Taking a day trip from Florence gives the traveler a look at the countryside of Tuscany - picturesque hill towns, vineyards and wineries, or the coast.
Here are suggestions for Tuscany day trips from Florence. Click on the links for more information about each place. Take a look at our Tuscany Rail Map to get an idea of locations.
Fiesole, in the hills above Florence, is an easy day trip. It's a great place to escape the summer heat and on clear days there are good views of the Florentine hills and even Florence. Fiesole has a good archeology park with a Roman amphitheater and Roman, Etruscan, and Longabard ruins. Bus number 7 runs from the Florence train station to Fiesole, stopping near the Duomo and Piazza San Marco along the way. Fiesole Pictures
Siena is a classic Tuscan medieval hill town and one of the most popular. It's a pretty town with a large fan-shaped piazza, beautiful cathedral, pedestrian streets with shops, and the second highest medieval bell tower in Italy (with 505 steps to the top). Siena, 60 km south of Florence, is accessible by either train or bus but the bus stops in the center while the train station is downhill from the center (with a connecting bus). Siena Pictures
Pisa is famous for its leaning tower, beautiful Duomo, and Baptistery in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Pisa also has a good medieval center and a walk along the river. Pisa is easily reached by train or bus from Florence. It's about a 25 to 30 minute walk from the train station to the Piazza dei Miracoli. Here's a Pisa video on Wandering Italy about how to get from Pisa train station to Piazza dei Miracoli. Pisa Pictures
Lucca is a walled city with one of the best-preserved walls in Italy. Atop the walls are walking and bicycling paths and gardens, allowing you to walk completely around Lucca's historic center. Most of Lucca is flat so if you're tired of walking up hills, this is a good place to go. There are beautiful churches, good shopping, and several well-preserved towers from where you can get fabulous views of the city by climbing to the top. Enjoy this video of our walk around Lucca. Frequent trains run between Florence and Lucca, taking a little over an hour. The train station is just outside the walls.
The picturesque Chianti Classico wine region lies between Florence and Siena to the south. There are small wine towns, rolling hills covered with vineyards, and wineries that offer tasting. The area is best visited by car or on a tour, but you can get to the wine town of Greve by bus from Florence.
San Gimignano is a small walled hill town known as the City of Beautiful Towers for its 14 surviving medieval towers. You can climb one of them for great views of the Tuscan countryside. There's an 11th century duomo decorated with 14th century frescoes, several museums, and a number of good restaurants serving typical Tuscan food. To get to San Gimignano from Florence, take a bus or train from Siena or Florence to Poggibonsi. From Poggibonsi there are frequent buses to San Gimignano, about a 20 minute ride. San Gimignano Pictures
The main city on Tuscany's Versilia Coast, Viareggio, can easily be reached from Florence by train. If you have a car you can explore other towns and beaches along the coast.
Vinci is the town where Leonardo da Vinci was from. The town has a small historic center and a museum of Leonardo da Vinci in its castle. You can also visit the farm house where Leonardo was born. From Florence you can take the train to Empoli and then a bus. Here's visiting information for the town of Vinci, the museum, and house.
A good way to visit a couple of wineries and tour Tuscany is by taking a guided winery tour. Most of these winery tours include transportation with pick-up and drop-off at Florence hotels, wine tastings, and lunch.