10 Day Trips from Florence for Solo Travellers in Italy
When in Italy, the allure of Florence is unmissable. This Italian city sure knows how to cast its spell – my most cherished solo travel memories are of Florence, especially the day trips!
Whether you enjoy savouring wine at Chianti or vibing in the Tuscan countryside, Florence day trips will make the traveller in you jump with joy. If you love the Tuscan hill towns, head south for a slice of heaven. And, if you prefer cities more, head to the West. Pisa and Siena are waiting to welcome you with its medieval culture.
To make it easier for you to decide which day trips are suitable for your solo travel itinerary in the city – I have compiled a list of the best day trips from Florence based on their distance and accessibility, affordability, and overall experience.
So, here you go – scan through my top 10 day trips to explore Tuscany from Florence:
1. Siena – A Day Trip to a Medieval City 78 Kilometres from Florence
Siena is the perfect culmination of medieval charm and cultural heritage in Tuscany. The city’s gothic architecture and narrow cobbled streets will keep you intrigued 24/7. And, remember to walk like a Sienese – with your head high. This way, you will witness the city’s beauty that soars as high as the sky.
On a day trip, here’s how you can make the most of Siena:
- Visit the Piazza del Campo, especially if you travel in July or August. Why? Because the famous annual horse race – Palio takes place around this time.
- If you want an unparalleled birds-eye view of the entire city, you must climb 400 steps to get to the Torre del Mangia. Is it worth climbing the steps? Absolutely, the view makes up for it.
- Duomo di Siena is another stunner of the city. This Romanesque cathedral’s interior gives you an insight into the Old and New Testament scenes. It features Renaissance art as well.
- While navigating your way at the Piazza del Duomo, make sure to taste-test the local treats. Ricciarelli (almond biscuit), panpepato (sweet cake), and the famous Siena paneforte (fruit cake) are a must-try!
In addition, easy accessibility makes Siena one of the most budget-friendly day trips from Florence. It will take you around 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus and costs around €8.
2. San Gimignano: A Town of Towers 59 Kilometres from Florence
Another popular day tour from Florence is San Gimignano, a UNESCO Heritage site. This hilltop town, with its medieval towers, shines brightly under the Tuscan sun. One of the best things to do in San Gimignano is to climb these towers and treat your eyes to the finest view of the Tuscan countryside.
Apart from that, here are a few more mandate things to do in San Gimignano:
- You have to make your way to the top of Torre Grossa – the tallest tower in the town during sunset and experience the beauty.
- Also, you cannot miss tasting San Gimignano’s Gelateria Dondoli. It is one of the best gelatos you will get to taste test in Italy.
- Savour a glass of locally produced Vernaccia wine as well. You can pair it with Tuscan bites – the golden ham with flavours of saffron (the town is well-known for).
3. Pisa – One of the Popular Day Trips 98 Kilometres from Florence
When you’re in Tuscany, there’s a slim chance of Pisa not being on your list. A nice city centre with Pisa Cathedral and its bell tower – the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you’re up for a good time.
You can spend time by the banks of the Arno River and explore the Pisa Baptistery and museums in the area. And, obviously, take some crazy pictures with the Leaning Tower of Pisa for your social media!
However, with not a lot of things to do, you can combine it with any other day trip from Florence to save time. To reach Pisa, you can travel via direct train from Florence. It takes around 1 hour to reach the destination.
4. Chianti Region 30 Kilometres from Florence – One of the Must Day Trips for Wine Aficionados
Tuscany remains incomplete without a wine tour of the Chianti region. In fact, the Chianti Region is the closest of all Florence day trips. This implies less travel time between the two places and more time to explore.
On this laid-back yet adventurous day trip from Florence, I had my best time cherishing wine and cheese, followed by a traditional lunch amidst the farm and vineyards. This is something you must experience first-hand in Chianti. Several operators arrange such wine and cellar cum lunch tours. Pick one to your liking to relax and unwind in Tuscan style.
5. Cinque Terre – A Day Trip 200 Kilometres from Florence to the Coastal Charms
If you want a truly unique day trip from Florence, add this one to your itinerary right away! Cinque Terre means five lands, i.e., you get to explore five amazing coastal villages in one day. The amalgamation of mountains and ocean is spellbound.
This Cinque Terre day trip from Florence will keep you on your toes (quite literally). To get the most out of your trip, start your journey early in the morning. Plan it well and hike from one village to the other while soaking up the beauty of the colourful houses and cliffs.
You can also stop over for lunch and take a quick dip during sunset before you board the train back to Florence. You can travel via connecting trains easily between Florence and Cinque Terre. It takes around 3 hours on average.
Although it is possible to cover all of the five villages in a day, I strongly recommend spending at least a night here. If I get a chance, I will revisit and stay there for a few nights; it is a gem of a place in Tuscany!
6. A Quick Day Trip to Lucca: 94 Kilometres from Florence
Lucca, or the “city of hundred churches,” is a classic choice for a day trip from Florence. It is surrounded by Renaissance walls and exudes a sense of calmness. The city is also apt for anyone looking for a solo budget day trip from Florence.
You can experience the essence and charm of Lucca by walking or biking along the city walls. It gives the perfect in-and-out feeling.
And, of course, no one can miss a hundred churches. I know it is impossible to explore all the religious buildings in a single day. So what can you do? Visit the most popular ones in Lucca – St. Martin’s Cathedral and St. Michael’s Church.
To wrap up your time in Lucca, visit the Guinigi Tower and its rooftop garden. The garden symbolises the rebirth of Lucca.
7. Arezzo: A Hidden Gem of Art and Elegance 76 Kilometres from Florence
Tucked away in the south of Florence, Arezzo is still out of the radar of tourists. If you love art and shopping, this day trip from Florence will become your favourite!
The must-sees in Arezzo are the Medici Fortress, the remarkable San Francisco Basilica, and the spectacular view from the clock tower of Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici.
It will take you an hour to reach Arezzo from Florence. You can self-drive or stick to public transport accordingly. Trains and buses are frequent. So, there is no need to worry about accessibility.
Point to Remember: On every first weekend of a month, Piazza Grande transforms into the famous Antiques Fair. In case your time aligns, get your hands on some unique antiques.
8. Val D’Orcia: Capture the Beauty of Southern Tuscany 120 Kilometres from Florence
Val D’Orcia is like a beautiful canvas painted in the colours of nature. The valley and Orcia River make it one of the most picture-perfect day trips from Florence.
This is the place where you have to slow down. The slow life of this green valley is hypnotising. With only 24 hours in your hand, I suggest you explore Montalcino. Taste one of the finest red wines – the Brunello di Montalcino.
Then move on to the Abbey of Sant’Antimo and Pienza City. Also, give their pecorino cheese a try! To travel easily, opt for a car for this day trip.
9. Volterra – The Home of Vampires 80 Kilometres from Florence
Well, not literally; if you are a fan of the Twilight Series, you know what I am talking about. Volterra, a Tuscan town, is famous for its appearance in the books and movies based on Twilight. So, if you’re intrigued to see it in real life, this day trip from Florence will not disappoint you. However, Montepulciano replaced Volterra in the Volterra scenes in the films.
While in the town, visit the Roman Theatre and Guarnacci Etruscan Museum. You can also explore the ruins and walls to travel back to the Etruscan city of Volterra.
Talking about travel, there are no direct trains to Volterra from Florence. So, it is advisable to travel by car.
10. Assisi – 174 Kilometres from Florence
A day trip from Florence to the birthplace of St. Francis, Assisi, draws all sorts of travellers. Once you are done exploring the Basilica of St. Francis, walk through the narrow alleys and visit Rocca Maggiore Fort. Minerva Temple is also one of the must-see places in Assisi.
After a full day of exploration, treat yourself to Umbrian wines and local delicacies. And, if you want some souvenirs, the Libreria Tipografia Zubboli is your place. It has everything unique and handmade.
Guided Day Trips from Florence – An Easy Way Out
If making these day trips from Florence on your own scares you, opt for the guided tours. There are several varieties of day trips to pick from. You can opt for a full one-day tour, a Vespa day trip from Florence, a Cooking day trip from Florence, etc.
Is a Day Trip from Florence Worth It?
Yes, 100 %! Florence’s central location provides the perfect base for day trips to venture into the Tuscany region. Plus, thanks to the diversity of the area, every day trip from Florence is beyond ordinary.
Plan Your Solo Travel in Florence with a Day Trip
If you plan to travel solo to Florence, keep some extra days handy. Although you can cover Florence in 2 days, adding these day trips will escalate your Tuscany experience to a new height. And, if you need a guide to Florence, read my ultimate solo travel guide to Florence. I bet it will solve all your queries. So, don your explorer’s hat and start travelling!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.