The Best Tuscan Day Trips from Florence, Italy: 5 Essential Towns to Add to Your Italy Itinerary

The Best Tuscan Day Trips from Florence, Italy: 5 Essential Towns to Add to Your Italy Itinerary
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There are so many beautiful places within reach from Florence, Italy. Centered in towards the middle of the country, Florence is an ideal location from which to see so much of Italy (not to mention one of the most beautiful itself.) While studying abroad, I learned what towns made for the perfect Tuscan day trips from Florence.

Nestled in the region of Tuscany, Florence is a stone’s throw away from some of the most stunning, picturesque Italian villages you can think of. Any of them are worth a visit if you’re craving that charming village experience.

These destinations are about an hour or less to reach from Florence!

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Siena

Siena is one of the more major towns in Tuscany, smaller than Florence, but not as small as the following towns I’ll mention. It has a rich history, a bustling plaza, Piazza del Campo.

The piazza bumps right up to the Palazzo Pubblico, an amazing Gothic palace. Twice a year, there is a horse race held in the piazza and is a famous tradition known all throughout Italy.

Narrow streets of Siena suddenly open up to the grand Piazza del Campo.
Pictured above is one of the many impressive frescos inside the Palazzo Pubblico.

Pienza

Il Duomo di Pienza (above) was constructed by Pope Pius II in 1459 as a symbol of power and in honor of his birthplace.

A small town above the Tuscan hills, Pienza is the place to go for stunning views above the countryside and an authentic Italian village feel. This was one of my favorite Tuscan day trips from Florence because it felt so authentic to Italian culture!

The people are genuine and kind and the town does not host a ton of tourists, so it’s the perfect off-the-beaten-path kind of place.

It has a powerful history for being so small and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which you can read about more here.

From atop Pienza, the countryside of the Val d’Orcia goes on for miles.

Panzano

The peaceful rolling hills of Panzano.

I discovered Panzano when I watched Chef’s Table about a butcher named Dario Cecchini. It’s incredibly quiet and peaceful in this small village, with grand views of the countryside and in the heart of the Chianti winemaking region.

You can reach Panzano easily from Florence by bus. Head to the Santa Maria Novella train station and just past it is the Autostazione Busitalia. There you can buy a ticket for less than 10 euros to reach Panzano, less than an hour’s drive.

When in Panzano, you can do a wine tasting at one of its fattorie but you absolutely have to have lunch at a restaurant called Ristorante Oltre Il Giardino.

This hidden gem spot had serene outdoor seating under a canopy of greenery overlooking the breathtaking countryside and the seemingly endless vineyards.


Fiesole

Fiesole is right outside Florence, simply a 15-20 minute bus ride, and offers some of the best views of Florence. Although, it was a bit foggy when I visited, as you can see!

But, if it were a little less bright and a lot less foggy, you can take in the entire vast Arno river valley on which Florence sits. It’s a mini-getaway from the city if you are spending an extended amount of time in Florence.

It’s also a famous site with ruins from ancient Etruscans, predecessors to ancient Rome! There is an old monastery at the top of the town which you can tour, as well as Ristorante La Reggia, a beautiful spot at the crest of the hill overlooking the huge city of Firenze.


Pisa

Pisa is an obvious destination to visit from Florence! As cliché and touristy as it sounds, it is a worthy experience to get your photo with the Leaning Tower.

You won’t feel bad of posing in front of this monument because there are hundreds of your closest friends doing the same alongside you.

You must get your own tourist shot with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Pisa is an ideal half-day trip from Florence. I traveled on a Sunday and most of the town was empty, besides the main square where the Leaning Tower is located.

This is the perfect opportunity to explore and getaway from Florence if you don’t have a full day on your itinerary to give away.

Arno-River-Pisa
The Arno River flowing through Pisa.

Honorable Mentions for Tuscan Day Trips from Florence

Of course, just five towns may not tickle your fancy. Maybe you want to do an entire Tuscan road trip!

To add to the inspiration, I’m listing other beautiful places to visit in Tuscany. I have personally visited all of the day trips previously mentioned, but these are towns recommended to me by local friends and families to add to your bucket list!

  • Saturnia – Known for its bright blue thermal baths.
  • San Gimignano – Known for its wine-making.
  • Lucca – Medieval village.
  • Forte dei Marmi – Coastal Town.
  • Arezzo – Gorgeous hilltop cathedral.

Don’t forget Florence is also only a couple of hours’ train ride from areas like Bologna, Rome, Venice, Milan, and Cinque Terre! You could tire yourself out and make a day trip to these cities, or plan a weekend getaway from Florence!

Do you have any favorite towns in Tuscany or other Tuscan day trips from Florence? Let me know!

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Hopefully, you’ve been transported to dreamy Tuscany and out of our living rooms for now. I know I can’t wait to be back exploring this beautiful region.

In the meantime, let’s keep our dreams close to our hearts.

XOXO

Michela

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