Best Day Trips from Florence,Italy:What to visit near Florence,Tuscany

The Best Day Trips from Florence

Last Updated on Wednesday 08th, January 2014 / 17:08 Written by
The Best Day Trips from Florence
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Assuming you have chosen Florence as the base for your holiday in Tuscany, which makes sense especially if you are not going to rent a car, here you’ll find a suggested itinerary to explore the main sights and attractions to visit near Florence and its enchanting surroundings.

Staying in the historic center of Firenze, will give you the possibility to visit most of Florence’s countless sights and treasures while enjoying its lovely atmosphere.

At the same time, considering the central location of Florence in Tuscany, that’s also the ideal starting point to make a lot of day trips to some of Tuscany’s most beautiful destinations.

Florence is well served by public transport; the main train station, Santa Maria Novella, as well as the bus companies leaving to reach nearby areas of Florence, have a central location in the town. The Autostazione – bus station of the SITA bus company, serving Chianti, Siena, Casentino area, and the Mugello, is adjacent the train station, in Via Santa Caterina da Siena.

If you are wondering what to visit near Florence, be it the suggestive Tuscan countryside or the many medieval hill villages, here is a list to of the main sights to discover outside Florence. You will also find some tips on the best way to get to each of these destinations using public transport, bus or train, from Florence. You can check all train timetables online on Trenitalia, the official website of Italian Railway network.

Best Day Trips from Florence

1. Fiesole, charming town with view over Florence

Hill town of Fiesole, Tuscany

This lovely and characteristic hill town, just few kilometers away from Florence, is home to a beautiful Roman theatre and baths, and the beautiful Villa Medici. Fiesole is a pleasant and more peaceful retreat from the crowds of the city and enjoys a wonderful view over Florence.

How to reach Fiesole from Florence: The number 7 of ATAF bus runs from Santa Maria Novella train station every 30 minutes.

2. Chianti region, the scenic landscape home to a fine wine

The Chianti region in central Tuscany

The Chianti area, known mainly for its famous Chianti wine, is one of the most scenic and typical landscape of Tuscany! Its curving roads amid a sensational landscape are a sight in itself, not to mention the beautiful castles rising here and there up in the hills and the charming Chianti hill towns and villages.

How to get to Chianti from Florence: You can get to the Chianti area from Florence by bus. SITA buses leave directly from Florence’s central Santa Maria Novella station and stop in almost all nice villages of Chianti, you can check here for bus timetables: http://www.acvbus.it/orari/365.pdf

3. Pisa, the city of the Miracles and the Leaning Tower

The city of Pisa, the Leaning Tower, Tuscany

Its renowned and famous Leaning Tower is a Unesco world Heritage Site, along with the Duomo, the Baptistery, and the monumental Cemetery; Piazza dei Miracoli is a unique complex of art and beauty on one of the most beautiful lawns in the world!

However, Pisa, is not just the Leaning Tower! Take a walk along the Arno river to have pleasant views, or cross the Ponte di Mezzo to walk the charming Borgo Stretto, climb up the Cittadella for a great panorama, or visit the museum dedicated to the ancient Roman ships discovered in the area.

How to get to Pisa from Florence: Pisa is only an hour and half train ride away. Direct fast trains from Florence to Pisa will take just one hour’s ride. Pisa train station is located in the town’s center. You can reach Piazza dei Miracoli on foot or by bus if you prefer.

4. Lucca, the city with imposing medieval walls

Lucca in Tuscany, the wallsLucca is a perfect medieval town, made unique by its spectacular 16th walls and bastions around the old town! The walk all along its thick walls is enchanting and extremely relaxing, its historical center is then lovely, full of many churches, squares, and towers. Lucca is also the perfect place to have a great Tuscan lunch, with delicious local products.

How to get to Lucca from Florence: the train from Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station takes about an hour and half.

5. San Gimignano, medieval town with 14 scenic towers

San Gimignano town of towers in Tuscany

The medieval town in the beautiful countryside of the Elsa valley, is famed for its extraordinary towers and makes for a delightful day out. San Gimignano is a must visit in Tuscany and not just for its towers! Here is a useful guide to discover San Gimignano’s Top attractions and museums.

How to get to San Gimignano from Florence: Catch a bus at Florence’s Autostazione Sita to Poggibonsi and then change for San Gimignano. You can check online for bus routes from Florence here.

6. Siena, the wonderful medieval town of the Palio

Piazza del Campo in Siena

Another World Heritage site, Siena’s magnificent Duomo, marvelous Piazza del Campo, and the Palazzo Pubblico are among the sights not to be missed in Tuscany and Italy as well. Rising on a hill and surrounded by a beautiful scenic countryside, that’s one of the most beautiful art towns in the world! Find a useful guide to Siena’s top sights.

How to get to Siena from Florence: Siena is about an hour and a half train ride from Florence Santa Maria Novella Station. In case you take the train to Siena, consider that Siena’s train station is not located in the town’s center, so you will have to take a local bus. You can reach Siena by bus as well, there’s a direct bus of the SITA company taking around 1 hour and 10 minutes, you can check for bus timetables here.

7. Cortona, the village under the Tuscan Sun

cortona-panorama

One of the most enchanting Tuscan hill towns also enjoying one of the best and more vast views extending up to the beautiful Trasimeno Lake in Umbria. Cortona is a very intriguing hill town with an irresistible countryside all around, that has received a lot of attention after the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” from the American novelist Frances Mayes. The place has a lot to offer its visitor, read our nice post on Cortona.

How to get to Cortona from Florence:

You can conveniently reach Cortona by train from Florence Santa Maria Novella station to the station of Cortona – Camucia, and from here reach Cortona’s histotc center, just 5 km away, by bus.

8. Arezzo, where La Vita è Bella!

Arezzo, art town in Tuscany

Less visited and less mentioned Tuscan town, Arezzo is a real jewel of Tuscany! the perfect medieval town, with a lovely piazza with loggias, setting for filming some scenes of “La Vita è Bella” by Roberto Benigni.

How to get to Arezzo from Florence:

From Florence SMN train station you can reach Arezzo in little more than one hour. The train station of Arezzo is located in the city center.

Would like a tailored made travel itinerary for Tuscany? Ask here! it’s free 🙂

Find the Best Day Trips from Florence on the Map

About the author

Hi! My name is Elena, I'm a travel writer and a happy mom living near Florence. I love to explore Tuscany to discover special places and I have a great passion for Tuscan Cooking. On this blog I share my experiences on special hotels and places to visit in Tuscany and Italy, and about my grandmother's tasty Recipes! I'm happy to help travelers plan their holiday in Tuscany :-)

View all articles by elena nacci

53 Comments on “The Best Day Trips from Florence

  • Dear Elena: I just discovered Tuscanychic and I love your site!! I am a fan! My husband is giving me a trip to Italy for my birthday. I can hardly wait! We will probably be staying for about 2 weeks; maybe a little more. And probably in September. I’ve been to Rome and Venice but without my husband so I’m looking forward to discovering with him. After Milan to see the Last Supper, amazing Venice, breathtaking Florence, I thought we’d base ourselves in Siena and drive around. I forgot to mention that not only is my husband Italian-American but he is an architect; so he must see Italy.

    Going to take time and explore your site and blog. We will end in Rome. Appreciate all of your advice and insights!

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Marsha, I’m very happy you like TuscanyChic 🙂 and thanks for contacting me!
      Your birthday’s gift is fantastic! Tuscany and Siena in particular are wonderful, I love Siena, it is my preferred large art town in the region, I go there often as its atmosphere is unique and irresistible. In 2 weeks you will have time to visit Tuscany at its best and will also have time to discover some great sights that are not on the usual tourist’s trail. Siena makes a perfect base to explore the region, and there’s a full post on using Siena as a base in Tuscany. I also suggest you have a look at this 2 weeks itinerary to explore Tuscany; you can get further ideas; while I speak about the best day trips one can make from Siena here. As for lesser known but appealing corners of Tuscany here is my list:-) Have a look and please get back to me for any other suggestion needed! Ciao from Florence, elena

      Reply
  • Dear Elena,

    We are going to be in Florence for Christmas, and are looking for a excursion for a day. We’ve been to San Gimignano, Fiesole, Val D’Orcia, Siena, Chianti, and most of the other obvious places.

    Any place you would recommend that’s accessible in December and not on this list?

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Benjamin,
      thanks for getting in touch 🙂 Among the lesser known and less obvious places to visit from Florence you may consider moving east to reach first the wonderful Castle of Poppi and then the suggestive Santuario della Verna, we are in the suggestive Casentino area of Tuscany. This can be a great day trip from Florence! The castle of Poppi, that can be visited on a guided tour, has beautiful 14th century frescoes and a valuable library with ancient manuscripts. I include Poppi in this list dedicated to the suggestive Tuscan hill towns that are off the beaten track. After the visit to Poppi and its Castle you can consider heading to the Sanctuary of la Verna, really spectacular.

      Another good option could be the visit to the little and charming hill town of Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci and home to a very interesting museum dedicated to his inventions. If you’ve not already visited it, also Arezzo would be worth a visit, especially in December!

      Do contact me again for any other suggestion, and have a great Christmas in Tuscany!

      Reply
  • Hi Elena,

    Thank you for your lovely post! I’m going to Florence with my husband for 5 days in late Feb. It’ll be our first time and we plan to do a food and wine tour and a cooking class in Florence. We’re more interested in good food than art, but we’re excited to see them all. We’d also like to stay overnight somewhere outside the city in between our stay but we don’t have a car.

    We got robbed in Paris early this year and I’m afraid of all the reviews about the pickpockets and the buses that take you to Pisa and other towns that are called the “Pickpocket express”.

    Can you recommend which place is nice to spend a night in outside of the city? Maybe something nice and romantic with good food? It will be our honeymoon (because our real one got cut short when we got robbed and lost ALL our belongings), but we don’t want to spend too much as well.

    Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Camille, thanks for writing me 🙂
      Considering you’re not renting a car I’d suggest a place you can conveniently reach by train from Florence’s Santa Maria Novella train station. Cortona is an amazing and beautiful hill town, very romantic and with great food and wine! You can reach Cortona via train from Florence in about 1 hour and half, and once you get to the Terontola-Cortona station take a taxi to reach the town’s center or the place where you’re going to spend the overnight. Here are my suggestions for special places to stay in Cortona or its surroundings, have a look and get back to me for any other advice needed 🙂 By the way, Merry Christmas!

      Reply
  • Thanks you for your your lovely post! All the places mentioned seem so inviting!

    I will be traveling to Italy with my husband and 1 and a half year old son in May. We will reach Florence on 5th May. Keeping in mind that we will be traveling with a baby, which location would you recommend for us to see with the least travel time wise. I ask for this info as we are on a long 3rd at Euro trip and want to keep travel a minimum…keeps my son happy too.

    I’m looking for some place where we can just go sit down and take in the Tuscan beauty. Is May the time for flower bloom in the Tuscan area?

    Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

    Regards,
    Aditi

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Aditi,
      Happy to hear you like my post! All the places I mention are really wonderful 🙂
      You will fall in love with Tuscany 🙂
      Keeping in mind that you have a baby and have a preference for peaceful places where to admire the Tuscan beauty, I recommend Fiesole as your first destination. Fiesole is an enchanting hill town up the verdant hills overlooking Florence. The views are stunning, while you can enjoy the gardens in the highest part of the village, where are the remains of the Roman theatre. The gardens can be visited freely at any time.

      Another destination really worth visiting is the Chianti wine area, that you can reach by bus in about 1 hour from Florence. The landscape here is very scenic, with hills, castles, vineyards, and nice hill towns. May is actually the time for flower bloom in Tuscany, so a visit to Chianti would be great!

      You may also get further ideas on what to visit around Florence from this recent blog post about the side trips from Florence.
      Let me now if I can help you with other tips,
      Enjoy your time in Tuscany!
      elena

      Reply
  • Elena,

    Thanks for all the helpful information. I will be in Florence in early July and am interested in using it as a base to explore the Tuscan wineries. Are there any wineries or areas in particular that you would recommend I visit and any reputable tours offered?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hello Terry!
      Glad to hear the article is helpful 🙂
      Here is also a specific post on using Florence a home base to discover Tuscany.
      As you are in Florence the nearest area to visit for great wineries is the scenic Chianti region, full of wineries, vineyards, and lovely countryside. Some of the best wineries I recommend are Badia a Coltibuono and Badia a Passignano, producing superb wines and set in stunning locations.
      As far reputable tours I recommend the local agency ArtViva Tours based in Florence, or the tours offered by Viator.

      For any more questions, do contact me again!
      Have a nice evening,
      elena form Florence

      Reply
  • I have just found your site and it is amazing. My husband and I are travelling to Italy in July. We arrive in Rome on the 5th and need to be in Venice to leave on a cruise on 17th. We have those 13 days to have a look around. I saw a 3 day tour from Rome to Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri and thought this was a good way to have a quick look south of Rome. Then we hoped to go by train to Florence and do some day trips from there to Siena, Luca, Pisa etc. We won’t have a car so this will all be by train. We would like to have a look at the Cinque Terre. Is this better by boat or train?
    Any suggestions would be appreciate. Is train travel a good idea and is it good to buy a Eurail pass?
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Pat,
      Glad to hear from you and that you find my site amazing 🙂
      Sounds like you will have a great tour of Italy! The 3 day tour from Rome is a great idea. Once in Florence you can use train and bus to make all of the day trips you want. The bus station is located at one side back the Santa Maria Novella train station.
      You can reach the Cinque Terre by train from Florence and the journey will take around 2 hours and half; Riomaggiore is the first village you meet. From there the train will get across all of the 5 Cinque Terre. Visiting the Cinque Terre can be done on a day trip from Florence, though I’d suggest spending a night there not to have too stressing a day. Train travel is a good idea especially as you’re using Florence as your base and are also taking advantage of organized day tours.
      Honestly, I think you’ll not need the Eurail pass.
      I’m here for any further advice needed,
      Enjoy your long vacation to Italy,
      elena from Florence

      Reply
  • Hello Elena,

    I enjoy reading your posting and the responses. My husband and I will be in Florence on May 21 for 3 full days and hope to include a day trip to Siena. Can you tell me if it’s best to take the train or bus for the day? We are most anxious to visit Saint Clare burial site. Can you recommend any other saints to visit in the area of Florence?

    Regards Rosemary

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi Rosemary,
      It’s best to take the bus to Siena, a direct bus ride will take you right in the city center of Siena in little over an hour.
      The bus is run by the SITA company, located in Via della Scala next the Santa Maria Novella train station.

      As for other saints, I suggest visiting Florence’s Baptistery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the city.

      Get back to me for any other help you may need,
      elena

      Reply
  • Hi Elena,

    I will be traveling with my 16 year old Daughter on a Mother/Daughter get away. We live in the US (California). We arrive in Rome on June 7 and leave there for Florence on the 11th, then to Venice on the 15th and home on the 17th.

    What side trips would you suggest doing with a teenage girl? She loves fashion, food and boys. She is looking forward to seeing the real culture of the Italian people and less interested in the history, churches and museums.
    She is also looking forward to tasting wine since she is legal in Italy.

    This is a list of the formal tours I am looking at: Perhaps you can tell me which would be realistic for our time in each city and value for what it costs.
    Rome: Food Walking tour, Pompeii and Sorrento day trip, Time Elevator, Hop on Hop off Bus
    Florence: Tuscany and Siena day trip, Cinque Terre day trip, Horse back ride to Chianti Wine tour, Cooking Class at Tuscan Farmhouse
    We also want to have some time for shopping in both Rome and Florence.
    Venice: Gondola Ride and relax.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hello Pam,
      a Mother/Daughter get away? Fantastic! you will really enjoy your time here in #Italy!
      Florence is the right place for a teenage girl loving fashion, food and boys 🙂 Florence is full of beautiful shops, literally everywhere!
      A place full of boys is the Hard Rock Cafè in Piazza della Repubblica, go there for a dinner!

      You have 4 full days in Florence, one full day visiting Florence and enjying some shopping, one day visiting Siena and possibly other Tuscan destinations like San Gimignano or Monteriggioni, another full day horse back riding with wine tastings in Chianti; so you have one last day that I would spend enjoying a cooking class at a Typical Tuscan farm. I would skip the Cinque Terre, they are beautiful and can be actually visited on a day trip from Florence by train, but the journey is quite long and you will be very tired by the end of the day.

      For any other suggestion please feel free to ask again!
      Have a nice day,
      elena

      Reply
  • Hello Elena
    Your blog is brilliant! I was hoping you could help? My husband and I are spending 5 days in Florence and 3 days in Rome for a first wedding anniversary.

    Arriving in Rome and then taking a train to Florence.

    I would like to base ourselves in central Florence and take a few day trips to the surrounding areas. Could you recommend a company who arranges day trips or do you suggest we just use trains and busses?

    We would also love to have a cooking lesson or two – do you have any recommendations?

    One last questions re hotels – which areas would you recommend to stay in Florence as we won’t have a hire car.
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Warmest regards
    Victoria

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Ciao Victoria,
      Sounds like a great first wedding anniversary! Tuscany is beautiful 🙂

      Florence is the best place to use as a base to discover Tuscan sights when using public transportation. Of course some destinations can be reached more conveniently than others by public transport, as in the case of Pisa, Lucca, and Arezzo, all with the train station located in the town’s center. Many others can still be visited by bus or train, but in order to optimize your time you may go with an organized tour, especially for beautiful destinations like Siena, Chianti, and San Gimignano. Take a look at some tour options offered here.

      Where would you like to take your cooking lessons? If in the city center of Florence, here is my suggestion. In case you’d like some suggestions for cooking classes at a farmhouse or at a place in the countryside, just ask.

      As for the areas where to stay in Florence, you may consider the part near the Santa Maria Novella church, that is also near the train station, or even the area of the Duomo; Florence historic center is small and the train and bus stations are located downtown so you can go practically anywhere.

      Let me know of you’d like me to suggest some options for your stay,

      Have a nice stay!
      elena

      Reply
      • Dear Elena, this is brilliant, thank you. I’ll look over your suggestions and come back to you if I need any further information. You are so kind!
        Victoria

        Reply
  • Hi Elena, your blog is so informative and I’m so glad I have found you.

    I am meeting my daughter in Florence in early September for a months stay. We are thinking of basing ourselves here and the previous posts have answered alot of my questions. One thing we love to do is shop at second hand markets, I think you call them “flea” markets? Do you have any knowledge of these in the Tuscany region. We would also love to spend a day or two at a sandy beach. Will it still be warm enough to swim in the sea? What would you suggest as we won’t have a car, but love walking.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Grazie Elena

    Reply
  • Hey Elena.

    It’s quite amazing all the info that you share, there are several blogs online, but yours is quite unique in the attention that you give to all comers. Quite special really.

    I am travelling with my wife early June to Rome, I have a conference I am attending, but plan to spend 2-3 days in Florence.Worth it to make a day excursion to Siena or San gimignano? Or should we stay put in Florence?

    And, again, you seem a remarkable and true spirit! Am sure people here really appreciate your insight . I certainly do!

    Ali

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Ali,
      Really many thanks for your nice words! I’m very happy to hear you appreciate my blog 🙂

      Since you’re spending 2-3 days in Florence, I definitely recommend your day excursion to Siena and San Gimignano! You can dedicate the rest of your time to explore the beautiful Florence. This way, you will have the opportunity to visit two incredible gems of Tuscany and Italy! Both San Gimignano and Siena are also very different from Florence.

      Feel free to ask any other question, I’ll be glad to help!
      elena from Florence

      Reply
  • Hi there!
    My husband and I will be traveling to Italy with our 9 month old son in July. We are so excited. We’ll be spending 5 nights in Florence and 4 nights in Camogli. I’d love to visit Chianti since it’s not too far from the city and looks beautiful. Which other day trips would be good with a baby? And what are the easiest sights to see in Florence? He’s so little and we’ll have a stroller
    I look forward to your thoughts!

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Lindsay,
      Here I am finally 🙂

      Both Florence and Camogli are beautiful! Chianti is a great place, while I would also visit Lucca, that has lovely walkable medieval walls and is perfect for children. As you have a stroller, you may also consider a visit to San Gimignano, from the parking lot you can take the elevator to reach the historic center.

      As for the easiest sights to visit in Florence, I suggest a walk at the Boboli Gardens, in addition to just walk the city center and admire all the monuments.

      I remain at your disposal,
      Have a great stay,
      elena

      Reply
  • Hi Elena. I’m not sure how to divide time between Florence , Siena and Rome . I leave for Rome 5-6 nights . And Florence and Siena -4 nights each . I’m going first time in August . I know , how hot it will be and I planing to see the beauty of both cities as well as relax and enjoy nature . Can take day trips . Would you advise , please . Natalie

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi Natalie,
      I’m happy to help!
      When you say 4 nights each for Florence and Siena, do you mean to stay in their historic centers? or maybe at some near place in the countryside? You might also stay at a place with a pool so to relax and cool down if days will be hot! Now that is June temperatures are really very high, while last year August was not so warm as it is expected to be!

      Basing in Florence will allow to take also these side trips, while basing in Siena will offer you these other suggested day tours. If you follow the links you will also find hints on how to use both cities as your home base in Tuscany.

      Feel free to ask any other question,
      Elena

      Reply
  • This site is very helpful! I am wondering… of the right best day trips from Florence you have written about in this article, which ones would you suggest if I am traveling at the end of November?

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi Heidi!
      Happy you find my site helpful 🙂
      November in Tuscany is generally rainy but it depends from year to year, many days are also usually sunny so you can practically go visit what you prefer. San Gimignano is a must and I highly recommend it! and also Siena, Pisa and Lucca. If the day is sunny consider also a day trip to the Chianti region.

      You may find further ideas also from this list of additional day trips to enjoy from Florence 🙂
      I’m here for any further question,
      have a nice day,
      elena

      Reply
  • Dear Elena

    What brilliant and wonderfully helpful suggestions in your blogs. My compliments.

    My wife and I are planning to visit Florence for three nights in early September. We would like a day tour of six or seven hours covering San Gimignano and Siena or any other nice places that you might suggest, including lunch at a decent place. We are somewhat advanced in years and would not like to walk too much. We do not wish to rent a car. Is there such a tour available?

    Best regards
    Surendra

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Surendra,
      thanks a lot for nice words, I’m so happy you like my blog 🙂

      An organized tour is the best way to experience Tuscany when not renting a car. There are quite many good tours starting from Florence as this one that covers San Gimignano and Siena and is not too much stress! Also take a look at this other day tours from Florence.

      I remain at your disposal for any further suggestion needed,
      Enjoy your time in Tuscany,
      elena

      Reply
  • We are taking train out of rome and want to stop in tuscan town via train and on train route and then head to la spezia. Which towns are the best for visiting via train?

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hello Amy,
      These are the beautiful towns I suggest you stop to visit on the train line from Rome to Tuscany (in direction on Florence):
      – Orte, we are still in the Lazio region. Orte is a wonderful Etruscan town with suggestive subterraneans
      – Orvieto, one of the most fascinating hill towns of Italy, located in Umbria, on the border with Tuscany. It raises of a rock of tuff stone and has a stunning Duomo and beautiful subterraneans
      Montepulciano, one of my most beloved Tuscan villages
      Cortona, a real gem of Tuscany that enjoys one of the best and vastest views
      – Arezzo, the city for ” La Vita è Bella” di Roberto Benigni is simply lovely

      Let me know if you need any more suggestions,
      elena

      Reply
  • Hi Elena, You have a phenomenal blog

    My husband and I will be visiting Florence during the first week of September. Our college aged daughter will be studying abroad there and will have just arrived the week before us. We have been to Rome, Florence and to Borgo San Felici, Siena, San Gimignano once previously. We are trying to plan interesting fun activities ( to include her ) during the weekdays around her class schedule (evening cooking class, morning food walking tour, Vasari corridor and ?scuola di ciuoi) and would like to do some more special things on Friday to Sunday when she doesn’t have class perhaps leaving the city proper. Any suggestions? Not sure if we should try to get to the Ferrari and Lamborghini museums while we are there as well. Thank you.

    Reply
  • HI, Elena! love your blog!
    My son, and his long term girlfriend taking trip to Florence in the end of August! is it a bad time because of the big holiday? we are staying in Florence for 5 days and i was wondering if it is a good idea to drive to the seaside which i have heard r pretty beautiful. what would be your recommendations ? Find out the best way to get there, also would be helpful !

    thank u very much

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi Larisa,
      So happy you love my blog 🙂
      August is not a bad time, don’t worry, probably Florence is even just a bit less crowded.

      From Florence, in case you’re not moving by car, you can easily reach the sandy beaches in Viareggio in about one hour and 20 minutes, or the nice Livorno, or the characteristic Castiglioncello south of Livorno.
      For a more spectacular seacoast you might drive for 2 hours towards the Cinque Terre north of Tuscany, in the Liguria region.

      I remain at your disposal,
      Enjoy your stay!
      elena

      Reply
  • Brian Fernandes

    Hello Elena,
    I must appreciate your wonderful website and insights into Tuscany. Its always good to find a website where you feel you dont need to further dig for other websites for info.

    My wife and I (26 & 29 yrs), are planning a day trip from Florence by public transport.
    We have the following places in mind – Sienna, Wine county area, Landscape area such as Chianti area

    We dont mind walking a lot.
    Wanted your suggestions for a day trip using Public Transport.

    Thanks,
    Brian

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hello Brian,
      Thanks for your kind message, I’m happy you like my blog and find that useful 🙂
      You may first tour the Chianti wine area by bus and then reach the beautiful Siena still by bus. I think it’s enough for a day trip.
      Note that not all destinations in Chianti are reached by bus however, sure you will have to do some walking.

      In this article you find the links for bus routes and bus timetables to reach those destinations.

      As far as the beautiful Cinque Terre, of course it’s possible to visit them easily by train on a day trip from Florence, but you might also decide to spend one night there!

      I remain at your disposal,
      Have a nice day,
      elena

      Reply
      • Brian Fernandes

        Totally agree with you.
        But due to my lack of foresight in planning, I made non cancellable reservations in Florence 🙁

        I discussed with my wife and are planning to follow the below route
        Florence – Pisa – 7:30 – 8:30 am
        Pisa – La Spezia – 11:30 – 12:30 am
        Riomaggiore – walk – Manarola – train – Vernazza – done by 5:30 pm
        La Spezia – Florence – 6:30 – 9:00 pm

        I wish I would have had more time in Cinque Terre, but due to my current plan this is what I could fit in.
        I live in the US & have only booked longer route trains using RailEurope.com, am not sure how should I go about booking local transport. Should I book tickets when I get there or in advance.

        Would be really grateful if you could help me out with the info on local train booking for the itinerary.

        Thanks in advance,
        Brian

        Reply
  • Brian Fernandes

    Alternatively, we are also up for Cinque Terre, I seen possible options from Florence to Riomaggiore arriving in at 12:30 pm – Departing at 17:30.
    Wanted to check if it is fine to get around Cinque Terre.

    Reply
  • Dear Elena

    We are coming to Florence Tuscany /Italy for 10 nights at the end of September.
    We are looking for a suggested itinerary . My wife doesn’t want to be moving from one place to another so we want to base ourselves in 1 place for 4-5 nights and explore from this place, I was thinking of an agrotourism accomadation maybe near Siena or ……….?
    I love water/ sea so could you suggest another location for the remaining 5 nights , not sure how far the lakes are or CInque Terra. We will have a vehicle for the duration of our stay.

    Many thanks

    Lee

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Dear Lee,
      Here I am 🙂

      Siena and the beautiful countryside surrounding it can be a great base to start discovering Tuscany, from there you can make a lot of popular day trips both north and south the region.

      Other good and central locations in Tuscany maybe Chianti or San Gimignano, take a look at the links to use each destination a your base.

      As for the sea you may opt for the scenic Monte Argentario to the south of Tuscany; or also the enchanting Cinque Terre, located at about 2 hours and half driving from Siena.

      Feel free to ask any other question,
      Have a nice day,
      elena

      Reply
  • Hi Elena,
    Love your blog!!
    I will be travelling to Florence in November for 5 days with both my husband and 8 month old baby. I was wondering if you can suggest which day trips (if any) at this time of year would be suitable for us? We were hoping to do two separate trips and spend the rest of time exploring Florence. If you can also suggest areas in Florence we can take our little one out to would be great – i.e sights and restaurants.
    Many thanks in advance!
    Baljit

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi Baljit,
      I’m glad you love my blog 🙂

      During that time of the year, if it’s not a rainy day, you can reach the lovely hill town of Fiesole, that offers great views over Florence. Other towns I would go are Lucca, lovely walled town with beautiful walkable medieval walls and an enchanting historic center, and possibly Pisa, with its Piazza dei Miracoli and the Leaning Tower.

      Among the many sights of Florence, I certainly recommend a pleasant walk at the Boboli Gardens. For great tips oh how to enjoy Florence with kids take a look here.

      Do not hesitate to ask any other question,
      Enjoy your stay,
      elena

      Reply
  • Elena,
    We are a well-traveled family of 2 adults & 2 teens that love to walk and explore on & off the beaten path. Planning our 2nd trip to Italy for Christmas/New Years 2015/16. Arrive Venice afternoon Dec 22, depart Milan Jan 2, 2015. (11 full days)
    Tentative plans: 2 full 2 half days Venice. Dec 25 train to Florence late afternoon. (2 full days+evening) Dec 28 rent a car and visit Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Lucca, etc. (3-1/2 days driving). Dec 31 Drop off car in Milan. Celebrate New Year. Jan 1 full day in Milan. Jan 2 fly home 3:00pm from Malpensa.

    Questions: Have I apportioned the days correctly? Should I adjust the numbers for more or less city/more or less countryside? Which towns should we overnight in as we drive Tuscany up to Milan? Should I try for at least one town in the Cinque Terre for a seaside view before heading to Milan? Should we skip Milan and just drop the car at Malpensa airport? If so, where to do New Years eve? We were in Rome/Pompeii/Amalfi coast 3 Christmases back and it was FANTASTIC, but not sure about driving in northern Italy. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you.

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi Donna,
      thanks for your message.
      Sounds like a wonderful plan for your Christmas holiday 🙂
      I think your days are divided correctly; I would skip the Cinque Terre for this trip.
      Oh you were in Pompei and Amalfi Coast on your last trip? wonderful places 🙂
      I think Milan is a good choice to pass New Years Eve; as for driving north you may find a bit of traffic! Another good alternative maybe to pass New Year in Florence!

      As you drive from Tuscany up to Milan you may consider staying in the Chianti area or the beautiful San Gimignano.

      For any more question do not hesitate to contact me again.
      elena from Florence

      Reply
  • Hi Elena,

    Thank you for taking time to write about Tuscany. It is most useful for travellers like me.

    I have 7d/6n allocated to Tuscany for a trip to Italy this December and I am having a lot of trouble deciding if I should base all 6nights in Florence, or 3nights Florence (to take in all of Florence) and then move to Siena or an Agritourismo near Siena for another 3nights.

    I intend to rent a car for exploring the areas beyond florence, as I understand its the best way to enjoy tuscany.

    I had some advice to stay only in Florence because towns (even Siena) becomes really quiet at night, more so in December. So it is better to stay in Florence so I could come back to some lively area and I can find food easily.

    However, I’m quite hesitant due to the difficulties with driving in the city center. The hotel I may be keen on staying is the NH Porta Rossa, which has parking at a garage behind right in the middle of the historic center. Would I be able to get permits to drive into the ZTL ?

    Marco.

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hi Marco,
      I’m happy that my blog about Tuscany is useful for travelers 🙂

      I can certainly recommend to split your time in Tuscany between Florence and Siena’s town or its beautiful nearby countryside.
      That way you can see more of Tuscany.
      Siena is quiet at night but you can still find anything you need. Here are some tips on using Siena as your Tuscan base.
      The car is needed only out of Florence, while in Florence you’ll not need it at all, you can move the town on foot or by bus. Driving in Florence is really not recommended. Here some tips for Florence as a base.

      Take the car only to leave Florence for other parts of Tuscany. Driving in the countryside will be a pleasure.
      I remain at your disposal,
      elena

      Reply
  • Hi Elena,

    I am Darmawan from Jakarta, Indonesia. Nice to see your blog. There is a lot of useful information to explore beautiful tuscany region.
    by the way, If I prefer Florence to be my home base in exploring Tuscany, I plan to go to tuscany on early July 2016. Is possible for me to see sunflower farm around florence by public transportation? Where is the nearest village from florence that can be reached by public transportation?

    Thank You
    Darmawan – Jakarta Indonesia

    Reply
    • elena nacci Post author

      Hello Darmawan,
      Thanks for your nice message.
      The nearest village from Florence is the lovely Fiesole, that you can quickly reach by bus, the first on the list of the day trips. You’re most likely to see sunflowers in May and June. You should reach the countryside south of Florence towards Chianti.
      I remain at your disposal,
      elena

      Reply
  • We are a family of 9 ages from 72years to 7 years old. Since we have older people with us, we were considering hiring a mini bus that seats 16 to take us to Pisa, San Miniato and Lucca for the day from Florence. Our main objective is the convenience and to be able to do more in one day rather than taking the train. I was told though that in Pisa and Lucca there are rules that will prohibit the mini bus from City Centers so we might have to walk farther. Is this true? Which would be closer to the sites like Leaning Tower the drop off point of the mini bus or the train station?

    Reply

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