chianti wine area metropolis that’s typically referred to as a “medieval Manhattan” as a consequence of what number of tall buildings and towers dominate the skyline. You can even mix San Gimignano with a day journey to Siena when you have restricted time to discover past Florence.

Your time in San Gimignano may very well be greatest spent having fun with la dolce vita (the candy life) of doing nothing and easily having fun with being current the place you’re. This may greatest be completed with a vino (wine) glass in hand because you’re within the land of cantine (wineries)! In any other case, there’s one thing magical about wandering the quaint cobblestone streets the place you possibly can escape the vacationers and uncover hidden trattorie (informal eating places). Remember to wander all the best way to the thirteenth century Palazzo Comunale within the middle of San Gimignano to search out historical frescoes and the tallest tower within the metropolis.

5. Bologna: town greatest identified for meals

From Florence: 1.5 hours by automotive; 40 minutes by high-speed prepare

The town of Bologna is well-known for its culinary prowess, so plan to spend a little bit additional time to eat some freshly made pasta and different northern meals like tigelle. In truth, ordering ragu alla Bolognese could be the only option you make on today journey from Florence. However there are many different causes to decide on to go to Bologna.

Piazza Maggiore is a powerful sq. that dates again to 1200 A.D. and homes Basilica di San Petronio, which might have rivaled St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome if the pope hadn’t stopped development to forestall that from taking place. Inside, you’ll discover what many think about to be the world’s longest sundial at 220 toes! We additionally suggest stopping by the gelato museum and sampling a number of flavors. Lastly, in case you’re an unique automotive aficionado, take time to journey to close by Modena to see Museo (museum) Enzo Ferrari or Museo Automobili Lamborghini!

>>Uncover free issues to do in Rome so you possibly can plan the very best journey ever!

6. Pistoia: town lots of people skip (and shouldn’t)

From Florence: roughly 40 minutes by automotive or prepare

Technically, you could possibly discover little Pistoia and Lucca in the identical day because you’d go via Pistoia first. This little city gained’t be on a whole lot of lists of locations to go to close to Florence, however we predict it’s a fantastic place that gained’t be overcrowded by vacationer buses. It’s an particularly nice day journey from Florence in case you’re touring with youngsters since there’s a pleasant zoo right here. However for adults and solo vacationers, there are a number of different locations to take a look at.

Head over to Cattedrale di San Zeno and admire the white and inexperienced marble facade earlier than going inside to see the origins of this tenth century church. Don’t overlook to lookup on the distinctive picket ceiling right here! You can even climb the bell tower for a panoramic view in case you like. There are quite a few museums and galleries to discover, however you may prefer to go underground at Pistoia Sotterranea to discover archaeological websites. 

7. Montepulciano: the city with the very best views (and vino)

From Florence: 1.5 hours by automotive

When you have a automotive, you’ll wish to head deeper into the Chianti wine area close to the Val D’Orcia space and spend a while in Montepulciano. It’s one other historical city (courting again to the 4th century B.C.) perched on a hilltop to catch your eye as you wander via the idyllic Tuscany countryside. In truth, you may even acknowledge it from motion pictures like Below the Tuscan Solar. Stopping here’s a should if you wish to have the very best Tuscany day journey from Florence.

As with all Italian metropolis, we suggest heading to the central piazza (sq.) appropriately named Piazza Grande. The bell tower right here is totally price climbing for a panoramic view of Val D’Orcia and the basic rolling hills of Tuscany. Native vino is the most important attraction right here although, so don’t miss an opportunity to go to an underground vineyard or ebook a wine tasting at native enoteca (wine store). Close by, you too can go truffle looking, trip horses, or study to cook dinner or make wine. The choices are limitless in Montepulciano!

8. Val D’Orcia: the Tuscany space that’s indescribably stunning

From Florence: 1.5 hours by automotive

The realm often known as Val D’Orcia is part of the province of Siena and contains cities like Pienza, Montalcino, and Radicofani. Most significantly, locals will inform you that the well-known stretch of farmland lined with cypress timber resulting in Maximus’ home within the film Gladiator was filmed on this space close to Pienza and San Quirico d’Orcia. It actually is without doubt one of the prettiest areas in all of Tuscany, which is why Val D’Orcia makes an ideal day journey from Florence.

You’ll want a automotive to wander this space, however we suggest stopping at each city alongside the best way till you resolve to spend the night time in a comfortable B&B or head again to Florence. One of the simplest ways to benefit from the cities in Val D’Orcia is to easily get to know locals and allow them to inform you the histories of their beloved villages, what to eat, and what to see. You’ll additionally wish to be certain to ebook a wine or olio d’oliva (olive oil) tasting or snap footage of the traditional thermal swimming pools in tiny Bagni Vignoni.

>>You’ll must eat in Florence too. Listed here are the greatest eating places in Florence!

9. Cinque Terre: the astonishing cliffside cities

From Florence: 2 hours by automotive to La Spezia solely; 2 hours by prepare

Our curated listing wouldn’t be full with out together with a Cinque Terre day journey from Florence! Earlier than we dive in, remember that it’s not really helpful to drive via Cinque Terre because it’s so congested and slender. You’ll be able to take the prepare to La Spezia Centrale, then ebook your biglietto on the busy Cinque Terre Specific line (earlier than you arrive!) to see all 5 cities: Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Corniglia, Monterosso al Mare, and Manarola. If you happen to’re a hiker, then you definately’ll wish to ebook the prepare and climbing day go.

Are you able to do Cinque Terre in a single day from Florence? Sure! You’ll want to depart very early and take a late prepare again to Florence although. Take time to benefit from the largest seashore in Monterosso earlier than discovering the citadel ruins. Have your digicam helpful in Vernazza since that is the place you’ll discover the long-lasting views of cliffside houses. Mountaineering via vineyards from Vernazza to Corniglia is one of the best ways to get there except you wish to climb 384 steps to the prepare station. Take the scenic route as a substitute! And in Manarola, don’t miss an opportunity to leap within the water from the rocky cliffs earlier than watching the sundown.

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